Sunday, May 6, 2007

One small step for Anne ...

I'm not sure how to write this post without getting all gross and graphic ... yeah, not sure it's even possible. I refer you first to this excellent wikipedia article on endometriosis -- it's a good, squeamish read on quite a common thing very few people talk about. I was 12 ("my mother slapped me, my father went out for a bottle of Sangria ... We all wanted it to come!") I'd had my period for about a year and was exhibiting a lot of the classic endometriosis symptoms: long, heavy periods; debilitating cramps; gastrointestinal problems; fatigue and bleeding between periods. There was no way they were going to laparoscopy (although they did do a CT scan and found some little cysts, which is really neither here nor there for endometriosis diagnosis, but sucked, I mean ... 12 years old ...welcome to womanhood.) My gynecologist reasoned that I had enough scar tissue already: they would just start me on birth control and see if that helped.

I know a lot of women have a love-hate relationship with The Pill, but birth control and I have so much history together, I feel I have a word to add on the subject. We tried a bunch of different types, trying to find something where the side effects wouldn't completely negate the benefits. I was on pills that gave me morning sickness, made me lactate, gave me facial hair, made my acne worse, and made it awfully easy to gain weight (and difficult to lose it). It made adolescence just that much more .... more. But birth control also made my periods shorter and more predictable: the cramps and other symptoms were terrible once a month, not all the time. As I got older and we narrowed down the options, the birth control seemed to be doing a better and better job of handling the really bad stuff. When I was giving my medical history to the physician's assistant at the MFM office, I completely forgot to mention endometriosis--it's been that long since I worried about it.

So, tonight I'm not starting another pack of Yazmin ("Yaz! I will pretend I am having a casual conversation while I very quickly list all the side effects of this drug! I didn't go to med school for nothing! Yaz!") and I have, unsurprisingly, mixed feelings. The only time I've been off the pill in recent memory was when a random student health doc at MSU wouldn't refill my prescription because she thought it was irresponsible to give birth control to a woman with chronic migraines. So I had to skip a month before I could go back on (with a scrip from a reasonable doctor) and ... cue the worst migraines of my life, the worst cramps, bleeding all the time ... I couldn't wait to get my normal life back, nicely regulated.

I'm in a different place now: I want to try to have a baby. I worry about scarring, pain, all of that ... but I'm also feeling adventurous. This is totally new territory for me, with potentially life-changing results. Glad I'm not in it alone. =)

1 comment:

Lisa Marie said...

I love you, Anne. You can do this.