Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Too Much Information Entry or, What happens when you have sudden Menorrhagia

This entry will be graphic in detail.

If you do not like tales recounted of medical situations, go on and skip it. I am not offended. I've written here about many different things that have happened to me over the years, including sneezing and pooping my pants as a result. So I'm not one to shy away from the bodily functions.

I'm writing this because I haven't been able to find personal accounts of what I went through so I am committing it to the blog. And whatever happens maybe it will help someone else going through this.

This entry is also dedicated to my friend Bree, who talks too frequently about her lady parts and their monthly rebellions against her. In her immortal words, "My Ute is trying to kill me" I share this tale.

On Fridays I have a standing "date" with my friend Dave. Dave has a seizure disorder and can't drive right now, so his wife has arranged for caregivers to hang out with him. And I am one of them. I greatly look forward to my Fridays with Dave. Far better than that Tuesdays with Morrie business. We run errands and have lunch, and beer, and sit and chat for hours.

Yesterday was no different. I picked Dave up, we went to CVS so I could get tape for hanging up posters for next week's Boy Scout sponsored Blood Drive. We then stopped into the Irish pub in town, and ordered lunch and beers and were having a chat when I felt that there was a problem coming on.

I'd started my period the day before, and day two is usually rather heavy for me. I have to use two pads and the strongest tampons on the market. Since OB tampons were recently removed from circulation, stupidly, I've been having an extra hard time because no other product actually works for me on this worst day of the cycle.

I leave the house prepared for full on war on Day 2. And I make sure that whatever I'm going to be doing I have access to a bathroom every 45 minutes.

This felt different though. I felt pressure like I was going to have a baby, contractions and the urge to bear down. I got halfway to the bathroom and literally exploded in my pants. We were sitting at the bar, furthest seats away from the bathroom. I clenched my thighs and trotted to the john.

What I saw when I lowered my jeans cannot really be described in kind terms. There were blood clots the size of my fist, and blood everywhere. All down my pants, everywhere. I had gotten blood all over the floor, the toilet, the walls.


I started to clean up. But I didn't know what I was going to do about my pants, which were on the floor. The bathroom was a single seater, thankfully, and I used the sink, all the toilet paper, all the paper towel... I'd replaced my tampon and was already bleeding through it again within 5 minutes. I sat down on the toilet and bled like a faucet running.

Panic started to set in at this point. I'd gotten the bulk of the blood content out of my pants, my underwear was in the trash along with all of the paper I'd used. I changed my tampon again and put my soaking wet pants back on.

The bathroom was in direct view of the bartender, who thankfully was a woman. I opened the door and waved her over. I explained what happened, she wanted to call me an ambulance but I told her I was fine I was fine I was fine...

My big concern was ole Dave there at the end of the bar. I'm supposed to be caretaking for him, but here I am, drenched with blood and needing to get out, post haste. They gave me a shawl that someone left in the lost and found, and I apologized about the bathroom, especially the trash. I told the bartender I'd be back to get Dave, and I jetted out the front door to my car.

I had my winter coat in the back seat, so I sat in it because it was waterproof and I knew it wouldn't be a problem for my car seat. It is a 5 minute drive to my house from the pub, and by the time I got there I had soaked through another tampon.

Calling my doctor, she told me to come into the office, but I knew I wouldn't be able to make the 30 minute drive so she told me to go to the emergency room. She told me they would do blood work and probably do a pelvic ultrasound. I got in the shower, exploded again, got myself together, ended up on the toilet for 10 minutes bleeding, again. Managed to get myself to the point where I could get out the door.

I got to the emergency room, got the intake thing done, went to the bathroom, exploded again. Got brought into the exam room, got into a johnnie, told the nurse I needed to go to the bathroom, exploded again, with her there as witness so I could say "I'm not imagining this or making it up..." she was really worried about me because at this point I'd been at it for two hours, I did feel like I was going to pass out at this point. They started an IV and they drew blood for testing.

Six hours later the bleeding had let up, they didn't do an ultrasound, they told me that the blood counts were good but my sugar was high and my potassium very low. My pulse was 122 when I got there so they were concerned about that, obviously. An IV of fluid later and it was down to 90 and they were more comfortable with that. The guidance they gave me was to go to my OB/GYN for a follow up.

What I have been experiencing is called Menorrhagia, or in my case hypermenorrhagia. This is the fourth time in two years that I've had explosive issues with my period, but this one was the absolute worst and most horrifying one yet. So it has to stop.

I'm wondering if other women have had this experience, and what they have done to solve it. The internet says that the prognosis is to go on the pill, or a pill of sorts; get ablation, which sounds horribly painful; hysterectomy in some cases... So I'm wondering what others have experienced with this. I know I do not want to have to deal with this again, ever.

The emergency room was interesting. I felt like I was taking up valuable real estate for six hours. There was a woman down the row from me who drove me nuts with her bitching and complaining. Another guy got admitted about an hour before I was released and he was 33 with chest pains, but he managed to get on the cell phone and bitch out his ex-girlfriend because she wouldn't come pick him up, and she was planning on going away for the weekend and "how can you leave me here like this, in the hospital?" was followed by "fucking bitch" after he slammed his cell phone shut. There was someone there with him, and I wondered how he GOT to the hospital, and what was the guy doing with him? Don't they have other friends? And how do you beg someone and be all sad and pathetic and then "fucking bitch" her to everyone within earshot?

