Get your fibroids on the dance floor and do the robot

Glanced over some news feeds yesterday and noticed this headline under Yahoo! News | Uterine Fibroids:

Robot-assisted surgery removes fibroids but preserves women’s fertility

You know I love robots and other gizmos (because I’m a geek) so I had to click the link. The story revolves around Anna Crowder who needed a fibroid removed but still wanted to have a child. Read the rest of this entry »

The infamous Hostess fruit pie experiment

I’ve been reading through my posts to reassign them to the new categories. Noticed the one about consuming a fruit pie the night before surgery. Huh?

You know how you aren’t supposed to eat anything after midnight? Well, I suffered from food insanity the night before my hysteroscopic myomectomy. Made the curfew but ended up eating all kinds of stuff I normally severely limit including a Hostess® fruit pie.

Thought this was one of the reasons why I felt so sick to my stomach after the general anesthesia used during the procedure. After forming my hypothesis, I pledged not to eat anything abnormal the night before my Uterine Fibroid Embolization and I didn’t.

I was pretty confident that the conscious sedation of the UFE wouldn’t make me nearly as sick as general anesthesia. Perhaps it was the combination of that with the drugs for pain but I felt much worse after the conscious sedation.

What are the results of the Hostess® fruit pie experiment?
Of course, I haven’t used any statistical methods to “crunch the numbers” but I do believe there is a high probability that these drugs will make you sick no matter what you consume. So, go ahead. Eat that fruit pie. Just don’t overdo.

I’m really starting to think my wiring is kind of screwed

Screwed wiring. That’s my hypothesis. Doctors keep doing stuff to my uterus and my digestive tract takes the hit.

Fact 1: I had a Hysteroscopic Myomectomy. Doctor got up in there and shaved down a couple fibroids. Did I have major bleeding afterward? No, it was relatively light. How about severe cramps? Oh, no. Cramps were so minor that I didn’t take any pain medication. What got me was the nausea. So, scrape my uterus and I get sick to my stomach.

Fact 2: Let’s talk about the Uterine Fibroid Embolization. A doctor injects tiny pellets into your femoral artery. They travel to the very small vessels around the fibroid and block the blood supply. Once again, any major bleeding? Nope, pretty minor so far and I do believe it is period-related because the dates match. Pain around the incision site? That seems fine, too. Well, I know you had cramps? Yes, but they didn’t last that long. Procedure was on Tuesday. Cramps were bad on Tuesday night but I did get drugs. Got some Tylenol in the hospital before I checked out the next day and took a couple of Motrin later.

Nothing major until my digestive system decided to go on strike. Only had a spinach salad and some fruit on Wednesday but somehow overnight the contents of my stomach decided to form a brick that sat there all day Thursday. It has been moving today. I can actually feel it traveling through my gut (this is both fascinating and creepy).

Feeling better today so I think resolution is around the corner. Will go stretch out now and patiently wait. I guess I’ll just add this to my list of things that make me special. ;-)

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Related Posts:
How are you feeling after your Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Memories directly after my Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Two weeks after my Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Gosh… My period turned out to be a question mark!
My condition one month post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition two months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition three months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition four months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition five months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization

I just call it The Gator

Two weeks after my Hysteroscopic Myomectomy, I had a follow-up visit with “the dashing young fibroid doctor”. Yep, he pulled out the speculum. You know that thing used during a Pap Test. I refer to it as “The Gator” although Wikipedia describes it as the “beak of a duck”. I almost started laughing because I thought:

How many more things can you stick up there? Cameras, electrodes, “Gators”. What’s next?

Yeah, I have an odd sense of humor.

Before I left his office, I asked my Gynecologist about the picture of my fibroid he had given me. He explained it was an image of one of the fibroids with a section partially shaved down. He resected two that were close together and probably contributed to my problem of large clots.

With those two fibroids out of the way, I could now meet with the Interventional Radiologist again and schedule my Uterine Fibroid Embolization.

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Related Posts:
Can’t we figure out a better way to do a Pap Test?
A letter addressed to my cervix

The fibroid surgery never caused much pain

Just light bleeding and light cramping for about 3 days. I spotted another 3 or 4 days after that without pain. The cramps were so minor. I didn’t take any pain medication. Not even my over-the-counter Motrin. What a relief.

Memories directly after my myomectomy

Good grief. The general anesthesia made me feel like crap. I opened my eyes and saw my doctor standing at the foot of the bed. His lips were moving but I couldn’t hear anything. My mind and body were fighting to stay in reality but the anesthesia kept pulling me back. It reminded me of a protagonist in some horror flick struggling to get out of a hole but a long tentacle just wouldn’t let go. So, this was my brain on drugs. Didn’t like it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Memories before my myomectomy

10:00 AM surgery. Had to be there two hours early. Walked out and noticed the sky was blue and cloudless. Thought of the U2 song “Beautiful Day” because I just love U2.

Arrived at the hospital, registered, and received the coolest pager gizmo thing. It alerted me when I could go back and prepare for my fibroid surgery. It also alerted my husband when he could come back and sit with me.

Once in the back, I changed into a hospital gown but refused to put on that shower cap-looking head covering until the last possible moment. Would somebody please design some better hospital gear? The look is just not cool.

