Friday, January 23, 2009

When Doctors Tell You the Painful Truth

WARNING: In this post I am going to share something personal. If that makes you uncomfortable, check back in a day or two. I promise I will have more light hearted goodness for your enjoyment.


Yesterday morning I had a doctors appointment with my OBGYN. For any of the guys still daring to continue reading, that's the doctor who takes care of the female stuff. Now that I have lost all my male readers, let's move on with the story.

I have a medical condition called Endometriosis. According to WebMD, "Endometriosis is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus. Symptoms include abdominal pain, heavy periods, and infertility. Treatments include pain relievers, birth control pills, and surgery."

I have been dealing with this for over 10 years. I've tried every type of treatment from pills to shots to surgery (twice) to finally my current treatment, a simple IUD. When I was younger, doctors used to tell me to hurry and have kids then get a hysterectomy - the only guaranteed cure. Advice that may have been true, but to an 18 year old, not exactly something I was prepared to hear. However, when I was 24 and married, I did attempt to get pregnant. A year later I was divorced. I suppose this information will help explain part of this post.

Now I am 28.

I have had the same doctor, whom I love, for the past 6 or 7 years. He has seen me through treatment after unsuccessful treatment, managed pain medications and even performed one of my surgeries. At this particular yearly check up he decided that it was time to prepare me for the disappointment he fears I am headed towards. It is one thing to silently accept the fact that no matter how much you dreamed of it growing up, no matter how much you practiced playing mom with your dolls, a baby of your own is just not in the cards for you. It is quite another, I assure you, when a doctor says it.

When I left the doctors office, I cried on the drive into work.

Most of the time when the subject of children comes up, I say I don't really want any or I am undecided if kids are right for me. It is easier than explaining the truth, which is simply that I don't get to choose. Now I know what you will say, there is always adoption or the 20 grand process of in vitro which gives you a basic shot in hell. Please don't think for a second that I don't know the options out there - I'm aware.

Right now I am just reflecting. I am not throwing myself a pity party, as I mentioned this is not new news to me. It just still hurts. I think it will always hurt a little. But we all have our challenges and this is mine. It's not so bad. I've learned the process of mind of matter when it comes to pain management. Plus when that doesn't work, a glass of wine and some Ibuprofen can do the trick. I have learned how to genuinely be happy for friends and family who become pregnant. I no longer begrudge them as I once did. As for the rest of the symptoms that are a bit too personal to discuss, I am tackling those too. I could have it so much worse. I just have to remind myself of that at times... like right now.

Blogfully yours,

Summer

9 comments:

Cat said...

Wow, that's some heavy stuff. So sorry for the bad news, but thank god for doctors who don't beat around the bush, huh?

theoddduckling said...

I don't know what to say Ma'am as "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it. I can't say I understand...for rather obvious reasons.

Although I am (moderately) happy that you have learned to let go of bitterness largely. Although I can't imagine it gets any easier.

Thoughts go with you.

- Kendall

Jeremy said...

I am sorry.

susanmercedes said...

It's harder when life doesn't give us choices. Want to borrow my darling 9 year old daughter on a bad day to help with the news?

Anonymous said...

I love you!
karina

Sarah Bellum said...

I love you, honey.

Timi said...

I'm ususally a lazy blog reader I don't often venture out past my ladies on my list but tonight I did.
I'm so glad I did! I'm 44, with no children and have walked in your shoes over and over.
I have had the Pooh Sweatshirt wearing mom get all up in my grill about "why don't you have kids?"
"Don't you like kids?" Others (some known, some strangers) saying "you just never seemed like a kid person" and oh the list of topics goes on and on.
I have heard it all. I have cried, wished, prayed, researched and have done whatever else I thought I needed to do and it never took away that feeling that I missed the boat. When the reality was......I never got to choose if I wanted to get on the boat or not. Something bigger than me made the decision for me.
Just last week my dear friend who is single and 40 just found out she too would never be able to have kids. She has been down in the dumps for a couple weeks. Yes, we all know about the treatments and options but that isn't the point. The point is......we don't get to have the experience that we were put on this earth for. People with kids just don't get that. It's like we don't get to go to the next level of adulthood.
Your still young and one day you will find out what your destiney really is. In the mean time.....it's hard and I hear ya sister!

I didn't get married until I was 41and my husband has no children either. We have talked about it until we can't talk anymore, we have stashed money, and answered all the questions from family we are going to answer! One day we looked at each other and said "we are ok with not having kids, we are just going to live our life differently!" We had breakfest that morning and went and bought a HUGE Travel Trailer! We now travel as we like, go where we like, when we like, and have the cutest dog in the world.
Now when people ask about when are we going to have kids we just simply say "oh yeah, about that, we spent the adoption money on a trailer!"
I get to be Auntie Mame to my niece and all my friends kids. I get to have all white furniture and carpet and fancy guest towels in the bathroom. All things my friends would give their eye teeth for! ;-)
Be sad, it's ok!
Thanks for letting me share. I hope it helps one day.
Timi

C.S. Perry said...

The next time I drink wine...I'll toss one back for you.

Do the Best you can. And, of all the cliches you don't need to hear, I'll pick this one:
Never give up Hope.

Staci and Cody said...

Summer,
I love you so much! I'm sorry you have to go through this! I know you don't think this right now but I am here for you no matter what! Please please know that! You have been here for me whenever I have needed you, I want to do the same for you!