Piece of cake

by Jillian Bogater (Exile From Hysteria)

Lately I have been tired. Extraordinarily exhausted.

The shooting pains from my endometriosis have been unending. Mostly it has been a low-grade nonstop pulling pain that makes me want to curl up in a ball. In any position that may unwind my internal organs.

This makes me kind of surly. A whole lot surly, if you ask my boyfriend. It’s hard to stay engaged in a conversation when it feels someone’s pulling taffy in your guts.

Here’s my layman’s attempt at explaining what’s going on in my belly:

Basically, endometriosis occurs when uterine cells grow outside of the uterus in the abdominal cavity. When these cells grow and spread, they can bind internal organs together, causing significant pain. The only way to diagnose endometriosis is through surgery. There is no known cure, but removal of the uterus is believed to slow endometriosis growth and significantly reduce pain.

It’s a gamble I’m willing to take.

I called the gynecologist this morning to check on my pelvic ultrasound. The nurse put me on hold, then came back and cheerfully chirped, “It’s normal. In fact, the report says your uterus is unremarkable. Don’t take that the wrong way, honey. That’s a good thing.”

I explained that I expected a normal result, and that it was clearing the way for a hysterectomy. Immediately, her tone changed.

“Oh, well let’s just set you up with an appointment with the doctor,” she said.

2:20 p.m. Jan. 30. This is the day I will officially commit to a hysterectomy.

“Don’t you worry,” she said. “I’ve been there, done that. It was a piece of cake.”

Though she couldn’t see it, I smiled. It seems the more I open up about my troubles, the more women I meet who are experiencing the same thing or have already had a hysterectomy.

All that’s left is to sort through my insurance. The nurse noticed my primary care physician and my gynecologist are in two different networks. I recently had changed primary doctors in order to see someone closer to home; my previous doctor was 45 minutes away. I chose to keep my gynecologist out-of-network because a) she did my first laparoscopy surgery and I trust her, and b) because my HMO said I could.

I tried calling the HMO to make sure there wouldn’t be a problem, but today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the office is closed.

I’m just hoping to get this straightened out before I see my doctor on the 30th. I want to go in with as clear of a head as possible.

In the meantime, I have lots of homework to do.

But no need to worry.

I’ve been told this is a piece of cake.

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