I was on the fence about publishing a post discussing my menstrual period, because, well… I’m sure you understand. Anyway, it may have been in bad taste and all, but I felt compelled to publish it anyway because I have updates which would not make any sort of sense if you did not have the back story.
I did end up going to the gynopoke and it went pretty well. I mean, I had to take my clothes off and wear a backwards paper gown and spread my legs for a stranger (without cocktails), so it did not go super-fantastic, but as far as it could go well, it did. The Doc was not all that happy with the condition of my feminine health. No reason to think dire thoughts just yet, but she did send me home with pamphlets and prescriptions and a book recommendation. It’s nothing so glamorous as an STD – it’s just plain old PCOS. Of course, it’s totally untreated and always has been, but I will not take total responsibility for the lack of attention to my disorder.
The thing is, this whole obesity epidemic did not exist as we know it today, back in the 1980’s. Back then, I was just a somewhat chubby chick. So the only thing doctors would ever say to me was that I needed to lose weight. Over and over again they said it. And back then, a diet was grapefruit and Tab and possibly some OTC speed. And dieting has never been my thing.
As the years have gone on, my weight has climbed. And climbed. And climbed. In fact, if my weight were a person, it would be incredibly fit because it is a damn good climber. It’s a fucking mountaineer. Sadly, my weight is not a person, although it weighs as much as a person. It’s just the suit I walk around wearing. The other women in my family are all tiny, both in height and circumference, so I caught a whole bunch of flack for my weight. That flack was more the normal sort of flack, but there was one person who served up some abnormal flack. The details do not matter for this particular post, but suffice it to say that my father was not always a nice man. He is dead now, so I’m free to talk about him.
But Daddy is a whole ‘nother topic.
Anyhoo, all doctors have treated me as if I were a lazy slob who needed to go on a diet and stop eating her way through box after box of Little Debbies. While there may have been a grain of truth in some of the judgment I was subjected to, upon reflection, I do not believe that I am all that different from my friends or relatives. I just have a metabolic disorder and they do not. So if I eat a Little Debbie and my sister eats a Little Debbie, I end up wearing it around on my hips and she uses it as rocket fuel. My hips then slow me down even further while she rockets ahead and the gap just keeps getting wider and wider.
I suspected a long, long time ago that there was some sort of disorder at work and self-diagnosed myself with PCOS ages before I ever had a doctor confirm my diagnosis. I actually had to go through a handful of doctors before one even consented to considering it an option. Then they saw it on the sonogram pictures clear as day.
My confidence in doctors’ abilities to see past their prejudices and actually diagnose illnesses has been pretty low, needless to say. Plus, every time I found a gynecologist I actually liked, they either moved to Florida to take care of their ailing mothers or I lost my benefits and could not keep seeing them. Not that I really cared because I had been undiagnosed and untreated for so long I figured that a few more years could not hurt.
I believe it may have cost me the chance to have children, though.
And I bet a lot of people will not believe what I am saying about the way doctors treated me, but hand to (probably enlarged) heart, it is the truth. A younger relative of mine was diagnosed with PCOS in her teens and has never gone untreated. But she had a parent who cared and a doctor who did not believe PCOS was a made-up condition. She’s chubby, too, though, even with treatment.
The gynorast is most definitely the most disappointing of all medical experiences for me, so although I worked hard to talk myself out of going through with it, some damn grownup part of me insisted. So I went. Big dumb stupidhead.
Sidebar: by the way, my gyn…? She is anti-birth control? And pro-Natural Family Planning? Because she’s super religious? Have you ever heard of this? Because I haven’t? But whatevs?
Regardless, bless her pious heart, she actually took me seriously and started TREATING me. Maybe she is a good doctor or maybe the medical community has, at some point in the last 10 years of my medical neglect, actually embraced PCOS, but hallelujah. If I do not die soon, I may actually live! Of course, I may have some other, more-pressing concerns to deal with, but we will not know about that until after further testing (coming soon, too a vagina near you!), but as for the PCOS (which I pronounce PEE-Cose, to annoy the doctors), she is all up on top of it. Prescriptions and charts and “you have to come in for follow-ups” and whatnot. Whatever, lady. If you want to be all Doctory about it.
Also, she confirmed that a lot of what I’m doing nutritionally is a good idea and that I should keep on keeping on.
So anyway, my main reaction to all of this is, “oh, so that’s what it’s like when a doctor wants to help you get well.” Who knew?
The table, the stirrups, the paper gown (that I took off Hulk-style, hell yes I did), was all super awkward, but was made so much better by good ole, trusty Twitter, which is able to provide entertainment in almost any situation! However, the gynecologist, in a very embarrassing moment, did have to take my phone out of my hand and put it on her little speculum table because it was causing me to interfere with her attempts to scrape cells and whatnot from my uncooperative cervix.
Perhaps I have a small Twitter problem. Or just a gynecological one.
PS. In my younger years, I used to
steal liberate the occasional plastic speculum from the gynecologist’s office and leave it on a coffee table or side table at my house, just to perplex people. FYI, plastic speculums do not hold up to very much abuse and, in fact, do not make great duck puppets. Just saying.