I swear, if a bunch of doctors didn’t agree on all these diagnoses I would be willing to submit my photo for the definition of “hypochondriac” in the dictionary. I am gonna talk about another one of them right now, and it’s in the vaginal region – so, you boys have been warned.
But first, so you can understand the number of doctors I see and the number of medications I take, here is the rundown of my major medical maladies:
– Night Terrors (none since last week, woo hoo!)
– Diabetes (P.S. November 14th is World Diabetes Day!)
– Haller’s Cells (Still considering sinus surgery, but not really… as they would have to rip my face off and that does NOT sound fun. I mean, who wants to be John Travolta or Nicholas Cage in real life?)
– Acne (Somewhat related to the diabetes, and mainly, how else could I get all that Retin-A to keep my skin looking buff, yo?)
– And the subject of today’s post: Endometriosis/Really Sucky Periods.
So, it all started a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. My periods were so bad during high school that I was missing at least one day a month from school. And since that is totally unacceptable to the modern public school establishment, my mom zipped me down to the local Planned Parenthood and got me on the pill at age 16, before I had even been properly kissed. (Unless you count that awkward grazing of cheeks at age 12 when I was at sleepaway camp – which. I. don’t.)
The pill definitely helped. I was on it pretty much continuously until Bryan and I decided to have Declan in 2002. And after Declan, we thought long and hard and realized we were absolutely happy with our family of three. So, Bryan marched off to the docs and had the good old snip snip. Birth control, check!
But the bitch was back.
Bleeding that would make any anemic proud, cramps that seemed like labor (but I wouldn’t know), nausea, hormonal swings – every fucking month.
We tried the pills again, but they just did not agree with me. Not sure if it was all the other meds, my age, or if I had just gotten so used to the side effects from the birth control pills when I was young… but I was not willing to take that train this time around.
Meanwhile, my sister. My sister has had a really rough year with her uterus. Her endometriosis makes mine look like a Curious George trying to snuggle up with King Kong. And I am allowed to talk about it publicly because, 1. she is my sister, 2. she is becoming quite the advocate for endo patients, 3. she never reads my blog unless I write about her and 4. have I mentioned, she is my sister?
She is about to have her second surgery this year to scrape all this crap out of her, after her first doctor went in and freaked out over the tropical rainforest of endometriosis she had blooming all over her abdomen.
But, do you even know what endometriosis is? It’s seriously freaky, dude. Basically the lining of your uterus grows outside your uterus, anywhere it wants. And when your menstrual hormones kick in, that lining fluffs up with blood just like inside the uterus, and sloughs off just the same as inside the uterus… except all that shit inside your uterus HAS SOMEPLACE TO GO. The endometriosis is pretty much like internal bleeding, is really viscous, can make internal organs stick to each other, cause scarring … a ton of bad shit.
And guess what else? Endometriosis research and treatment is VASTLY underfunded in this country.
You know WHY?
(Excuse the feminist bent here)…
BECAUSE MEN DON’T HAVE PERIODS.
So, my sister struggled through nearly a year with a doctor who poo-pooed her symptoms. A doctor who didn’t listen to her. A doctor who finally agreed to perform surgery on her and shit his pants when he saw how loaded with endo she was. A doctor who only got a fraction of it out because he had other surgeries scheduled that afternoon and refused to bump them. A doctor that she has FINALLY kicked to the curb in favor of a doctor who called the emergency room TWICE to check up on her when she was there last week for severe dehydration, nausea and anemia due to her endometriosis. A doctor who knows his shit and is going in to get the rest of the evil out of her in December.
But she had to do her homework. Had to research and call and claw and fight to find the right doctor.
And that just sucks.
And this will be a lifelong battle for her, because endometriosis does not go away.
So, what about me? I had the Minera IUD put in on Friday. It hurt like fuck because she had to do it without my period (they like to do it when your cervix is open, and the beyotch couldn’t even give me that and has not arrived to this day) and I was a “virgin cervix” to boot since Declan was an emergency c-section. But supposedly this form of IUD is more localized and the hormones will help my less-dramatic symptoms without whacking me out system-wide like birth control pills do. We’ll leave it on for 3-6 months and just see.
Either way, seeing as Bryan has had a vasectomy, at least we know there is NO WAY IN HELL we’re getting pregnant any time soon.
Shall we add a condom too and make it the holy trinity of birth control?