Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Which I Expound on a Tennis Ball

Disclaimer: Hopefully this blog post does not sound blithe. I'm not blithe about it per se, but I prefer to write about it with a certain degree of blitheness. It's a skill I learned from Gilbert Blythe. Oops, there's that blitheness.

Once upon a time, at the start of 2012, I was with child, but spoiler: I'm not anymore. I'm not saying that to get pity or whatever (though of course I won't turn down pity)--it was very early and it's just one of those things that happens. But it does play a pivotal role in the rest of the story so there it is.

So back in the early days of 2012 (ie, January 3), I was at home with Drewbles. I'd started bleeding the day before and it was getting worse the next day so we decided to get a professional opinion on the situation. We tried one place, then another and were finally sent to the ER, which makes this story sound much more urgent that it really was. It's much more dull when you know that insurance coverage and a lack of certain equipment was the blame.

And so began my first foray into the ER. It mostly consisted of Drew and me sitting there talking about how we had been sitting there forever. But in the process of our stay, which lasted several hours, they did a *ahem* quite invasive ultrasound and the doctor casually announced there was "a mass." After which he proceeded to leave and never return. Thanks, doctor!

The doctor arranged to send us to a nearby women's clinic two days later so they could pilfer some more of my blood. He also set up an appointment with another doctor, who turned out to be totally MIA the day of the appointment. Thanks, doctor!

Luckily one of the nurses came to talk to us and actually was interested in the mass! Thanks, nurse! So what was that mass? A uterine fibroid.
(Fibroid=a benign growth) Can you guess how big it is? Yep, it's the size of a tennis ball. Just a fleshy mass the size of a tennis ball all up in my bidness.

By the by, I don't recommend doing a google search for pictures of fibroids.

It was another few days before we could meet with a third doctor, who actually exists AND was very helpful. He confirmed the miscarriage and we talked a long time about this fibroid. Since they're benign, doctors often will just leave them if they aren't causing any symptoms. But given the size of mine and the possibility that it is squishing my baby-making vitals, the doctor said it would be best to take it out. He also said there's a chance it could be an ovarian cyst, which means I could wind up one short in that department. BUT we'll be optimistic and stick with the fibroid theory. So this is what is going to happen this Tuesday:

Just imagine that penny is a tennis ball. Okay, so maybe that isn't *exactly* how the surgery will go. Actually the best part about this whole thing (besides having the tennis ball removed, I suppose) is what will actually be doing all the work:
Tiny robot hands! That may not be the official term but you get the idea. Here is how it actually all works:
The doctor sits yonder and controls the robot hands while utilizing a tiny robot camera to see the insides. In the past they removed fibroids via c-section so let's give medical science a big hurray.

So instead of having a baby AND a tennis ball, we now just have the tennis ball. Hopefully sometime we will have the one and not the other, but at any rate, come Tuesday the tennis ball will be history.


  1. Doctors! Humph! And bad friends! When I was in Provo for the holidays I thought of calling you, but your status updates were all about being sick. I was rude and decided to stay home and hang with my kin. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you and I hope things go splendidly this Tuesday.

  2. This is a very good and informative blogpost, without being blithe and/or TMI. You'll be rid of your tennis ball in no time and meanwhile I shall tend to your every whim! :*

  3. This is probably the least-gross, most educational medical blog post I've read in awhile. I hope the surgery is entirely unremarkable today and that you'll be left with a most hospitable uterus! Big hugs!

  4. Nicely done! Hopefully getting this out will prevent future issues. :) Sitting in the ER is never fun, and neither are invasive ultrasounds!

  5. Debbie LeDoux7:50 PM

    I thought of you all day wondering what surgery you were having, Julie. I am sorry for your miscarriage and your former tennis ball. May Heavenly Father bless you with a speedy recovery and that He blesses you with many little Julies and Drews in the future. Love from Missouri. :)