Home Fibroid Mornings

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bird in the tree outside apartment window

There is nothing on my mind right now. I’m sitting staring through the slats of the open blind at the window in front of my desk. It’s interesting that it’s already Wednesday. When you live like I do you sometimes lose track of the days. A lot happened between last Wednesday and today and yet, right this very minute none of it seems important. Some of the worse of it is already beginning to fade into the forgotten realm and at the time when it was happening it seemed so great in magnitude as to completely rock the foundation of my life.

I can hear some birds chirping outside my window right now. I wonder what it’s like being a bird? I wonder if birds suffer with depression or if there are such things as agoraphobic birds?

Silence

The chirping has stopped for the moment and I have picked up a book and read a quote that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I am not sure I agree with all of it. I like the part about leaving the world a bit better whether it’s by leaving behind a healthy child, or a garden. And I also like the part about knowing that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. But I’m not so sure about the part that mentions winning the respect of intelligent people and the appreciation of honest critics. I’m not big on philosophies espousing concern over people’s opinions even if they are suggesting that it’s a good thing when intelligent people respect you and honest critics appreciate you.

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes intelligent people don’t respect you and honest critics don’t appreciate you because they don’t like you for arbitrary, superficial reasons that have nothing to do with you and everything to do with their personal prejudices and their perception of your reality. Our perception of other people’s reality is just that–our perception. We can be totally wrong about people but never know it because we never take the time to get to know who they really are. We just decide that our perception of them is their truth.

Where have the birds gone? Why aren’t they chirping? The sound of these two sentences reminds me of a poem I wrote when I was a teenager. “Where have all the tears gone? Why aren’t they falling?”

The picture of the bird in the tree was taken a short moment ago. I decided to take a picture of the tree I can see while sitting here typing. While I was zooming in I thought how nice it would be if I could find a bird in the tree (since I have been talking about the birds), and soon after thinking the thought one flew in. I took the picture sitting here in my chair looking through the blinds and my camera is a low quality camera that’s pretty much on it’s last leg so the picture is a bit blurry. Here’s another shot of the bird. This one’s even more blurry.

bird in the tree outside apartment window 2

The silence I was enjoying is over now. The grounds maintenance crew have begun to mow the grass.

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The sky as photographed by Monica while out walking May 30th 2014

Dear Monica, it doesn’t matter.

That you are worrying about it is beyond ridiculous. Stop it. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. And just stop it. Seriously. You are torturing yourself on account of who? On account of what? You are being irrational. You are abusing yourself with your own thoughts. And it’s as easy to stop doing as to keep doing. Which do you prefer? Stop it. Turn off the torture station and be done with it. Get. Over. It. Repeat. Get. Over. It.

You don’t need anyone’s approval. You don’t need anyone’s permission to “be”. You are. So just be. And let go of this nonsense fear of what people may or may not be thinking. If people think you’re stupid and pathetic that’s what they think. You can’t control what people think. You can only control how you allow it to affect you–what you allow it to make you think of yourself and how you allow it to make you feel about yourself.

Be proud of yourself. Recognize how strong you are. Thank yourself for what you have done because it’s no small feat the way you have held yourself together through all your life’s struggles. It’s okay, Monica. Allow yourself to be.

Morning has broken

It’s been so many years. Wow. I have been alive a long time. There was a time in my life when the song “Morning has broken” was something that was regularly sung. Whether it was sung at school during morning worship, sung at church or sung at home just idly singing church songs. I can’t even remember that girl. I think she must have liked singing; but she was so shy she probably never sang out very loudly or showed any enthusiasm while singing.

And how amazing is the mind? You have memories you don’t know you have and then you wake up one morning and you remember a song you haven’t heard in years and you still remember how to sing it — you remember the tune and you remember the words. I just googled “Morning has Broken” and I watched this video from 1973 and all I’m thinking, “You know what Monica, you are going to die one day and it may be sooner than later. Regardless if it’s soon or later, it is a fact. Your life is going to end. So in the meantime, just live and stop with the regrets. Because nothing really matters.”

