« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »

April 2014

My experience with endometrial ablation | Part 4: Two weeks after the procedure

I visited the doctor yesterday for a follow up after my procedure.  When he walked in the door, I was very happy to hear him cheerfully say, "Good news!"  

When I had my ablation done, he also performed a D&C to remove some polyps that had grown in my uterus.  As per standard procedure, the polyps were run through some tests to see if there were any abnormal cells.  The good news my doctor told me was that I have no cancer cells.  Woohoo!

He asked me a few questions about my recovery and how it has been going so far.  I told him that over the past two weeks I have experienced little to no actual bleeding, but there is still a watery blood-tinged discharge that still occurs.  I asked him if it is normal to still have the discharge and he said yes.  I could have it for a month or so and that is still considered normal.

I am very curious to see how it goes from here.  I will post again in a couple weeks to let you know how I'm feeling and whether or not I get any type of "monthly visitor" as this procedure will supposed to have either lessened it or stopped it completely.

Oh!  And I wanted to share something pretty cool, too!  After my last post, I was contacted by NovaSure- the company who manufactures the equipment used for my type of ablation.   NovaSure's people at Change the Cycle sent me a message via Twitter.  They asked if I would like to share my story on their page.  I told them I would love to.  

I hope that if you are reading this that you are feeling OK.  If you have any questions about my experience or just want to chat, please feel free to send me an email at cynthialeemom@yahoo.com.

Here are links to the rest of the series:

Part 1- Before the Procedure

Part 2- One day after the procedure

Part 3- One week after the procedure

Part 4- Two weeks after the procedure


My experience with endometrial ablation | Part 3: One week after the procedure

SO... it has been one week and one day since my ablation and I can honestly tell you I feel physically 100% fine from it.  I am thoroughly surprised at how well everything feels in that general area.  I thought for sure there would be some remaining pain or soreness, but there is really nothing.  

Since there really isn't much to report on the subject, I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of the more "interesting" questions I've been asked about the whole thing.  There are some things that you may not feel comfortable asking your doctor about, but I definitely encourage you to do it anyway.  While reading here and in other places are great for learning about other people's experiences, it is always best to talk to your doctor about anything pertaining to your own health.

I want to give everyone fair warning right now that some of the questions and explanations may not be for the faint at heart.  So if you would rather not read on, I completely understand.  OK, here we go...

The most frequently asked question I hear pertains to the amount of blood I experienced after the procedure.  Surprisingly enough, there was very minimal blood.  There is a bit of spotting and a watery discharge that comes and goes, but wearing a thin pad or a liner is enough.  There was one day over the weekend when I did have a small bit more bleeding, but I think that was because it coincided with the date when I would normally have had my period.  I think my body was just adjusting.

The second most asked question is about how I am feeling.  I really do feel fine... physically.  I had some minor cramping the same day over the weekend when I had the spotting.  But otherwise everything feels exactly the same as it did beforehand.

I am not going to lie, though... mentally I am not really sure yet.  As you read in my post the day after the procedure, I had experienced some sadness which I attributed to the anesthesia.  That did go away after a day or two.  However, I still have a lingering sense of 'What If?'  

I don't think I made the wrong decision.  However, I can't shake the fact that I willingly ended my body's chance of ever having a baby again.  I know this is an irrational thought because I had consciously made the decision to have no more children a LONG time ago.  And I STILL do not want any more children.  Because I know my thinking is irrational, I will definitely talk to my doctor about it when I see him next week.  

I will update you all again after my visit with the doctor and let you know if anything else comes up in the meantime.  And PLEASE let me know if you have any questions.  You can either comment below or send me an email at cynthialeemom@yahoo.com.  I don't know if I can help you, but I certainly will try.  

To read the rest of the series about my endometrial ablation, here are the links:

Part 1- Before the Procedure

Part 2- One day after the procedure

Part 3- One week after the procedure

Part 4- Two weeks after the procedure


My experience with endometrial ablation | Part 2: One day after the procedure

As promised, here is my honest account of how things went yesterday.  

