Here we are, I’m starting another blog. The others were failed attempts at rambled journaling, but since I’ve been asked to keep people posted as I creep along the path set before me this is where we find ourselves. Let’s start with the light stuff! “Peachy Little Lemon” is a play on the sometimes sarcastic remark given when people ask how you’re doing (just peachy!), and the idea of a flawed body being called a “lemon.” Conveniently, there are cute little emojis that fit perfectly: 🍑💝🍋!! Beyond that, I am going to have to undergo a change in diet to put myself in the best shape I can be for my recovery, so the cheerful fruits will cast a happy light on something that can sometimes be a bit daunting. Aaannddd…peachy-pink is one of my favorite colors! 🤗
I don’t promise to be bubbly throughout this process or “handle it with grace” (what does that even mean, anyway?). I do promise, however, to be honest and raw and vulnerable about my experience trudging through this mess. My goal is to reach other women and let them know they are not alone, as well as realize the importance of being their own healthcare advocate when they recognize that something isn’t quite right with their body. This is probably a good time to give fair warning that I’m going to use big scary words like “menstruation” and “uterus” (😱😱😱), so if the academic nomenclature makes you a bit squeamish, read no further!
Ten years ago I developed a sporadic pattern of intense pain during my monthly cycle. Some of the bouts were intense enough to merit a trip to the emergency room, but nothing would ever come of it. I’d be referred back to my gynecologist who would order a pelvic ultrasound, and they always came back clear. The well-meaning doctors just told me I had rough periods. The ignorant doctors would suggest that perhaps I had a digestive malady, and others (usually male) dared ask me if I was sure it was my uterus/ovaries that were causing my debilitating pain. I was tempted to kick them in the testicles and ask them how it felt – ha! After a few rounds on this rollercoaster, I began to doubt myself: Was it all in my head? Did everyone else hurt this badly and I was just too weak to handle it? Eventually I decided to suffer in silence.
The persistent, painful spells began to come more frequently starting about a year and a half or so ago. I racked up another few thousand dollars in medical bills on fruitless rounds of tests while the mounting pain began to interrupt my daily life. The pain lasted longer, spread over a greater portion of my body, and grew in intensity. I became irritable with those close to me while silently gritting my teeth through my agony. New symptoms popped up like migraines, sleepless nights, and weight gain among other messier things.
Because we had to switch medical insurance, I saw a new physician who (mercifully) took me seriously. When my physical exam was limited due to the amount of discomfort I was in, my doctor hypothesized that I could have a condition called adenomyosis. A few weeks later, the diagnosis was finally confirmed with an MRI. 🙌🏼 Hallelujah! 🙌🏼
For the uninitiated, adenomyosis is the condition in which the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) encroaches on the myometrium (muscular layer of the uterus itself). Each individual pocket of rogue tissue is called an adenomyoma. These adenomyomas thicken and bleed like regular uterine tissue, however the blood becomes trapped within the muscle layer since it cannot exit the body through a normal menstrual flow. ✨Hint: this is PAINFUL!! Imagine Chuck Norris in heavy combat boots roundhouse kicking you in the uterus! I have diffuse adenomyosis, meaning that the disease afflicts my whole uterus rather than being focused in one particular area. Because the only cure for this is disease is a hysterectomy, my husband and I decided it was the obvious choice. My surgery is scheduled for April and I am looking forward to the relief it should bring me.
There’s a lot more that I’ll cover, but for tonight I only have enough energy to go over the background of it all. The next time I post, I’ll cover the tidal wave of emotions this has brought me. For now, I’m going to snuggle in for the night.
Be well! 💕