Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day of the Dead

Partied down with the ER docs last night. I went as a middle-aged woman with dysfunctional bleeding. It was a heart-pounding, dizzying experience. My costume rocked! Risque cutaways at the bust and booty, super realistic-looking blood on everything. I got some drugs and spent a lot of time on my back with my feet in the air while men toyed with my ladyparts. I even got to bring home pictures. Best Halloween party I ever went to but this morning after kinda sucks!

Ha!  The backstory is that I’ve been spotting or bleeding for nearly six weeks.  While each burst of actual bleeding was accompanied by extreme anxiety, I knew that I wasn’t bleeding anything like a hemorrhage so I tried to breathe deeply. Compounding the panic was the memory of my mom’s odyssey with cancer that started with exactly the same symptoms at exactly my age.  She was dead two years later.

I tried some of my own healing arts but found that I couldn’t concentrate through the anxiety.  Not surprisingly, my efforts were ineffective.  Last week I started a round of visits to conventional medical professionals—I posted some of that story on my Facebook Page.  None of the medicos wanted responsibility for my long term care: the GP sent me to a gynecologist, after ordering a raft of blood tests and radiology; the gynecologist insisted that I needed to follow up with the GP, after ordering more tests, because they “only do vaginas and babies here” and clearly I had bigger issues going on. 

The ob-gyn did prescribe some Provera (synthetic progesterone, the hormone that down-regulates menstrual bleeding among other things) to shut of the faucet, as it were.  Being the crunchy granola, nuts and berries kinda gal I am, I asked for natural progesterone but she never studied the natural stuff and didn’t know what it would do.  I agreed to take the Provera after a two-day trial of over-the-counter progesterone, though I would rather have taken a prescription compound that was regulated for potency, if the progesterone didn’t do the trick.

It did seem to work fairly well—if I didn’t eat or ingest anything that inflamed the ongoing allergic cough I’ve had for weeks, or do too much (since hubby was out of town, as usual, it was hard not to overdo)—until Saturday, when it didn’t.  So I trotted off to the pharmacy only to discover that the script never arrived!  Argh!  I called the doc yesterday morning to have it called in again but couldn’t pick it up until evening.  I planned to start it this morning after the hormone cream I’d been using all day had worn off. 

Just before five in the afternoon, I heard from the GP’s office that my bloodwork, ultrasound, and x-ray had all come back normal; everything seemed fine (!?!) But about nine o’clock last night, the bleeding switch turned on overdrive and I started to bleed quite heavily.  By ten-thirty, I was checking into the Emergency Hospital.  They were so quick and efficient, I didn’t even have time to make the necessary Mom arrangements.  I ended up phoning and texting my daughter at her party, my husband in Indiana, and other moms to pick up my slack, all while lying on the gurney with my feet in stirrups or being briskly wheeled around the halls (wow, talk about dizzying!)

Of course, the ER ran their own blood workup and ultrasound but their results agreed with the GP.  Nothing obvious to be causing the bleed—which, while heavy, was becoming clear was not nearly the dangerous state I feared.  So they watched me take the Provera that the ob-gyn had prescribed and sent me home.  Within a couple hours, the drug did its thing and dried everything pretty much right up.

Now that major polyps, tumors, giant fibroids, etc, have all been ruled out, I have a couple more tests scheduled: still to come, endometrial biopsy for cancer and something long and painful for fibroids not otherwise visible on ultrasound. But it is looking like a hormonal disruption consistent with incipient menopause—also consistent with the autonomic nervous system dysfunction that I can’t get anyone to notice. 

Meanwhile, on this the Day of the Dead, I feel hung-over, exhausted, and used up.  I feel beat up on the inside, weak and helpless on the outside.  Getting out of bed to use the toilet seemed more effort than it was worth.  In the last couple hours, though, I have been able to scramble some eggs, shower off my Halloween party residue, and crash back into bed.  Had enough energy to write this post but I feel a nap coming on now!


  1. So sorry to hear you're going through all this Sandra. How horrible!

  2. {}s...I'm sorry that you've had such trouble with the medical system and hope you might feel more energy and any further testing proves negative. As my husband says, don't feel bad about getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion if you feel your concerns are not being taken seriously. I recently had to do this for a dermatology visit.

  3. Wow, what an experience you are having:-O! I'm a newbie to your blog and I am so glad to have found it because I am someone who has realized I no longer fit into the christian faith I was born into but am still pretty much in the closet about it, sigh. I actually resigned a few years ago after 18 months of serving as a lay minister. Yep what I thought my life's purpose was :-O! One of the things I have thought about is what it would be like for myself or my immediatel family to become sick or involved in an accident or something-- how would I approach it being that all the stuff I used to beleive has changed and I no longer do all the stuff I use to do as a result of that. In the past of course I knew every scripture to quote and "stand on" and of course there would be church and all the pray lists of the saints and intercessors. But now what would I do especially since pretty much the only thing I can honestly say that I do beleive at this point is that God is, sigh. I am interested to know how you are dealing with this from that stance. You may have written about it before so I'll look through and see :-)!

  4. I am SO sorry!!! I hope that you find relief soon...I can imagine that the emotional / psychological stress is almost worse than the physical part, although you've been through hell.

    sending hugs and prayers.