I want to start this post by saying how I feel today: I feel 100% fine!  As if I had not undergone any type of procedure yesterday at all.  I am writing this at 8:00 AM.  I know this feeling may be fleeting as the day goes on, so I will take it easy today.  But as of right now, I am surprisingly AOK.

My doctor said everything went very well.  There were no issues and the procedure went smoothly.  I have to see him in two weeks.

Yesterday is sort of blurry in my memory due to the anesthesia, but I will tell you all that I remember.  The procedure itself went rather quickly.  I remember seeing 10:00 on the clock of the operating room and then I was asleep.  I then woke up in the recovery room and the clock said 11:12.  

I immediately felt pain in my abdomen.  It wasn't terrible pain, but enough to get my attention.  It was a sort of dull pain throughout with a slightly sharper pain in my left side.  Because I felt that pain, I got worried that it would get worse as the medication wore off.  On the contrary, it subsided as the day went on.  By the time I went to bed at 11:00 last night, I was just a little bit crampy - like I normally feel the day of my heaviest flow each time.  

When the anesthesia fog started to lift, I checked under the blankets to see what everything looked like.  There was very minimal spotting.  Throughout the day yesterday, there was only one or two spots.  This morning I am wearing a pad as a precaution, but so far it has not been needed.  I will probably wear one for the next few days to be safe.

The physical part of the procedure was very easy.  The worst part about it was the anesthesia which nauseated me and left me feeling hungover all day.  What I was not prepared for though was how I was going to feel emotionally.  

When I was wheeled back into the area where my husband was sitting, something came over me.  A wave of sadness overtook me.  I couldn't contain myself from crying.  I know it was partially from the anesthesia, but it was also something else.  It hit me like a ton of bricks right at that moment that I could no longer carry a child.

My husband and I had decided long ago that we were done having children.  It was absolutely no surprise that this procedure would prevent just that.  But the finality of it struck me like a blow to the chest when I woke up.  A rush of thoughts flooded my brain.  Did I make the right choice? 

As the day went on, I noticed that sadness slowly going away.  You know that whole 'when a door closes, another one opens' adage?  Well, I started to feel the other door opening inch by inch with every hour.  I could see how much better things are going to be now that I don't have to worry about all the issues I was having with my periods before.  I felt lighter and more free.

Today I feel like a brand new woman.  All that sadness from yesterday is gone.  I think I needed that cry as a type of closure.  It helped me to accept the changes I made to my body and move on to this next part of my life.

I will post again in a week to let you all know how everything is progressing.  I hope this is helpful to anyone who may be considering the procedure!  

 

Here are links to the rest of the series:

Part 1- Before the Procedure

Part 2- One day after the procedure

Part 3- One week after the procedure

Part 4- Two weeks after the procedure


My experience with endometrial ablation | Part 1: Before the procedure

I know my blog is all over the place, and I'm cool with that because, well, my life is all over the place.  Take for example this current post.  It is going to be about something I never thought in a million years I'd be writing about.  It does not match anything I've written about in the past and does not fit with my normal recipe-loving, funny-kid-anecdote-writing, giveaway-giving posts at ALL.  But because I know I'm not alone in this world, and I know that I value other women's opinions about their experiences with health issues, I thought it could possibly be helpful to someone if I start a small series about something I'm currently about to experience: endometrial ablation.  

If you'd like to stop reading now, I completely understand.  I mean, there ARE going to be some gory details and phrases like "uterine bleeding" and "dilated cervix" that might not appeal to everyone.  Please  go about your day as if nothing ever happened and please still talk to me when you see me on the street.  But if you are considering having this procedure done, please read on.  Hopefully this series will give you a little bit of insight on what it's like.

No, I'm not going to give you the pros and cons of why I chose to go through with this procedure.  My choices are my own.  But I will tell you that for me it seems like the best solution out there.  And I will tell you that I have done a lot of research about it.  For me, all the benefits are outweighing the bad possible outcomes tenfold.  What I also want to tell you is my 100% honest experience with the procedure so that you can have an idea of what it's like from an ordinary mom's perspective.