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monica preparing to take a bath april 11 2014

Well, I have been awake since two o’clock in the morning. I was going to get up to go back to bed but then I realized it is now six o’clock in the morning. It’s time to start the day. I probably will still go back to bed but I think I’ll take a bath first. I just finished writing “To give up or to keep fighting a winless battle”. I woke up at two o’clock in the morning feeling a bit low. Like I said in the post I have been having a rough spell. As I think about it, that rough spell has been going on for a few months now and the thin thread by which I have been holding on has not snapped; so all things considered, I guess I am not in as bad a place as I could be; but I am not in a good place and I need to do something about it. Again.

I don’t know how many times a person is allowed to fall off track before they are expected to just shut up and go away and accept their failure. I keep trying and failing and trying again and failing again. I am not sure why I keep bothering to try at all; but here I go again.

In a moment, after I complete this post, I am going to get up and go upstairs and take a bath. My bath won’t be  anything specialized for treating fibroids; but I have read that there are such baths. I guess you could call them fibroid baths although I don’t think they are for fibroids specifically. They don’t necessarily “treat” fibroids but they supposedly can help in your ongoing treatment programs. I’ll have to research some ideas for creating treatments to use in my bath not only to help with the fibroids but just to help with my general outlook.

I used to only take showers; but then I moved in 2012 and the master bathroom in our apartment had a shower and a bath. I started using the bath and leaving the shower to my husband. I remember how wonderful it felt to soak in the tub for a while. My baths were like an extra layer of therapy for me. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we moved but come August that will be case; and it’s interesting to compare 2012/2013 to 2013/2014. I was really on top of things for a minute there; but I’ve been falling apart of late. I don’t know what happened. I guess it’s just been one stressful thing after another. You just get to a point where the balloon pops and the air gets let out of you.

Today I am going to try to start over again. I am going to begin with a nice warm bath. After my bath I’m going to come downstairs and clean the kitchen. Then I am going to bake bread using one of the packages of Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix’s that I bought at the grocery store yesterday. I’ve always wanted to bake my own bread. I guess this won’t really count as baking my own bread but it’s a start. I am going to try to start a fast today as well so I might not actually get to sample the bread. We’ll see how that works out.

After the bread baking I’m going to try to go back to bed. I don’t know if that will work out as planned. We’ll see.

As far as my bath goes, the only essential oil I have in my possession right now is tea tree oil. I’ll add a couple drops of that along with some wild yam extract. Hopefully the two won’t clash in any damaging way. Maybe I’ll add a few drops of some of the other herbal extracts I have sitting in the cabinet. I bought those a while back to make an herbal tea for my fibroids but I didn’t find they were helping and I thought I was behaving a bit madly and couldn’t identify which herb might be making me crazy so I stopped using them. Hopefully nothing bad will result from putting them in my bath.

I need to get myself back on track. I need to regain control over myself. I have been unfocussed, uninspired, and completely off-center. I have been over-eating for 7 straight days, getting less and less exercise  and allowing myself to soak up negative energy from one source or another. I have not been treating myself well lately and it’s time for me to do something about it. Again.

 

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monica Wednesday May 14th 2014

I’m not at a good place right now. I’m at a place of thinking that being alive isn’t so great. Doesn’t mean I’m thinking about suicide. I’m not. I’m just feeling like my life is kind of pointless, will never change and is not worth living in this condition. I’m wishing I had the option of checking out but I know that I don’t have the option of checking out and I’m terrified because I know things need to change but I have this gut feeling they won’t and if they don’t then I am doomed one way or another.

