Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ah, The Joys of Womanhood

WARNING:  This post is basically all about periods and the things that can go wrong with girl parts and the things you have to do to fix them, so if you are a guy, you probably won't want to read it.  Also, I may talk about shitting myself.  I don't know if that's a deterrent or a draw, I don't know what you're in to.  Not here to judge.

Anyway.  I am a lucky lady with a condition called endometriosis, which is fairly common and occurs when the cells from the lining of your uterus grow other places and cause all kinds of problems.  I'd go into details but I don't want to and besides, I've come to the conclusion that the medical profession doesn't know how to deal with it anyway.  I've had years of treatments, two surgeries, hormone replacement therapy that turned me into a meaner, weepier version of Satan, and periods that leave me exhausted, puking, and in horrible pain for weeks.

I suppose I'm lucky-a lot of women who have it have a difficult time conceiving, if they can at all.  When I told my gynecologist Ben and I were going to start trying, she referred me to a fertility specialist right away, and started throwing around words like Clomid, IVF, etc.  I asked her what our chances were if we just gave it the ol' college try, and she said, I quote, "I guess I've seen stranger things happen."

Exactly a week later I was holding a positive pregnancy test.  I don't think she understood the kind of fertile Irish stock I come from.

In reality it wasn't that easy-Ben and I hadn't been trying for six years, but we hadn't been "not" trying either, so Henry was just a stroke of luck.  Pregnancy sometimes cures endometriosis, but not for me.  If anything, it's gotten worse.  So we were at the point where we were looking at another kid (if I could even have one) or a hysterectomy, when I started reading about a new surgery, one that didn't just burn off scar tissue that could be seen, but cut down to healthy tissue so new scarring doesn't grow back.  Turns out a specialist in Richmond actually does the surgery, and I was able to get in with her.

So I'm scheduled for a surgery Friday, and I'm a little freaked out.  I'm really hoping it helps but part of me is scared that it won't, and I'll be out of options.  Part of me is scared that I'll wake up and they'll tell me that while they were in there they found something horrible, like cancer, or my twin that I partially digested in the womb.  And part of me is scared that I'll die, even though the chances of that are very slim.  As a mom, my worst fear is something happening to my kid, but second is something happening to ME, and not being able to be there for him when he needs me to be.  I think about how much time I've put into raising him already, but if something happened to me now, he wouldn't even remember me.  That freaks me out.  I also think about Ben, and what he'd do without me, and how quickly he'd be scoring sympathy strange.

On to lighter topics.  I know I'll be ok, and hopefully this will end the sixteen years of steadily worsening pain I've had, and I can get my life back on track.  I'm tired of being tired and hurting.  Tomorrow I'm going to get up and go for a run, then go to yoga, and then start my surgery prep.  Since there's a good chance the endo has grown through my intestines or bowels, I get to do a bowel prep, which is a really nice way of saying "you get to drink salt water and shit so much you'll be passing food you haven't eaten yet."  So if you're looking for me tomorrow, I'll be holed up in the bathroom, catching up on my 30 Rock episodes, and being really glad I don't have to go through this at work.

Seriously, I can barely pee in my work bathroom.  I can't imagine having to deal with the constant explosion my pharmacist pretty much confirmed would happen.  When she was recommending one of the solutions, she said "Don't get anything that's a flavor you like, because after this, you won't ever want it again."

Hey, at least this might put me ahead in my weight loss challenges.....


  1. Oof. E linked me this post, I had no idea you were going through all of this. :/

    Much luck with the surgery! I sincerely hope this makes things better for you.

  2. Hang in there, chica. And the prep isn't THAT bad. I've had a colonoscopy. There are worse things in the world.