February 6, 2014 in Health

Darn Fibroids

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This blog is about my not so secret history, but there are certain subjects that are still no go zones. One of these up until today has been my health. Sure I’ve documented my struggles with weight and even moaned about the occasional cold, but that was as far as I’ve gone. So for the last six years after being diagnosed with fibroids, I’ve suffered in silence. I figured they weren’t life threatening and so why be dramatic about them.


Not only did I not share here, but I didn’t even tell any real world friends or family members until about two years ago. And the disclosure only came out in a moment of real weakness when I confessed to my older sister that my heavy and oh so uncomfortable periods were the result of having fibroids. She then went on to enlighten me to the fact that a lot of women in our family suffer from this condition. This shouldn’t have been a surprise as based on my own research, I knew that a lot of black women suffered from fibroids – but I was still flabbergasted.

Sure I knew my beloved Nenen had them which is one of the reasons she unfortunately never had children, but I really didn’t know about everyone else. And so stunned and confused by the revelation, I pumped her for knowledge. I then decided to book an appointment with a specialist doctor to further explore my options, the most drastic getting them out!

After that appointment and further research, I decided not to move forward with the operation as it required being off work for three months and without the financial and emotional support from a boyfriend/husband or even close family members nearby, I just couldn’t swing it. Plus there was no guarantee they wouldn’t reappear.

So I’ve continued managing the fibroids and for the most part without any real difficulties. It hasn’t affected my professional or personal life expect for the monthly discomfort. Heck, I’ve lived a pretty active life even managing to climb Snowdon and Ben Nevis, two of the highest peaks in Britain. However, I must confess that Ben Nevis was really challenging as not only was I not in as great shape as when I climbed Snowdon, but the trip unfortunately coincided with my monthly visit. And the higher up the mountain I went, as the air quality changed, I felt really weak and lost almost all desire to reach the summit. It was so unlike me.

Interestingly, this didn’t send me running back to the doctor. I figured it was all situational. Anyway, I bring all of this up as for the last few months I’ve been feeling really tired and the recovery time after my monthly flow is getting longer. I’d have just enough energy to go through my daily professional obligations but would collapse each evening. Weekends were mostly spent sleeping. Frustrated, I finally went to the doctor who sent me off for blood tests. These confirm what my research uncovered. I was suffering from iron deficiency brought on by my heavy periods. I suspect the lack of red meat and vegetables in my diet also had something to do with it as well.

Now that I have a diagnosis, I really hope the iron supplements work as subscribed. I want to have the engery to do more than just “work.” I want to get back to exercising and being more socially active. I need to shed some weight before spring comes. I was off to a great start in the new year but that just fell to the wayside as I was too tired and exercise just seem to make it worse.

That all being said, this is a reminder that despite the mind-set that I’m twenty something, I’m well into my forties and so I’ve got to take better care of myself. And it’s really ok to share and not suffer in silence. As once you share, it’s likely that someone will offer insight that will help improve the situation.

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