Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Vagina is a Masochist

***WARNING*** This post will be way TMI. Especially for you boys who are squeamish about the not-so-pretty side of lady parts. But I've got to get it out. Run.... run away fast!

So yeaaahhhh, my vagina hates me. It has hated me since April of 1997 when womanhood finally reared it's snarling, evil head. Since that awful day, I've have gone though more super-plus flow tampons and overnight-flow pads and even diapers than most women and babies go through in their adult lives and infancies, respectively. It's a nightmare that never seems to go away and that is always evolving. Docs come up with a new way to kind of tame it, but within a year it becomes immune and figures out a way around said treatment and we're back at square 1. So there is only one conclusion, obviously... there is a masochistic, evolving demon that lives in my uterus. Fuck.

My first period required diapers. Not like hugely giant pads, but ACTUAL adult diapers that my mom brought home from the hospital. Somehow she did not seem concerned, or at least not as mortified as I was. I am 12 years old and bleeding out like someone jackhammered my cooter so she just brings home supplies to soak it all up. Nice. She had a similar experience, so she just warned me to tough it out and get used to it. SHE has had a hysterectomy at this point. If I weren't so desperately clinging to the ever-thinning chance of breeding little minions of my own, I would have done the same. It has actually been offered to my by my gynecologist... I am 23 years old and she has offered to give me a full hysterectomy should I ever choose it. That tells you how mean my cooter really is to me.

When I was 17, my masochistic vagina and her inner counterparts decided to spawn a friend. It started within my right fallopian tube and got so big that it obliterated the tube and grew into my ovary and stretched the whole thing out, from the inside, to just a useless, paper-thin layer covering this giant cyst. I missed the last quarter of my senior year recovering from it, and all I have to show for it is a scar the size of the Grand Canyon.

That is my surgeon's large, plate-sized hand, obscured in size by my monstrous cyst. Awesome, right?

This is not a little dish... this is a full-sized hospital bucket, nearly filled by the mass of my vagina's demon-spawn. This is also my ovary and fallopian tube, stretched completely around it so you have no idea either one is there. So now I'm like, half a woman.

This has been my worst experience thus far. I had not even been aware of the fact that anything was wrong until it shifted onto my hip nerve and had me screaming like a rabid banshee. It was filled with liquid so, when still inside me, it kinda spread out and formed to my organs so I looked like i maybe put on a little weight, but it wasn't like a big obvious watermelon tumor thing sticking out. Not to say I didn't look much better once the 17-pound monstrosity had been removed. I hope to never experience this crap again.

However, I'm terrified that I will. I keep waiting for one to pop up on my only remaining ovary and completely lose all hope of having babies. I want the babies. Sometimes I look at babies, full of poo and crying and general grossness and I almost wonder why. But I know without a doubt that I want to be a mom more than anything else in the world, and no matter how many doctors tell me it won't happen, I will keep trying until my body is wasted. Which seems not far off.

I've been on about 20,000 different types of b/c to try to control my cycles. For about a year before I was married, we tried something new after the birth control failed time and time again and a new approach was deemed necessary. Lupron injections... a synthetic hormone that forced my body into menopause, thus halting all menstrual cycles. It wasn't permanent so it wouldn't jeopardize having children something, but temporarily made me a sweaty, hot-flashing, crazy old bitch. My hubby got a super nice preview of his life in 20 years.

Menospause - now in travel size!

The Lupron worked... for a time. About a year and a half later (approximately 3 months after we got married) I stopped the Lupron to see if maybe we could get pregnant. For the first time EVER in my entire life, I had a series of normal cycles. By normal I mean every 30-35 days, 5 days long. They were still heavy, but I could PREDICT when they were going to come and this was a fascinating new thing to me. Prior to that time, my periods could have been anywhere from 2 months to a year apart, and would usually last anywhere from 3-12 weeks. No, I'm not kidding.

I was so convinced that I would get pregnant because my cycles were suddenly regular that I mangled my poor hubby in procreation sex. But it never happen, and within 3 months the wonder of regularity was going away. Right before Christmas, my period came. By March, it had not stopped once. My doctor gave me two options: a D&C and if that didn't work, a hysterectomy. I was so exhausted and fed up with all the months of bleeding and excruciating cramps that I almost caved to a hysterectomy. But I couldn't do it; I want the kids too bad.

So we tried the D&C. I was admitted to the hospital and taken in for surgery and everything went fine. I continued to bleed for another couple of weeks but it started to slow and eventually stopped. When it stopped, I decided I'd had enough of my gyno's opinions and we went to a fertility specialist. Not just to see if she could help me get pregnant someday, but to see if she had any ideas to help with my cycles. She told us she couldn't help us get pregnant right away because of my weight, but she did put me on an experimental drug that amazingly, a year later, is still working. It's called Femara and it is usually for breast cancer patients, but has been shown to help women like myself who are struggling with super-heavy flows and irregular cycles. For the first 8 months, I had no period at all. That was a very nice 8 months. Then, in November, I got the 2nd round of fairly normal cycles. Since then, I have had a period every 30-40 days, about 5-7 days long but never longer. I have real hormone surging and like actual PMS for the first time ever (my poor hubby... he'd never had to experience that with me before and now I think he questions why he married me about once a month). But there is no denying that these periods are AWFUL. I bleed so heavily that every time it first shows up I lay in bed crying, wondering if I should go to the ER. I have to sleep with towels underneath me in case my fabricated dam of the heaviest-flow tampons and TWO overnight pads doesn't hold. And the cramps are as if someone took an over-sized corkscrew, held it in the fire until it was glowing red, and rammed it up there and just started twisting it around. It's terrible.

Mad photoshop skills.

It was late this time. To the point where I though maybe it wasn't going to come and I would have a nice, long, blissful no-period time again. but it showed up yesterday, out of nowhere, and I can't even lay down for fear of bleeding everywhere. I seriously question my sanity every time it comes, wondering if children are really worth putting myself and my husband through this every time. I know how much it hurts him to see me so miserable and in so much pain and for him to not be able to do anything about it. He fully supports any decision I make, hysterectomy or not. I don't know why, entirely, I continue to put up with this, but I want our babies so ridiculously badly that I just can't give up. I will suffer through it month after month, year after year, until we meet one end or another: babies, or no chance of babies.

Turns out my vagina isn't the masochist...

I am.