2.11.2005

OB/Gee bad news

The obscenity is the money. When the nurse practitioner told me what she found I started to cry because all I could think was that this sounded expensive and my uninsured self does not have the money. But it explains the hell that has been my body the last few months. WARNING: Discussion of female bodily functions follows. Not for the feint of stomach or squeamish men. I apologize now for the ickiness of this post. But this is life. And this is all that's on my mind today.

Since December, my already unusually short menstrual cycle of 17 days suddenly dropped to 10 days. That is 10 days between my periods, with PMS starting about 3-4 days prior to onset. Which means I have about 5 days of feeling like a normal human until the whole thing starts again.

Why did I wait two months to see someone about this? At first I thought it was some kind of fluctuation that would go away. But it didn't. And I can't afford to go to a doctor so I'm left with the nurse practitioner at the school clinic. I have nothing against nurse practitioners. But this woman told me to stop drinking caffeine last year when I went to see her about an ear infection.

Lacking other options I made an appointment and had to wait a week. I went in yesterday. Told her the problem. She said she'd have to give me a pap before she'd give me a scrip for birth control pills. FUN. So I stripped and got stirruped up. An intern was there with us for training which made everything take longer so the nurse could explain what she was doing with me.

The woman was not gentle AT ALL. I squirmed in pain. I told her she was hurting me and she said, "I know." Poke, poke, poke, pinch, pinch...went the cold steel sharp objects that nature never intended to go inside women. "I can't see the cervix. There it is. Come take a look at this. See how it's over there?" "Oh yeah."

"I'm really uncomfortable." I interrupted them as a cold sweat worked its way out of my forehead. She said "Yes." Secretly I wondered if they could see my hymen, though I don't even know if I still have one. It's stupid but I'm always afraid when I go for an exam that the doctor will shout in surprise: What's this? Are you a virgin? HOW old are you? Well now I've seen everything."

Finally she pulled the speculum out and started the bimanual exam. That didn't hurt but she found something. She says I have at least one fibroid. She told me this and all I could think was: What the hell is that? Is that cancer? Whatever it is this is going to cost me a lot of money. "I'm going to give you a rectal exam now." "A what?" Yuck. She started that exam while I considered this fibroid thing. I'd heard of these before. Usually benign. But would they have to operate or laser it or something?

Not only was I half nude and in the most ignoble position, tears started dripping out of my eyes, which triple embarrassed me. She said I might have another fibroid but she wasn't sure, I need to get a sonogram. "I can't pay for that." She went on about why I needed it. Then the intern took my blood, two vials full to test my hormone levels. Which I can expect a bill for next week. The nurse called someone to get a price on the sonogram.

The nurse wouldn't even give me a prescription for the pill because she said I needed to have the sonogram first just to see what's going on. That made no sense to me. I was in shock so I let it go. Damn. This broke student life is getting really, really old. My aging body can't seem to keep up with this anymore. And I am aging. Here is irrefutable proof. I left the building to find a pizza place where I could go cry. Then I went home.

Today my PMS symptoms are in full swing. I think they must have started yesterday with all the crying, but today I am completely fatigued. Someone please put my body out of its misery! If I were a horse, it'd be time to put me down. Right now, that's what I'd prefer.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, JL, my heart goes out to you and I'm at a loss for words.  

Posted by Lizzy

Anonymous said...

Since you can't get the BC, I recommend chocolate. Also, have you looked around for a clinic that might do some reprodictive medicine for people w/o insurance at a discount? maybe planned parenthood or something? Wouldn't hurt to call.

Anyway, poor baby, I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
 

Posted by Lisa

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this will help, but I come from a family of fibroid sufferers (mother, aunt, maternal grandmother). None of the women in my family have had to have their fibroids removed - though they did result in heavy, painful periods. My mom and aunt went on to have successful pregnancies even with their fibroids intact.

Now I know none of this will provide you with the money to pay for a sonogram (and I know how that feels!), but I hope it can at least ease some of your worries that this might not be as bad as it sounds. You're in my prayers, JL. Hope it all gets better soon. 

Posted by ASM

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lizzy, Lisa and ASM,
That does help to know it might not be a big deal. I just ignored the problem last week. This week I'll actually do something about it. Your prayers are working because last week was much better for me and I didn't even menstruate! Woo hoo! 

Posted by JL

Kevin Jackson said...

Well, this is interesting. I did a blog search for caffeine pill and found your site. When I get some time I'll come back and find out where caffeine pill appears and how it relates - if it even does. Take care - nice work.

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