If Only I Had a Penis
It’s true. Anyone who knows me would say that I hate being female. Granted, I am a tomboy and always have been. It’s not the clothes I hate or the makeup. While doing my hair is a pain, again, I don’t mind it so much.
What I hate about being female is my uterus and how many gynecologists blow off the symptoms I give them as being nothing. In all fairness, many doctors do this, but lately it’s the gynoes that have me up in arms.
I’ve had female problems my entire life, mostly just that I bleed like a stuck pig and my period hangs around for too long, sometimes 12 days at a time. For years I’ve had docs tell me that if I lost weight I’d be fine. Which I listen to even when I don’t believe it. You see, I used to be thin and still had these issues, but no one wants to listen to that. When they see an obese woman walk in the door, she may as well sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher for all the good opening her mouth does. Such is my experience.
Around Easter, however, I did work gradually up to this; I started having pain on the right side of my pelvis. I couldn’t sit without rocking. I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t lay down. Nothing relieved the pain. When I lay in bed at night on my stomach, it felt like I had a rock in my belly. Driving hurt. Driving over bumps really hurt. Sneezing hurt. Peeing felt like my guts were going to fall out. Sex hurt and there was bleeding afterward. I’d almost swear looking at me hurt.
Off to my gyno I went.
In the beginning, he was an awesome doc. He, after 28 years of complaining to multiple doctors, finally diagnosed me with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which, while incorrectly named, is an endocrine disorder. Basically, none of the hormones in my body do the job they are supposed to do. He gave me metformin and my life has been so much better.
I expected much more understanding than I got this past spring. He gave me a prescription for Motrin and said, “take this for three months and see what it does”. I was unimpressed because I was taking Motrin at home before this and it did nothing. When I brought this up he said, “But this is prescription strength.” Having no faith that it would work, but realizing that I don’t know my butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to doctoring, I took my medicine like a good little girl.
And it didn’t work.
When I talked to him about the bleeding after sex he said, “Well, I think you and your husband should slow down and take your time. You are 40, these things take time now.” Again, I’m no doctor. I did what I was told and was sent home with orders for an ultrasound if I thought I needed it.
And it didn’t work.
My hubby and I had sex two days after my period stopped and he looked like I sacrificed an animal on him. Not exactly the romantic after-glow we were going for. It became clear that the ultrasound was definitely needed.
Last week, I went in to get my results:“Well, Mrs. Gargasz, you have many problems.”
“From what we can see, you have nabothian cysts on your cervix, one of which is very large.”
At this point my geeky brain was thinking he was talking about some bizarre planet on Star Wars or something.
“But the other problem is a fibroid tumor on your right side. We also can’t rule out endometriosis.”
After a moment of quiet reflection I said, “So what do we do from here?”
“Well, you need to lose weight and come back and see me in a month.”
Yes, friends, this is where quiet, mild-mannered Miranda turned into hysterical, blubbering mess. Lose weight? THAT’S what we do? I thought. Is he expecting the miracle of all weight loss stories between now and Labor Day?
“Doc, I’ve been on Weight Watchers for over a year. I exercise at the Y eight to ten hours a week. The Motrin is killing my stomach and my appetite. The scale is going nowhere fast.”
“Well, we need to do some watchful waiting, have you continue the Motrin and see how things are from there. Losing weight will help because overweight women produce too much estrogen which feeds the fibroids.”
“Um, you see me. You KNOW I’ve been struggling to lose weight. I just told you I’m not losing despite my best efforts. My rings are beginning to spin around my fingers but my pants are getting tighter. That has nothing to do with the inflammation and growth of the fibroid?”
“Again we have to just watch and wait.”
Then I got even more hysterical. And pissed.
“Wait a minute. The Motrin I’m taking is ridiculous. I may as well take chocolate because at least I like the taste of that! Watchful waiting? What have we been doing since April? It’s August, almost September. Watchful? Waiting? Are you kidding me? I have two young boys to raise. I cannot be in bed two weeks out of every month, unable to even walk because of the pain I’m in. I don’t mean to be rude, but that is not an acceptable answer. You know why? I’m pretty sure if a doctor told you that you have a benign tumor on your penis and large cysts on your testicles, you’d be in here tomorrow removing that shit. I’m positive if you couldn’t have sex anymore because it hurt and caused you to bleed–not just a little because of the dryness you suspected, but ALL OVER your partner, like serial killer amounts– you’d have found a cure f#cking yesterday.”
His eyes grew too big for his head, I was ushered out of his office and given an appointment in a month. I was also told to bring my husband with me.
So, I’m going to watch and wait. I’m also going to write a diary of every day this month with what I eat, how I feel, the level of my pain and every damn gas pain I have.
If my next appointment includes the words “watchful” and “waiting” I’m going to lose my damn mind.
And search for a new doctor.
Miranda Gargasz is a writer from a small suburb outside Cleveland, Ohio. She is a contributor at What the Flicka? and The Huffington Post. In February of 2014, she published her first collection of essays entitled ‘Lemonade and Holy Stuff’. You can read more on her Blog, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.