I am scheduled to go in this upcoming week.  I have had my consultation with my doctor and had bloodwork done already.  The procedure itself is supposed to only take about 10-15 minutes, but I will be completely knocked out, so it will require me to be in an outpatient surgical center for a few hours.   The ablation itself should only take about 5 minutes, but my doctor told me he will also perform a hysteroscopy (which is just the insertion of a camera to get a better picture of my uterus) and a D&C (dilation & curretage).  

I have talked with a few friends who have gone through this procedure.  It is interesting to me that every single person I have talked to has had a different experience with it.  Some had horrible pain while others were back to their normal selves the next day.  I am very hopeful and at the same time very interested in how my body will react.

 If you have any questions now, please go ahead and ask them.  If I already know the answer, I will certainly give it to you.  But if I don't, I will ask my doctor for you!  

I hope you will find this series helpful.  I will be posting again once I get home and then again in a few weeks...then months...so you can have a good idea of my personal progress.  I may not have all the answers for you, but I know that sometimes just hearing about someone else's experience can help when trying to make your own decisions about your health.  Best of luck to you!

Here are links to the rest of the series:

Part 1- Before the Procedure

Part 2- One day after the procedure

Part 3- One week after the procedure

Part 4- Two weeks after the procedure


Spring cleaning with Goodwill's #7DaysofSpringCleaning

This post was made possible through the support of Goodwill. All opinions are my own.

Goodwill_SCleaning_SM_2028x2028_Closet1
photo courtesy of Ad Council & Goodwill

I have a hard time putting into words how I feel about material items.  There are days when I really want to leave the modern world, get rid of all my stuff and just live off the land.  But there are other days when I thoroughly enjoy the rush I get from buying some frivolous item from the dollar bin at Target.  But for the most part, I try to make sure everything I own has at least a dual purpose so that I feel as if I am getting the most out of it I possibly can.

So when it comes time to part ways with my material items, I want to make sure they are going somewhere beneficial.  If there is still some good life in an item, I will never just throw it in the trash or recycling bin without first playing matchmaker between the item and a potential new owner. Sometimes I keep items that I no longer use for much longer than I probably should simply because I can't find someone who could take them off my hands.  

Thankfully, there are organizations like Goodwill that are really doing something with all those unwanted items out there in the world.  And guess what?  Right now if you donate items during the Goodwill's #7DaysofSpringCleaning campaign, your items will be serving that dual purpose I love so much.  Your donated items will be helping in two ways: 1) Goodwill will sell your items at a reasonable cost to people who need them and then 2) they will use the money earned to provide job training for people who need it.

Check out this video that explains it a little better:

 

Cleaning out your closet or kitchen cabinets might be a little bit easier now that you know what your stuff is capable of doing out there in the big ol' world, huh?  I know it is for me.  Plus, there is a very wonderful satisfaction that comes with being able to see the closet floor every once in a while.

Oh, and if you want to see exactly how much of an impact your donations will make, you can use Goodwill's Donation Impact Calculator.  It calculates how many hours of career counseling will be available by how much you donate.  

If you are interested in donating to Goodwill, you can locate the nearest drop off point at their website using the locator map on their website.

And if you need any help in getting started, check out Goodwill's quick snapguide on how to declutter your home at http://snapguide.com/guides/clean-your-home-and-create-jobs/

Your newly decluttered home will not only give you a feeling of accomplishment, but it will also be helping your community.  Donate Stuff.  Create Jobs.  Great motto.


The Morningside Monster: Interview with writer Jayson Palmer

Me
Jayson Palmer of Blue Dusk Productions

I am so grateful for Facebook.  Not only has it introduced me to new friends, but it has brought me back in contact with old ones.  It has also given me the chance to be re-introduced to old colleagues and classmates that I had always wanted to know but never had the guts to talk to back in my early years.

