June 4, 2009

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I don’t really know where to begin with this post, as it is not a garden variety topic.  It is kind of serious, a little bit sad, a little bit funny, and exciting too.  I’m just going to jump right in.

The truth is, I have suffered, and quite silently, most of the time, from pretty excruciating menstrual pain for more years than I care to remember.  If that weren’t bad enough, as I got older, the duration of the pain became increasingly longer and l o n g e r until I was in pain more days than not.  The real coup de grace came about six months ago, however, as I entered a new and not so terrific permanent state of pain.   Like Karl Malden and American Express, I never leave home without it, no matter how badly I would prefer otherwise.  Sometimes it is bearable, and I can be my usual cheery and silly self.  Other times, I swear I know what it feels like to be violently stabbed, have my flesh slowly pierced with hundreds of tiny nails, or to sit for hours on a railroad spike, no matter how many ibuprofen or glasses of whiskey I consume.

After more than ten years of small successes combined with big setbacks to combat the pain, I decided it was time to pull out the big guns to get to the heart of the problem (I can be a s l o w learner).   An MRI was ordered, and I dutifully went this past Monday.  The diagnosis I expected was endometriosis, what I got was far more grand.  As my doctor said, “You hit the jackpot: fluid filled fallopian tubes (bilateral hydrosalpinges), hyper engorged ovaries (bilateral endometriomas), a faulty uterus (adenomyosis with a large adenomyoma), as well as pelvic adhesions (no fancy term needed).  It’s no wonder you hurt so much.  For most women, one of these can cause horrendous pain, and you’ve got them all.”  Ouch indeed.  For some reason, the first words out of my mouth in response were, “So my junk is no good?”  A bit bewildered, she said, “Yeah, your junk is no good.”

After a good laugh at my word choice, followed by a few tears and a couple tissues, we got down to business.  Without question, I will need surgery. This will happen some time in July, as my doctor is quite booked up at the moment.  The parts I need most will be salvaged as best as they can, and I will come out of it a period-free, and, fingers crossed, pain-free woman.  Those last bits are the exciting part.

Additionally, the irony of my bad junk is not lost on me, the woman who has never wanted children.  Did I send or receive some sort of message as an eight-year-old?  An interesting question, one for the ages.