Tuesday 18 January 2011

Mama, I just killed a plan...

Motherhood. Children. Family. Do I want that? I don't know. As I type, I don't feel "maternal", in need of a child of my own, or have the desire to nurture a baby. I'm a 29-year-old single woman with an undesirable and incurable health condition, which makes just standing up almost an impossibility and the floor an attractive place when I have a period. Now, pain is here, has left its bags in the hall, and it's not leaving. My life now is not a good one. It has little "quality". I have no control.

I don't know what to do.

Being told to look on the bright side, or to be positive, or one of the myriad other cheery sayings, doesn't help. Frankly, fuck off. (If you find that offensive... then... don't. You should know "my style". (God, I didn't just put that, did I? I did? Fuck.) This is me being honest, and truthful. This is me wanting you to have a bit more understanding about the fear in my whole being, the savageness of this disease, the sense of foreboding.) (This is also me assuming you don't know about endometriosis. Google it if you don't know; please don't just lazily ask what it is. This is a much underrated, very misunderstood problem and more ignorance (I don't mean arrogance, before presuming I'm being bitchy) is not needed.)
I can't look on the bright side, because there isn't one.
I can't be positive, because all my plans, choices, decisions are so often governed by what happens inside my body, something over which I have no control.

I know people mean well when they says things like the examples in the above paragraph, and it is nice that people care. But so often they, or you, are not aware of what endometriosis truly means when it gets as bad as it is for me, or for so many of my friends.
It's really good that your friend had endometriosis, and had an operation, and is OK now. That's brilliant, actually. If she has relief from this hell, I am truly so pleased for her. But it's not that way for me, and don't ever say you know what I mean if you don't: you don't know how hurtful that is to me, and every other woman or girl who lives this unforgiving life. I am not weak; I am unwell. There is a difference.

It's difficult when people you thought would have empathy show that they really have none. Calling someone like me a lightweight, or junkie, or lazy merely serves to add to my less than high opinion of some people with the lack of appreciation for what endometriosis is and does. That hurts. That really hurts, and helps to set my mood lower, and make the already-slippery slope to "better" more slippery than an eel in a barrel of oil. I don't want pity, of course. I'm not sorry-for-herself Lucy. I'm not negative; I'm realistic. And I've learned, now, to understand that some people (literally) don't get it. They can't understand because they don't have the pain, or they just don't have the capacity in their hearts to be that way. And/or they don't have a womb or ovaries.

This complete mess of a situation is yet more complicated by depression and its heinous demons of darkness, and the emptiness which fills my mind with the worst kinds of thoughts about what everything means. What's it all for? What's the point of me struggling through all this physical terror, all this internal torture, taking four or five types of medication a day, waiting, desperately for it to stop? Why is this happening? Why won't it fucking STOP?! And it doesn't stop. The pain doesn't stop. Yes, it lessens, and yes, the "period pain" [endometriosis destruction] ceases, but it's soon replaced by the heavy dragging of pelvic pain, that other never-ending blight of my pelvis, as well as the piercingly sharp and simultaneously dull ache radiating down my leg and up my back. And all from my little right ovary. And so, more medication. More opioids.

Right now, at the time of typing, I have a headache, threatening to morph into a migraine. I feel sick, and dizzy. I have palpitations, and insomnia has come back to play. None of the feelings is stopping. They're the symptoms of codeine withdrawal. On the most painful days of my period, I took about twenty tablets in one day. Co-dydramol isn't made in 30/500mg tablets, so I have to take two 30mg tablets of dihydrocodeine tartrate, and two 500mg tablets of paracetamol. Keral (anti-inflammatory) is still being taken with Omeprazole (an antacid), as Keral still conflicts with Citalopram (my perfect anti-depressant) and could still cause my stomach to bleed. I've had opioids of some kind at least once every day for the last two weeks. It's not a purposeful addiction, if anyone could call it that; it's an entirely accidental one, caused by endometriosis tearing me apart inside, damaging me in ways I may never know.

This period is nearly finished, shorter and lighter than usual. But the pain is as bad as ever it was before the laparoscopy and injections. I was, maybe, naïve to hope that it would be different now, that it'd be easier, less disabling, not so horrific. I was wrong to hope. Why didn't I realise it will always be like this, unless something drastic happens? Unless another operation is done. I doubt another laparoscopy would do much. It didn't seem to help significantly last time which, again, I'd hoped would be the case. If I have a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy, I could be destroyed emotionally, should I "settle down" later and feel maternal. If the relationship is right, it wont matter. That's not "the thing"; "the thing" is the ability to have children of my own, and whether or not I will change my mind, should I have the ovaries taken away.

With these continuing troubles, the pain, the withdrawals, the anxiety, my inevitable hormone hassles, and trying to find a solution to it all, I'm feeling more depressive tendencies than I have for a while.

And it all comes back to the same words: I don't know what to know.