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Nehawa’s Story

March 31,2021

Hello everyone. This is Nehawa. So I got diagnosed with fibroids in June of 2019, and I was immediately booked for treatment. I was at the time that two years and just six, one shy of my 33rd birthday. I suddenly had a lot of symptoms and some of them were more prominent than others. Just to name a few Havey, menstrual bleeding, irregular cycles, menstrual periods that lasted more than a week.

Plus sometimes my menses will come three times in one cycle. Frequent urination and difficult who are trying to urinate. This cost me UTI is over time. Also, constipation bloated always look pregnant pain in the pelvic area and my around my waist. And with time, this pin pushed down to what’s my feet and I would have swollen feet.

Also the hormonal changes, hot flashes from time to time, a lot was happening. So fibers did have a great effect on my family and personal life. I would say even my work life, um, personally, um, it affected my psyche. It also traumatized me a lot and it also messed with my self and how I saw myself. When I looked in the mirror, I used to be a very slim sized lady all my life.

I never had weight issues until. I had a miscarriage and the fibroids went haywire and that’s when it was noticeable that things were wrong. There was so many things wrong with me. Uh, I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. I was constantly looking bloated and pregnant. And also, um, whenever I was on my menstrual cycles, I was always so conscious.

And because of that, I wasn’t able to dress up the way I wanted. So I would always be dressed most of the time in black, whenever I was on like menstrual cycles. And that just kind of also just translated even after my cycle. And I kind of like just had an entirely black wardrobe also personally, um, being, being someone who was married, I began to wonder.

Having the miscarriage and having fibroids would hinder my chances of ever getting pregnant and my husband and I tried for some time, it didn’t work out. And that frustrated me quite a bit. So I was constantly stressed about this. And also in terms of my family, I guess anyone was close to you and loves you and sees you in so much pain and there’s no much they can do to help you.

They feel kind of helpless and, um, I felt really bad when I went home to see my mom where it was actually in a very advanced stage and she was just shattered. She really didn’t know how to Astro for me was when I actually went to see my mom and she was just beside herself, the way I looked and she would constantly sneak, peeks at me when I, when she thought I wasn’t looking.

And she would just watch me where I struggled to work. I always, the pain was really so much. I would waddle sometimes. And. It, it was really, really something traumatic to, to experience even post, uh, post the surgery. That’s another story. There’s also challenges that come with post-surgery and, uh, you know, levels of depression, levels of recovery levels of pain.

So yeah, I would say fiber it’s really affected my life in so many ways and others, but I’m grateful to be where I am right now. So I had multiple fibroids and the danger was that most of them, especially those that were heavy in size were sitting on my uterus. And so the doctor was very specific and lets me know that there is a possibility that in trying to extract this, I, they might have to take.

Away my womb or my uterus. Um, but he didn’t upfront offer me a hysterectomy. He in fact did everything in his power to kind of preserve my uterus for me, which he did. And I’m grateful for that. So, um, for me, I I’m grateful that I had a doctor who was quite knowledgeable and experienced in this things and he did give me great advice on what options go for.

Because of the sizes and the number of fibrates, which I had, it was not possible for me to go for many minimally invasive procedures. However, I had to do an open cut environment for me. Um, if the tables were 10 and I didn’t have such a severe case of fibroids, I probably would have opted for one of the options like the UFE, or probably go with a laser laparoscopic laser or, uh, minimally invasive my may to me.

But mine was quite severe that there would have been a possibility of a hysterectomy, but I’m grateful that. Uh, my doctor was very knowledgeable and he was very sensitive and he did everything he could possibly do to preserve my uterus. I’m really glad that you asked me this question because it’s very important, very vital.

So this is where I really get the opportunity to explain my story to you. So I’ll take you a walk through how I found out what information I was exposed to before. And after I had my diagnosis. So prior to my diagnosis, I had very little info about fibroids. Yes. I mean, I did know that there was something called fibroids, which were tumors that grow in the uterus or the woman for woman.

But I really didn’t know anything about what his sources were like, what are its triggers? Uh, what demographic of women. I get some in these, I really didn’t know anything about this. And besides coming from Cameroon, Where there was always a stigma attached to this condition. I mean, basically back at home, women’s health is usually very much attached to infertility.

There’s a lot of negativity that comes attached to a condition like this. And back at home, we didn’t have that much resources. And a lot of the doctors were not sense of in the young ladies. I, for one growing up, I remember when I was younger, I used to always have this arugula cycle in. And, um, and heavy flow and everything.

I was a late bloomer. I didn’t have my main sister very much later. And my mom did take me to a gynecologist and he was like, it’s okay for women to have irregular cycle from time to time. It’s okay. I wasn’t ever educated on, Oh, it’s not normal. If you have irregular cycles, if you have constant bleeding, it’s not.

Okay. So this was some of the kind of things that. We were an exposed to back at home. And, um, that’s why right now I’m doing the most that I can to get this information to the grassroots. So people can be sensitized properly about what fiber. I’m not sure if I already had fibroids existing in Neal growing in me before.

