From Lupus to Menopause: The Slippery Slope of Lupus Issues, Part 1
Last updated: August 2021
All aboard, next mood swing in t-minus 6 minutes. Is it hot in here? Wait, have you seen my glasses, my keys, my phone? This is what I go through constantly. I start off like Mary Poppins and end my day like Cruella de Vil. Who else can relate?
How did I get to this point?
It all started when I began menstruating. This whole becoming a woman thing had me twisted up in the womanhood game. I was excited when it first happened, but later on, in life, I felt a little bitter towards this female excursion. Especially when my womanly friend began to torture me.
The story begins
In late 2010, my body began to scream issues. I begin a menstruation cycle that would never end. By 2011, I was on my cycle for 7 months straight. I was bloated so heavy in my abdomen and I was fatigued and cranky. After a while, I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. After visiting with the gynecologist, we tried everything from pills to change in diet to shots. Nothing seemed to work. We tried everything but the last resort was to get a hysterectomy. So, we scheduled a date for December 2012.
Good try but NO cigar
The date was made, I was ready to stop this menstrual cycle once in for all. But something just wasn’t right. By November, I was bleeding more than usual and began to experience some fogginess. I thought I was just going through lupus fog. I called my son into the room and he looked worried. When I asked him to call his father, he had the wherewithal to ask me what the number was and when I couldn’t give it to him, he called 911 and then his father.
Off to see the wizard
By the time the ambulance arrived, I was extremely loopy. The EMT stated I was gray and immediately, upon getting me in the ambulance, started a saline IV. I was so out of it my husband and son had to laugh because I was so infatuated with the EMT’s eyes. I still remember they were so blue like a beautiful ocean. Anyway, they took me to see the wizard, aka the ER doctor.
Oh Doctor, I’m here for my check up
The doctor was startled at what he discovered. Upon a physical gynecological examination, I was passing blood clots the size of a baseball. I could hear him dropping them on the floor as he sang Alicia Keys song, "This Girl is On Fire." I thought, "Weird, he must really like me." See, that loopy-ness was still in full attack on me. The doctor finally spoke to me about what was going on.
You can’t leave
The doctor informed me that I would not be leaving the hospital. I laughed and said, “Oh no doc I’m leaving, I’m not dying here.” His response was laughter and said, "No, I know this because you are still here. I am talking about staying and moving up your scheduled hysterectomy." He informed me he didn’t know how I made it this far because I was bleeding out. He promptly ordered a blood transfusion on the spot. I did not leave the hospital that day.
What happens when you have to receive 4 liters of blood to live? Find out in part 2 of "From Lupus to Menopause: The Slippery Slope of Lupus Issues!"
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?