Tag Archives: women’s health

I stand with Planned Parenthood

I need to say something about Planned Parenthood. I’ve seen many friends in my Facebook feed re-posting both meme-d opinions and non-factual information against Planned Parenthood. I know that I can’t change their thoughts on the clinic but I do feel that maybe I can help them understand what Planned Parenthood is and what it means to people.

I think these friends, they probably never needed services from this particular healthcare provider. I’m not talking about abortion services, I mean any of the services.

There are many websites that give Planned Parenthood’s statistics. You can look them up. This post isn’t a fact-giving essay and I’m not here to argue politics or numbers. This is an anecdote. It’s my story, my reason for supporting this place that helped me get to where I am today.

My mom used to tell me that I was the reason she didn’t have a college degree. On her bad days, she let me know that I had kept her from fulfilling her dreams simply by being born. Yes, as an adult, I can understand why she said things like that when she did. She’s just a human, she was a frustrated woman who had children she maybe shouldn’t have had, children who had been thrust upon her and I mean that literally. None of us were by choice and three of us were by coercion at the very least.  I don’t imagine it’s easy dealing with a passel of offspring you never wanted.

She told me she would have aborted me had it been an option. I think she said something similar to all of us. She would have aborted Chris and Noelle only her husband wouldn’t have let her. She had to go to the doctor to find out if she needed to abort Bedot because having Noelle had nearly killed her and she needed to know if she was facing the possibility of leaving three kids with a less-than-nice father should she not survive the pregnancy. The doctor said they’d get her through it so she didn’t have to choose between one child and three others. Yay. Still, abortion had played a role in each of her pregnancies, if only as a background thought.

Maybe I’m airing dirty laundry; this isn’t exactly my part of the story to tell. However, I think it’s important because that knowledge is what informed my own later decisions.

For instance, I didn’t have sex until I was married, at least not the type of sex that leads to pregnancy or STDs. I was incredibly responsible with my body because I had a plan: I wanted to go to college and get a job and support myself. That was my goal. I would be the first woman in my family to do that and it was important to me. As I understood it, given my mother’s story, I wouldn’t be able to do that if I got knocked up and the easiest way to prevent babies is to not have sex at all.


I was in college when I married the first time. I didn’t have health insurance. I was working two jobs and going to school and planning a wedding. I didn’t have any spare cash and certainly nothing in my savings account. I was poor. However, my soon-to-be husband had been sexually active prior to our relationship and, being the responsible young lady I was, there was no way I was going to let his bodily fluids into my bodily cavity without him getting checked first. More important, though, was birth control.

I know there are those who feel women should not have access to birth control. But let me tell you, abstinence isn’t much of an option on one’s wedding night. For many couples, it’s not an option inside the marriage at all. I didn’t want a child and I didn’t want abstinence so birth control was my choice.

My fiance’s choice was the same. He wasn’t ready to be a father. That was a responsibility that neither of us wanted while we were young and full of plans for buying a house and getting ahead in the game.

I need to back up for a moment.

When i was 15, I started having migraines, the kind that make you black out and throw up, the kind that send shock waves of pain through your whole head and your neck and your shoulders just because you took a breath. The kind that make you need to kill yourself to get rid of the pain.

Mom took me to the doctor and the doctor decided the only way to manage this head torture was to put me on the pill. I didn’t want to go on the pill because 1) I wasn’t sexually active ; 2) my period was just beginning to normalize and I didn’t want to mess with it ; 3) I understood that my hormones were completely out of control but that they needed to do what they were doing and that trying to force them to do something else at that point was probably stupid, maybe dangerous.

But it wasn’t my decision.

So I had my first PAP smear at 15 and my doctor, a woman, was violent about it, bordering on cruel. I already had hangups about sex so having someone wield their sharpened fencing sword inside my vagina and uterus was both painful and horrifying.

You might be able to empathize with the terror I felt knowing that I would go in willingly and let someone hurt me again simply so that I could get birth control pills so that I would not have a baby so that I could go on and earn my degree so that I could get a job and become a contributing member of society.

But maybe you can’t. Maybe none of that makes sense.

Regardless, I scheduled a PAP smear for me and I scheduled testing for my fiance so that we could both enter our marriage feeling safe and secure in our sexual congress.

