...that's how i once described my uterus: vengeful. full of hate. angry. pissed off. wanting to fight its way out of my body.
well, this friday, my uterus will undergo a transformation. but first, a little back story. boys, if you've a weak stomach, you may want to skip these next bits.
my period started normally enough at 13. by 16, i was having horrible cramps the first day - bad enough that every month my mother would have to pick me up from school. i'd sleep on her boss' couch, crumpled into the fetal position, and wait to go home. i'd get my period like clockwork - every 30 days was normal for me. i went on the pill once i started having sex, and my period happened every 28 days. even though the birth control pill was supposed to help alleviate the cramps, it didn't. not at all. day 1 would be hellish, day 2 would be bad but bearable, and days 3-5 were just annoying and achy. i remember many days curled up in bed with popcorn and heating pads watching dirty dancing, alice in wonderland, and rocky horror picture show on the VCR connected to my little 13" color tv.
after graduating high school, i went through a bunch of crap - living in cars, being on welfare, going crazy, spending time in a mental institution... you know, the usual - and gained some weight. after gaining 50 pounds, i stopped taking the pill, hoping it would help me lose it. at 19, my period took a sabbatical. an eleven month sabbatical. the first month was a bit stressful, thinking i might be pregnant. awesome husband @_antgas and i used protection 95% of the time. the second month was a bit more stressful because i knew one could have a full period and still be pregnant (side story: my mother had a full period after finding out she was pregnant with me. the doctors told her it was nature's way of taking care of a problem. good job, nature - i'm still here!) so i started buying pregnancy tests in 3-packs. when i was towards the end of month 3 with no period, a bucket full of negative pregnancy tests, and no other signs of pregnancy, i went to my gyno for answers.
he poked around at me and declared nothing was wrong that he could see. he then ordered the first of many of what i call 'magic wand ultrasounds'. the ones where they look at your lady organs from the inside. so at 19 i had a strange woman shove what amounts to a dildo with a camera on the end up my cooter. funtimes. anyway, they declared my uterus and ovaries were in normal working order and sent me to my general practitioner.
my gp poked and prodded my abdomen, reviewed the insidey and outsidey pelvic ultrasounds that the gyno had ordered, and ordered a fuckton of blood tests. after finding nothing wrong, he ordered abdominal ultrasounds.
at this point, i think we were around month 8 with no periods. i've been trekking back and forth to doctors and ultrasound places and labs and whateverthefuck for months. the abdominal ultrasounds come back fine, and my gp sends me back to my gyno.
i go back to my gyno, who has reviewed all of the blood work and ultrasounds. he decides to do a full hormone panel thingy on me and orders more blood work. when that comes up squeaky clean and functioning normally, he refers me back to my damn gp.
at this point, i'm starting to get pissed off and making appointments like 7 or 8 weeks apart. no one knows what's going on with me, i had just had my 20th birthday, and my uterus just hates the everliving fuck out of me.
month eleven - 11 - my period decides to stroll in and make an appearance. both my gp and gyno say 'good, there's nothing wrong with you' and wash their hands of me. i continued to have horrible cramps days 1 and 2 of my periods. oh, and my periods began coming with increasing irregularity. 35 days, 40 days, 60 days. whatever.
so after a good 7 years of ridiculously irregular periods, save a two year time when i was taking the pill again, my uterus has another, more diabolical trick up its sleeve: to make me have my period forever.
every day, for thirteen months, blood fell out of my lady parts. it was usually not enough to warrant a tampon, but the days that it was heavy it was HEAVY. like woah. so i spent well over a year wearing a pad at all times and a night every few weeks sleeping on a towel because overnight pads were no match for my leaking, vengeful uterus. after finally getting a new gyno while living in florida, i went in and told her my backstory.
she ordered another insidey ultrasound and full blood workup. guess what was wrong. go on, guess.
that was early 2008, five years ago. since then, i've had some kind of bleeding more often than not. days that i don't put on a pad or liner are like days i've won the lottery. i have probably had fewer days without wearing a pad than the mets have won ball games since 2008 (so really, not a lot.).
i got used to it. i bought always liners in bulk. i bought the super sized bags of stayfree overnight pads. i stockpiled percocets for those heavy cramp days. and i survived. but barely. it began affecting everything. the cramps became worse; there were days that i wouldn't be able to keep myself from crying from the pain. the heavy bleeding... more than once i considered going to the hospital because no one should bleed that much and be able to live. and it gets way grosser than that, but i'll spare you. suffice it to say i was not happy with the situation of my uterus.
and what made it worse is that i was afraid of so many things. if i had bled a little that morning, i'd cancel nighttime plans out of fear of a full-fledged period raging out. i was afraid to have sex because it might trigger more bleeding. i slept with towels - yes, plural - under me at night because i was terrified of bleeding through everything. and there have been times when i have bled through everything. and it's not like i'd sleep through the night - when i actually have my 'period', i wake up every two hours during the night to change an overnight pad.
last summer i decided i was done with this shit. no doctor has ever taken it seriously - they put me on the pill. oh, your cramps are bad? you bleed like a stuck pig? your period is irregular? take birth control. and the last time i took seasonique, it was horrible. HORRIBLE. the worst 5 days of my menstrual life ever. and once i stopped taking the seasonique, my period slowed down and my cramps went away.
so last summer i called an obgyn office that specializes in high risk pregnancy, abnormal menses, and uterine issues. the first doctor i spoke to, i didn't like, so i saw another doctor in the practice at a friend's recommendation.
our first visit, i explained my history. i told her i was done with the pill, with chemical 'cures' that never work for me, and that i was not against having my uterus ripped from my body. and she believed me. she didn't tell me i was too young at 32 to make a decision like that about my uterus. she didn't just order more tests and tell me to try a new pill. she ordered some blood work, gave me some options, and said let's try one of these before we talk hysterectomy. but first, she wanted to make sure my uterus was okay - that my abnormal bleeding was not from cancer or something like that.
we scheduled a hysteroscopy and biopsy. by the way, it sucked really bad and i had it done in the doctor's office without any kind of anesthesia. which is less expensive, but i think i may have a touch of PTSD about it. seriously. my biopsy was fine, but my endometrial lining is excessively thick. like really bad. my doctor said an IUD like mirena might help the issue, but since birth control never helps, the mirena may be a temporary fix. she recommended endometrial ablation.
go ahead, google it. please don't be eating when you do so.
we're going with novasure. a thin wand is shoved up my vajayjay and through my cervix. some kind of net comes out of this wand and expands like a balloon to fill up my uterus and come into contact with it. then it's electrified and basically burns the entire inside of my uterus. the lining of my uterus then scars, meaning no endometrial lining can grow there. most women never have a period again, and those that do tend to have much lighter, shorter periods.
this happens on friday. in the doctor's office. i'll be in twilight (not forks twilight, twilight sleep) and i think i get a local anesthetic. @_antgas took the day off so he can drive me to and from. if my uterine lining has bulked up at all since my last real period (thanksgiving) i will need a d&c to remove as much as possible. so we can get that burny goodness all up on my uterine wall.
we never wanted to have children, so i'm not worried about that. i'm more worried about the potential complications. and i'm also worried that this won't be permanent either. most women i've spoken to who have had ablation end up having a hysterectomy anyway, some sooner than others. i guess it would be nice to get a few more good years out of my uterus, but what purpose will it serve other than to fill a void that would otherwise be in my abdomen?
well, what purpose does it serve now? it fills a potential void in my abdomen and pisses me the fuck off. maybe after friday, it will stop pissing me off.