Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mazal tov -- it's a submucosal fibroid

Friends of mine, after more than a decade of trying, recently had a baby, and I am genuinely delighted for them. This is not always the case when I learn that someone has had a baby. Because I'm essentially not a very nice person, when someone I don't know and love who is much younger than I am has children, I am sometimes envious. Depending on how cute and/or annoying the children are.

Yesterday, I had a pelvic sonogram to determine the extent of my fibroid growth. It's actually a two-part exercise. First you drink a few gallons of water and wait forever until an ultrasound tech rubs gel on your distended belly and pushes a probe around on it. Then you urinate and the probe goes inside you. I have decided that it's only as invasive as you allow it to feel, so at this point -- my fourth or fifth go-round -- it doesn't really phase me. What shook me was seeing the image of my uterus with a submucosal fibroid.

There are three kinds of uterine fibroids: external (subserosal), internal (submucosal), and in-between (intramural). The Mayo Clinic does a great job of explaining the various symptoms each type causes. I will spare you the details of the symptoms I experience; just know that I'm coping with frequent discomfort and increasing pain.

I've never really paid attention to the ultrasound screen. But after the less invasive half of the procedure, I went to the bathroom, and when I got back to the exam room, the tech had stepped out. So I looked at the monitor and saw an image of my uterus with a misshapen bulge inside.

We've all seen sonogram images; it's no longer a mystery. People share them with co-workers and post them  on Facebook. So I knew what I was seeing. It just cut me deep that I wasn't looking at an embryo. A baby. Which is almost all I've ever wanted since I was, I don't know, five years old?

Gloria Chang started chatting with me on Facebook later that evening. I told her I'd had a pelvic ultrasound. She asked what it was like.

Physically uncomfortable & slightly painful. Always makes me bleed. Emotionally, it was wrenching. Looking at the picture of my uterus with a lifeless lump growing in it.

And that's all I have to say about that.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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