Here we are again. My uterus has taken over my life for yet another week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, my author page is chock-full of “…Period” articles that set the stage. Moral of the story: I may have endometriosis, but all tests refuse to diagnose me while I continue to live in agony.
So, you may recall (or not) that I had an episode of break-through bleeding while on birth control back in November of 2021. This episode thrust such painful cramps upon me that I crumpled under their weight, literally. I fainted! It was this event that got me some help; I did an ultrasound and repeat pelvic exam, yet no obvious cysts from endometriosis were discovered.
And, to my dismay, after a completely smooth cycle of no breakthrough bleeding and a not-that-bad period for the first time in five years, I’ve once again met my enemy: break-through bleeding.
It was a Saturday night of The Batman and cocktails with my beloved roommates when lightning struck, aka I started spotting. The next morning I woke up to cramps and a headache, but this time the cramps weren’t the issue.
No, this time the problem was fatigue.
I consider myself to always be a little bit fatigued. I always feel like I’m pushing through some amount of tiredness yet this was something I’ve never felt before. I was fatigued in an epic proportion that towered over any amount of exhaustion that I felt after dance competitions or even having a flu so bad that I fainted in the middle of my 12th grade physics classroom.
Per usual, that sunday morning I tried to push through it. However, try as I might, it was impossible. Even eating a bagel brought me to tears because it was taking too much of my energy. And so, after crying my way through my bagel, I was ordered back to bed by bestie/roomie Ashti and in bed I stayed.
Snuggled under a heating pad and weighted blanket, I was so deep in the trenches of tiredness that using the bathroom, eating, or drinking water were unfathomable. So, what do you do in that situation?
Well, first I cried on the phone to my mom and sister. But, after that, I waited until the next day, Monday, to call up Kaiser. Luckily, both my primary doctor and my OB-GYN were out of the office for the week!!!!!!!!!
I instead talked to a Registered Nurse who ordered me some repeat blood tests to check me for anemia and thyroid function. I had already done these tests back in January, but I wasn’t expressing any symptoms at the time so she thought it’d be a good idea to double check while I’m at peak struggle.
And, of course, everything was normal.
Pretty much I’ve been left to just keep taking my birth control and Advil and hope that these symptoms go away. And, so far, they are fading. While I’m entirely grateful that my energy levels are slowly rising as my cramps, headaches, back pain, and nausea retreat, I’m also entirely frustrated.
I feel like my body is falling apart, dragging behind a uterus that just won’t quit its mission to wreak havoc on my wellbeing. I also feel a huge disappointment in medical research and practice. I, and so many other people with uteruses, are left out and cast aside. I’m disabled from the effects that my uterus has on my body. I miss class and take time off of work, yet there’s simultaneously nothing more to be done in the eyes of western medicine.
Acupuncture has already caught my attention and I wonder what other non-western medicinal traditions may be able to help me. While a naturopath may also have alternative means for me, I feel anxiety about the field of naturopathy being dominated by skinny white women who will tell me to lose weight and consider it a job well done.
My friend has also recommended a balancing tonic to help with menstruation symptoms that gets tailored to your needs with a neat little quiz. There are a lot of options out there, it just takes some research and testing to find what will work for me. In the meantime, I think I’ll remain frustrated for a little while.