I am beginning to believe my life revolves around needles in every way possible. If I am not being tattooed (And writing about it), I am being stabbed with fairly large needles to switch off my ovaries. Not that I am complaining, on the one side I am enjoying the needle pain receiving pretty skin pictures and on the other, I am enjoying the pain that the needle takes away.
Exactly 28 days ago, I walked into my GP’s rooms for the first of 6 monthly Zoladex injections to prepare my body and reproductive system for its impending removal. You would think that I can remember exactly how I felt that day but sitting here, a month later, it all feels like a blur. I remember being extremely anxious, not for the emotional rollercoaster that followed but because I had googled for hours and hours the day before, reading horror story after horror story about other women in my position and their own experiences with Zoladex. The success stories were few and far between and needle size comparisons a plenty. I sat there with my collected prescription in hand preparing for what I thought was going to be an almost piercing experience and turned out to be nothing of the kind.
I walked into the Dr’s office and as I sat down, I explained to him the situation and he asked me to lay down as he proceeded to tell me that he disliked giving Zoladex injections as much as the patients disliked receiving them. This did very little for the last ounce of bravery I was reserving for the actual injection and as he washed his hands and prepared the needle, I felt tears welling up. The Dr moved over to where I was laying, pinched my abdominal skin (read: fat) together and as I looked away he quickly injected me with the Zoladex implant and within seconds, it was over. He was wiping me down and putting a little plaster over my tiny little blood spot… and that was it! There was no mad pain, there was no searing agony as this little piece of something was pushed into my belly, there was none of that. I am not sure if that was because I am so used to needles thanks to the piercings and tattoos I have but I had worked myself up for that injection so much so, that by the time I actually received it, it was a rather anti climatic occasion. I left fairly soon after that and the medication started doing it’s thing – my ovaries were being retired.
The first two weeks after the injection were heaven. I was in no pain whatsoever and thanks to my daily HRT (Tibolone), I was not experiencing any of the menopausal symptoms I had expected to feel. Those 2 weeks were the best I have felt in months, it was a sign that I had done the right thing. Until day 14 when, like clockwork, I started my period.
There are no words that I can use to describe what that pain was to me. For a textbook 5 days, I had a calendar period but just as the number of days was textbook, so was the endometriosis pain that followed. The Dr and my Gynae had warned me that before it gets better, it is definitely going to get worse and that is exactly what it did. For 3 days I was off work ill, in bed, in a foetal position struggling to catch my breath. I took a break from my newfound position of comfort to visit the Dr first thing on Tuesday morning to see if there was anything they could do. I had tried to take Ponstan for pain relief (Mefenamic acid) but that was having little to no effect and so I was hoping the Dr to prescribe my an alternative. There wasn’t much the Dr could do but give me a prescription for Co Codamol (a paracetamol / codeine mix) to try and lesson the pain. Unfortunately, what this did was cause absolute severe nausea and sickness and took at least 24 hours to take any of the pain away. Unlike my usual 8-14 day menses, I was surprised that this one ended very quickly (5 days on the dot) and I am hopeful that by the 2nd or 3rd injection, this bleeding nonsense will be a thing of the past – I am ready to be menopausal, I am ready to no longer have a period.
Since the bleeding finished, I have gone back to feeling amazing. I am having no pain at all and still no menopausal symptoms which to me must mean that this combination of medication is working. I can only hope that this continues and tomorrow, injection number 2 is going into my stomach. Since my last injection and the few battle days I did have, I have also had to make some lifestyle changes which include going back to eating Paleo and getting my body to a comfortable, healthy state. I realise that in approximately 5 months, I will be going in for a serious surgery and that means I need this body to get back to the state it was a few years ago. I have been eating well, pumping it full of healthy greens and have now, on the recommendation of a friend, purchased a weighted hula hoop – Sunday night Britain’s Got Talent as I shake my booty to weight loss, I can deal.
I thank you all for your continued support up until this point and will definitely provide another chapter in the story when I have more news of what, how and why. If you missed the first two posts and are a little lost, you can catch up on my broken uterus in my posts Ovary Reaction and Waving goodbye to my womanhood…