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Life After Fibroids – My One-Year Post-Myomectomy Update – My Fibroid Story (Part 4)

Life After Fibroids – My One-Year Post-Myomectomy Update – My Fibroid Story (Part 4)

cartoon healthy uterus after fibroid surgery

It”s hard to believe it’s been a full year since I had my fibroids removed. I so appreciate all the well-wishes and encouragement I received when I shared my journey, and I would be remiss if I did not share how things are a year post-op.

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What changed after my fibroid surgery?

Menstruation

One of the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids is irregular and (more) uncomfortable menstruation. In my case, I had a ton of breakthrough bleeding and increased pain as they grew. If I had to draw my periods as a diagram, they would have looked like a roller coaster – lots of peaks and drops in bleeding and I felt like my uterus was twisting and turning.

After surgery, my periods are lightyears better. They are consistent and actually a little shorter and lighter than they were before. If I do have cramps, they are very mild. As weird as it sounds, I am now having the best menstrual cycles of my life.

TMI Alert: >!The viscosity of my flow is better. I no longer have large clots.!<

The one negative change is headaches. I recently noticed that I have strong headaches at the very end of my menstrual cycles. This is something that I will ask my healthcare team about, but the good still far outweighs the bad.

Fatigue

At the height of my fibroid challenges, I was tired ALL. THE. TIME.

Like many menstruating women, I have had trouble in recent years keeping my iron levels in check. As much as leafy green veggies and iron-rich foods are my favorites to eat, my ferritin levels have been low. It was suggested to me by my doctor that I try taking an iron supplement. Now, in the past, I had to stop taking multivitamins with iron because they made me nauseous. These days, I take Blood Builder iron pills with no issue.

All things considered, I have a lot more energy now than I did before my surgery. Maximizing this with exercise and diet changes, I don’t need naps as often and my bursts of energy are more frequent.

Hair, Nails, and Skin

Speaking of iron, at some point in 2022, I started struggling with my hair in a way I never had before. I have been blessed with a full head of hair. Now, I still have all the same precautions and challenges that most kinky curly-haired girls do, but I’ve managed to get my hair to state where it does pretty well. never really had to worry about thinning or hair growth, especially after going natural in 2010.

After the pandemic, I began seeing unusual issues with my hair. Some of the trouble came from inconsistent trims, but I had experienced that before and I knew what that felt like. This was different. My hair began to take on a spongy, brittle texture with see-through ends. No matter how much I deep conditioned and moisturized my hair, it would be dry and porous. I had never really had to worry about thinning or hair growth, especially after going natural in 2010, but length retention was suddenly a huge issue. Also, my nails were thin and brittle and I had a harder time keeping my skin moist and supple.

Ferritin is partly stored in the hair follicles. When levels are low, our bodies start diverting these stores elsewhere for essential functions. (Read more about that here and here.) Taking an iron supplement not only helped with my fatigue, but I believe it has restored my hair, skin, and nails. I was pleased as punch when I got my hair trimmed recently and noticed that it was full from root to tip. It has been so much healthier and more easy to care for.

Weight

When I did Noom previously, I dropped about 16 pounds. By the time I hit the OR, I had regained all of it back, despite my best efforts. Immediately after surgery, I found myself weighing 15-20 pounds less than I did going into my myomectomy. I imagine having 45 fibroids removed from my uterus had something to do with it.

I noticed after surgery my appetite and cravings changed. For example, I went from needing to be delivered from needing “a little something sweet” after every meal to not really wanting it much. Fatigue and feeling bad contribute to how we make our choices around food, so having those barriers relieved has really helped me get back on the journey of mindful eating.

Now, I couldn’t work out for the first six weeks or so post-op, and I frankly didn’t feel up to it for several months afterward. I am back in the gym three to four days per week and I feel more committed than I have in a long time. My weight has fluctuated a bit, but I feel so much healthier. I’ve maintained about 10 pounds of that 20-pound loss and I’m proud of my progress.

Would I have fibroid surgery again?

I must qualify my answer by saying no one just raises their hand and volunteers for fibroid surgery unless it’s really needed. I would hope I’d never need to have a myomectomy of any kind ever again. It’s major surgery with major recovery. That said, if I had to relive this scenario and this was the best option, yes, I would.
It was totally worth it.

If you or someone you know is facing a myomectomy to treat fibroids, ask all the questions. Get a second or third opinion if you need to. If it turns out that this is the best option, do it. Do what is best for your health, and do it as soon as possible. Life is short; you deserve the best quality of life you can get.

Best of health to you!

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