Sometime towards the end of last year, I started to get really bad pelvic pain. I know developing an intolerance to dairy can happen later in life but I really hated coming to terms with it for myself, as I LOVE dairy. After consulting with my dietitian friend, I decided to start eliminating trigger foods from my diet. It seemed like it was working. But I really wanted to go back to diary so I did. And I was fine. I never could determine what the sudden pain was from until 2015.
About two months ago, I was laying on my back on my bed and felt a lump near my pelvic area. I ignored it. A week later, I felt the same lump and it appeared to have grown. I had my mother examine as well so that I didn’t feel crazy. She confirmed that I had a lump and suggested I see a doctor.
At the time, I didn’t have health insurance so I had to go to an urgent care facility and pay out-of-pocket. I had a routine check up and two doctors confirmed that there was a mass near my pelvic area but that I needed to have a CT scan done to further examine what it could be.
Shortly after, my results determined that I had two fibroid tumors. The recommendation was for me to follow-up with an ultrasound.
By the time I got my results, my health insurance at my new job had kicked in so I went to see my OBGYN.
In my mind, I was going to get more clarity about the size of my two fibroid tumors. As the sonographer placed the cold gel on my abdomen, I grew increasingly nervous. Her words ripped through me and left a dull, aching pain. “I see one, two, three, four, five…oh my goodness, you have tons of fibroids.” Her inappropriate reaction was all I needed to burst into tears.
I have a total of ten detectable fibroids in my stomach.
All of a sudden, I was filled with fear. What does this mean? I never wanted to give birth but the possibility of the choice being taken away from me was really overwhelming. Will I ever be able to give birth if I choose later in life? I didn’t have those answers and neither did she.
The nurse practitioner was equally cold and unhelpful. She mentioned that fibroids were hereditary (although many would disagree) and that I could “blame my ancestors” for them. Wonderful.
Later this week, I will be meeting with a doctor to discuss options. I’ve been told that I’m too young for surgery. That’s not even an option on the table for me. What I plan to do is change my diet by following a vegan lifestyle to shrink/eliminate my fibroids.
I won’t lie………..I may cheat. I hate that I’m even speaking that but I’m also trying to be realistic about who I am and my habits. Choosing a vegan lifestyle means being proactive about your meal plans and being diligent about healthy behaviors.
I know having surgery is not the right option for me now or probably ever if I can get serious about doing this the natural way. So I’m terribly nervous. Afraid to fail. Scared that this will mark me as “un-wifeable” material. Just all-round freaked out.
This is a huge undertaking but I know my God has never given me more than I can bear. And clearly, He thinks I’m one of His best children because He gives me all the toughest challenges. And even still, I will trust in His plan.
The statistics are real. Up to 80% of African-American women suffer from fibroids.
[Tweet “Black women’s risk of fibroids is about three times that of white women. The disparity increases with age.”]
If you are a woman suffering from fibroids or have a history of sufferers in your family, take action. Don’t wait until they grow out of control and the “only” choice they give you is surgery. We’ve got to be more mindful of the things that we put in our bodies. And I’m saying that as someone finally being forced to accept this truth.
As always, I share my stories to hopefully incite you to share your own. We don’t have to suffer in silence. I’d love to know what you’re doing to change your situation if, you’re already in my boat.