I had my triggers that I can confirm, but one thing I can tell you that my trigger was a miscarriage pregnancy and a miscarriage. So I, like I said, in my earlier video, I was very tiny. I was quite petite, very slim. Uh, from time to time I had bloated. Call me, but I was a very petite person. And when I was pregnant, I was still very petite and it wasn’t until, um, towards the end of my first trimester, I had a miscarriage right now.

I cannot confirm to you if, uh, my miscarriage was due to the fibroids or if it was due to some medication that I took at the time when I was, I was actually sick. So, um, I can confirm what my, my miscarriage was. What caused my miscarriage come from what caused the miscarriage. But then I had a miscarriage and immediately after my miscarriage, the changes, the hormonal imbalance, everything’s better rolling like a ball.

It was crazy. The changes were just two of yours and too quick and too rapid. So I can tell you for a fact that my main trigger was this miscarriage, because everything went crazy from then on. I started to get thicker in the waistline. I get started to get heavier and the, with times that the fiber used to actually crawl in my abdomen, but I still wasn’t aware of what exactly was happening.

I started gynecologist or two. Um, and all this happened back in 2017. So I did see a gynecologist and I was actually going through a hard time. I was trying to put, wrap my head around the loss of a child and just being a newlywed. And I went to see a gynecologist gynecologists. And once again, I was assured by the gynecologist, it’s normal to have hormonal imbalances after you lose a child, it’s going to be okay.

You’re going to be fine. So don’t worry about it. You’ll have kids. Once you reach your husband. So I didn’t pay much attention to, you know, this changes because I thought, well, this is fine, but then this was back in 2017, but then, uh, between 2017 and 2018, the physical changes it’s way too great. So it was really obvious that something was happening.

And also internally there was a lot happening. I stayed to have hot flashes all the time. Uh, the pain became excruciating. The pressure in the pelvic area was massive. I would have periods and be Moziah that I would have. I began to mimic pregnancy, um, symptoms, most times in my cycle, whenever I was, I was having my periods.

I would be mimicking pregnant pregnancy, constant constipation and bloating. And I just remember, um, Oh, you name it. I got all kinds of slim tees because I was, I was on all kinds of weightless diets and still it wasn’t working out. I went to see a doctor at this time. I was already living in Dubai. I went to see a doctor and in fact had diagnosis was that I had H pylori.

And so for almost nine months, she was treating me for H pylori. And there wasn’t any change. There wasn’t any change. In fact, I was getting bigger rounder, the pain was getting worse and worse and the pressure was just increasing. At this point. My feet were swollen. My complexion, we became so much darker than usual.

Like a pregnancy cast, you know, like when pregnant women have, after the gift bread, they have like a. Pregnancy tests. I had those things and also the UTI is because of the constant urinating and, and the pressure and difficulty to urinate all those things. This is when all this symptoms, which already had them in very minimal.

Uh, uh, um, levels before began to actually exhibit themselves in, in, in, in, in, in full force. So at this point I’m like, this cannot just be H pylori. I spoke to my cousin who is actually a doctor of pharmacy and she was like, really edge pylori. You know, but still we didn’t, we didn’t put it as fibrates.

Dennis started to do my research. I began to put in this symptoms that I was having in the internet. Thank you, Dr. Google. I have to say Google is truly your friend because I had so much information on Google and that’s when my mind really began to open up to all the possibilities of what this could possibly be.

B, you know, I joined a lot of forums about women’s health and fertility. At first, I thought this might be PCO S but then with time, I began to see that as possibly fibroids and especially with the anemia and all of that. So, um, as soon as I, I went to see my mom in 2018, no, yeah. 2019, actually. So this, this actually pushed through for like two years straight.

So in 2019, I went to see my mom because my dad was killed sick and he was really, really, really sick. Um, and I went home to go assist my mom, take care of him in home. My mom and my dad could instantly tell. That there was something gravely wrong with me and it was my dad and my mom’s January concern that really pushed me to say, okay, look, I need to get a second and third opinion.

So immediately I got back to Dubai. The first thing I did straight from the airport dropped my bags, booked an appointment, and I went straight to see a specialist and. This was the doctor that put me through everything. Um, he was a very nice, much older gentleman from Lebanon and he was very knowledgeable about this things.

He walked me through every process. He taught me a lot of things. What are the options? Why? And, you know, he really told me there is no class source of why fibroids. Happens. But he listed me a number of triggers and this doctor really walked me through once he saw me, he told me. I can tell that you have fibrosis just by looking for looking at you, but I’m going to run an ultrasound scan for you just to look at the site, just to look at the fibroids and to know, kind of have an idea of the sizes.

So he did an ultrasound right there in his office. He told me you have multiple fibroids. I cannot decipher how many you have, but I would need you to do an MRI scan. So, and he taught me, this is severe. This is. Critical. We need to book you for a surgery as soon as possible. So get ready between the next two to three weeks.

We need to get this done because it’s really quite advanced. And from then on, he was very thorough. He booked me for everything, blood tests, physical assessments, ENT doctors, uh, and my smart tick. He put me through everything extremely terrible. Every possible test that you can imagine. I went through it and when I did the MRI scan, Um, and the results were out.

