Tuesday, January 24, 2006
History Lesson #4 (Unfettered)
From the time that I had been nineteen, I had been having these little weird bouts of pain in my stomach and they had gotten so much worse. From the age of nineteen until twenty one, I had undergone so many medical tests. I spent tons of time in and out of hospitals with doctors poking and prodding and guessing. When I was twenty one my doctor told me that he thought I had colon cancer. He said that all the symptoms I had been experiencing pointed in that direction and while it was rare in people who were my age, it was not unheard of.
I couldn't have cancer. I was twenty one.
And another set of tests was ran and I tried not to worry myself to death. I cried every night trying not to think about what would happen to my girls if I wasn't there with them. When the doctor came in and said he was wrong, I left and I didn't go back. I was done with doctors and tests and I didn't give two shits about ever seeing another paper covered table for the rest of my life.
The pain I was having in the beginning wasn't awful, it started as a minor and sporadic discomfort and then became a frequent and major discomfort and eventually, it became unbearable. I couldn't get out of bed when it hit.
Back to the doctor at NY's insistance.
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was twenty two.
What should have been an hour and a half surgery took four and a half hours. It took them four and a half hours to burn it all off. Waking up from that surgery, I was in the most pain I had ever been in.
I spent three days in bed. I could barely move. And I needed help to get up to go to the bathroom and then I needed help to get back into bed when I was finished.
But then I was ok for a few months. When the pain from the surgery cleared up, I thought I was cured.
I hadn't looked anything up online so I had no idea that the chances of it coming back full force were fairly high.
I went back to work and back to life.
A few months later, I noticed that I was having pain after sex. I made excuses at first, blamed it on the position or whatever. But then, it got worse and with it, the pain came back. And it came back much worse than it had been.
I spent the better part of a year on pain medication. All the time. Every day. I woke up in the middle of the night and took it and took it in the morning and all day. My doctors had to continuously switch my pills so I wouldn't get hooked on them. I took the maximum dosage and I took it as many times as I was allowed to a day. I was burning through pains meds like they were tic-tacs.
I was a zombie.
The second surgery wasn't as bad as the first. It was shorter and less painful. The doctors said that they couldn't believe how fast it had come back and with such force. It was a quick fix. I was in pain again before I had even finished the prescription medication that they gave me after the surgery. My stitches weren't even out and I could feel it coming back.
I had no energy and my thoughts were fuzzy. I couldn't drive and I was gaining a lot of weight because I had to eat to take the meds and I was taking a lot of meds and by proxy eating much more than I usually did. I had to sit down the whole time I was at work, I never remembered anything and I couldn't play with my kids.
I hated it.
And all of a sudden NY thought I was having an affair. Logically, since I wasn't having sex with him I must have been having sex with someone. It didn't matter that when we did have sex, I cried afterwards. Or that I had been diagnosed with endo. In his eyes, I was cheating. He even went so far as to accuse me of cheating on him with Veronique.
I didn't care.
Or I couldn't care.
I was in so much pain all the time. I couldn't remember anything. I missed my kids being in plays at school, I couldn't help with homework. I went to see Emilee in a food parade in school and couldn't even stand there and watch for more than ten minutes before I was in so much pain I thought I would pass out.
So, I did my homework. I researched everything I could about endometriosis. I read medical articles and stories from other women who had it. I read everything.
I read about treatments. There weren't many options. Basically, I could be put on the first two weeks of birth control pills all the time. It would keep my body from having a period and hopefully keep my body from trying to expel the cells, causing my pain. They also wanted me to start taking male hormones.
No, I wasn't going to do it because I had already read that the success rate was slim and I didn't want all of the side effects that came with the hormones. And considering how fast and hard it came back after my surgeries, I knew that it wouldn't help. There was only one other solution: a hysterectomy.
I went to see my doctor and he told me no way. No way was he going to give a twenty three year old a hysterectomy. Was I crazy? No. So, I "fired" him and started doctor shopping. I literally broke out the San Antonio phone book and started with "A" and worked my way down. I could usually rule out a doctor very quickly.
Do you take my insurance?
Ok, thanks.
And if I made it past the insurance question, most doctors had a moral issue giving chics my age a hysterectomy despite the disease. I found one but we found out later that he didn't take my insurance after all. He offered to do it for cash but I couldn't come up with the money. I felt like one of those chics trying to get an illegal abortion back in the fifties.
All the while NY and I are drifting. Between my job and the pain pills and my obsession with getting the hysterectomy, we barely saw each other. I was willing to sacrifice our relationship to get my life back. And for someone who wanted so badly for me to understand and accept his problems, he wasn't very interested in mine. He was still harping on our completely nonexistent sex life like I was doing it on purpose. And he was still positive that I was having an affair.
Maybe it sounds cold but I didn't care.