Of course, I remember that day well. The woman at the intake desk was young and brusque and unpleasant. My fiance was in and out in no time and he left to go do whatever he was going to do that day, probably work. I sat in the waiting room alone and waited. I tried to do homework but I was terribly nervous. The woman at the desk was glaring at me. I was scared, intimidated. Would the doctor be mean? Would it hurt as badly this time as it had last time?

No. The answer to those questions were no. There was a nurse and a doctor in attendance, both female. They were kind. They were supportive. They understood that I was there now so that I would not have to go in later to make use of their other services because, yes, I do believe that I would have strongly considered abortion had I gotten pregnant at 20 during my junior year of college. I suspect my then-husband would have driven me to the appointment. That is how badly we did not want children. These women understood my fear. They understood the judgement I had put myself through just to enter their clinic. They were lighthearted about the whole procedure, they made me laugh and assured me I was doing what was best for my body and my future. It was just a PAP smear and some pills but to me, it was my first step to taking control of my life.


This is why the clinic is called Planned Parenthood. It’s so you can plan to be a parent when the time is right for you. It allows people – people who don’t have access to nice OBGyn offices, people who are ashamed and worried that their family and friends may see them at their own doctor’s offices getting birth control to keep from reproducing, people who don’t want to find a doctor for wellness exams or STD tests, people who are young and who are scared, people like me – to PLAN their futures, their family’s futures.

Why is that bad?

I used Planned Parenthood throughout that first marriage. It’s where I got my birth control. It’s where I got my annual check-ups. They were the only doctors I saw for over five years. Planned Parenthood kept me healthy, and not just sexually. If I had laryngitis when I went in, they prescribed something to help me get better. If I seemed stressed over school, over my new marriage, over the death of my grandmother, they told me I had to take care of myself. They told me to drink more water, to take vitamins, to try to let everything go even if only for five minutes a day, to make room for helping myself heal. These people took care of me, better care of me than I would have at that time. Better care of me than my husband or my family or his family did.

After I divorced and I started dating, every time I became serious about a new relationship, I went to Planned Parenthood. He could get a check-up and so could I. Peace of mind, health of body, and all at an affordable price.

I got my college degree. I got jobs. I have a career and another degree. I’ve traveled the world. I am remarried. I bought my own car. I have friends, family, cats and a dog and some fish. I have a house. I’ve succeeded. I met my goals and I’ve had to make new ones.

I have healthcare now. I have access to a lot of services I probably couldn’t have received at Planned Parenthood, such as my Essure implants and my Novasure procedure. I have an OBGyn whom I adore; she’s incredible.

I don’t have children because I chose not to and I 100% fully realize I was able to make and follow that choice because of Planned Parenthood. 

I’m not going to get into an argument over Planned Parenthood selling fetuses and baby heads on the sly or whatever other awful thing media has accused them of doing because there’s an election year coming up. I don’t believe they’ve done anything illegal but you might. You have your sources and I’ve got mine. I haven’t fact-checked mine and I doubt you’ve fact-checked yours, either. Face it. We’re lazy and we want to be fed that which will rile us up or make us cry or make us laugh and we want it in short bursts over the internet. We’re not going to do any deep digging into this and that’s on us. I’m not willing to bolster my defenses so I can’t take you on since I have nothing backing me. I suspect you’re in the same position.

However, I can stand here and tell you that Planned Parenthood is not the evil corporation you may think it is. I’ve had plenty of experience with them and I can unequivocally state that the doctors I encountered there helped me, took care of me, were compassionate and kind. They are there for people who can’t afford or may not have access to healthcare, otherwise, and it seems that would be an important component of society, no matter your personal beliefs.

All I ask is that you please think of your friends and maybe your family who have benefited from their services before you vilify Planned Parenthood on your social media sites. You might be condemning something that has helped people you love.

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The Internet: Helping interesting personalities since probably the early ’90’s

This video made the rounds again recently; it’s one I’d seen before but because I’ve been trying to wrestle with my feelings on feminism lately, it is now more relevant, more in-my-face, more thought-provoking than it had been the first time I watched it.

