Friday, July 17, 2009

My Story (Chapter Two)

I walked into the Grayish White Doors of The Columbia Presbyterian Clinic (60th and Madison) on a Wednesday morning in August... My eyes gazing @ everything in sight. My head full of questions ready to over flow out my mouth. I hopped in the elevator, to level 4, I go. I entered into the chambers of "The Baby Booming World". Everywhere I turned, swollen belly's were staring back @ me. All I could think of was: "I wonder if the persons here think I'm a silly young girl, that got knocked up"? Everyone here was coupled up and silly me, alone; alone; alone;. I mean, I didn't look pregnant but, I did look like a sickly little girl.

I approached the desk, half smiley-face and said: Good Morning, "I'm here for an appointment with Dr. Polan". A cute Blonde-Haired Gay Guy smiled back @ me and said, "just fill out these papers and have a seat". I thought to myself: "Why couldn't the doctor world communicate with one another"? When you set up an appointment your chart should automatically be fedex'd to the next doctor on your case (what a great idea Brain *wink*). I mean, can the Blonde Gay receptionist not see how sickly I am? I filled, signed, handed back and had a seat. My ♥ began to pump faster from nervousness and anticipation of putting this all behind me. Was I just imagining the pain? Did I make myself think there was pain? Am I truly a Hypochondriac? Will they find anything? Is this a waste of my time? Will my job fire me? Question bubbles filled my head until my inner voice screamed out @ me and said, "CALM THE EFF DOWN". I took deep breaths and I managed to clear my head by focusing my eyes on a man rubbing his wife's belly (what and amazing site).

Finally, my name was called. "Nia Crooks", "Nia Crooks" I could hear the nurse reciting (but all I could make out was: "Cyst chick come here", "You..., with the Cyst, right this way"). I was greeted by a short nurse with the most innocent smile I've ever seen. I could feel her magnetic energy seeping through her cartoon-character designed scrubs as she escorted me to the examination room. She opened the door of room 6 (I think) and said, "Ms. Crooks, I'm gonna need to draw some blood and I'm gonna need a urine sample". I lightly screamed, "Omg...! Again with the blood? Girlie... I don't have much left to give". She giggled and said, "what would make you think that"? I said, "I've been bleeding since January and it just won't stop. They gave me pills to stop the flow but that only lasted a week. The blood is back @ work, flowing again". She said, "geez... you are the 1st female I've ever heard that's been bleeding that long. Your body must be worn out and the lining of your uterus must be as thin as ever". I nodded my head vertically and said, "I guess (of course I was confused)". I then asked her, "Do you mind if I lay while you draw my blood (as a child, my veins tend to collapse, I'd over-heat and pass out B-/)"? She said, "I promise to be gentle and use a smaller needle". I smiled back @ her (*_*) and said, "I'll take your word Maam". After that little spat was over, I awaited Dr. Polan to enter the cold examination room.

A short white pleasant looking lady entered the room. She had a soft voice, nice glasses, a sharp white Doc jacket, white hospital pants, those cellulite reducing monster shoes and a stunning insect sized rock on her left finger (I know I observe the weirdest things but I need to know if someone understands quality over quantity). She introduced herself as Mary. How cute..., I thought to self: "A doctor of these credentials only giving her 1st name? No title; No last name; No nothing (thanks Chel, I found a good one)"? She then began with the questions: "What brings you here today Nia (of course I started from the beginning blaa, blaa, blaa,blaa, blaa... tired of telling this story, fix me full already)"? She then asked, "well Ms. Nia, how did you find me"? I said, "my best friend Michele told me to find a doctor affiliated with Columbia Pres or Cornell so I researched my symptoms via the Internet and wanted to find a specialist, so who better than a doctor named Mary". I continued..., "this may sound weird to you but, I'm sure you know the mother of Jesus Christ name was Mary so that stuck out. You're a Endocrinologist and I needed the best for what I'm going through". She replied, "I'm highly impressed with the way you feel about your body and I'm willing to help you get the answers and treatment you need as well as deserve". (*_*) She started her examination taking just about every test possible. She said, "I won't have any solid answers for you until we get your blood work back. But for now, I will write you another prescription for Provera to stop the bleeding and give you tylenol 3 for pain". She then asked, "have you ever heard of a condition called Endometriosis"? I said no, "doesn't sound familiar". She spoke a little about it but told me she wanted me to research it and schedule an appointment for next week. My brain began to fart the word "Endometriosis"? "Endometriosis"?"Edomertri-what"?. Of course I held myself together in there but I fell apart as soon as I saw the exit sign when I got off the elevator. I immediately called my Mom and starting balling crying. Mom do I have a disease? What is this illness? Did you know about this? Was this kept from me all these years? What is going on with me? Am I dying? The questions kept spilling out so fast she couldn't even get a word in. She tried calming me down and I hung up on her and got on google from my berry. I came across this passage on Endometriosis:

