human, being

Being a girl sucks beyond belief
January 13, 2009, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Girl Stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

For many of you, especially the boys, this is TMI, so stop reading now. But if you’re morbidly curious, like me, then read on.

So yesterday I wind up in the ER because I got my period. Imagine the flood that Noah survived, and you have my Monday experience. At about 11:30 am I found myself stranded in a stall at work, praying to god that someone would come in soon, because I couldn’t leave without some help. My pants were soaked to the knees, and the bowl had at least two inches of blood in it. Of course, because I am incredibly dramatic, I think I am bleeding to death. The clots the size of my hand (think bloody jellyfish) aren’t helping my near-hysteria. Are those my insides? Am I having a miscarriage? (and how would that be possible?) I have had horrible periods before (don’t get me started), but this was EPIC. I am freaking out, crying, drenched pants and underwear puddled on the floor. Finally someone comes in and I ask for help. I think, had I opened the stall door completely, she would have screamed. Instead she just looked at me strangely and ran to get our administrative assistant. Suzanne fetches my cropped exercise pants from my bottom desk drawer, which I had put there almost two years ago under the feigned belief that one day I would exercise during my lunch hour.

As she goes off to find feminine hygiene products that could possibly stanch a fire hydrant, another coworker comes in and helps me. I am standing at the sink wearing my turquoise blouse, cropped exercise pants, brown knee high socks and sneakers (Stacy and Clinton, I DARE you to fault my fashion ha!), trying to wash the blood from my favorite pair of wool trousers. I am shaking and crying, but also completely stubborn. She insists that I go to the ER. I refuse. She insists. I refuse. She insists. I give in. My friend Jill fetches her car, and Kim walks me out. I cannot walk without assistance because I am shaking and so dizzy. I think it’s called adrenaline.

Almost two hours later, having flooded through four pads the size of a Subway sandwich, I am finally in an ER room. I wait. An EMT trainee (yeah, it’s a teaching hospital) tortures me by starting an IV. They take several vials of blood, which sit there on the table next to the bed for the entire four hours I’m there. Eventually a doctor comes in to give me a pelvic exam. She tells me that she thinks either I’m having an issue with a fibroid or maybe it’s an after-effect of not having my period for 7 years due to the fucking Mirena (oh, darn it, I said it again), or maybe it’s a side effect of the Wellbutrin, which is known to cause some “menstrual changes.” Or maybe it’s just a hormonal imbalance because I’m in perimenopause, and I can either go back on hormones (uh, I don’t think so) or live with it. They give me some fluids, a medication to lessen my dizziness and nausea, check my hematocrit a couple of times to make sure I’m not anemic, then send me home. No answers at all. My final diagnosis: vaginal bleeding. Here’s my $150 copay, thank you very much for that.

Today, I’m still home, partially because really, I don’t feel good and partially because I feel incredibly embarrassed that all of my coworkers witnessed me with blood soaked pants from the crotch down. The only other more embarrassing girl-related moment was in high school, when I was auditioning for the Sound of Music and discovered, as I was singing on stage, that I had bled through the back of my dress.

I have an appointment with the “ER follow-up clinic” on Friday for some tests to see what’s causing this. Today, I’m going to see my wonderful acupuncturist and herbalist, Debra Kuhn, to get some herbs to slow down the bleeding and get some acupunture to calm me down. I know the doctors will immediately say one of the following: endometrial ablation, progesterone, hysterectomy. My answer to all of that is uh-uh, not unless it’s life-or-death. Maybe I’m being stupid, but after being on progestin for more than half of my life, I really want to experience what life has in store for me hormone-supplement free.

My boss is a wonderful human being. When I emailed in sick today, she not only related personal stories about her own womanly history, but also pulled some strings with the administrator of the hospital’s Women’s Services clinic to try to get me an appointment with a real doctor today (the clinic on Friday is with the residents). My coworkers, who refused to leave my side until my parents got there (Steve was in training and could not come for me), are angels sent from above. Really, how many people do you work with who would drag your ass to the ER when you’re being stubborn enough to think that you should just go home to your empty house, and drive yourself there as well? So to Kim and Jill, thank you. I owe you big time.

I hope to god this is not the new normal for me. I think that Debra will fix me up for the time being, and the baby-docs will figure out if this is a more serious issue. All I know is that sometimes, being a girl sucks beyond belief. And this is one of those times.


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