Saturday, 9 May 2009

And That Was The Week That Was

When I was a teenager, I hoped that I would never have to go through menopause. For 10 years of my life, my mother would get extra-bitchy and say things like, "Don't bother me - I'm going through menopause!" Now that I'm 46, I can't freakin' wait.

So my doctor has me on low-dose estrogen birth control pills to try and regulate my period, and thin out the uterus lining. What I found out on Monday night was that the pills basically made everything happen all at once.

It was horrifying. I had a miscarriage once before, but that was pretty tame compared to the pain I went through. I would liken it to labour, but I had a c-section when my son was born, so I can't be sure. Does a woman feel like she's going to die at any given time during labour? I was sweating profusely and very pale. I had taken 3 extra-strength aspirin because I wanted to save my dwindling supply of Advil. The aspirin didn't work, so I took one extra-strength Advil. Perhaps that's why I felt so nauseous, but I felt this way throughout the night. I said more than a few Our Fathers. I was freaked out. I debated with myself if I should ask my husband to call for an ambulance. The first few times I thought the doctors would just poo-poo the middle-aged woman who has bad cramps. The last time I thought it, I was clutching the side of the bathtub, wondering if I should climb in and just sleep there because it's cool, then I realized I was afraid of being alone if something worse happened. The ambulance idea popped into my head again, but this time I decided against it because I didn't want my young son to worry, and I didn't want to die at the hospital with no one by my side while my husband was home with our son. It's funny the shit that goes through your head but this pain was BAD. I would sleep for 15 minutes to half an hour tops then get up and go to the bathroom. I'm surprised I didn't faint.

At 4:30am I finally lost it. I had fallen asleep, then I woke up to use the bathroom. As soon as I started to move, I felt something come out. I ran to the bathroom and while I saw what I saw, I reasoned with myself that my uterus could not have fallen out because a) it was probably a physical impossibility, and b) I would be hemmoraging massive amounts of blood. Soon after, I left a voicemail for my boss to tell her that after my son leaves for school, I was either going to the doctor or to the hospital.

I called the doctor's first (crying). I was told (as usual) that no, I couldn't see my doctor, but I could get an appointment with a resident on Friday. I didn't get to the hospital until 10am. I fell asleep while getting ready and I guess my husband decided to leave me be. It hurt to sit, but sit I did until sometime after 4pm, when I was finally called into the ER.

The ER doctor was sympathetic. She urged me to continue with the birth control pills but then she warned that I could go through all this shit again next month. I told her I'd rather have my period 20 days in a row than go through all this again. I feel so broken by this. I've put up with my "long history of pain" as the doctor put it, since Day 1. I can't do this anymore. The doctor prescribed a double dose of Naprox and that's that. It takes the edge off - it doesn't take the pain away completely.

I didn't go to work on Wednesday - I slept. I could barely sit. Went back on Thursday. At the end of the day I was "ambushed" by 3 of the women in my department. Two of them have gone through lovely experiences thanks to their uteruses (uterii?) and ovaries. They convinced me to call the doctor's office and beg to be called when there's a cancellation. I think they didn't like seeing me walk like an elderly Japanese woman who has had her feet bound since birth - you know that tottering walk? I can't blame them. I mean, when you show up at a hospital and you manage to make all the elderly people there for their blood tests go silent and stare at you as you shuffle by, you know you're the picture of pain.

So I called yesterday morning to plead my case for a cancellation call when suddenly I hear a sigh on the other end of the line, then, "I can give you May 22nd at 2:30. BUT IT IS ONLY A FOLLOW-UP VISIT." That's all I want! I want to tell my doctor I don't want to bother with birth control pills - I want that cauterization. I want to be cleaned out. I'm not sure if it eliminates periods altogether, or if they're lighter for a while, but I want that cauterization. I went through all that pain on Monday night, here it is Saturday night and I'm still in pain.

No, I can't wait for menopause.

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