I had to find some way to get my life back. I hated the pills almost as much as I hated the pain. I hated that I had already missed a year of my life and I wasn't going to miss another year. I was putting my feelings ahead of his, my wants ahead of his and if he didn't understand and support me, then oh fucking well. I couldn't be in pain any more. I would have done anything to get my life back including losing him.
Weeks went by with me searching for a new doctor and I was running low on pills. I went in for a check up and my doctor had been called into emergency surgery and they asked if I minded seeing someone else. I didn't care since I had already fired him anyway. So, I ended up seeing the doctor that had delivered Emilee years before. I had switched after she was born because he wasn't very personable and if you are going to be all up in my nether regions, well by golly you had better be pleasant to be around.
He reviewed my history with me. He couldn't believe I had been on pain pills for over a year at such a high dosage. And I snapped back that if the other doctor would just give me the goddamned hysterectomy, I wouldn't have to be any more. He asked why the other doctor wouldn't and I told him that it was because of my age. And you know what he said? "I'll do the surgery. Can you come in next week?"
My mouth fell open and he looked at me and he suddenly looked really uncomfortable, like he had just been nice on accident.
He shifted in his seat, "I don't see why not. You have already had three kids and I am assuming you had your tubes tied to prevent having any more, so that isn't an issue. I see here that your ovaries haven't been affected too badly yet and that they took out your fallopian tubes during the second laparoscopy due to their extensive damage. Hopefully we can just take out your uterus and leave your ovaries and you should be fine."
And I am sitting there, on the paper covered table, crying.
I mean, this man who delivered my second daughter is basically telling me that he can give me my life back. I wanted to get up and hug him and tell him he was the fucking king of my world but the crying made him really uncomfortable and he got up and made his way out of the room telling the nurse to schedule my hysterectomy for a week from Tuesday.
I was on cloud fucking nine.
My life could be normal again. It had been so long since I had even had a pain free day, never mind a normal week. I could sweep my floors and pick my kids up and run if I wanted to.
I got home and told NY and he just sort of shrugged and I knew that we were damaged beyond repair. Too far apart. The boys were gone again to their mom's and he had pretty much moved into their room. No huge fight, no nasty words, just indifference. We had both needed too much from the other and neither of us had realized it until it was too late. His self esteem was in the shitter and I didn't even notice. I needed his support and his help and he didn't notice.
We really were bad at being in love with each other.
I had the surgery and I remember when I woke up I was in less pain than I had been in the entire previous year. The nurse came in and showed me how to give myself morphine and I was like whatever honey, I want to get up! I feel fucking fantastic. She was pretty sure I had already dipped into the morphine.
The next day, they took the morphine away and gave me more pain pills to add to my collection at home. I never took them. My stomach was a mess of stitches and I had just had major surgery and I felt fucking awesome.
They let me leave the next day and I went home and cleaned my entire kitchen while NY slept until one thirty that afternoon. He'd had another night of video games. When he got up, we fought. All of the anger and resentment we had stored up for each other came to the surface. He knocked me down. I remember when I hit the couch with my stomach, I thought to myself that he had better not fuck up my surgery. When I hit the floor and heard my daughters screaming, it was over. I wouldn't put my kids through what I had been through as a child. They wouldn't relive my past.
I left.
I went to my mothers and stayed the night and came home the next day and told him he had to move. It was August 5th 2003. I told him he could stay until October when the lease was up and that would give him enough time to find a place. But when October came, I was moving and we would not be together. He started packing that night and he loaded up his Mustang and drove back to New York the next day.
He hates me now. He told me on the phone that he hates me, that I gave up on us. He says I should have tried harder and that he wanted to fix it and that we could have fixed it if we had tried harder. He says we will never be friends and that I used him. He says I got pregnant on purpose and that I only had Trin so that I could use him as a paycheck.
He also admitted that he had been cheating on me from the second month we were together and the only time he wasn't seeing someone else was when we moved into the last house together. The girl that was shot by her husband? NY and her had been sleeping together.
He said when we got back together that he was really trying. That he wanted to make it work but that my heart was never in it. That I never forgave him and that I was never serious about us making it work. Maybe he is right.
All I know is that when we were together I wasn't happy. I spent too much time alone, too much time questioning whether we were all in or not. I never felt like we were a "we". It always seemed like he would leave at any moment over any argument.

We were just two pieces of a puzzle that didn't fit, no matter how many different ways we tried to force it.


so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 7:17 PM
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Who: katehopeeden
Where: San Antonio, Texas Yeah, so I am all that you see here. I am friendly and kind, crazy and bitchy, playful and flirty... sometimes I am funny but mostly I just write the first thing that comes to mind and then stop when it ends. I love life and I am lucky to be living the one that I am. Want to know more?
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12/14/84 - 1/26/05

"The most wasted day is one in which we have not laughed"

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