If you’ve followed me or my blog for a while you know that I have a fibroid that just won’t quit. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in or on a woman’s uterus. A doctor at the clinic told me mine is about 12cm. It has been very easy to spot if I just lay down on my back. It has a definite shape and sometimes grows and/or shrinks according to whim. This thing has been a thorn in my side and has caused me many a miserable day, bedridden and balled up in pain. The fibroid doesn’t hurt, per se, but it somehow causes women to have extreme cramping, and to bleed excessively with blood clots and the whole nine yards (dysmennorhea).
This is basically what caused my problem. Let me tell you how this horrible fibroid caused a duodenal ulcer Well, when I explained my horrific symptoms to a doctor I was informed that my cramps are overboard. They are so intense, in fact, that the pain is similar to child birth. No Bueno!
Having to endure this pain and still live my life is no easy feat. I have to go through huge amounts of sanitary napkins/pads. I stopped using tampons last year because I realized they intensified my pain. I only have pain on the first 2 days of my period most times although there was a brief period where it lasted for 4 days. I ease my menstrual pain with pain relievers. I had found Naproxen (Aleve) very effective over the last few years. They are small pills, which is always a plus, and the relief lasts for 12 hours instead of the usual 4-6 hours. This means I have to take pills less often which is better on the liver and just all around, or so I thought. About 6 months ago I noticed a weird sort of stomach pain. It felt like I was hungry. Really really hungry. Hungrier than I had ever been before. The growling seeming pain, that was right under the center of my rib cage, seemed to be burning in some sort of way. I got some relief if I ate when I had the pain but I knew it wasn’t hunger. I noticed it happened when I took my pills and lasted for days/weeks after my period.
After telling a clinic doctor that I think I had an ulcer he gave me 800mg pills of ibuprofen to take for menstrual cramping. He seemed to think they would help with the pain and lessen the bleeding. No such luck. What I did notice was that that eerie pain was still there when I took them. A quick Google search lead me to believe that I really did have an ulcer. It didn’t seem too harmful but I read that the pills I had been taking (Naproxen (Aleve) and Ibuprofen (Motrin)) are categorized as NSAIDS (non steriodal anti inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs appear to be very well known for causing ulcer, especially peptic and duodenal ulcer. Both of them happen in the stomach but a duodenal ulcer happens at the beginning of the small intestine or the duodenum. I found out that 1 in every 20 duodenal ulcers are caused by NSAIDs. Why didn’t the doctor try to help me with my ulcer when I told him I thought I had one? Why would he then turn around and prescribe me yet another NSAID if they caused my problem in the first place? Sometimes free healthcare isn’t worth a damn. On yet another occasion at the clinic to check on my anemia (also caused by my friendly neighborhood Fibroids) I spoke with a female doctor who blew off my theories on the cause of my foot swelling (edema) and just seemed uninterested in most things that I had to say. She did wind up taking some blood or something along with asking me to bring in stool samples on my next visit, because when I came in for a followup on my blood hemoglobin, I was asked how my antibiotics were going. I had no idea what this (yet another) new doctor was talking about. She told me that I was told I had an ulcer last time I was there and was given antibiotics. What? I had to assure her that none of that had happened and I was actually supposed to be bringing in a stool sample that day to determine if I had bloody stool (an indicator of ulcer). She said that they found the H. Pylori bacteria in my system and that it had to be removed.
Further investigation on my part told me that H. Pylori is the bacteria associated with ulcers, but also is the bacteria found in the stomachs of those with stomach cancer. Wow! Need I say I have been scared as hell? This is no fly by night cold. This thing needs to be eradicated, and soon.
I was given a 2 week round of Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin. I have been taking them twice a day (even though I have forgotten doses from time to time) on a semi schedule. I have to go back to the doctor this month so I’ll have the results for you all soon. Moral of this story is: having fibroids intensifies and heightens the chances for other conditions to hide, harbor, sneak up and take control of your overall health. Stay tuned for my Next Entry “How my Antibiotics gave me a killer Yeast Infection” Yuck!
This entry dedicated to my Aunt LeeAnna who passed away from stomach cancer. R.I.P.