A dear friend recently shared this brave story with me and encouraged me to share this with you all as well, in hopes that it would reach the next recipient that needed to hear this divine message. We all know what's best for our health and your voice is the loudest advocate you can have.
This story is brave, vulnerable and sensitive. I am honored to share this and know it will find it's way into the right hands as a result. Thank you Christina Howard for not only being a special light in my life, but a #warrior in your own health journey. I'm so proud of you! xo
In Her Own Words: Christina's Story
This may be TMI for some people so please feel free to continue to scroll, but I feel very strongly about sharing a recent health situation in hopes that others will benefit from my experience.
Last Monday I start bleeding heavily and passing huge clots. I called my gynecologist and they said it was likely from my IUD. When the medical device approaches the end of its life cycle, they tend to make the patient’s hormones a bit off balance. But I went from not having a period for four years to an incredible amount of blood overnight. I will spare you the details, but to say the amount of blood and size of clotting was bad would be an understatement. As the week progressed, so did the bleeding. I knew in my heart something was not right. By Thursday and Friday, the amount of blood lost at the beginning of the week paled in comparison. I was soaking through a super tampon, super pad and my clothing each hour.
I started to feel light headed from the amount of blood I had lost over the course of five days and a sweet fellow Ladies Aux. member took me to the ER. When I got to triage my blood pressure was 175/105, I was passing out and convulsing. I was immediately brought back to a bed where my convulsing became so bad that my head was thrashing back and forth and my legs and arms were flailing in the air. They game me Benadryl to alleviate the seizures/convulsions, but the blood continued to literally pour out of me. They monitored me to determine if I would need a transfusion, which fortunately I did not.
Seven hours later, and after consulting with my original gynecologist who was still on file as my provider, I was given a hormone shot and a series of oral hormones to take throughout the week to slowly decrease the amount of blood lost. The gynecologist told the ER doctor to have me call her office on Monday morning and she would fit me in, but assured him it was the IUD.
But we all know that nothing is ever as easy as it should be. Right, ladies?! You will remember from the beginning of this post that I had called this gynecologist’s practice earlier in the week when the bleeding issues began and the staff had been dismissive as I called in tears asking for help. ‘It’s the IUD, this is just what happens,’ they said. On a side note, it is also worth mentioning that during my appointment the year BEFORE, I had spoken to my GYN about itching on my right breast that persisted for months. She brushed me off and told me to use hydrocortisone. I persisted and thankfully asked for medical imaging which showed a tumor in the exact place my body had been telling me that something was wrong.
That Wednesday, just days before my ER admission, completely disheartened with my interactions with my GYN, I asked for my records to be transferred to another practice that came highly recommended. They would not be able to see me for my New Patient Appointment until 3/18, but I was excited based on feedback I had received from patient friends. I was looking forward to feeling heard and having the ability to ask questions.
Well, the Monday morning after my ER stay I called my original gynecologist as instructed at 9:00 on the dot. I explained my situation and the receptionist cut me off and said she would have to get my records in between patients and call me back to ‘see what she could do’. I was anxious and still bleeding profusely and was hoping to get an appointment in search of some relief. An hour later she called and said that her records indicated that I had asked for my medical records to be sent to the new practice the previous Wednesday and therefore they would not see me. I explained that the reason I was seeking a second opinion was that the nurse I spoke to on Tuesday at their office told me that there was really nothing they could do and that I would have to wait until my 3/20 appointment to talk to the gynecologist. I also explained that their doc. had been consulted during my ER stay and told me to call. The receptionist said, ‘If you wanted to be seen by another doctor that badly then you are going to have to contact them to fit you in. And by the way, that’s coming straight from the doctor.’ I was flabbergasted and I hate to admit, I began crying. I explained that I had been a patient with her for 14 years; she had delivered both of my children. My intention was not to offend, but to try to find someone to help me with something that I knew it my heart was NOT normal. She ended the call.
I ugly cried for about two minutes. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I dried my tears and dialed the new GYN’s office number. A kind voice answered the phone and I explained my predicament through sobs. She was so incredibly sweet and promised me that she would help me. She put me on hold to ask permission to switch a few appointments and said they could see me on Wednesday. This sweet soul had never met me and was making accommodations to help me, while my original GYN, with whom I had been with for 14 years, sent me with my tail between my legs to seek help elsewhere.
The gynecologist that I saw this past Wednesday was wonderful! She was confused why the ER did not take an x-ray or perform any ultrasounds during the seven hours I was there. She told me this amount of blood and clotting is NOT normal and definitely was NOT from an IUD. She sent me to the local hospital for a STAT ultrasound and X-ray which revealed a lime-sized fibroid tumor. I returned to her office today to review the imaging and she took an endometrial biopsy so that we can rule out cancer. I’ll wait until next week to get my results, which in my heart I know will be great, and then we will move on with next steps.
I’m not one to typically share this type of personal information, but I feel very strongly about trusting your gut and advocating for yourself. You will ALSO notice that I did not share practitioner or medical center names because this message is not a smear campaign. I prefer to channel my energy into something positive and constructive, which I hope the LONG WINDED message is. If just one person reading this decides to challenge or question something that just doesn’t feel right, then putting myself out here like this was worth it.
“Trust your gut. Your gut feelings are usually accurate and correct. If you truly feel there’s something, chance are there is.” Anonymous
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**image graciously sourced from here