Monday, June 27, 2011


On a personal note, I wanted to share a little bit of a health issue I've had over the last few weeks. I'm not going to go into all of the gory details, but I did want to talk about this one thing because it is unusual and there wasn't a lot out there on the internet about it and for a while, I felt like I was the only one who had this problem. It's got a great name: degenerating fibroid. In other words, a fibroid that was dying.

A fibroid is basically a harmless mass; most women have them at some point in their lives. Mine made an appearance about 6 months ago. Surprise! My doctor said not to worry about it, it wasn't serious, and the biggest complication would be pain if the fibroid started to degenerate (i.e. start to shrink if it outgrew its blood supply), but she assured me that that was a rare occurrence. Well, surprise again!

About 3 weeks ago, the fibroid started to degenerate. I had an ultrasound done after having three days of stomach pain and it showed that my fibroid had shrunk from a whopping 11 cm to 9.2 cm. The pain initially started feeling like a pulled muscle and all of the ensuing fun that comes from a sore stomach like hurting when I laughed. The pain got steadily worse over the next few days, making it difficult to walk or bend or do much of anything. It basically felt like the world's worst side stitch along with a rhythmic stabbing motion. Hitting a speed bump in the car, for instance, was agonizing -- shooting pain up my side and through my insides. It was just really painful. My doctor offered prescription painkillers, but I decided to pass on those and just bear it.

I'm happy to report that for the last week or so, the fibroid has been quiet and the pain non-existent. This tells me that the fibroid has stopped shrinking (it hasn't disappeared; I can still feel it on my right side). Sitting still and resting was the best thing. I know pain medication would have made it easier but I didn't want to go that way for personal reasons. I think the message here is that yes, it does hurt when this happens but it does go away, it doesn't cause any other side effects or issues, and it's just a matter of getting through it. I should also add that I'm the world's biggest baby when it comes to pain so if I can do this, anyone can (or maybe it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it did!).

And oh, I'm not a doctor (obviously). So if you think this is happening to you, talk to your doctor to confirm that it is truly this relatively benign issue.

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