Monday, August 4, 2008

I have tiny monsters in my belly.

They are teeny, even. But there they are, lighting up on the sonogram like little fireflies. They have grown on my ovaries and they are PISSED, you guys. So they give me pains like I have to pee. They give me lower back pain like I've been doing heavy lifting all day. Sometimes they make me nauseous JUST FOR FUN.

No, it's not cancer.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis on Friday and I am still kind of trying to figure out what that means.

According to WebMD, "Your uterus is lined with a type of tissue called endometrium. It is like a soft nest where a fertilized egg can grow. Each month, your body releases hormones that cause the endometrium to thicken and get ready for an egg. If you get pregnant, the fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium and starts to grow. If you do not get pregnant, the endometrium breaks down, and your body sheds it as blood. This is your menstrual period."

Well, thanks for that. But what the shit is this shit? "When you have endometriosis, the implants of tissue outside your uterus act just like the tissue lining your uterus. During your menstrual cycle, they get thicker, then break down and bleed. But the implants are outside your uterus, so the blood cannot flow out of your body. The implants can get irritated and painful. Sometimes they form scar tissue or fluid-filled sacs (cysts)." Oh! There it is. "Scar tissue may make it hard to get pregnant." Wait. What?

Nobody knows what course this will take or what to do about it. There is no cure and there are so many approaches to symptom prevention it is kind of dizzying.

I am not really a wait-and-see kind of lady. I am kind of a fighter and kind of a control freak. I want to do something about this NOW, but there is nothing to do. I don't want to control my symptoms, I want to shrink the cysts. I want to make it so they disappear. I want to slay the monsters, not make them a little sleepy.

Some women find a gluten-free diet works. Most sufferers and nutritionists say to cut out caffeine and booze completely. And chocolate. I don't know if you're aware, but I am kind of a coffee and chocolate taster for a living. I am also a booze taster for fun. So where does that leave my options? There is no proof that changing your diet even works, and there is no proof that it doesn't. Some women do nothing and nothing changes. Some women do everything and it just gets worse.

And this whole "It might be hard to get pregnant" thing has got me a bit depressed. Some people have told me that they know someone who has endometriosis and three kids. Some people said that they know of someone with it who is completely infertile. So uhhh... do I freeze my eggs and keep them under my mattress just in case? Or do I take the chance that when I'm ready for kids my uterus will play along? Is action overreaction?

I am a bit confused, is what I'm saying. I am a believer in traditional medicine but when there isn't really a traditional medicine approach that fits I am inclined to think holistically. Yoga might make my tum feel better and changing my diet might stop these little beasties in their tracks. Maybe. Might maybe. But yoga is expensive and changing my diet could affect my job. Also my life. Also it is probably expensive to buy all that organic, non soy based, gluten free food.

And then there's the anger. The irrational anger. What the fuck, nature? What the fuck. It should make me feel better to hear stories from women who suffer from endo and have had healthy pregnancies, but all I can think about is the fact that it doesn't mean anything. I am happy for them. But their fallopian tubes are not mine, and mine could be being crushed under scar tissue right now. I wouldn't know. A twinge of pain and there goes any chance of conception. Fuck you, tiny monsters. Eat a dick.

So I have another sonogram in six weeks or so to see how this has progressed. Maybe I don't change anything until then. Maybe I move to Vermont and eat nothing but bark for a while.

Also: part of my index finger is numb. WHAT THE HELL, Body? You are a laugh riot, I tell you what.