I’m half alive but I feel mostly dead

I said the other day that I had some medical stuff I was debating writing about. Well, I guess I’m going to do that now. I will warn you in advance – this is medical issues of a female nature, and as such I’ll put it all behind a cut tag to make it easier to skip over if you don’t wish to read it.

I think I’ve written before in my lj about some of the issues I have with my menstrual cycle. Way back when I first started, I was regular to the minute, and I was lucky enough to never have cramps, etc. After a few years, though, that changed. I began having some nasty cramps and I started going longer and longer between periods. The worst was going two years without ever having a period. (I say worst only because it’s bad from a medical standpoint. But you’d better believe I was very happy without having any!) I have been off and on birth control to try to regulate me – but I am very bad about remembering to take pills, and usually wouldn’t stay on them for very long. Roughly about 5 years ago, I had a period that lasted 3 weeks, and was pretty heavy. I got into the doc and they got things “turned off”, but they didn’t run any further tests. Since then, I’d go for months without, and then have several months in a row of normal cycles, before starting to skip again. I’m okay with things like that, for the most part.

My body’s weird schedules were okay with me, up until recently. August-October of last year, I had fairly normal periods: a little more time between them than what’s “standard”, and they might go for a week & half instead of a week. I did find a new gynecologist in September, because I will fully admit that I’ve been bad about going and it had been a couple years. The new doc sent me in for an ultrasound to check things out, just because I’ve always been so erratic. The ultrasound came back normal.

Then, we came to November 17, 2006. I started my period, and it seemed uneventful at first, and like it might go a few days extra like the past few had. I wasn’t surprised when I hit 10 days. Then it hit 14 days. Then three weeks, non-stop. When it hit 4 weeks of continuous flow, I decided it was definitely time to call the doc. I left a message on the machine and waited. I never heard back. By this time, we’re just days away from Christmas. I knew there’s no chance of me getting time off work for a doc appt, so I just crossed my fingers that it would stop on its own. Besides, I was already having enough problems dealing with my dislocated tailbone – and getting that steroid shot to end the pain took higher priority.

Finally, at 5.5 weeks, I stopped. Kind of. It only lasted 1.5 days before I started again, so I don’t really count it as “stopping”. Right before New Year’s, we’re hitting 6 weeks. January 8th, things were finally settling at work, so I called the doctor again. This time I got an appointment scheduled for January 17th. Only, that wasn’t to be. That week, Dallas got hit with snow and ice, some of the worst of it being on the 17th. My doctor’s office closed due to the weather. The next day, I call to reschedule, and they can get me in on Jan 22.

January 22: the weather has cleared up, and I actually get to make my appointment. She did another exam, and asked a ton of questions. Her tentative diagnosis is that I might have endometrial hyperplasia (abnormal thickening of the uterine walls). To confirm that diagnosis, she wanted me to have another pelvic ultrasound, and to come in for an endometrial biopsy after the ultrasound. She was pretty confident that I was about to stop, but I figured that was going to be just wishful thinking. I was wrong. January 26, my period FINALLY ceased. (TEN WEEKS LONG!!!) Thank whatever deities might exist!! The period over those 2.5 months stayed fairly steady and moderate, but I did have days where I jumped to very heavy flows and intense cramps. That was an awful awful thing that I hope no one else has to go through.

The ultrasound was on Jan 27, and the biopsy on Feb 1st. My doc just got the ultrasound results minutes before my biopsy, but they did show some thickening in areas, and they recommended that I have a biopsy. Good thing my doc knew that was coming, and I was already scheduled for that biopsy. 😉 Haha. (The ultrasound also saw a possible polyp or blood clot, so I’m supposed to go back in 6-8 weeks for a follow-up ultrasound.) The procedure itself … OMG PAIN. That was absolutely uncomfortable and painful and just… AWFUL. I may be a bit of a wuss when it comes to pain, but I think someone with a much higher threshold than me would still have serious problems with the inside of their uterus being scraped. The biopsy also caused a lot of evil cramps and spotting for a couple days.

What now? Now I play the waiting game until the biopsy results are in. My doc feels more assured in her tentative diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia. If I do have EH – my risk for uterine cancer goes up. Approximately one-third of patients with EH develop cancer. I’m probably going to be on a hormone treatment (progesterone) and the doc could recommend a hysterectomy to prevent the endometrial hyperplasia from developing into cancer. Honestly? I say go for it. I’m not going to have kids (have ZERO desire for them but if I change my mind I can adopt), so I don’t really need my uterus at all; and if getting rid of it reduces my risk of cancer – that’s a good thing. Plus the positive of no more insane menstrual cycles!

So, that’s everything that’s been going on with me lately, giving me all kinds of stress and pain. Hopefully it won’t be too long of a wait to get the biopsy results back, and I know what’s going on with my stupid insides. The worst part? Even though I’ve only been stopped for 11 days? My body is already sending all the signals that it might start again soon. UGH!

6 thoughts on “I’m half alive but I feel mostly dead”

  1. Biopsies are icky!! I had to have a cone biopsy years ago (they found abnormal cells & I subsequently had to get lasered) & it was most unpleasant! Laying there while they rip pieces out of you.
    The ultrasound wasn’t bad. It was worse that I had a woman sticking a probe into me when I really don’t swing that way! I think I wouldn’t have minded had it been a bloke!
    Anyway, glad to hear it’s nothing life threatening! I assume they’re just talking about taking the uterus, not the ovaries? Because that’s more serious & you’d need hormones & stuff.
    I’m tempted to say ‘go for it’, but you’re young. You may meet someone down the track who wants kids, & they may make you want kids. But then again there could be years of misery between now & then. Try & talk to someone – a councellor or something – who can talk it through with you rationally. And you’ve got my email address if you ever need support, or to let off steam.
    Take care of yourself!! Amanda.

  2. I hate hate hated the biopsy. Haha. My knuckles were probably white, as hard as I was holding onto the table. Ugh.

    And yeah. The ultrasound wasn’t bad, it’s just kinda embarrassing, mostly. I think I’ve had about 4 of the ultrasounds so far. I prefer a woman, just because I’d be even more embarrased and uncomfortable if it was a guy. Haha.

    Yeah, as far as I know, it would just be uterus.

    If someone ever makes me want kids? We can adopt. We’d pretty much have to anyway, since I don’t think I’d be able to have them anyway. Thank you, btw. A lot. *hugs*

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