As I think back over my own history, there have been very few instances in which straight men in my age bracket have noticed me on my own and when I say that, I really mean “due to my looks.” The handful of times people have approached me in that capacity, I was usually wearing a bikini or something equally tight and body-showing. Most of the time, though, I’ve had to use something else to get a normal straight guy to talk to me. I differentiate between straight and gay men here because I have never had a problem with a gay man coming right over and chatting me up; they often give me a chance from the get-go and I appreciate that.

This weirdness dates back to high school. While I could get attention from all the old pervs without even batting my eye, my male peers just did not see me. However, they did see my best friend; she was (and still is) beautiful. She’s tall with the heart-shaped face and lovely blue eyes, blonde hair, straight white teeth. She’s the picture of health and vitality and back then, she had iffy self-confidence so was pretty much a magnet to men and boys everywhere. In fact, her parents got a great offer (camels, I think?) for both her and her sister when they were abroad once.

We had our schtick – she’d lure the guys in with her fabulous looks and I would keep them there with my witty ways. I was pretty funny back in the day and I could do guy humor because I was something of a tomboy. I got the “You’re really funny!” all the time but I never got a phone number. T always got digits but she wasn’t allowed to date so it was sort of a pointless exercise. I guess we were practicing for real life.

This doesn’t work anymore. T has developed a ton of confidence, she can flirt like a champ, oh, and she’s married. Well, so am I, actually. But if we DID have to try this routine, it wouldn’t work. I’d have to wear a skin-tight top, a corset, and booty-hugging pants to even compete. I hate that if I had to get male attention, I’d have to show off my physical attributes because my face is not pretty.

That’s the crux of it. My face is not pretty. I’m not saying I look like Meg Mucklebones but…ok, my first husband told me, “If we were in a restaurant and I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t look twice at you.” No, that’s not why he’s my ex-husband, though the fact that his comment came during a discussion about how pretty Noelle is didn’t  help his cause. The thought was echoed by a boy I later dated who said, “You’re the prettiest plain girl I’ve ever met.” Harsh. But also, from the perspective of our society’s expectations of feminine beauty, true. Let’s not get into a discussion on how I gathered emotionally harmful males to my bed but, instead, let’s talk about why Dustin Hoffman is right and why that sucks.

What Hoffman said in his video clip about wanting to be a beautiful woman, it’s what most of us want because we’re supposed to want it. We know that a woman’s currency, whether we buck the system or not, is most easily found in her attractiveness. Worse, when he said he now regrets not knowing interesting women because they weren’t physically attractive, that is something that has been told to me (see above paragraph) and, I would assume, to many not-conventionally-beautiful women. Our savior has become the internet which is both sad and wonderful. It’s great to be able to go personality-first into the world, to be seen as a peer, rather than as a potential mate, as a person because of what we type. At the same time, why can’t that happen in real life? Why is it our shining personalities don’t make us attractive until someone has been around us long enough to get past the plain face and start being charmed by our wit, talent, and general amazing ways?

I know, I sound all “eeehnn, I’m not pretty and it’s not fair” and typically, that’s the last thing on my mind. But when actors start crying about how they didn’t get to meet wonderful people based on those people’s appearances, I have to get a bit angry. I mean, how many people have I not met because I’m not beautiful? While it’s idealistically true that I wouldn’t want to talk to such shallow people anyhow, it still makes me feel a bit “SEE? We’ve been telling you all along!” It makes me want to punch society in the face, honestly.

So to the beautiful people who get more than enough attention: I’m sorry. I do it, too. You’re all just so eye-catching, it’s hard not to want to be around you. Hopefully, I’ve been able to make you laugh a bit when I’m bothering you so that it’s not a total wash.

And to the rest of us, the women who aren’t noticed, even though we’re delightful, because someone else didn’t think we were beautiful enough: Eh, screw ’em. Let’s go hang out and enjoy our own company. Once we start laughing, everyone else will want to share our fun and by then, we’ll all be way too caught up in our fabulousness to even notice them. And there’s always the internet.

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NovaSure: The not-really six-month update

Technically, I’m not at six months until Sept. 7th, but if you count this way: March (1), April (2), May (3), June (4), July (5), August (6), this update becomes totally legit.

