Fatma Mohammed was diagnosed with uterine fibroids 10 years ago, but only had them removed a few months ago. The journey to recovery has been a nightmare.
One day, over 10 years ago, while I was playing with my nephew, he jumped on me. I felt a sharp pain on the lower part of mybelly and when I pressed down on the section, I felt a hard pebble like substance and a great deal of discomfort.
Days later, when I had my period, I was in constant pain. So excruciating it was that sometimes I would lose consciousness. I was also bloated and would experience back pains. I could only sleep on my side because, the pain got intense if I was on myback or tummy.
In panic, I saw a gynaecologist who recommended an ultrasound. And that is when they discovered I had multiple fibroids.
The doctor told me that fibroids are cause by several factors, but mine were genetic. I have family members who have had fibroids. Prior to the diagnosis, I was fit and lived a healthy lifestyle. So the issues of diet, alcohol, family planning pills and stress were not the cause.
Womb inhabitable for babies
I do not have any children. When I was diagnosed with fibroids, I was advised not to try having kids because the growths were enormous and too many. It would be dangerous for the baby and me. Also, the growths had taken up a big portion of myuterus.
I was advised to have the fibroids removed first, before I tried conceiving. This was contrary to the popular opinion that conceiving would make the growths disappear.
I had my myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids) in March this year. It was a major invasive surgery. I am completely fibroids-free and not on any medication.
After the surgery, I experienced some stomach pains for about five days. I also had to have two blood transfusions because I became anaemic. I was put on iron boosters, antibiotics and painkillers for one month.
To date, I experience some pain in the hip joint on my right leg due to lying on my side after the surgery. I also have some discomfort on my navel region.
Deep vein thrombosis
Apart from fibroids, I have deep vein thrombosis (DTV) in the calf area of my right leg. My doctor mentioned that DTV was brought about by the size and location of the fibroids that affected blood circulation in the lower body.
When I was diagnosed with DTV, I was forbidden from walking around for three weeks. I spent five days in hospital on injectable blood thinners, before I was sent home. My right leg was constantly elevated and I wore compressor socks. I was also on a blood thinner medication that cost Sh5, 000 every two weeks. The medication reduced the chances of a clot reoccurrence. While I am cured now, the doctor warned that my chances of a clot reoccurrence increase if I gain plenty of weight or get pregnant.
I avoid red meat and alcohol as much as I can. I eat more veggies, salads and plant-based diets. I am doing a research on foods that balance my hormonal levels, so that I can feed on healthy meals daily. I am yet to start doing intense physical exercises, but that should change as soon as the doctor gives me a green light.