This is a letter I wrote to The Fibroids Project, after they kindly wished me well on Twitter. As with a lot of things, I didn’t realize I had so many thoughts about this until I inadvertently wrote them to someone. Also, they are angry thoughts, so be warned.
I am an ob/gyn’s daughter in Honolulu. He does open myomectomies fairly often & surgery is done outpatient Friday with patients returning to work Monday. There have been no complications, ever. His patients are all very happy. So I was led to believe that myomectomies are safe & uncomplicated.
I was seeing an ob/gyn my dad had recommended, a fairly prestigious former student who my dad had a lot of faith in. When my gyn found my fibroids, there were 2, & they were tiny, about half inch diameter. He said he would “watch” them. He didn’t. He only sent me for formal ultrasound when I insisted on it. I had complained of pelvic pain for 2 or 3 visits over several months, & when I finally put my foot down about doing something about it, he seemed peeved.
By that time, I had 4 golfball sized fibroids (that could be seen) & my uterus was 12 week size. How could he not have felt the enlargement of my uterus?? He had said nothing! He offered me a hysterectomy. He said to wait for menopause. He said he’d discontinue my birth control – take away my estrogen. Every option involved causing me to age faster, & I don’t need help with that. I have fibroids, not cancer. This is not life threatening, so why is my quality of life being threatened?
What it comes down to is that the WAY OF THINKING here in Honolulu (I don’t know about elsewhere) is that if a woman gets fibroids, let them grow big until you can just castrate her. You know, if a man got a pimple on his penis, the doctor would just remove it. The doctor would not wait until it got SO BIG that you had to cut off his whole dick.
So I left & found another doctor who is going to do my myomectomy on June 10. My dad had to ask around the nurses at the hospitals to find doctors who do myomectomies with success in order to help me find someone. Apparently they are rare; everyone just does the damn hysterectomies. I am praying that this doctor is as proficient as my father so I can go home to my dogs & have a quick recovery. For the first time, I envy my dad’s patients for being his patients.
I am angry about this. It’s not my former doctor’s fault that he is a wuss & maybe a lousy surgeon who is afraid to do a myomectomy or maybe just a narrow-minded chauvinistic pig or maybe just lazy… but I’m angry that the options for women with fibroids are so unnecessarily PUNITIVE because it is NOT OUR FAULT EITHER that we have fibroids.