“I thought it was my Ab’s!”. A phrase exclaimed, in a morphine induced haze, by yours truly while laying on an exam table in the E.R. of my local hospital. Long story short, I had been working out, trying to lose weight and tone up and was so excited that my tummy was feeling firm. I hadn’t been feeling well, been feeling discomfort that I was putting down to being 37 and working too much and working out too hard. I was having trouble with stomach pains when I ate certain foods, again, put it down to age. Little did I know that in the course of 13 months, (I know it was 13 months because during my physical the year before – no abnormalities were present) my body had decided to grow a fibroid on top of my uterus. A fibroid measuring 20cm x 11cm x 14cm – hence the pain – this little devil was pushing all my internal organs up and over to my right side. Long story short – a hysterectomy soon followed, no cancer present and yes, I still weep a little that it wasn’t my Ab’s….I had never had a firm stomach.
The point to today’s tale? To make yourself a priority. To keep yourself off the back burner. I had been feeling “unwell” for months, chalking it up to working too much, eating the wrong food, pushing 40, you name it. I should have called my Doctor. To be completely honest – I was hoping it was my Ab’s, but something in me thought it felt weird, but was too fearful to find out what it may be. In my case, I was damn lucky that it wasn’t cancer, that the fibroid hadn’t attached itself to my intestines, kidneys or any other internal organ.
Everyday at the shop I hear women make little comments about their health like “It’s probably nothing”, “I’ll call the doctor if it doesn’t get better in a few weeks”, “It’s probably normal”, or like yours truly, ” I think I’m getting Ab’s!”. For some reason, as women, we put ourselves last. We put work, our friends, our lovers, our kids ahead of ourselves. I see women buy a flat iron for their daughter before buying one for themselves, buying their mother the newest flavor of OPI Avojuice hand cream even though they love the scent, or buying Gehwol MedSalve for cracked skin foot cream for their friend who suffers from painful heel cracks as she is need of the same cream. We are so busy concerned with others that we forget about ourselves. Sure, we say our husband’s need us, that our kid’s need us and that’s why we put ourselves last. Well ladies, the jig is up – those are excuses and you know it. If we truly mean that they need us – we would be taking care of ourselves to the best of our abilities so we can be there for them. Ladies, it’s time to take care of ourselves. Plain and simple.
Here’s the deal. If something seems strange, or something just feels off – call your doctor. If it’s nothing – great! If it is something – the sooner it is dealt with, the better. I know it’s a scary thought. No one likes waiting for test results. No woman enjoys a pap smear. Stool samples are messy and hospital gowns are not becoming, no matter their color. Dealing with a health issue as soon as it pops up also ensures less trauma to you, your family, your physical health and your emotional health – if I had gone to my Doctor as soon the question “what’s that?” popped into my head, I would have had a laparoscopic surgery to remove my uterus – instead I had to have it removed the old fashioned way with a 6 inch scar to prove it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t care about the scar – my recovery would have been easier and less days spent in the hospital, and less worry for my hubby and my girl.
When our loved ones are under the weather or in pain, we get them and give them all the love, attention and help they need. You are worthy of the same love and attention and help. You are. …You are.