Got into bed and the adventure started. The nurse inserted my IV (didn’t feel a thing). Anesthesiologist arrived, checked my chart, and explained the whole “knocking me out” process. He had a good sense of humor which I always interpret as a positive sign.

My husband appeared and since he considered Methuselah immature, I thought I should warn him about my Gynecologist. Told him that the doctor looked really young but was very good. When my Gynecologist arrived, my husband started making faces and then mouthed the question “how old is he?” with such exaggeration that extraterrestrials circling the Earth in a spacecraft could read his lips. Of course my doctor, only a few feet away, had no problem and answered, “30 almost 31″. I just could not stop giggling after that.

The Anesthesiologist came over and gave me something that he said would probably make me giddy. Yeah. Like I needed encouragement on that front. Still chuckling to myself, I was wheeled into the operating room.

What do I remember right before the Hysteroscopic Myomectomy? Keep in mind that the drugs were starting to work.

  1. Seeing my doctor and asking him about a video. He told me he would make sure that I got a picture of the fibroid.
  2. Two people discussing the surgical equipment.
  3. Moving onto the operating table.
  4. Someone securing my right arm.
  5. A voice (I think my Anesthesiologist’s) asking to do the same to my left arm.

That was all. After that, out like a slow baseball player approaching home.

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Related Posts:
Is there such a thing as minor fibroid surgery?
No longer freaking out over my fibroid surgery tomorrow
Memories directly after my myomectomy
How are you feeling after your Hysteroscopic Myomectomy?

Don’t eat a Hostess fruit pie the night before your surgery

Looked over the instruction sheet before my scheduled fibroid surgery. Since it was an outpatient, the directions were pretty straightforward. Show up two hours before the surgery. Make sure you have someone to drive you home. The night before, don’t eat or drink after midnight.

My reaction to that last one was kind of crazy. I skip desserts most of the time and normally don’t eat late but I really craved a Hostess® fruit pie. Hadn’t consumed that type of treat in years but I had to have it. I think that midnight food curfew messed with my mind. I ended up eating the pie about 11:30 PM.

I’m positive this was one of the reasons I felt so sick to my stomach after the general anesthesia. Not from the fruit pie specifically (I inhaled some other stuff, like french fries, on that evening) but because the temporary bout of food insanity caused me to veer too far from my routine.

Will test this hypothesis tonight. I’m undergoing a Uterine Fibroid Embolization tomorrow so once again there’s a midnight food curfew. Although for this procedure I’ll be consciously sedated, that’s still enough to cause possible problems. I’ll stop eating much earlier this evening and will definitely skip the sweet snacks.

What to expect from a myomectomy

Before I start blogging about my personal experience, I thought I would pass along a site with information on what to expect from this fibroid surgery:

What to Expect from a Myomectomy (how to prepare, how it is done, after the procedure)

This link will give you a general idea. I had a hysteroscopic myomectomy (an outpatient procedure) so some of the steps differed for me.

Blood transfusion? No, thank you.

A couple of days before my Hysteroscopic Myomectomy, I was required to go to the hospital for lab work (blood draw, urine sample plus paperwork). Pretty much routine until we got around to the blood transfusion form. I was supposed to give my permission to receive a blood transfusion if deemed necessary. Just could not sign the form. My spirit wouldn’t allow me to do it.

It seems this was not the norm. The nurse ripped up the form that was already filled out and then found a waiver form. The new form reflected my refusal of blood as a treatment and actually contained the phrase “life-threatening”. I did not hesitate in signing this.

Had the hardest time explaining my decision to my husband who often assumed my craziness. (This is usually a correct assumption just not in this case.) My surgery did not involve any incisions and the instrument used would sear blood vessels. There should not be major blood loss that required a blood transfusion! If in an accident or needing surgery that produced gaping holes, I think I would sign. Didn’t need to do that here.

This was my personal medical decision. Not suggesting that you do the same. What you accept or decline is your choice. Just be informed and aware.

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Related Post:
How are you feeling after your Hysteroscopic Myomectomy?

Hemoglobin level high enough for my myomectomy

I posted previously about my first fibroid surgery. It was a D&C and a Hysteroscopic Myomectomy using the Versapoint system. Although it involved my Gynecologist knocking me out cold, sticking a camera up there, and using electrodes to “shave down” a couple of fibroids, the actual surgery was not bad.

Visit these sites for more detailed information:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fibroid doctors spring into action

My fibroid team (“dashing young” Gynecologist + “debonair” Interventional Radiologist) met to discuss the surgery I would need before the Uterine Fibroid Embolization.

Now, I had a treatment plan:

  1. Iron Pills to treat my iron deficiency anemia before surgery
  2. Lupron Shots for 3 months to also treat the anemia
  3. Hysteroscopic Myomectomy to “shave down” two problematic fibroids
  4. UFE for the other fibroids

The plan started back in February. Now, we are in July and I have completed Phases 1-3. Phase 4 is right around the corner. It is working!

Before I post about each individual stage, I’ll blog a bit about medical treatments in general.

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Related Posts:
How do I evaluate or rate a fibroid doctor?
What questions should I ask my fibroid doctor?

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