Annabel Allan

Annabel Allan

Hiatus & Health Update

If you read my blog, you may be aware of my struggling with physical health issues. I am in constant pain 24/7. Well, that is FINALLY going to be remedied!

This all started in 2017 when I found out through a regular ultrasound scan that I had a small fibroid in my uterus. No big, I had an IUD at the time, so it was “treating” the symptoms. Fibroids are knots of tissue that feed off of the blood supply in the uterus. Most women don’t notice them and due to having the IUD as my preferred method of birth control, it was small and went pretty much unnoticed.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2018 when I decided to remove the IUD & go on regular birth control. I really loved the IUD, don’t get me wrong. I just noticed my strings would disappear and it was causing me anxiety, especially since I was sexually active at the time & dating someone. I definitely recommend the IUD for those that don’t want to take the pill!

Everything seemed okay, save for this weird lower back achy-ness…until about the New Year of 2019. I noticed I was getting unusual cramping and bleeding quite heavily, as well as the lower back pain getting worse, coupled with a weird pressure. In hindsight, I should have known then that something was up. I went along my way though, taking my regular birth control pill and trying to deal with the pain & bleeding.

Until the summer. It was July of 2019 when I was rushed to the hospital via ambulance because not only was I haemorrhaging, but I *almost* passed out from the blood loss while I was on my period. They gave me an ultrasound in the hospital and turns out the fibroid had grown…to 8cm (over 3 inches).

I was given meds to stop the bleeding, put on iron pills, and sent to a gynaecologist. I waited until SEPTEMBER to see a quack who called himself a doctor. He refused to treat me other than putting in a new IUD, back on birth control OR a medication that could cause kidney damage. Hard pass.

I went to my family doctor and she referred me to my current specialist. I saw him in October & rather than treat me like am imbecile, he gave me a handful of other options. But it was really a “play it by ear” type of deal. He set up a new ultrasound appointment in December, which revealed the fibroid had grown yet again–almost 10cm or 4 inches wide.

In the September I had stopped taking the pill, as it seemed to aggravate the bleeding. My current specialist then put me on a drug called Lupron, which puts you into temporary menopause, in an effort to see if we could alleviate the symptoms I was having and maybe shrink it. I also signed forms for a procedure, a D & C.

Come February of 2020, I went in for the D & C. It was found that my uterus is stretched out of shape and probably about triple in size. Then COVID. Then a lockdown.

BUT in March when the results came back, there was no cancer, just a big ol fibroid. It was in June when a plan was finally made (due to lock down postponing things). I would have my cervix checked with a colposcopy, which I had done before due to having abnormal cells in a previous pap smear, then we would discuss options from there.

Colposcopy was done in July and came back clear. Yay! So, now what? The doctor asked me, “What do you want to do?” There were two options; a uterine artery embolization (they cut off the blood supply) or a hysterectomy. The fibroid is much too large to remove without me bleeding out in the process. So, either way it was infertility.

I am child-free by choice. I do not want children, never have. That is MY choice. So, I decided I wanted the total hysterectomy. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. It is what is right for ME. Fibroids CAN come back after the embolization. I refuse to go through this again in the off-chance that I will “change my mind” (newsflash, I won’t).

My doctor was understanding, but asked me if I would get a second opinion. Due to my age (31), a second doctor okaying the procedure would green-light me. In the meantime, back on Lupron while I waited until end of September to speak to the second opinion. It was a loooong wait from mid-July.

But, as you can guess, she agreed that due to the circumstances, a hysterectomy was applicable and I was a good candidate. I went in to my regular specialist, signed the forms, & got on the wait list as well as the cancellation list.

I did end up going to the hospital twice more since November–the pain is getting worse, to the point where I can’t walk far, can’t stand long, and even laying down or sitting hurts. It was concerning, but most likely, just because the fibroid is so large.

Obviously, it’s been a waiting game. Until today! I went for my ultrasound to see if 5 months on Lupron has shrunk the fibroid any. I decided to make my appointment for my last Lupron shot & get my ultrasound results next week, when I got home. I asked the lovely receptionist about my surgery date. She was unsure, but assured me surgeries are going ahead (we’re in lock down in Ontario) and she would check when I’m scheduled and call me back.

I was expecting her to call tomorrow, but she called ten minutes later and said that I had no date yet, but she was booking me in for February 10th, 2021 at 9am! I’m to have my very last Lupron shot next Tuesday, sign one more form, get my ultrasound results, and our game plan for surgery. I also will be doing my pre-op appointment a week or two before the surgery date, PLUS self-isolating at home two weeks prior.

There are three options for surgery; one, he is able to do it laparoscopically, removing everything and I get to go home same day! But, most likely, he’ll have to open me up and take it out that way. First option is taking the cervix as well as the uterus & ovaries. If that’s not possible, second option, leave the cervix, take the uterus & ovaries. Obviously, open surgery will mean me staying in hospital.

It’s been such a long road, but the end is in sight! So, what’s gonna happen? On January 27th, I start my self-isolation. I’m going to start my hiatus that day. I go in on the 10th of February & will be in surgery for a couple of hours, then, most likely, in hospital recovering for 3-5 days before coming home. Then it’s 6-8 weeks until I am at 100% and back at it.

HOWEVER! I will be getting the cover art for SUBMISSIVE TENDENCIES and will be revealing the release date, no matter what, as well as doing the edits. I will come out of my hidey-hole to reveal it! It will be just before the end of February when I get back to work and promoting.

I know this was a long blog post, but in the off-chance someone in a similar situation needs to read it, it’s here. I will update as we go, until my hiatus!

Xoxo Annabel Lee.

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