Here is your fair warning before we begin:

This post is about my very own reproductive organs and it is full of Too Much Personal Information. If you’re uncomfortable knowing really personal stuff about me, about lady parts, about sex, or about the way a woman’s body functions, then you should not read this post.

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Stalkers: A serious post

Warning: This is not a fun story. In fact, it could be considered scary and may trigger unpleasant feelings, memories, or emotions. If you feel stalking is a sensitive subject, please skip reading the rest of this and go do something light-hearted that will bring you joy, like watching kittens eat ice cream.
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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My journey to writerhood, My Opinions on STUFF, Out & about or abroad

When you’re sure, you’re NovaSure!

New and Improved with updates at the end! 3/28

Now with even MORE fabulous updates at the end! 4/17

Ok, so this is not about underarmpit deodorant.

This post is about my very own reproductive organs and it is full of Too Much Personal Information and it’s going to be gory. There are pictures and there is blood. If you’re uncomfortable knowing really personal stuff about me, about lady parts, about medical procedures, about the way a woman’s body functions, or about alien probes, then you should not read this post.

This is your last chance to get out. This is not a fun, lighthearted romp through my normal craziness. I am being serious. (No, really. I am honestly being serious)

Alright. So.
You know how I got my first mammogram? I did that so I’d be ready for my annual well-woman exam (everything is fine with my breasts, by the way). It’s been three years since my last well-woman exam because I don’t understand the meaning of “annual.” Some things have changed in the doctor’s office since 2009. One of those things: there are giant Apple monitors in the examining rooms and while you wait for the doctor, you can scroll through stuff and learn about all the things you didn’t know you wanted to know at a gynecologist’s office. It’s pretty cool, really. One of the things I learned about was a new type of ablation called NovaSure. It doesn’t require burning or freezing or scraping  to kill off the endometrial lining. It uses radio frequency waves so, pretty much,  it really is an alien probe!
What the NovaSure-trained doctor does, according to the infomercial, is sticks a hollow tube into the vagina and then shoves a little mesh thingamajig through the tube and it pops out into the uterus where it opens like a triangular-shaped flower. Then she turns the mesh on,  radio frequency waves go bzzzzzzz for about 90 seconds, she unplugs the whole thing , pulls it all back out and doneover. This is supposed to kill the lining of the uterus which falls out over the next few weeks to months, depending on how fussy your uterus is.
The point of this procedure is to reduce or even eliminate menstrual periods. This only works for women who won’t be having children and who have a definite source of birth control because it is still possible to get pregnant after this procedure and that would just be bad because without a lining, there’d be nothing for the baby to stick to and feed off of and so it would become an alien, eating the innards of the mother before bursting forth from her stomach.
That last part isn’t true, I made it up. But it sounds like a good reason not to have a pregnancy if you have no uterine lining. So to repeat: THIS IS NOT BIRTH CONTROL.
I have horrible, raging periods that are violent, bloody, and full of misery for everyone involved, which happens to be not just me. Gabe hates them because I become even meaner than usual and try to kill him for real or at least kick him out of bed and maybe out of the house simply because he’s breathing. The cats hate it because they can’t massage/stand on my boobs and I only want them around if they’re going to curl up on my abdomen, acting as furry little heat sources and since they don’t want to do that unless they can also punch me in the breast, well, there is no cuddling. For anyone.
I’ve got cysts on my ovaries and something like endometriosis and probably an alien growth around my uterus. When my period approaches, my boobs swell and become so sore, it hurts to walk. Then the small of my back begins to ache like maybe it’s broken. Then the cramps come. They’re not always bad but they’re almost always there. Every other month, or so, though, they’re horrible, so severe that I can’t stand up because being not-curled-up on my side makes me cry. I have to take muscle relaxants and they knock me out all day. I miss work, I can’t go to parties, all I do is lie there sadly and bleed. And bleed. Then I bleed some more while my guts are squished in a vice full of broken plates and knives.
The blood has become grosser than gross, just like those “What’s grosser than gross” baby jokes from childhood. What’s grosser than gross is that I bleed like a broken fire hydrant for three days but it’s no longer flowy. Now it comes in the form of clots, or slugs, as I like to call them. Giant blood blobs that are all goopy and make a mess. I go through so many tampons those first three days and I have to always wear a giant pad because there will be leaking. Then I bleed normally for the next 3, or so, days and then I spot for another 3-5 days. I average about ten days before my vagina is open for business again and you can see why Gabe would take issue with this.
So when I found out there’s a period-killing procedure, I asked the doctor about it. She said I was probably a great candidate – I have permanent birth control (Essure, also from this particular doctor), I’ve got violent periods, and it would probably relieve the pain my nasty little cysts give me every month. In addition, according to the literature, it can possibly diminish PMS so that I won’t want to cry or kill Gabe or eat entire cakes full of whipped cream when Aunt Flo(w) comes to visit. I said, “Oh, hell yes!” so right there and then, she signed me up for all the tests I needed to take to make sure  this would be safe for me. They sucked out some blood, they gave me pelvic ultrasound (the one where they stick the wand that looks like a marital aid up inside and take a million pictures. My tech was super nice and chatty so it was actually fun) and before I left the office, they were able to determine that I could benefit from NovaSure and it could easily be done on me. We made the appointment for March 7th (last Thursday) and I was excited.
Because my body hates me, my period started the day before my procedure was scheduled. I called in and they said it wouldn’t be a problem, I could “come in with or without my period” I chose with because I really didn’t have another option.
Here are all the things I had to do beforehand:

