Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fibroid Field Day

My estrogen is raging....and so am I. I want to start a campaign to STAMP OUT FIBROIDS. What is the deal with them?

I'm 47...on the verge of perimenopause, and not liking it. My estrogen is at an all time high, and my fibroids are having a field day.

I had a doctor appointment yesterday at a local hospital with an UFE expert. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is the process. They cut off the blood supply to fibroids by injecting small synthetic pellets into the arteries that feed the uterus. Yikes! Who comes up with these things?

I went to explore at the suggestion of the new gynecologist I just switched to. Luckily the UFE guy did not try to do a hard sell. I think he could see I was not going to sign readily on the dotted line. He showed me my MRI films, and it was actually quite enlightening. I saw my uterus on a screen, in all it's fibroid glory. I thought I was looking at a road map with huge glaciers blocking the path. Amazing and alarming at the same time!

We discussed the process, which itself didn't sound like a huge big deal. It's not a major surgery, compared to a hysterectomy. But, it's the uncertain aftermath that concerned me the most. The doctor was quite honest....surprisingly...and refreshingly so...and said that my case wasn't going to be easy. I was likely looking at a year of pain/from the healing, fibroid and uterus shrinking, etc.

Since I'm not hugely symptomatic at this point, I'm not rushing into anything. I am slightly anemic (I take a liquid iron supplement) and have bouts of discomfort from them, but I've lived with them since my 20s. I had a myomectomy years ago (surgery to remove the fibroids) in order to make room for a baby, and it left me with scarring around one tube, and thus fertility challenged. The gynecologist never told me at the time that that could happen.

So....all this said....what I wonder is why no one has come up with a better solution for those who suffer from debilitating fibroids? If men got them too, would more funds be devoted to research? There is big money to be made from hysterectomies, which is the course of action most typically recommended. But, the
surgery is nothing to sneeze at. It can lead to immediate menopause, and I'm not 50 yet.

I cross my fingers I can make it until menopause, when the fibroids will start to shrink on their own. Until then, I'll take the supplements (not hormonal) suggested to me by my integrative doctor, and hope for the best.

Do you suffer from fibroids too?

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Ho Ho Ho Holiday Birthdays

As soon as that calendar turned December 1, I felt it in my bones creaking up my neck and all the way down into my toes. Oh the stress. All the shopping, searching for perfect gifts, schlepping, wrapping, baking, cooking and every toy needs batteries!!! ...Oh my God. Help. I'm sure you all can relate. To top it off, my middle child, Kelly, the easy-going kid--the one that hardly ever asks for much--has her 8th birthday coming on the 14th. Every year it's always in the middle of this holiday chaos and we make a point to have a separate birthday party to make her feel special.

This year, a major North Easter snow storm is expected on Saturday the 15th and half of our family from upstate New York, might not be able to make it down to Long Island. Could someone please tell God to postpone the snow? Just for one day? Kelly never asks for much, so when we told her Don't worry, you'll still get birthday presents from mommy and daddy if they can't come...she said, "but I want to be with all of my family...that's what it's about." I got choked up and prayed hard and fast that the snow would wait for Kelly's birthday party.

As for the shopping: Ya think my husband could tell me sooner that he needs holiday gifts for people in the office? Like people he hardly ever talks about or doesn't give me a clue as to what they might want? I think sometimes I'll fix him and buy something inappropriate like a nail salon gift certificate for his boss Tony.

Well happy shopping, wrapping and baking to all! I can't wait till January 2 when I can put my feet up and drink a cup of Jasmine tea and relax and watch the kids eating cookies and enjoying their new toys.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Whites of Seth's Eyes

Over the summer, due to all the swimming in our community pool, Seth's eyes often got irritated due to the chlorine. Since then he's been fine, until yesterday.

Sunday morning, he awoke with two red eyes. Out of the blue. We quickly called the doctor....getting a doctor on a Sunday is no easy feat. She said it's probably an allergy. He should take Benadryl and use Visine. What does he sleep with, she asked?

