Brigitte: Are you sure it’s just cramps?
Ginger: Just so you know…the words “just” and “cramps,” they don’t go together.
From the film Ginger Snaps
This is something I had never, NEVER, done before.
I have a condition called endometriosis. (WARNING – description of female biology coming!) Basically, the stuff that comes out during a woman’s period doesn’t all come out…because some of it is growing where it shouldn’t. I’ll provide a link, should you wish to get really squirmy.
It’s hard to say how long I’ve had it, but from the time I started telling a doctor “This isn’t normal,” to a diagnosis took FOUR YEARS.
I’ve had oral birth control, painkillers, and surgery to stop the pain. Each one worked for a while, and then either my body developed a tolerance, or the tissue grew back. In 2010, I had an IUD put in by a gynecologist (I’ve already said this onstage, so online, whatever) which sends contraceptive right to the source of the problem. I’ve been normal for three and half years. But since February this year, the pain has been getting steadily worse. Again.
A week ago tonight, I was at the Citadel Theatre Young Company’s play readings. Brand new playwrights having their work read, out loud, in public, for the first time. And ten minutes into the second play, I had the icy thought –
I’m going to break in half and throw up on the floor.
I had to leave. I had NEVER before left a show, reading, concert, ANYTHING, ever – whether the show was terrible or not, because it’s a horrendous thing to do. It disturbs the audience, it makes the creators involved feel like garbage. I e-mailed two friends later who were there, and who I knew saw me leave, and I just said “I was really sick.”
“Sick” isn’t the word. It’s a consistent grinding in the abdomen. You need your abdomen to walk, to sit, to stand, to pick things up. Before I had the IUD, I was dragging myself to work, because I HAD to work, and then going straight home. Every night. For months. There’ve been two shows I was desperate to see this past week, and now they’ve closed and I didn’t see them because I was terrified I would have to leave. Again. My life is being screwed up by this. Again.
I’m seeing my gynecologist on Thursday, to find out what else I can do. The final thing to try on endometriosis is a hysterectomy. THAT is not happening. But…I am turning 40 this year…
There are so many ways being a woman sucks.