Here is the list of things I needed to do before I arrived for my appointment.

My appointment was scheduled for 12:30 pm and I had chosen NOT to eat a piece of toast that morning. Unfortunately for me and my blood sugar levels, they were running behind and I didn’t actually get onto the pseudo-operating table until 2:30 pm and was in a state of delirious starvation despite the camel-like hump of extra nutrition I like to keep on my body. Most people call it a “belly” but I like to call it my anti-starvation kit. ANYway I kept notes from the time I went into the exam room until I passed out at home hours later. Because I am a journalist at heart, you see.

Apparently, this is how it went down:

-I made sure to wear comfy clothes – leggings, shapeless dress, flats. I look pregnant so fit right in in the waiting room

-I have had only tea and am starving

-Procedure is scheduled for 12:30, I’m supposed to arrive at 11:30 so I got here at 11:15 but am still waiting

-Urine sample: complete. They want to make sure I’m not pregnant. If I am, it means it’s the end of days.

-I got a tampon full of numbing goo and am supposed to sit and let it take effect. How will I know when it’s working? Is there a test to see if my cervix is numb enough?

– 2:00 pm – I got my IV with in-the-vein ibuprofen (said the professional drug-giver), some anti-nausea liquid and other stuff. Maybe Seda-gives? They said I could bring an iPod/headphones for relaxation. I wish I’d have brought my Playaway

Ok. I know why this is labeled like this but it is not heartening to see this in the examining room. How scary is this going to be?

While I understand the purpose behind the label, it is not heartening to see in the examining room. How scary is this going to be?

I'm all ready to go. I've got an IV port and everything. I've already been filled with something like liquid ibuprofen and some other thing and...saline, but only to wash and prime the pokey hole.

I’m all ready to go. I’ve got an IV port and everything. I’ve already been filled with toradol ( I think) and some other thing and…saline, but only to wash and prime the pokey hole.

-My IV hand is cold. Will probably get hypothermia.

-Signed a bunch of release forms. Am beginning to feel strange. Hard to sign things with IV port in hand.

Here is the apparatus that will go inside me. It's just been hermetically unsealed and is ready for insertion.

Here is the apparatus that will go inside me. It’s just been hermetically unsealed and is ready for insertion.

That's my leg, there. Yes, I'm taking pictures while under the influence. I think they said I could. If they don't want people taking pictures of their own procedures, they really shouldn't allow under-the-influence patients to smuggle cameras into the room. Only, I think they knew I was just trying to help other women who want to know more about this. Or men.

That’s my leg, there. Yes, I’m taking pictures while under the influence. I think they said I could. If they don’t want people taking pictures of their own procedures, they really shouldn’t allow under-the-influence patients to smuggle cameras into the room. Only, I think they knew I was just trying to help other women who want to know more about this. Or maybe I’m helping pre-med students. I’m not sure, really.

