Today marks the one-year anniversary of my abdominal myomectomy. Last year, I had 10 fibroids removed from my uterus with the largest being 20 cms or about the size of a mango. (You can read more about my journey here and here). Since then, I’ve noticed several changes in my body and want to share how my life has changed over the past 12 months.
- My periods are no longer life altering: Prior to my surgery, my period was so heavy that I was changing my menstrual cups every 45 minutes. I couldn’t sleep through the night because I had to constantly get up to change my cup. Traveling on the second day of my period was a no-go because I could not be too far from a bathroom. That has all changed since my surgery. My period is no longer heavy, and I can live my life without having to plan around my period. I no longer feel as tired because I can sleep through the night, and I am not losing as much blood every single month.
- I feel better in my body: Due to the size and number of fibroids, my uterus was distended so I looked as though I was about 5 months pregnant, and I felt that extra weight and pressure on my body. Since my surgery, my stomach is flatter, and I feel better in my clothing, and I feel better in general. There is no more pressure on my bladder, and I don’t feel the hardness of my fibroids in my stomach. I can lay flat on my stomach which is something that I hadn’t been able to do in a very long time.
- I am more protective of my body and my energy: After my surgery, when my doctor showed me the picture of my fibroids, I was shocked. To think that I was carrying these tumors in my body was painful for me to accept. I did a lot of soul searching and reflection to try and understand what parts of my life had led to the rapid growth and acceleration of my fibroids. For me personally, I think it was a highly stressful work environment, lack of exercise, and the inability to afford alternative treatments such as acupuncture and herbs. Since my surgery, I have made sure that exercise is a regular part of my lifestyle, and I have started getting acupuncture again. I have also tried to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet. I am also protective of who I have around my body which includes the men that I date. Eastern medicine believes that fibroids are caused by stagnant energy and blood, which could be linked to the energy that you have around you.
- I am still coming to terms with my scar: Before my surgery, I had no major scars on my body. I woke up from my surgery with a 4-inch scar on the top of my pubic mound. It’s not smooth and is very dark in color. And even though it looks better than it did when it first healed, I am still self-conscious about it. Wearing a low-rise bikini is a no-go for me right now, but I am hoping that with time I will feel differently about it. A scar is not something to be ashamed of, but a reminder that you survived.
To all my uterus holders out there, I will continue to say this please do not live your life in pain and in silence. Your period is not supposed to be life-altering every month, if you are changing your menstrual product more than every two hours that is too heavy. Bleeding in between your periods is also abnormal. These are all signs that you need to bring up to your doctor, and don’t stop until you feel as though you are being heard. Too many of us have been told that because our moms or aunts or grandmothers suffered it’s just the way it should be. It’s not. I wish you all health and joy!