The highlights of this week have definitely been:
- the happy response I got from a client after she received some dreamy pink floral party items which I'm especially proud of.
- my new haircut, which is a long, layered bob that's a good six inches shorter than the lank, depressing locks which I previously had.
The lowlights of this week have definitely been:
- the return of our grossly hot spring-that-could-be-summer after a lovely respite full of cloudy, gray, days threatening rain.
- my hysteroscopy, aka the hour on Tuesday when my reproductive endocrinologist stuck a camera tube and light into my uterus so he could cut away a bunch of fibroids with what was described as "a Pac Man gobbling tool".
After months of worrying, tests, appointments, and research into why I couldn't get pregnant after a year off of birth control, this was our most likely answer: random little growths on the lining of my uterus, blobs the size of mere centimeters, tipping the odds out of my favor. They were discovered during a prior procedure called a sonohysterogram which was acutely painful and had me convinced that I hated children, babies, men, and all human bodies in general while it was happening.
Luckily, the procedure this week went much more smoothly. It wasn't great by any means, and I could easily recommend several activities more fun than a hysteroscopy. Watching the sequel to a teen dance-off movie or shopping for air-fresheners come to mind. At the same time, it was over quite quickly, was relatively painless, and the recovery has been pie.
The day itself was stressful in the way that medical procedures always are, but after anti-anxiety medication, two separate painkillers, and then two more separate anesthetic injections once I was quite incapable of any deep thoughts. The doctor, an attending resident and two nurses/physician's assistants all joined Patrick and me in the procedure room, so it felt like a right little party in there, if your idea of a party is to nod and make surprisingly blasé eye contact with four near-strangers who are staring at your vagina as they gear up to pipeline liters of saline into your uterus.
The actual looking/cutting/scraping part only took an alarmingly brief twenty minutes or so. Our doctor must be quite good at Pac Man. We were able to follow along with the action on a wall-mounted flat screen. I thought the fibroids looked like little jellyfish. Patrick thought they looked more like enoki mushrooms. He had a much better view of the tv, which is so not fair. I should've asked one of the assistants to Periscope it all so I could watch it on my phone.
By the time all my fibroids got chomped I was feeling shaky (thanks, cold saline) and my blood pressure was querelously high (thanks, basketful of medicines) and inching stubbornly higher by the minute. To my utter dismay we had to sit, thirsty, famished, tired and despondent in a cheerless exam room for another ninety minutes before my blood pressure, which had been utterly normal during the stressful pre-procedure check-in, to would consent to behave itself again.
Then we sat in traffic on the freeway in the blazing hot sun and that was honestly the worst part of my day. Seriously, that's why everyone who lives in L.A. watches that "The Californians" sketch on SNL with solemn nods and docile agreement, because traffic at 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon can be worse than having someone ghostbust your innards with a scraper.
But okay, the reason I wrote all of this is simply this: female, reproductive health is something we should talk about, and I'm not just referring to conception. We should talk about periods and the changes we experience over time the way we talk about our skincare or knee pain. I am amazed at how much I've learned about what goes on in my own body in the past fifteen months as my husband and I have tried and despaired over having a baby. I have been alternately puzzled, disheartened and furious for most of the past year, but I now know basic things about how womens' bodies work that I didn't before, things which should be taught to us in our teens because for goodness' sake, we deal with these cycles every month for most of our lives. Yet this is something I hardly ever talk about with my friends or with anyone I know. And although I knew as an abstract concept that many people have fertility issues, because it's such an off-limits topic, it began to feel more and more isolating and demoralizing.
When I told my best friend about my diagnosis she told me that she knew at least four other women who had gone through the same procedure, and I can't even explain the immediate relief I felt to even have that degree of Kevin Bacon connection to people who had been told the same things I had been told, who were also perfectly average people who had bumbled through making the abnormal into normal.
So that's what this is for. A long time ago it changed my life to hear people talk about depression and anxiety. It made me feel like a real person again. I've been silent for a while here because I got so tired of thinking and dealing with all this stuff. But sometimes it doesn't help to stay silent. So that's what's been happening. I've been so pleased with my design work lately. I've been listening to great music and reading tons of awesome murder books. I'm fine, I'm hopeful, and I am always here to talk.