To the Best of My Memory…

I guess this whole thing really began before that awful day in August.  If I think back there may have been warning signs something was wrong, but I easily rationalized them away.  As early as the summer before, maybe around July of 2009, I did notice a change in my periods.  They slowed from a steady six days, every 28 days – to maybe three days in duration, every five or six weeks.  But why would I complain about that??  I remember thinking at the time that even though I was only in my very early 40’s, perhaps ‘perimenopause’ (when changes first begin before your body goes into full-fledged menopause) had begun.  Or perhaps it was my body adjusting to the fact that I had recently ended an 11 year relationship, adjusting to celibacy for lack of a better word.

Then early in 2010 they changed again, this time becoming heavier and more frequent.  The accompanying menstrual cramps also became quite strong at times.  But again I was able to explain this away.  I’d recently accepted a new position with my company which required me to relocate.  (Truth being, I did not move to Tampa to take the job, I took the job so I could move to Tampa.) Although I was thrilled to be living in Florida, it had been a goal for many years,  I was in a new state, in a city I’d never even visited before.  And the position I’d accepted was… a bit challenging.  I figured stress was an easy explanation for these heavier more painful periods.

This continued off and on through the summer.  Early in August of that year I did start having a little nagging thought that something wasn’t quite right.  I was occasionally experiencing cramping at times other than while I was on my period.  Here’s where the internet and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  All my symptoms pointed to fibroid tumors.  Fibroid’s are quite painful, but usually nothing emergent.  I was pretty sure that’s what was going on and had it in my mind that as soon as things settled down at work I’d ask around to find a good gyn doctor and begin the process I thought would lead to a hysterectomy.  I knew that most women were out of commission for several weeks after this surgery, so I wanted to wait til  the time was right to be out of work for that long.

Then one day in late August 2010, might have been around the 27th… I woke up with really bad menstrual cramps.  By the time I got to work I would probably change that description to really bad abdominal pain.  By 9:30 or so that morning, I could not stand up straight, literally had to hold on to things to get out of the building and to my car.  Unfortunately I had not had a reason to go to a doctor since I’d moved to Tampa so I did not have a doctor yet.   By the time I got home the time off my feet had helped the pain to ease a bit.  I jumped online to look up gyn doctors in my area.  The first few offices I called were not accepting new patients.  Thankfully the fourth or fifth practice was able to give me an appointment, but it wasn’t early the next week.  The pain had eased a bit so I accepted.

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