His favorite teddy is always by his side, along with a host of other animals....subject to change on any given day. Piggy, bunny, woofy dog, etc. She said they could be carrying irritants. Teddy, a dust mite culprit?! Beloved teddy?? I guess it's not entirely shocking since teddy seldom gets a bath. Frankly, it slips my mind to do it, but it does make sense.

That said, we gave teddy a good soaking. But, Seth's left eye was still quite red today. We kept him home from school and made a doctor's appointment. Luckily he wasn't symptomatic, so he didn't have discomfort. He was just restless all day, missing his friends in pre-K.

We had to wait all day til our doctor appointment, and then sat restlessly an hour in his waiting room. I just kept thinking what a germ factory this is. No wonder kids get sick so much. A mere trip to the doctor's office for one thing can expose you to a host of other unwelcome viruses, etc. I now carry Purell with me wherever I go and often spring it on Seth.

I hope this isn't the start of a challenging winter for Seth healthwise. It was just two weeks ago that I took him to the doctor for a flu shot. No offense to the pediatrician, who I happen to like a lot, but I'm not looking to be a regular in his office.

Seth was thrilled not to get a shot this time...and he made out well in the end, with his usual lollipop.

We're keeping him home again tomorrow, and he's now on prescription eye drops. It's like torture to give them to him, but hopefully it will do the trick.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Eight Nights of Hanukkah...and Gifts?

Hanukkah starts officially tonight, but in Seth's head it began weeks ago. They have had discussions in his Pre-K class about the upcoming holidays, and he's fixated on them. This is the first year that he has such an acute awareness that it's almost overwhelming.

He is asking questions like why don't we celebrate Christmas? How does the Menorah work? (He's always been mechanically inclined.) Where is our Christmas tree? etc.....etc.

Last year, a friend gave us a children's book about Hanukkah, so we'll read that tonight for sure. And, I raced out this afternoon to scoop up the remaining jelly donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Who knew they were such a hot commodity? I tried to get them last night, but they had totally sold out, and the cashier asked me if everyone was buying them for Hanukkah? In fact, today, when I waited in line at the Dunkin store, the man in front of me ordered a cup of coffee and a jelly donut. Of all the donuts, he had to get jelly?! (one less for me) To be honest, I don't even like jelly donuts, but it's tradition.

Seth last night asked if we're going to have potato latkes today? I hadn't planned on it. Marc & I are trying to cut back on carbs. But, it's Hanukkah. So, I raced over to Associated Supermarket and snagged the last bag of frozen potato pancakes. My dad, too, asked for some, so that is perfect...I'll split the bag with him when he comes to visit later this week.

But...the biggest challenge of all is the eight nights....and eight gift dilemna. Should Seth get eight gifts? That seems quite indulgent. Will he appreciate any of them if he gets that many? Are we depriving him if we don't give eight gifts? I realize they don't all have to be big gifts. And, what about the gifts from my dad and sister? Do those count as part of the eight gifts, or does he get two gifts a couple of nights?

Oh...and what about a gift for mommy? Did anyone buy me anything?

This weekend we had a fight with him when we stopped into a KB Toys. I made the mistake of thinking we could browse....I so should have known better. Seth fixated on a pair of Power Ranger gloves and a phone and cried incessantly until we agreed to get them for him. And, he refused to have it be for Hanukkah because he didn't want to wait to open it. We gave in, but had a heart-to-heart in the car on the way home. I explained that he could open it now, but in fact, it was an "early" Hanukkah gift. That would mean that one night he doesn't get a gift because he already got one of his eight presents. He said he understood. This remains to be seen. For now, he is thrilled with present #1, a garbage truck. He's filling it with his blocks and dominoes and making pretend garbage dumps all over the living room.

Marc is working late tonight. Grandma is coming over later for latkes, and I'm gonna hit the gym shortly because no doubt I won't be able to resist tonight.

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!!