Monday, May 2, 2016

Putting A Name to It

Disclaimer: If you don't want to read a post about my lady parts, stop reading now.

I got my period right before my 12th birthday, and from the very beginning, it's been awful. I mean, absolute hell. Instead of it being a 1 week on, 3 weeks off thing, it was 3 weeks on, 1 week off. I once had one that lasted 56 days. Straight. Yeah.

I was on birth control for a while, until my neurologist thought that was playing into my migraines and took me off it when I was 17. Back to the hell that was my period. Birth control never did much for my periods, anyway, but the little bit of help that I got was quite noticeably missed when I went off the pills.

I went to a gynecologist back in NC, the one who had me get an ultrasound and go on a med back in 2011 because the lining of my uterus was too thick. We talked to her about the possibility of endometriosis because of the symptoms I was having and the fact that Mom had it (there can be a genetic component to it), but she was just sort of like "Eh, you're so young, let's not worry about that for now."

So I put it out of my mind. I told myself the pain I got every month was simply because of my lack of a thyroid (thyroid issues can also play into the whole mess). And then I got distracted by other health stuff.

But when my endocrinologist up here told me that she thinks I have mild PCOS and that I should get checked out at Women's Health before I graduated I went. My cramps had reached the point that they make my thighs hurt, and I knew something was wrong because it's not supposed to be that bad. But I refused to tell myself it was endo because I just really, really didn't want another thing to deal with.

I went back to see my doc there today because she had told me she wanted to talk to me about alternative forms of birth control since I can't be on the pill because of my migraines and seizures and the IUD wasn't going to work because it was too painful for me to handle being put in there in the office. Well, within five minutes, she started talking to me about how she suspects I have endometriosis and wants to send me to an OBGYN surgeon so they can schedule a laparoscopic surgery to see.

At first, I was just sort of like "Okay then" but as she was sitting there looking up doctors to refer me to, I just accidentally exclaimed "Damn it!" And she immediately knew why. She said something to the effect of "Yeah I know. With your medical history, I'm really sorry you have something else to deal with."

And that's basically what I was/am feeling. But I called Mom and told her all about the appointment and she said, "Well, if this is what it is, you've been dealing with it anyway. Now it just has a name." Which is true. She and I have suspected I have this for years, we've just never gotten a diagnosis. And if I have this surgery, then I can know for sure and treat it, which could significantly improve my life from how it gets every time my period hits. And that's awesome.

But I'm frustrated. Frustrated that I've got to go to another doctor and deal with another surgery, as minor as it is, and figure out how to treat another health problem without interfering with the many other problems I have. Frustrated that, once again, it feels like I can't catch a break, that as soon as I get one thing under control, something else to deal with pops up and it just never ends.

I was getting frustrated with myself earlier, too, because I felt like I shouldn't be upset about this because I'll finally get answers, but Clayton, God bless him, made it make sense when he said, "If my leg was hurting for months and then I found out I had cancer in my leg, I wouldn't be happy about it. I don't think you should be furious, but don't expect yourself to be happy, either." I'm not furious. I'm just tired and frustrated.

The most frustrating part is that I have to wait until June 9th to even see the surgeon because that's the first new patient appointment she had open, but thankfully, since I'm not graduating until September, I have full access to my student health insurance and all of that. So at least there's one good thing.

I know it's a good thing to put a name to 12 years of pain. And I'm sure that I'll get to the point of focusing on that soon. But I wasn't expecting to have to deal with this today, so for now, I'm just frustrated.

And that's okay.

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