I was supposed to start a 7-day fast about 7 days ago; but I went on a 7-day gorge-fest instead. I feel physically off-balance and out of sorts; and it’s not helping me in the mental and emotional department. Something about the summer season and being out here in the mid-west where I moved (temporarily) in 2012 is reminding me of a time in my childhood when I felt hopelessly lost, alone, confused and without structure–without family. I used to think about suicide then. It was a dark period that started when I was 8 going on 9 and lasted until I was 12 going on 13. When it ended I only entered another dark period and that has seemed to be how my life has always played out. And I always end up back at this point of feeling like there’s no solution–like I need to go ahead and jump off the life train.

I won’t say I’ve never or don’t ever think about suicide. Suicidal impulses are part and parcel of the life I’ve lived; but this is different. This isn’t about being depressed and wanting to die. This is about facing reality–understanding that there’s no point–that I am fighting a winless battle. It is about choosing not only to stop fighting but to remove myself from existence altogether in order to escape life’s ever-jabbing fist; because as long as you are alive life will engage you in battle whether or not you are a willing and participating combatant.

I’m not one to think that life just happens to me the way it has happened without any contribution on my part. I know it all comes down to who I am and the choices that I have made and continue to make. And I guess that’s why I sometimes imagine that the only option for release, or escape if you will, is to check out. Because this is who I am. And if the problem lies in who I am, and if I am who I am and there’s no becoming someone other than who I am, then the problem cannot be fixed. And if the problem cannot be fixed then I have to accept to live this way until I die and I just don’t know if I want to accept to live this way until I die.

Moments Later…

After sitting and pondering my feelings and re-reading my words I am asking myself two questions:

  1. What is “the problem”. You say “And if the problem lies in who I am” — what is the problem exactly?
  2. What “way” are you living that you fear you will have to accept so that “the problem” stops being a problem or at least becomes something with which you can live?

I guess “the problem” refers to whatever it is inside of me that contributed to me making a mess of my life and contributes to my inability to fix that mess. What made me so afraid, so mentally and emotionally weak, so passive?

  • What is it inside of me that has made it impossible for me to function normally in society throughout my entire life?
  • What is it inside of me that makes me chose to crawl under rocks and try to live my life in hiding under those rocks?
  • What is it inside of me that makes me so afraid of people and afraid of life?

And this “way” of living is basically having nothing and being nothing. Having no stability. Always being on the verge of some type of crisis. Essentially having no life.

I don’t know what to do about myself. I don’t know what to do with myself. And sometimes the frustration is such that I feel like the answer is to cause myself to cease to exist. But I think I’ll just go to bed for now and maybe try again tomorrow to start a fast and try to reset myself  and just keep trying to blog my way out of my present hole. They say take what you have and make the most of it. When what you have is nothing you pretty much have to become a magician. I am trying to take nothing and make the most of nothing; but what is the most of nothing? Seems to me that the most of nothing is nothing. So if at the end of the day what’s going to come of this is nothing, why bother right? But it’s either I keep trying to turn my nothing into something or I give up and accept nothing for what remains of my life.

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monica posing May 2nd 2014 dance 1

Let people think you’re silly or stupid or pathetic or vain or whatever it is they want to think. But don’t let their thoughts stop you from doing the things that give you joy. Regardless how silly or stupid or pathetic or vain or whatever others perceive you and the things you do — regardless even if there are voices in your own head telling you that you’re silly or stupid or pathetic or vain or whatever–do whatever makes you feel good as long as it’s legal and it doesn’t harm you or harm others.

I have more than once or twice thought that I wouldn’t mind if menopause happened early so that I could get rid of these fibroids. If my mother is right about what happened to me earlier this month, I could possibly be on my way to getting my wish; but from what I am reading today it seems the time between the onset of menopausal symptoms and actual menopause can be lengthy and the experiences of dealing with what it does to your life rather unpleasant.