-I’ve had a bunch of stuff put into my IV. More anti-nausea stuff. Apparently, there’s a throw-up button in my vagina and they don’t want me puking if they hit it.

-The wand thing was FREEZING COLD!

-The ceiling is moving even though my eyes are not moving. I have to look up because looking down my nose or around the room makes me too dizzy.

-Once they turned on the mesh, it hurt like hell. They said it was a contraction. If I’d have woken with cramping like that, I’d have called in sick for the day and taken my muscle relaxant. It was like SUPER BAD cramp day but it lasted 45 seconds. I guess others last up to 90. The machine starts out with a high-pitched, quick beeping but as the lining gets closer and closer to being dead, the beeping slows down and gets deeper and I guess that’s how they know when you’re done. Water spilled out. I got to watch the whole thing on a TV screen and they gave me Before and After pics.

I TOLD YOU it would be gory. This is what it looked like up inside me. She's holding it up like that, all extended, because I asked her to, not because she's wielding the probe in triumph. I have a very good doctor. She keeps her triumph on the inside.

I TOLD YOU it would be gory. This is what it looked like up inside me. She’s holding it up like that, all extended, because I asked her to, not because she’s wielding the probe in triumph. I have a very good doctor. She keeps her triumph on the inside.

The pink circles are two sides of my uterus with healthy, living, happy tissue. The white circles are the aftermath picture. There is crying and fire and stuff in there and it’s all dead tissue that can’t make menstrual blood anymore. Take THAT, body! Cramp me for 27 years, will you?

-The toradol, or whatever it was, gave me awful cotton mouth. And then the back of my throat got all raspy and dry and it started molting like a snake, or so it felt.

-They said the sedatives or whatever evil thing was in my blood, would last 20 minutes and things would be weird. Things were weird but that lasted less than ten minutes, according to the time keeper. I just felt super tired and thick tongued afterward.

-My uterus is molting

-OMG, I am so thirsty.

-Also, I am very VERY cold. I might be freezing to death.

And then, in my loopy haze, I noticed all the rest of the implements on the table. Holy hell! What were they doing down there? I don't remember any of those things!

And then, in my loopy haze, I noticed all the rest of the implements on the table. Holy hell! What were they doing down there? I don’t remember any of those things!

-They kept me there until they felt I could walk out.

-Left office at 3:30. I walked out of the office just fine, no dizziness, no acid flashbacks, nothing weird. I had very mild cramping in the car on the ride home and could barely keep my eyes open, but was starving so had to stop for soup and salad which all tasted gross, thanks to my IV fluids. Back of throat is absolutely raw.

-Have a terrible time making fingers work. Can’t spell.

And then I got home and passed out and slept until 9:30 that evening. I got up to eat, to pee, to drink some fluids and I was out again. It took another full day to wash the sedatives out of my system – and I hate feeling like that, I just hate it! – but I was otherwise fine. I rested for the 24 hours they said I had to and then I was up and around with no problems.

I read this over and over and it made sense until I stopped looking at the paper and then I forgot everything. But I double checked the next day to make sure I was aware of all this stuff and it turns out I did just fine trying to manage under the influence of liquid evil. I didn’t let them give me Vicodin because that stuff makes me hurl. I just took a lot of ibuprofen and was fine.

It’s been almost a week and I’m doing fine. Every once in a while, I feel a little twinge of not-really-pain in my uterus region, like a muscle that was stretched too far and is sore when it moves for the next several days. The only real annoyance is that I’m still bloated like a dead hippo and it’s all hard. However, because there’s no pain and there’s no blood leaking from anyplace, I’m just going to assume it’s nothing to be worried about. I’ll see what happens in the next few months; I’ve got a 6-week check-up and the literature says it takes about 3 months to heal completely. I’ll post any thoughts or findings here. Well, unless it really was an alien probe and I wind up far away in space. Or dead.

Before I sign off, I want to mention that I have the world’s best gynecologist. I adore her and wish she could be my doctor for everything because I have never met a medical professional so concerned about my well-being before. Her staff are amazing, they always take phenomenal care of me and this time was no exception. I may be one of the few women who look forward to the annual well-woman exam. Even if I don’t understand “annual.”

