Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Of migraines and menopause

It’s been another migraine day. I have more of those lately than I don’t. Migraines have always been a problem for me. In my late twenties, I went eighteen straight months with a migraine. I woke with it, slept with it, carried it through my days like shackles that had been welded on. I feel like I lost part of my youth to migraines, and now I fear that I’m losing another part of my life when I don’t have as much left. That monster migraine ended shortly after I became pregnant, and its subsequent brothers and sisters only bothered me intermittently over the years

Hormonal changes and migraines, that’s why I haven’t been so surprised that they’ve become a problem again. There’s no denying my age and that menopause is lurking. It’s coming sooner than I expected though. You see, I need a hysterectomy. It’s not just my imagination. It’s my official diagnosis. I have a pre-cancerous condition called atypical endometrial hyperplasia.

What this has meant so far is that blood and pain are my regular companions. It’s also meant that I have a lot of things to arrange. Surgically, a hysterectomy is no big deal any more. For me, losing my uterus is no emotional big deal. I feel blessed to have had one, but at fifty, I certainly had no plans for more children. It’s just complicated when you have no insurance and you live alone.

I’ve accepted that debt will always be a part of my life, but one emergency room visit, two doctor’s appointments and resulting lab work have come to more than a month’s income for me. I have to think about what hospital bills and recovery time will mean. Recovery will be two weeks if I’m lucky, six weeks if I’m not. When you live paycheck to paycheck, the possibility of nearly two months with no income is seriously frightening. Also complicated is what I’ll do if I need help while I’m recovering.

So, I’m coping with a fair amount of stress, another contributing factor to the constant migraines, which contribute to the lack of energy and lack of ability to focus to get everything arranged before I can schedule the surgery. As in so many other areas of my life, I feel caught in some circular maze. Theseus tied a red string to guide him back out of the maze. It just leads me deeper in.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I have had friends with no insurance who have had surgery, but in Oregon we have OHP (the Oregon Health Plan) so at least the surgery gets paid for. Does your state have something similar?

I assume the womanchild knows about all this...would she be able to come help you for a few weeks after surgery? Don't know how far away from you she actually lives.

Tough stuff. Needs some thinkin' about...

April 12, 2011 10:40 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I had a hysterectomy about ten years ago when I was living alone and first divorced. I found that I was in the hospital a few days and when I came home I was fine on my own (I bought groceries such as frozen foods I could micro when I got home. I've had many surgeries and it was the easiest recovery I had. If you have been working you should be able to get short term disability through the state which is partial salary during the time the dr. has you out of work, usually four to sixk weeks. My son has no insurance and was hospitalized a month ago for about a week. He was in the ER again over the weekend. I have found that the hospital will cut your bill significantly and there are also other county plans you can apply for. See if you can investigate those before the surgery. I know it's a lot and I wish I was closer and could offer to help you when the time came. I will say I felt so much better physically afterwards. Will be keeping you in my prayers.

April 13, 2011 7:32 AM  
Blogger redsneakz said...

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Major surgery, even if laporoscopic, is no fun - nor is income loss or the feeling of helplessness. Here's hoping to a complete and speedy recovery.

April 13, 2011 1:13 PM  
Blogger the Nest Keeper said...

Hi girl!!! didn't know you had a blog....found it from Cha.
Scott is an ob. He does these all the time. you can email me if you want. While i could not work out hospital bills, i know that scott would do that for you free of charge, in your situation. He ends up treating many friends for free. Everyone gets in a jam from time to time.

i had one at 37 for specific reasons. (LONG story. outcome not good. Most women do SUPER.)
Happy to talk with you via email, if you need it!
i never had a migraine until i HAD a hysterectomy! weird! He sees many, many women whose migaines GO AWAY with surgical menopause.

love you!

April 14, 2011 7:10 PM  
Blogger www.guccihandbagsoutlet.org said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 14, 2011 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I cannot put your mind at ease over the financial burdens that go with a hysterectomy, I can tell you the surgery was not at all what I expected...in a very good way. I had my hysterectomy when I was 36 due to a combination of hyperplasia and fybroid tumors. They took everything except one ovary. The first couple days out of surgery were not wonderful but once I was home (day 3) I managed quite well and felt better than I had in years within in 2-3 weeks. Just no lifting/excessive bending for 8-12 weeks.


April 17, 2011 5:36 PM  

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