My nurse was outstanding, the physician's assistant left a little to be desired. I feel like it was six hours wasted, but I didn't know what I was going to do otherwise, other than sit on the toilet and bleed all day.

Since then, things have gotten much better. I had a long night where I woke up every hour to go to the bathroom and change my equipment. I slept off and on all day today. I feel like someone beat me up. Honestly, I think having a baby wasn't as hard as the last 24 hours.

So yeah. That's the big adventure. As if I'm not stressed out enough.


  1. Wow. That was spectacular. No advice, just "wow, that was spectacular." I hope you get help, suggestions, solutions from SOMEBODY. One question, though... WHAT HAPPENED TO DAVE?

  2. Wow. So sorry you have to deal with this. I've never had this problem although my periods are getting weirder now that I am in my 40s. The second day is always a battle. Never had it as heavy before but not explosive. Now you've got me worried... Hope you are feeling better and something can be done to alleviate the problem. Also, I am of the same mind as Ptolemy - What happened to Dave?! Is he still at the bar?

  3. Anonymous11:43 PM

    This site has tons of information, stories, and suggestions:

    My suggestion? Don't bother with an ablation because they often don't work. You're better off just having the ute removed and being done with it all.

  4. I am so sorry you Ute is out to kill you! Srsly. I have gotten the run around for YEARs about my Menorrhagia. An old school doctor recomended a D&C and the helped for about 8 years. Now adays though, no one wants to give me one. Its very annoying.

    We should totally start a band called the Second Uterine Uprising!


    Also, vicodine helps!

  5. Wow, this is ridiculously timely. I've been reading your blog, and this post just so happens to popup in my RSS feeds on the day I arrived at my mother's house to take care of her as she recovers from a hysterectomy, for this same reason. She's 48 and had this issue for the last year and a half. A month or so ago, she decided enough was enough. Turns out that her mother and older sister also had the exact same thing (hysterectomy & all) each at age 48 as well. Weird, huh?

    So today she's home, post-hysterectomy. It was on Thursday, and already she's walking, up and down the stairs, etc. without too much of a problem. The main hassle is that she can't drive, and thus the reason for my sleepover. (Don't get me started on how weird it is to be back in my old bedroom...) While she's only a few days out, my aunt says this surgery basically saved her. I'd highly suggest you consult with your doctor if it could help you as well. Other options include pills (as well as birth control), but at least in my mother's case, she just wanted the disaster over with already.

    Best wishes!

  6. Holy cow! That's quite a day. I keep crossing my fingers and hoping what happened to my Mom happens to me. Everything just stopped one day. NO ht flashes, no menopause and gloriously no more bleeds, just done.

  7. Uh, no, I've never had anything ever even close to this. Not even close. Not even galaxies away close. I'm kind of astounded that you thought you were taking up space at the ER since that is EXACTLY where your ass (and other parts) needed to be. And now you do need to go on the pill and have whatever procedure/s you need to make that not happen again. At least that's what I'd do based on your description. Yeee-ikes.

  8. ChrissyK4:57 PM

    Honey, this post was crazy. I started reading and my eyeballs just about popped out of my head. I feel bad for chuckling in the beginning, because, I can relate to situations where I wish I could just wave someone into the bathroom to help me out. Instead, I suffered in some disgusting circumstances until I got home!

    Anyways, I hope you get it figured out. Because that is not something to mess around with. This has happened to me a few times where the clots were as big as my fist. I never knew what it was called. It hasn't happened in a few months.

    Hang in there hon. I'll be sending good vibes your way. xoxo

  9. I cannot believe how many comments this post is getting, maybe I should write gross entries more often! yikes.

    chrissy -- you are far far too young to go through this. i have 10 years on you, don't i? that's unexpected.

    amy -- there were people in the emergency room with broken limbs, and I felt like I was all set and ready to leave 2 hours before they let me go. but then again, there were other people there who were kind of annoying and not really sick, just ... there. making noise.

    i have an appointment with my dr's office on april 7th for a follow up. a long talk with the charge nurse tells me that I'm not insane, broken, or otherwise damaged. this is not "normal" but also not "abnormal." the nurse shared her experience, where she wouldn't get her period for months and then would go through exactly this. she ended up on the pill. she is 50 and on the pill.

    i will have to figure out what the best treatment for this will be for me. stand by -- much to my male readers' chagrin, I shall share the news. And hey -- maybe it'll help my male readers because i know for a fact doug probably needed some help dealing with this himself.

  10. I would like to point out we have been bloggy friends for almost 8 years, and this is the first time I have ever been mentioned. This tickles me greatly.

  11. oh, i have mentioned you before, lady.

  12. and just for you a almost wrote a real entry on my blog. I cant go into details since its work, but hey at least its not just FB updates.

  13. I too suffered with bad clots and "explosions" (though not QUITE to the degree you describe) and was finally discovered with polyps in my uterus. Since having them removed (similar to a D&C), I still have heavy bleeding but it's now manageable because there is little clotting. As it was explained to me, the polyps hold a lot of the blood from coming out causing it to clot until it gets heavy enough to finally break through...hence the "explosion". An ultrasound was what was needed to confirm the polyps and the removal was a day procedure with little recovery time. Best of luck to you!

  14. Wow! And men complain about shaving their beard!

  15. hahah mark. sorry. i've never heard any man complaining about shaving their beards.

  16. Timely indeed! The past month hasn't been fun for me, although my experience hasn't been as bad as yours.