March 28th Update: So, it’s been, what? 3 weeks on the nose since I had my ablation. It took 2 weeks for the bloating to stop being so hard and giving me pregnancy belly. It softened up (the hard, round belly) and started receding and now, on week 3, I’m still a little gooey but it’s what it would be normally a week before my period, so I’m not too concerned. Sad, yes,. Because, though I knew it wouldn’t happen, I’d hoped my uterus would put out a message to the rest of my body saying, “Hey, we’re dead in here so don’t any of the rest of you bother.” No such luck.

I had the promised scab-colored discharge and it got really bad this past week. I was finding these…um…well….ok, pretend you wadded up some toilet paper and dunked it in coffee and then squeezed it out and tried to peel off layers but wound up with ragged clumps? I had those in my pantyliners. Some were small, some were HUGE, and I always resented not having my camera with me because I honestly would have taken a picture of the more scary ones and posted them here for all of you so everyone would know that large, jagged lumps of uterine lining are totally normal and would be able to have a visual. Because who doesn’t want to see that, right?

Other than that, there have been no complications, no problems, no oddities, no pain. I’m a week out from my next period and can’t wait to see what happens. Honestly, I’ve never been this excited to find out what’s going to happen in my undies. It’s a sad life I lead.

April 17th Update: Eight or so days ago, I had my first period since the ablation. It was like this: I broke out a bit on my face and chest, which is normal. I had sore breasts but it wasn’t excruciating so that was nice. The night of, I felt like I was gassy or had to poop and I kept going to the bathroom but nothing happened and I thought that was weird. It wasn’t enough to keep me awake in the night, though. When I got up the next day, I had two larger slug-like globs of dead uterus in my underwear and I realized the gut aches the night before had been my cramps! How cute is that? They were these tiny-little things and I didn’t even recognize them! And that was it. That was my entire period. The war that has raged between my uterus and my underwear for the past 25+ years = gone. I won. No more war.  It was AWESOME.

I finally had sex. Yes, TMI, but not in this case. I was supposed to avoid any sexual activity for 2 weeks but we gave it a month+ due to the flow of dead uterus falling out of me. Gabe was still pretty leery when I said, “Let’s just try this, shall we?” I think he didn’t want to get dead tissue on him. Or he was afraid he’d puncture something and I’d die. Actually, I don’t know what he thought, I only know he was all, “Are you SUUUURE? Positive? Because we can wait. I’ll be fine. I have video games to keep me occupied” (I made that last part up; he didn’t say that)(he probably just thought it). But it was fine. I was a little tender up around the cervical area so no deep penetration and nothing rough, but normal sex worked out just fine. I felt a little bruisey afterward and could feel it for the next day, or so, but it wasn’t anything alarming. I am assuming it will be a bit tender up there for awhile so we’ll just take it easy until everything’s healed all the way.

I went in for my 6-week evaluation today. I told my doctor I had blogged about all of this and asked if I could use her name (yeah, you’d think I’d have covered that question weeks ago, but…I didn’t) and she said as long as I’m not saying anything mean about her or her staff, all’s fair. Since I would never say anything mean about my favorite doctor or her amazing clinic, I think we’re safe. So I had this all done at the Center for Women’s Health in Englewood/Denver by Dr. Russell. I think I mentioned before that she’s the best doctor I’ve ever had. In addition, I got to have the same nurse, Steph, throughout this whole thing and I cannot tell you how helpful that’s been. Seriously, I love going to this place.  Anyhow, today, Dr. Russell gave me a quick pelvic exam, told me I’m healing up nicely and am an A+ patient, asked if I had any questions and we talked about my overall health for a little bit. And then I was done! It was that simple.

If it’s really going to be this easy from here on out, this procedure (along with my Essure) is going to be a life-changer. I won’t have to worry about travel, I won’t have to worry about missing work…it’s like I have a normal body all of a sudden and it is wonderful.

Thank you, inventors of NovaSure and thank you, Dr. Russell, Steph, and everyone else who has had to take care of me during my uterus-killing time! You guys have all made me so incredibly happy!

You can find the six-month update here.

 

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