corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
To catch y'all up on the past month...

I skipped my period in early March and then at the end of March started bleeding... and didn't stop. Imagine a graph with two crossing diagonal lines, a decreasing "fear of doctors" and an increasing "fear of wtf is going on down there." At the point where the lines crossed, I made a doctor's appointment. I was honest to Jesus afraid this was it, I had cancer or something, and I was maybe gonna die. I knew that wasn't terribly likely, but I have anxiety and it got a good hold of me.

So, April 20th (and still bleeding, for the record), I finally got confirmation of what I rationally always knew: I have PCOS. My poor stupid ovaries are the size of lemons and cystic as hell, like the worst swollen pimple you ever had, but never going away. No wonder they constantly hurt. On top of that, my stupid body forgot how to do a hormonal cycle properly, so I had a lovely plush endometrium that was shedding bits like a toddler with a handful of cookies. Doc says generally the accepted treatment here is to remove the whole mess.

I sob in relief.

Flashback: I am 12. I have had five months of monthly misery. I ask my mother if it's always like this having periods. She says that we have periods until menopause in our 40's. I think, "30 more years of this?" and despair. My body won't let me do what I want to do.

Flashback: I'm high school age. I like running, and while I'm not very fast, I have a ton of stamina. I have calves so rock-solid that taper-leg jeans don't go over them. It'd be fun to be a long-distance runner, but I've heard stories that the coaches don't take you seriously and make you run even when you're bent double vomiting with cramps. I decide not to go for track. Why bother when my body is just going to get me humiliated?

Flashback: I'm in college. The health center prescribes me birth control pills because my cramps are so terrible, and because obviously a large tall hairy person like me just needs some feminine hormones to get right. One brand stops the cramps but after three months I'm a sobbing mess. One brand helps but I gain 20 pounds and get told by the doctor that I just need to use some self-control (even though I go off it and instantly drop the weight, for which I get no credit). The brand after that doesn't help at all. I'm so crushed by this that I can barely make myself go to classes. I have no idea what I want to major in. I stumble into a degree and graduate. I have no career plans. I hate my body.

Flashback: I'm 30 now. Divorced. Seeing someone. I'm used to bleeding onto mattresses. I've ruined jeans. I don't have any underwear that haven't been severely bled on at one time or another. My partner asks about it. I haltingly try to explain that inside my body is a monster with teeth, and it has blood for saliva, and every month it takes a bite out of me, eating me alive. Who cares about keeping your pants clean when you are being eaten? (I care, sometimes. I am ashamed.) I hate my body, because it hates me.

I'm 42 now. I'm standing on one side of the scariest bridge I've ever seen, and on the other side is the life I've been wanting for 30 years now (no pain, no pregnancy risk, no anything). And the only thing between me and that life? Is like... every anxiety-causing or gross thing I can think of.

  • Doctors.
  • Pelvic exams.
  • Stirrups.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Nakedness around strangers.
  • Asking people for help with bodily processes.
  • Bleeding profusely on other people's things.
  • Bleeding on other people.
  • Scary amounts of bleeding that I have to deal with by myself.
  • Sanitary pads the size of my forearm.
  • The smell of blood.
  • Needles.
  • Butt stuff (part of surgery prep is ensuring you have a squeaky-clean lower digestive tract. My butthole's gonna sparkle).
  • Lack of access to the only OTC pain med that helps my cramps for the week before surgery.
  • Super-gendered language where it really isn't needed. "The patient can expect" is perfectly reasonable; "she can expect" makes me wonder who is she, the cat's mother? Oh! That

And: giving up any kind of sex at all until someone else clears me for it. Yes, including masturbation. For at least two weeks, possibly six, possibly more if things don't heal up right. (I escaped the Republic of Gilead. Ask me how.)

I think, when this is all done, I'd gonna be the most amazing runner I could possibly be.

And I think I'm gonna need therapy, if I can't manage all this on my own. I'm doing okay as a coping-grownup, but if I get into more trouble than I can handle, there's no shame in asking a professional for help.
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corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)

June 2017


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