My mother tells me that when this is finally over I will be so happy I will want to stand on my head. I look forward to being that happy. I don’t really fear the idea of menopause, even if it comes now, several years earlier than the normal age when menopause typically happens. It seems silly to me to fear the inevitable, especially when it’s really right around the corner anyway. It can be terribly dull and uninspiring to hear women in their forties expressing dread about aging. Women in their mid and even late 30s can be forgiven; but once you cross over, get over it and try to focus on living your life in a manner that inspires younger women to see that there’s more to life than skin (because that’s all fear of aging comes down to for most women–worrying about the condition of your aging skin/your looks). Life is a cycle; and in that cycle there are stages. Everyone goes through all the stages of life unless their life ends prematurely. Accept where you are. Value and make the most of the time that you have and stop worrying about what’s behind you that you can’t get back. You’re going to die anyway. So, unless you can’t wait for death, focus on the time that you have and live as fully as you have the desire and energy to live.

On the subject of menopause, I woke up this morning wondering “Can fibroids cause early menopause?“. So I took a moment to google the question. It brought me to some very interesting and helpful reads, not all necessarily addressing the question of whether or not fibroids can cause early menopause, but certainly relevant to what I am going through.

In “What Causes Early Menopause or Premature Ovarian Failure? – Hot Flashes at 30? It’s Possible“, someone identified by the name Kate Freer, wrote for the Yahoo Network:

The majority of women begin menopause after 51 years of age but about one percent of women may experience menopause much younger. I was one of those women. Menopause symptoms began when I was around 45, ending finally when I turned 53. I can say that those years were not fun dealing with uterine fibroids, irregular periods, pain, and clotting. I chose not to have surgery because I had no insurance. With time my symptoms lessened, my fibroids dried up, and finally my periods ended as well. It was a beautiful time in my life when I was finally set free from all those female problems. But what causes early menopause? (full article)

This doesn’t really address the question of whether or not fibroids can cause early menopause. But it does pretty much echo what my mother has told me about how much of a relief it’s going to be when menopause does happen. I don’t find it very surprising that every woman who has ever commented to me about what it’s like to no longer have to deal with the kind of “female problems” that can plague you after a certain age (and sometimes before) has spoken with gratitude and relief to be out of that stage of life. I think that until you go through certain things in your life you can’t really appreciate that some things about youth aren’t worth suffering to stay young. I know some women who will want menopause to happen at the very last minute because they think once it happens it’s proof they’re officially old, useless and dried up; but as long as they still have a period they can still claim to belong with the younger crowd. They hear that someone younger than they are might be experiencing menopausal symptoms and they find the idea upsetting because they need to hang on to this belief that they themselves are too young for menopause. So if someone else is already transitioning who is younger than they are, it challenges this notion of them being too young for menopause. They can’t deal with that and try to drag you down into that mindset with them that you’re too young for menopause and should be panicked at the thought that you might experience the dreaded change early.

I am not afraid of menopause as far as what it means in terms of age. The fact is I am not too young for menopause to start, and from what I can tell, I might be past the age where I can classify the situation as “early menopause” if that’s what’s happening.

Is it early menopause if you’re over 40?

In her article, Kate Freer suggests that early menopause affects women between the ages of 20 and 46; but most of the material I’ve found on sites such as webMD and womenshealth.gov suggests it only classifies as early menopause if it happens before the age of 40. I am 43 so I might not be able to use the term “early menopause” to describe what may or may not be happening to me at this time. It would appear that, even while it’s agreed that 51 is the average age of onset for “natural” menopause, it is considered perfectly normal if menopause occurs at any age after 40.

So can fibroids bring on menopause or what?

I can’t seem to find anything that would indicate that fibroids can bring on menopause. What I have found is that uterine fibroid growth is listed as a symptom of menopause. Can you imagine that? You’re battling fibroids trying to get rid of them, and then you start to go through menopause and your fibroids get worse as a result. I certainly hope it is not a situation that my fibroids will get worse before I eventually reap the benefit of them drying up as a result of menopause. But they certainly seem to be rebelling lately against my efforts to shrink them.

