For those of you reading, consider this your warning – this post 100% falls into the category of TMI (too much information) and you will read and learn things that may be out of your comfort zone.
If you have no interest in hearing about pains and processes of the female body and in a detailed fashion, then do NOT… I repeat DO NOT read one.
And with that warning… here we go:
I know that I’ve been MIA. Sorry for that! It’s really been a rough 6 weeks. Basically, I’ve had a 6-week long period. But more specifically – I started a period on 21 September. It started a little light and then about 3 days in got to a more average/medium, typical flow. Then it lasted like this into week 2. Then into week 3. And then I started off week 4 and was already SO done, as I’m sure you could imagine.
But it got worse. It was not longer an average/medium flow, but ramped up to chaos level torture. I started clotting really terribly. Not smaller than golf-ball sized, and sometimes up near tennis-ball sized. I had clotting contractions because my body couldn’t easily pass them at that size, so I literally felt them coming on, had to make myself breathe through them, and then deal with the “aftermath” when it was over.
Boy oh boy did that make things with work difficult, too. Not to mention my inability to sleep through the night without getting up at least twice. And one night I even had to change pants and underwear twice… just in one night! Because there was no possible way to get from my bed to the bathroom in time once I was awaken in such a state of “already too late”… it was not cool (to put things lightly).
So after that night (which happened week 4, night 4), I had to call out of work. AND I finally called my old doctor from when we lived on the East Coast. I hadn’t yet gotten in with a new GYN, so it was really my only option besides maybe going to the ER, which felt like a less than awesome idea. I left a message with one of the nurses who informed me that my old doctor was actually out of the office, but she said she’d send him a note and have one of the other doctors review things and get back to me. About 2 hours later, I had a call back and a prescription was put in to my local pharmacy for Megestrel (essentially a high dose progesterone) to help stop the bleeding and clotting.
So I trudged out of the house in my pjs to pick up the meds and went back home. Thankfully making it without incident.
There was a slightly awkward moment when the pharmacists at our new pharmacy wanted to chat since we were new to the pharmacy. He was very nice and I appreciated his wanting to make sure we felt like we weren’t just another piece of paper in his stack… But he did ask a very awkward question (though I later found out why). So he introduced himself, asked where we were from (turns out he, too, was from Maryland), and then said something along the lines of “So this medication is given for quite a few different things. Why was it prescribed for you?”
Queue my fumbling, awkward stare. Umm… “Uh… I’m having some… bleeding… issues?”
He quickly picked up on the awkwardness and moved on. And just a few moments later I was well on my way home to take the first dose. As I took the meds out of the bag to take the first dose, I realized why he’d asked me about the reason for it being prescribed. It’s apparently typically prescribed for women struggling with breast cancer and/or uterine cancers. Ahah. Now it all made sense.
Anywho – I took the meds for 5 days, and the bleeding/clotting immediately slowed down after the first dose, and stopped completely by the second. Thank the good LORD! Finally… sweet relief.
So I was able to breathe again. Sleep through the night again. Get through meetings at work again without having to excuse myself in the middle and run out to the bathroom. Life was feeling pretty awesome in the normal day-to-day grind.
I had a work trip planned the next Friday (call it the end of week 5 for reference) and then…. it happened again.
While on my work trip (thankfully back in Maryland where there was at least SOME familiarity), It started up again. So on what we’ll call Week 6, day 1… it came back. WITH a vengeance. The Day before I was already cramping something fierce, but it was manageable. Just some non-fun cramps. Nothing major. So I started out right into an average/medium flow on what I call week 6, Day 1. Then it got worse each day. Again.
Clotting contractions and fun results came shortly after the restart. On day 2 I was heavy and uncomfortable. Day 3, Clotting and contractions were back, though the clotting size wasn’t all the way where it had been before… thankfully! But then with each day it to worse and worse. Well on its way to where I had been just a week and a half before. And I was already unable to sit through meetings all the way. And what made that even worse was that these were meetings that I had set up myself and half of them were meetings that I was leading. So talk about awkward and terrible timing! It’s never easy to deal with something like this, but being away from home, working a very very busy, packed-full schedule, and living out of a hotel just made things even more stellar (where’s the sarcasm font when you need it? *sigh).
So on week 6, day 5, I finally called my old doctor to see if they could possibly fit me in. They left me a message on my cell later that day and said they’d fit me in the next morning at 0800. Thank goodness I have a doctor who cares and worked with me like a partner. He had no room, but he MADE room based on the situation.