He told me you have multiple fibroids this more than 30 plus five grades. And there is a ton of them sitting on your uterus. I would do everything I can to preserve your uterus, but if it comes to shove, I will have to save your life first. And there’s the possibility we’ll have to do an emergency hysterectomy.

So that’s a fact that Simon actually walked me through everything. We had multiple conversations from that day forth. I was in the hospital every other day. I would go to work, come back after work I’m in the hospital, taking the test or see my doctor. He, he, he, he walked me through and prepared me through everything in as short as two weeks.

And within two, two and a half weeks, I actually went in for a surgery. So, uh, yes, doctor walked me through everything. He gave me a dietician will put me on a diet, um, kind of like a detox diet to kind of, you know, just prepare my body for what was coming. And I really was on a lot of forums. That is how I was able to, um, join a forum called weaken where whites on Instagram and they really.

Indirectly prepared me for what was coming. I, I miss you. That was a good platform for me. And, um, and I’m really grateful to them. They might not know this, but they played a very major role in building up my confidence for me to be able to go through with that surgery. And I also was spiritually quite connected at the time.

I prayed a lot and I just let it hang in the hands of God. Really. So what I like to say to other women that are currently suffering from reiterated fibroids is. Number one, you need to know that you’re not alone. There is a whole community of women like myself out there who are experiencing, or who have experienced the same, uh, journey that you are on.

And you can. Rely on some of these experiences to bring new comfort. I, for one, though, that some of the stories gave me, uh, some kind of perspective in life and he kind of like prepared me for what had happened. So go through and how to handle it post treatment. And, uh, secondly, I would like to advise that early detection is key.

When you have an early diagnosis and you have a good team of medical officials, which you, you can actually have a headstart on it. I also wanted to tell the women, um, in similar condition that you should not be ashamed of your current situation. This is not your fault bold. Um, and no one shoe intimidate you into thinking that there is.

Something that you have done wrong to deserve this. You do deserve to have a good quality of life and, um, you can start by making smaller, men’s putting your health in, in, in the paramount factor. Uh, Amongst your objectives. And, um, second, thirdly, I want you to know that if you feel like something is wrong in your body, if you feel off, then something is definitely off your body.

Doesn’t lie. If your body is going through something that is off, it certainly will make a signal. Do not ignore such signals. Don’t be shy to have second, third, fourth opinions. If you are not comfortable with a decision or a recommendation that’s been given to you by medical official, then you are allowed to have.

As many options as you want. And the decision at the end of the day, for whatever treatment you have to go through, it is your decision. But I would advise you to do wise in making your decisions. Secondly, um, there are many options nowadays and you can choose from a variety of options. So don’t be intimidated into thinking that there is just one specific option that you must go with.

Uh, some people would say it’s only the holistic way. That’s the right way. Some people would say it’s only by. Having a surgery that’s the right way. I’ll say, say, keep your mind open, keep your options open. Do what’s best for you, pray about it. And, um, just really be, be quite effective. Keep yourself informed.

Don’t stay off the information. Blogs. There is a lot of information, but also keep your information filtered and kind of just. Um, take some of this experiences and, um, match it up with us and see what works for you. What works for AI might not necessarily work for B. I know so many, um, survivor fighters like myself who have gone down the holistic path and it’s working for them.

Um, I for one, I didn’t do a complete holistic approach, but I did have to go. It was absolutely no way, but, uh, an open surgery for me. And for those people who happen to be around you, when you’re going through this period is very important for people to be a little bit sensitive to your situation, because there is a lot of trauma involved, a lot of mental.

Um, the stability that comes with dealing with, uh, an intense condition like fibroids, because there’s so many changes happening at the same time and, um, keep it, keep it, keep it, keep, keep the love as the mantle, um, for a fibroid fighter, be patient do not lose your cool when people. Throw jabs at you because they will throw jabs at you.

They don’t know your story, they don’t know what you’re going through, but, um, keep your head high. This is, this is a journey we are holding each other’s times together. There is, there is so much that you can do during the last couple of months. I and my friends actually started a safe space for women where we sensitize them on the knowledge of fibroids and.

Management of fibroids and basically information that they’re not privy to in regards to fibroids what the options are. And back in my community, we do not have a lot of options in regards to the treatment. So it’s very limited. So we kind of try to assist this women by not only giving them knowledge, but also giving them an opportunity to have us.

Firsthand diagnosis, true free ultrasound scans, so they can have a head start on whatever the treatment journey would be. So this is basically how we’ve been assisting or empowering or encouraging women to walk, to take this walk, knowing fully well that they are not well, it is a journey as you rightly put, and that means that we’re constantly on the move towards the fight against fibroids.

It’s not something that we endorse in our lives. And so whatever we must do to, uh, fight this element and to bring awareness to the peoples that we must. So it’s, it’s, it’s a never ending journey. It’s one step at a time. Baby steps. Todd less steps, kids steps, then teenagers, the abs, then adults steps. We eventually get there, but the, the whole point and the whole mission and vision of what I’m trying to do alongside my friends is to make sure that we don’t stop the fight, but we keep the fire burning.

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