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body.

Endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity: on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and on the pelvic sidewall. Other common sites include the uterosacral ligaments, the cul-de-sac, the Pouch of Douglas, and in the rectal-vaginal septum.

In addition, it can be found in caecarian-section scars, laparoscopy or laparotomy scars, and on the bladder, bowel, intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum. But these locations are not so common.

In even more rare cases, endometriosis has been found inside the vagina, inside the bladder, on the skin, even in the lung, spine, and brain.

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates to the menstrual cycle, but a woman with endometriosis may also experience pain that doesn’t correlate to her cycle. For many women, the pain ofendometriosis is so severe and debilitating that it impacts their lives in significant ways.

Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue and adhesions to develop that can distort a woman’s internal anatomy. In advanced stages, internal organs may fuse together, causing a condition known as a "frozen pelvis."

It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis may not be able to have children (if you suspect you suffer from infertility, please see our section on endometriosis and infertility)

If you or someone you care about has endometriosis, it is important to research the disease as much as possible. Many myths and misconceptions about endometriosis still persist, even in medical literature. For many women, management of this disease may be a long-term process. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself, take the time to find a good doctor, and consider joining a local support group.

The 1st thorn that stuck out @ me was the very slim chance that I could give birth. Slim chance? I'm a baby making machine I thought to self. That runs in my family. Now I have to pray and hope that I get knocked up one day? I hoped in a cab, red-faced with swollen-eyes and headed home. When I entered my apartment the 1st thing I did was drop to my knees. I cried out to my Lord. I asked him, "God, by me saying I don't want children, did you take it away from me permanently"? I then called Putt, she calmed me down and told me to call my Mom (she was freaking out). I told her to call for me I'm home and fine but words cant leave my tongue right now to anyone else. I just needed to lay down with my thoughts. Putt said, "there was no time to lose it now, I needed to wait and see what the full results stated".