I went in that next morning. They did a transvaginal sonogram and we chatted about everything. While performing the soon, he informed me that quite a bit of clots in the lining, just sitting there waiting to be passed. “That’ll be fun” he said. Did I mention I love my doctor? Because I really really do. He also brought up the contractions I hadn’t even told him about yet. Due to their size and how long I’ve already been on my cycle… he confirmed that they really were contractions because of my cervix having to dilate and then close back up in order to allow these clots to pass through. Fun times. smh
He finished up the soon after measuring my ovaries and noting the cysts (which I always have, so no biggie, really). Right ovary was pretty typical with quite a few cysts chilling there. And my left ovary had at least one “good sized” cyst among the others, which wasn’t a surprise since I had already felt that bad boy anyway. Just another day in the life of someone with PCOS, I suppose. So he talked to me about ordering some blood work, and then asked the question that I knew would be coming.
I had only skipped one month of a period – which for me is extreme commonplace and never surprising, but even after having skipped up to 6 months in the past I have NEVER ever had this heavy or long of a period. Then came the question – “When you skipped that cycle, did you ever take a pregnancy test?”
Yes. I took two. Call it force of habit a this point, but I always know that it’s the first question I’ll be asked when I have to call the GYN about any variation to a normal cycle. Even a variation from a “normal for me” cycle. So I know to take them when I’ve skipped a period. Then I typically wait almost a week and take another if it still hasn’t come. Because, if for no other reason, I will be asked when I mention skipping the period.
The doc took a beat. Didn’t immediately respond. So I did. “So of course something like this was me wondering in the back of my mind if somehow maybe I was pregnant and didn’t know it… and that this is something to do with something like that.”
He looked at me with kind eyes. “We definitely think about that, too. Of course we hope that this isn’t the case, but if it is, we’ll want to know.”
I told him that I didn’t dwell on it or let myself obsess over the possibility, but it was definitely a thought floating around in there. I know so many people who think something like this and then go crazy over it. Month after month even being a day late they obsess over whether or not this could be the month. And I don’t blame them! But I’ve worked really hard over the past 7 years not to let myself do that. Some months it’s harder than others. But I don’t want being a mother or getting pregnant to become an idol for me. For us. Studly and I check in with each other regularly to make sure we aren’t doing that. Because that’s what can lead down the path of putting things before your relationship. And that’s a very dangerous, very slippery slope. But back to the topic at hand…
“Well, you are right to wonder. But we will see what we can find out. I’ll order an hcg along with your other blood work and we’ll start to figure some things out, hopefully. And it’ll give us something to compare to in the next week or so if need be. So we’ll get your new doctor set up and I’ll give you enough meds to make it until your appointment with him.”
So that’s that. I went straight from his office to get the blood work done. Then went to pic up my prescription and started on it right away. Right now I’m at Week 7, day 1. The meds haven’t worked as quickly this time, but they have slowed things a tiny bit and hopefully they will fully kick in soon. I’d like to feel some level of normal again, if that’s possible. I’m starting to forget what that feels like.
I’m currently sitting here in my hotel room, cramping, clotting, and not wanting to move much. Only left today to go grab some lunch, and don’t plan to leave again until I have to eat something for dinner. For some reason this seems to be the only hotel that has no information about room service in their rooms, but… that would’ve made things way to easy on me, right? And who wants that. *eyeroll
I’ll keep you guys posted, or at least those of you who want to be kept in the loop. And thanks for understanding my absence. Hopefully this’ll be over soon, there will be a *simple* reason of all of this, and it’ll end up not being anything pregnancy related. But if it is? We’ll deal with it. We’ll get through it and we’ll process as necessary.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I did have a moment as I was getting dressed after my appointment. The emotion of possibilities started to hit me and I took a few deep breaths as the tears started to build up and burn my eyes. I closed my eyes, and started to pray a little. Because at the end of the day, regardless of what this all is or means, God gives and He takes away… and His is still Holy. He has a plan and a purpose for me that is to prosper me and not to harm me. It’s hard to see the first through the trees, but my God is loving. And though any outcome of this could be painful for now, and maybe even for a long time, it’s still just one page or chapter in the story. And a story is never about just one page or chapter.
I hope you’re all doing well. I look forward to catching up on your stories while I’ve been MIA, but please stay patient with me and I get there. I’m still trying to be smart and not overdo it when I can help it (since I can’t help it with my work stuff while on this trip).
I love you all.