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Living Life with Uterine Fibroids

Thank you, Boston Scientific for sponsoring this post. Learn more about treatment options available at FreedomFromFibroids.com.

My blog name is Life with Lisa, but the Lisa you know now is nothing like the Lisa that lived prior to 2011. As a matter of fact, what happened in December of 2010 is something no one other than my husband knows about. It was the most horrible time of my life. It was so bad that I….

But before I start at the end, let me tell you about the beginning.

I was a woman who loved life. Growing up and all through my 20s, I was so full of life. I loved discovering new things and meeting new people. At that time in my life jumping into my best friend’s car and driving from NY to FL for Spring Break was no big deal. I even decided to move to FL on a whim and got on a plane to start my new life. That was the “me” I loved, but shortly after moving to FL things began to change and I began to lose myself.

I moved to FL. I met a guy. I got married. I got pregnant.

I miscarried.

I got pregnant.

I miscarried.

I got pregnant.

I miscarried.

After a countless amount of pregnancies and miscarriages, I finally had my son, Ethan when I was 27 years old. He was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything about being a mom, but it was at this time that I really started experiencing problems every month and it seemed to correlate to my menstrual cycle.

Debilitating headaches, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pains, and heavy bleeding.  I finally decided to see my doctor and he said it was probably uterine fibroids. He let me know that uterine fibroids were noncancerous growths that had formed in my uterus, but he didn’t seem concerned so I just went on with my life 3 out of 4 weeks a month. I didn’t know that these growths could form in, on, or outside my uterus and that they could grow slowly or rapidly. I really didn’t know much about them at all.  What I do know is that life went on and I continued to do as much as I could…

I survived many more miscarriages and finally a divorce (WOOT!!).

Over the next 5 or 6 years, my bleeding got heavier and heavier and I started doing less and less. I eventually got remarried and the cycle began again.

I got pregnant.

I miscarried.

I got pregnant.

I miscarried…

and then came my son, James. Another perfect creation, but after 18+ miscarriages I pretty much knew he would be the last child. As I entered my 40s the symptoms I had been suffering got progressively worse. My migraines were debilitating. The bleeding and blood clots that passed took away all the freedom I had once enjoyed and I totally lost everything that made me, me. I couldn’t travel because my periods were sporadic and heavy.

In 2010 I finally decided to take my life back and started a list of all the symptoms I was having and I found a new doctor to discuss my options. I missed a lot of time from work during this time and my employer was not at all understanding. I had become depressed because we weren’t sure what exactly the problem was that was causing so much blood and pain, it was unreal.

Finally, in November 2010 after trying a bunch of different things my doctor decided a uterine ablation might help and we schedule it for my birthday. Unfortunately, it only made things worse and at this time my doctor decided we needed to schedule a hysterectomy for the following week to stop my bleeding. Everyone woman is different and for me, since I was older and didn’t plan on having anymore children a hysterectomy was the best option.  Now I began the seesaw of emotions that comes with preparing for a hysterectomy. I felt very confused and had a lot of questions, thankfully I found a support group that helped put a lot of my worries at ease.

My surgery was scheduled for December 27, 2010, and I let my employer know I wouldn’t be able to return until after the procedure.

They fired me.

On December 26, 2010, I got a call from the doctor’s office that they were going to have to reschedule my surgery to the following year. I immediately broke down sobbing. My health insurance was going to end December 31, 2010. It was this point where my story began. The thoughts that went through my mind were debilitating. I had no way to stop the bleeding. I no way to get these fibroids out of my uterus. I felt hopeless. I explained to the nurse what had happened and how I was fired when I told my boss I was going to be out. I explained I wouldn’t be able to have the surgery if it wasn’t done on the 27th and I waited all day for them to give me a callback to see if they could put together a new team for my doctor.

I prayed on and off all day. I cried hysterically on and off all day. At 8 pm we got the call to show up at the hospital the next day, they found a team to do the surgery.

Fast-forward six months later…

I wish I had not put myself through all those years of unnecessary suffering due to uterine fibroids and adenomyosis (diagnosed only via a hysterectomy). I often wonder how I lost myself to uterine fibroids and the suffering they caused. I believe it was a gradual thing. Six months later and I was me again. Today I love to travel. I love meeting new people. I love life.

Please, Don’t Lose Your U! Treatment for uterine fibroids can go beyond medication and beyond doctors, although you should educate yourself about all your treatment options. It can come through in the support of women like you. If it had not been for the support I found back then I don’t know how I would have ever gotten through it.  There is a treatment option for uterine fibroids without hormone therapy or surgery; Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, offers a less invasive experience, while successfully treating fibroids. It works by blocking the flow of blood to uterine fibroids, depriving them of the oxygen and nutrients they require to grow. The typical UFE procedure lasts less than one hour and doesn’t require an extended hospital stay. 

If you have a short story, some advice, or even an inspirational quote about your experience, please Share Your Story. Your UFE success story could lead to much more.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Comments

  1. Mary Ambrosino says:

    So glad to hear you are finally back in the game.

  2. Melissa Storms says:

    That is so very frustrating. I only found a level of relief with menopause. I definitely feel that I wasted many years in pain and fear of staying anywhere than my own home because of fear of bleed through.

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