Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Caution: Woman Stuff. Read at Your Own Risk

On the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, four and a half months ago, I had a procedure done called a Hydrothermal Ablation. In a nutshell, the lining of my uterus was scalded with boiling water until it scarred over. The point was so I would not have a period anymore. Seems extreme, but believe me when I tell you my doctor and I had exhausted all other options, and this was less extreme than having a hysterectomy.

The only problem is that it only partly worked. For the first month, everything seemed fine. The second month, however, I had the most intense pain in my right side. So terrible I couldn’t stand up straight and could barely walk. My mom took me to the doctor’s office, where they proceeded to do some blood-work (all clean), a sonogram (no cysts or fibroids), and an exam (nothing out of the ordinary). This was on the heels of pneumonia, so the conclusion was that I had pulled a muscle coughing. But it felt like my right ovary, not a muscle. Well, they’re the professionals. I’ll take their word for it.

Until the next month, when I was once again debilitated for three days.

Fast forward to this Saturday. Emily is with her father so I can spend the weekend jamming through the wedding clothes for the 10/30 wedding in Las Vegas. But I woke up in some discomfort. Not terrible pain, but certainly discomfort. I managed to sew for most of the day, but couldn’t continue into the evening as I had intended—the pain was worse by evening.

By the time I woke up Sunday morning, I couldn’t stand up straight. It was an exact duplication of 3 months ago. There’s no possible way this is a pulled muscle. This is my right ovary—I can feel it—and it HURTS. So not only did I not get to sew on Sunday, but I also missed the bride’s shower that day (as well as some fittings—oh gawd, what’s happening to my sewing schedule?!). Damn. So much to do, and no way to get it done.

By yesterday, the pain had lessened enough that I was able to go to work, but a new wrinkle presented itself. Contrary to what was supposed to happen, I started bleeding again. Not much, certainly not as much as before the surgery, but more than nothing—and that’s what it’s supposed to be: nothing.

So I sent my doctor an email. I don’t know for certain what she will recommend, but I fear it will be hysterectomy.

Will I feel like less of a woman after that? I don’t know. I doubt it, but I can’t say for sure. I think more than fear of the unknown emotional response is fear of surgery. I guess I shouldn’t borrow fear like this—I don’t even know if it’s going to happen—but I can’t help thinking about it. I know one thing for certain: I will NOT live like this for one week out of every month for the next 20+ years!