Next week couldn't have arrived any slower (*sigh*). I entered into the Baby booming chambers once again and awaitied for my name to be called. This time, I was taken into her office 1st and accompanied by Jazzy B. She set us down and said, "I looked @ your blood work, you are fine as far as sexually transmitted dieases or anything life threatening". Then she said, "what I want you to do next is take this chart and time your ovulation" (I was completely confused). Isn't this what you give to crazy ("I wanna be a Mom so darn bad") women or the,  planned out life married ("its time for a kid") couples to use so when a woman's body heats up Daddy can put his cake in her oven? I'm not trying to have a baby today, tomorrow, this month, this year anytime soon Maam. She said, "I just want to see if you're ovulating. When you have Endometeroisis your body tends to not ovulate". I replied, "so I do have this illness, this disease"? I started to tear up... Jazzy B. began to rub my back as I fought with self to hold it togther. I said, "Dr. Polan I thought this was speculation? I'm gonna need my parents here with me next time because this is a lot for a bleeding girl". I asked her to hold off on this conversation for a while and I'll do the chart. She said, "the reason you've been bleeding is because the lining of your uterus wall has been thinned out completely". Then she asked, "did the pills stop the blood flow"? I said, "yes! But I refuse to go through the rest of my life taking medicaton". I then asked her, "was the continuous bleeding the reason for my pain on the right side of my abdonminal area"? She said, "it could be the bleeding, it could be Endometriosis, it could be other things. I will not give you the answer to that yet until we do further test. However, I will tell you this, in order to rebuild your uterus wall, we need to pump hormones into your body so I want to give you another birth control". I quickly declined and asked her, "why can't my body just reset itself? I don't understand why birth control is always the 1st choice by Gyenocologist. If birth control isn't needed for every female on earth, why must we use them to regulate unbalanced bodies? I understand I do have a hormonal inbalance but I don't want to take something orally to balance it". I went on to say, "before I ever touched a birth control pill, my body was in great balance to my knowledge. I wasn't visiting Gyn offices like the Local Bar. I blame the birth control for what i'm going through now. I want my body back to normal and I refuse to believe a controceptive taking orally daily will help to get it there". I then asked, "what are my other options because, after I take the last of these Provera pills I will not take another hormonal pill". 

Dr. Polan's 2nd option was for me to seek a 2nd opinion with her colleague Dr. Eileen Demarco. She said, "because of the ruptured cyst, abnormal bleeding and the constant abdonminal pain maybe she would have better answers for you in getting to the bottom of this". She called her assistant and had her schedule me an emergency appointment for Dr. Demarco two days from Wednesday and she'd see me back in her office as a follow up (after I'd been examined as well as set down and talked with her colleague).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Story (Chapter One)

I lay here in bed celebrating the 1st "Cystamatic" experience that rocked my abdominal area exactly 1 year ago. The same pains shoot through me like a midnight storm this day. So let's take a moon walk back down memory lane (R.I.P. Michael Jackson).
It all started the fourth of July(2008) weekend...  I spent the holiday in the heat shadows of Miami with my girlie's Eve, Jen, Puttie, Erikka and Rebeca. Great times for the memory bank, (I bow my head to another as always) (*_*) only to catch a early flight and return to smoggy azz Old York. 1st night back home, the vaca bug still prominent in my soul I went to eat a Los Dados Mexican cuisine dinner (those shredded beef tacos are bangin') with my two faves (Chel and Putt). After Din Din, we ended up @ a table full of patron in one of the ghetto'est spots of the NYC (Guest House). A table for only us 3, with a bottle of patron and 3 rounds of shots each for starters @ the bar. I know, way too many drinks for even a 300lb man. Only to awake (still drunk) and receive a call to meet Jazzy B @ the hospital. She injured herself on set and Puttie had been wheezing and coughing  (anyhow) while in Miami. Puttie decided to join us and we all took a trip to the Emergency Room.

One friend with a sprained ankle the other a bad cold. "I" on the other with these contraction like pains but still deeming them as merely bad gas. I left the hospital with two helpless souls, one on crutches the other with a codeine cough medicine prescription in hand. Nonetheless, still with the knowing floating in my head of something being wrong. I'd been bleeding far too much off and on since the 1st Moon of the January New Year. Team Nia, (myself) got her a-hole up the next morning and headed to work. I'd been gone about 13days on vaca and it was time to get back to my managerial duties. As I walked through the doors of BB, I was greeted with smiles.  All tanned and Gorge faced but my new walk was profound. A coworker noticed my limp and my sudden bend over positions from the sharp pains. He told me to go to the hospital and see what was going on. I ignored him and the pains and continued my work. I just couldn't take off another day. Suddenly, the pains grew sharper and I apologized to my employees but needed just 1 more personal day. I felt so bad because I had arrived back from vaca and I knew they needed my guidance to get back on track. Left out the door and hailed a cab straight to Lenox Hill Hospital. 