When I was a kid, there was this guy who was a little younger than me named Jayson.  He lived in the same town and always seemed a bit mysterious.  I didn't know him other than a quick 'What's up?' as we passed in the hallway or sat in a random class together.  But the look on his face always told me that he was thinking about something big.  

Thanks to Facebook, I finally had the courage to say hello after all these years.  As it turns out, Jayson really WAS thinking all that time... about movies.  Horror movies, to be exact.  Over the past few years, I've been following Jayson's progress.  Not only has he written several scripts, but he started his own production company Blue Dusk Productions with his friend Chris Ethridge and is also a school teacher with a big heart.  

I am very happy to share the announcement of their latest accomplishment The Morningside Monster here on my little blog.

Per the press release:

"The Morningside Monster is the gritty, suspenseful horror/thriller from Blue Dusk Productions and Making Monster Productions.  When a series of ritualistic murders rattle the small town of Morningside, NJ, the sheriff and his deputy embark on a desperate race against time to catch the killer, pitting them against friends, enemies and even each other."

The Morningside Monster will be shown this weekend April 5 at 8:15PM at the Garden State Film Festival at Resorts in Atlantic City, NJ.  You can buy tickets directly from the link.

 

I was able to interview Jayson to get a little more insight into the movie and his life as a writer, teacher, and movie maker.  Here's what we talked about:

 How long have you been in the horror movie biz?

Jayson: I have been writing and making my own films for as long as I can remember. At some point in my early childhood, I had hijacked my father's old video gear, grabbed the kids in the neighborhood and started making films.

My first "official" break in the industry came back in 1998 when I was introduced to director Michael P. Russin. He was looking to do a horror anthology called "Creepy Tales" and needed a third story. I happen to have one called, "Daria 13" that fit the bill and just like that, I was a "professional" writer.

Russin and I went on to work together on a few more features, shorts and music videos. He is a great guy and friend.

But I needed a life change. So, I moved to Atlanta in 2006. At a film festival here I met guy named Chris Ethridge. Him and I hit it off pretty well. We created Blue Dusk Productions and our first feature together, "The Morningside Monster".   

Being that you are also a teacher... How do you balance both parts of your life?

 Jayson: I wouldn't say there's necessarily any balancing I do. There is a lot of cross over between the two. I work with children mainly ages three to eleven, which I love. They are still in that age of wonder and discovery. Children have a way of creating beautiful art through the most abstract materials. I think a lot of us as adults have either forgotten how or are afraid to do that. Sometimes it is better to color outside the lines. I try and remember that as a writer.

Do your students know about your movie career? 

Jayson: Yeah, my older students know. One of the activities we do each year is make movies. I try and teach them the basics of film making. They write their own scripts, pick their cast, learn to work the camera, edit... The whole deal. At the end of the year we hold a family dinner night where the children cook a meal for their relatives. After the meal we have a screening of all the films the children have made during the year. It's a blast!

What made you choose Morningside, NJ as the setting for the movie? 

Jayson: I am a Jersey boy, through and through. I was born in Dover and raised in Wharton, which is a small blue collar town in North, central Jersey. I have a lot of love for that small little town. Morningside is based on Wharton. Or at least the town how I remembered it growing up. 

I spent many days as a child exploring the alleys, empty buildings and especially the woods surrounding the town. I think as a kid you can do that kind of stuff. Now, I would probably be arrested for trespassing.

 Those experiences in that town certainly have inspired a lot of my stories. So, I wouldn't be surprised if Morningside popped up now then in some future project.   

Who is your favorite character? 

Jayson: That's a hard question to answer. A screenplay changes a lot from paper to the screen. Each actor breathes their own life into the characters you create, which is one things I love about film. The cast in this film is amazing! 

Picking a favorite character is kind of like asking to pick a favorite child. Even though one may be a brat and the other angel, you love them equally.


I am someone who is afraid of horror movies. What do I need to prepare for?

Jayson: Keeping the night light on for a while.

...that's what I was afraid of.  

Thank you, Jayson for the awesome interview.  Can't wait to see The Morningside Monster this weekend!