For sure something is going on with my body. It has been going on for a few months. Last month was pretty bad. Things are changing and most of the signs point to the onset of menopause; although, looking through this list of 34 symptoms of menopause that I found on http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/, a lot of those things are things I’ve dealt with for years of my life so who really knows what’s going on?

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It’s Thursday April 10th 2014. I just woke up maybe about a half hour ago. I’m still very sleepy. I didn’t get much sleep last night. It was going on one o’clock in the morning  when I shut down my computer and went upstairs. I didn’t go straight to bed. I had to go take a bath in preparation for sex I did not want. I actually had a very nice bath. I didn’t want to get out of the bath actually. The water was so warm. I felt so relaxed. I could have fallen asleep in the bath but then, as you can imagine, I probably would not be alive to write this letter today.

I guess by the time I made it to bed last night it was well after one o’clock in the morning; and I didn’t manage to escape the sexual activity. My husband pounced on me immediately; and it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience for me. It went on for a little bit. I tried to endure it but eventually I had to ask him to continue later. Sometimes I do that hoping later will never happen; but later always happens. Later sometimes happens multiple other times throughout the night and that means I get very little sleep. If I went to bed at two o’clock last night that means I got 4 hours of sleep at the most because I’ve been awake since six o’clock this morning. And this is pretty much the standard. For going on almost a decade now 5-6 hours of sleep at night has been my average. Some people say 6 hours of sleep is enough; but I don’t know if that’s true. Yeah, I’ve managed to get by on that amount of sleep; but it’s taken a toll on my appearance; and it’s taken a toll on my mental health; and it certainly plays havoc with my emotions particularly at times when I have extra stress to deal with in my life.

Anyway, yesterday was a weird day for me. I plan to try to recover today. I have a lot of work to do where that is concerned. I have a lot of self talk in which I will need to engage to get certain thoughts and feelings out of my system. I’m still feeling depleted of emotional energy, but I think a lot of that is attributable to lack of sleep. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the husband and the sex and all that stuff. I mean, I’m not happy about the way things are; but I don’t know if I have any legitimate reasons to feel resentful and irritated and disgusted and fed up and all those things I feel. I mean, my husband didn’t really do anything to me. I just don’t like his way, but that’s my issue. His way is his way. He is who he is. The responsibility is mine to either learn to accept who he is and live with his ways or to leave if I find that I can’t accept who he is and I can’t live with his ways. People don’t have to change to accommodate us. We have to accept them or not be involved with them if we can’t accept them.

I really need to get on top of my health. I need to be getting more sleep. I need to be drinking more water. I need to be trying a little harder to stay focused on my goals. I need to worry less about some of the things over which I allow myself to get upset. I need to start doing more and thinking less. Being a “deep thinker” is a good thing in many ways, but there is a danger in losing perspective of what “is” when you go too deep. Yes, there are layers and layers and layers under the surface of everything and everybody; and what “was” impacts on what “is”; but what was is past and it’s the “what is” that’s at issue, so it’s not always necessary to dig beneath the surface trying to figure out how something ended up being what it is.  Sometimes you just have to accept things for what they are.

So I think I’m going to do myself a favor today and try to keep my focus on the things I need to get done and stop worry about what may or may not be going on with this or that person. I need to take care of myself. I keep worrying about everybody else when they are not worrying about me. And they shouldn’t be worrying about me. They should be worrying about themselves–taking care of themselves. That is the way it should be. And what’s ridiculous about me getting all worked up about the way of life and how unfair it can be is that the people on whose behalf I get upset are more balanced than I am as is evidenced by the fact that they have normal lives. I’m the one with mental and emotional problems. I need to be fully focused on fixing me.

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Want to be Fibroid Free in 2014

I won’t make any declarations because some things might be out of my control; but my wish is to become fibroid free in 2014. I’ve already said I don’t think that can happen without a hysterectomy, or if my fibroids are small enough at this stage, undergoing a uterine fibroid embolization procedure.