I ran into the doors of the Emergency Room with tears in my eyes. They set me down and started to examine me immediately. They drew my blood and discovered my blood count was low and it was a possibility I would need a blood transfusion. I slid out the seat in tears... Fear began to halo overhead. What the hell was going on? They laid me on a hospital bed, put IV in my right arm and told me I needed a ultra sound immediately. I said to them, I'd been bleeding for months but the Gynecologist said, its just my body adapting to the Birth Control. So what was causing these pains??? The blood flowed heavier and I soaked the sheets of the hospital bed. Weakness grew on me like a weed on a brownstone and even the IV fluid wasn't helping. 

The doctor had the nurse inject me with morphine for pain and so I could @ least rest while they worked. About 1 1/2 hours later they revived me as my sister arrived and took me to the ultra sound room. The exam lasted long and it was very painful for me. I felt as if someone was sticking me with a knife inside. I weeped throughout the entire process praying to God this would all be over soon. I was transported back downstairs and given more meds. I kept dosing off in and out of sleep while we awaited the results. 

Finally after hours of nothing... A doc came to me with some answers . They discovered I had a ruptured ovarian cyst and my pain was caused from the fluids released from the cyst. I couldn't understand how fluid could reek pain on a body like this. I knew there had to be more to this because the docs and techs working on me didn't seem too solid with their information. The doctor took me in the examination room for a pelvic exam and I repeatedly told him I feel the pain mainly on my right side. He said, well the cyst ruptured on your left so maybe you are confused with where the pain is coming from. If there's one thing I know for sure, its my body. I awake to it everyday as well as travel this Earth with it. I know what I feel Mr. Doc Mann... The docs orders were to take off work for the next 10days and stay on bed rest until all the fluid escaped and you feel much better. Also, follow up with your Gynecologist. 

Puttie arrived, but I was still too weak to be discharged. I wanted out of that hospital but I couldn't stand on my own two feet from all the loss of blood. They kept me longer until the IV gave me enough strength to walk out. I dosed off again but the meds made me extremely too nauseous. I told Putt, I needed to vomit. She quickly ran to find me a pail. The puke out-weighed the pail and the hospital floor is where most of it landed. I felt so bad because a pregnant young girl was sharing the room with me. B-/ I dosed off again, I think for maybe another hour then my Sister and Felicia came to rescue me. The pains were @ their full max as I exited the hospital and entered her car. 

They brought me home and for the next 4 days I cried and bled heavily as they feed me soup and strong meds (to nurse me back to health). Still with the excruciating pains on my right side, day 5 appeared and I got up enough strength to have my Dad take me to the Gynecologist. She was a weird individual of a doctor (Dr. Barbara Shortle). I remember her coming into the waiting room with polished toe nails. It stood out to me because they were each a different color in a sequence of Red, White and Blue. I could not figure out how a woman of this age could walk around work in flip flops. Her professionalism went out the window as soon as my Dad laid eyes on her. She took me in the room examined me quickly and wrote a prescription for Provera
(pills that stop you from bleeding). She asked, what did they give me for pain @ the hospital? I told her vicodin but they made me feel weird. She wrote another two prescriptions for valium and naponex. I told her, I still felt pain on my right side and there had to be something they missed. She insisted its just pain and probably  from the rupture and me bleeding for so long. She told me not to take those birth controls anymore and gave me a pack of something stronger (never took them so don't remember what they were). My Dad and I left and I could see that he was extremely angry as well as disappointed. He said, you are seeking a 2nd opinion ASAP. I arrived home still not well and reached out to my girlies. I needed a great not a good Gynecologist. Jenn gave me her mother's # and told me to tell her about my condition. I spoke to Mrs. Hamer (gynecologist in Miami) and she insisted I go to another doctor. During this time, Chel said get online and look for docs affiliated with Cornell or Columbia Presbyterian hospitals. I went to my health coverage site and found a list of docs. I ended up making a appointment for the clinic facility on 60th and Madison, Dr. Mary Polan. This is where the journey really begins...  

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