Maybe natural remedies for shrinking fibroids really do work for other people who are out there claiming they got rid of their fibroids naturally; but I have been trying one remedy or another for several years and nothing has really worked. Some things have helped to make my stomach look a little smaller; but I continue to walk around with a stomach that gives me a pregnant appearance.

Last night I had the most wonderful dream. My fibroids disappeared. The dream was pretty convoluted. I mean, seriously disturbingly weird in many aspects; but at one stage it was the most wonderful dream ever because I was lying down in bed and I reached down to touch my stomach and discovered that my stomach was completely devoid of fibroids. It was flatter than any stomach is capable of being in reality. When I think about it, not only were the fibroids gone, so were all of my insides. That of course would not be the ideal situation. Some of the things in my stomach I need; but the fibroids being gone, that I can live with and would love. It’s too bad it’s not possible for fibroids to just up and disappear the same way they just appeared out of nowhere.

Not to have fibroids isn’t something a person needs to wish and hope upon like an impossible dream. I could have gotten rid of my fibroids back in 2007. I think it was 2007. I’m now getting things mixed up and not remembering what year it was when I first had the opportunity to get the hysterectomy; but I believe it was in 2007. I qualified for assistance getting the surgery under a vocational rehabilitation program; but I chickened out. I couldn’t go through with it. I got scared. I decided to try natural remedies for shrinking fibroids instead of getting my uterus removed to fix the problem.

Now it’s 2014. I wish I had been successful with my efforts at shrinking my fibroids naturally; but I have not been successful. And it occurs to me that I need to accept that none of the natural remedies for shrinking fibroids are going to work for me. It doesn’t mean they can’t work for someone else. I don’t want to believe that all the people who are out there claiming they were able to shrink their fibroids using natural remedies are being dishonest or otherwise misleading. I have to believe that it’s just one of those things where some people have success and others don’t; and unfortunately for me I am not one of those who had success. It’s not that things just completely didn’t work. I’d have to say that my situation was greatly improved; but the bottom line is, I still have the fibroids and my fibroids are still fairly large even if not as large as before.

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If you’ve read my entries then you know I am no fibroids expert as far as knowing what works from what does not work to get rid of fibroids. I am just someone who is actively living with fibroids trying to manage my situation as best I can without money to afford any of the myriad products out there being marketed to us with promises that these products can shrink our fibroids or get rid of them altogether. I still don’t have health insurance and if I can’t afford to buy a $45 book that swears it contains the secret to get rid of my fibroids then you know I still cannot afford to pay $10,000 out of pocket for a hysterectomy.

To address the title of my post, “Does drinking chamomile tea with ginger and turmeric help or hurt fibroids”, I don’t really know the answer to the question, but I have been drinking chamomile tea with ginger and turmeric for the last couple of days, so if someone knows something about ginger, chamomile, or turmeric and the impact any of these would have on fibroids good or bad, please let me know.

My fibroids are pretty active right now and have been pretty active for a few months, and by pretty active I mean they are at a pretty prominent size. I had been managing them better in the earlier months of the year but since about April things have been out of control around here with everybody on edge so I haven’t been able to focus on myself and my health the way I need to.

Here’s a picture of what my stomach looks like right now. I took this picture today while doing some stretching.

Photo of woman with large stomach caused by fibroids

I had a very uncomfortable night of sleep last night because of my fibroids, and I’ve awoken this morning still in discomfort. My stomach is pretty large right now so I know things are not right internally. I am going to try to avoid eating today and just drink tea to try and calm things down. I need to get back on track with focusing on my health but things are going to remain out of order on the home front for at least another 6 – 8 weeks and I don’t know what will be happening after that. We’re moving to a new state and have no idea what to expect when we get there and we’re in a mess financially.

Looking down at my stomach right now I’m inclined to think my fibroids are growing as I write. Maybe they thrive when fed chamomile, or ginger or turmeric, or some combination of the three.

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