Free to a Good Home....Part 2
So, let's jump ahead to three years later... I had been taking the birth control I was prescribed and it seemed to be working. My periods are under control and I no longer looked like I walked out of a crime scene when I get up on those wonderful heavy flow mornings. Despite the thirty pounds I packed on and the frequent bouts of insomnia, headaches, and fatigue, I felt good about my reproductive health. And yet, the human body can be as fickle as a fourteen year old girl being told she has swallow something icky.
I figured I was in a much better position this time to ferret out the offending food. I have several apps on my phone that help me manage my allergies, from shopping to creating a food diary. So, I tracked my eating habits for a month and was no closer to finding an answer. Mind you, this took me weeks to do and I came up empty handed. Then, I started to track my environments. Where were the break outs happening? I noted most of them were happening at work, in our break room. Maybe that was it! The room was being worked on for a lack of air conditioning. Maybe something in the air was causing me to breakout. The next day, I changed where I ate my lunch and I still broke out. Then later, again at home and at Maggiano's. Both places I knew were safe zones for me. So, it wasn't environmental and I was back to square one. I'm not gonna lie, I almost ended up on a roof with a rifle.
In the middle of all this, I had a check up with my Gynecologist to renew my Birth Control prescription. I also was having pain in my right side and wanted to know why. My whole life I could tell you when I was ovulating because I'd always get a pain in my right side just over my right ovary. In the past, other Dr's had told me that I had either pulled a muscle or I had irritable bowl syndrome. What was actually going on was Ovarian Cysts. One of my rare talents in life is growing cysts on my right ovary that would sometimes rival the size of a grapefruit or a Toyota Corolla. (Side Note: I actually had one burst in the middle of a show I was in. True story. I was in a production of Barnum and fell doing a chair trick. I'm not gonna say that it hurt, instead I'm just gonna say I've never been back to the Circus.) So, I was hopeful this time would be different and she'd validate me by agreeing that it was just my right ovary being a bitch. Not so much. She scolded me saying that I could not have been ovulating because I was on BC and BC's job was to stop ovulation. I mean, I knew that, but the pain I was having was unmistakeable in my mind. And even though, I felt like an idiot, I still asked if we could do an Ultrasound to be sure I didn't have a cyst because that's what it felt like to me. A great big, nasty Honda Civic of a cyst. She humored me and performed the ultra sound and there was no cyst. She said I was probably constipated or had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I silently agreed that someone in that room was full of shit, but I didn't think it was me. Instead of arguing with her, I sheepishly took my prescription refill and left.
The only good thing to come out of that appointment was a referral to an Allergist. I hadn't been to one since moving to LA and I wanted a doctor to help me figure out this mystery allergy. I had all of my data recorded in my apps and a food journal ready for his perusal when I got there. I'm pretty sure I overwhelmed him with all of the information I threw at him because I could see little mushroom clouds form in his pupils. But, God bless him, he went through it all. Every piece of data. Finally, he said, "The only thing I can tell you for certain is, it's not food related." He told me all of the work I had put into chasing down this phantom allergy, proved it wasn't food. I would've found it by then. Also, he congratulated me on my use of technology and for doing his job for him. I told him I'd be sending him my bill.
Back to square one again. It had been eight weeks since all of this started and I still didn't know what it was. Frustrated, I turned to my Aunt who was is nurse practitioner of psychiatry and as such, uniquely qualified to handle my case. I told her the whole sordid story and she reminded me that both she and my mother had hysterectomies by the time they were each forty. You add to that, my sister's endometriosis and her hysterectomy at thirty five and you have an established family pattern. She admitted that she failed to see the connection to Soy, but said the only thing she could think to do would be to stop taking the birth control. I was desperate enough to try anything at this point. After I hung up with her, I threw away my BC.
Nothing worth noting happened for a while. What I did notice was my weight fell off. I lost twenty pounds without trying and I was sleeping better. Also, no more headaches. I took all of this as a positive sign. I stopped taking the BC in August and it was October before I really felt the impact. In terms of the Calendar, my period showed up at the normal time, but there was so much blood, I couldn't leave the house. Do you remember that scene in The Shining when the doors opened and....
I thought maybe this was my body getting even with me for screwing around with the BC. November came, this time I had two periods with in two weeks. And this time I had to call out of work because I bled through a super tampon, a maxi pad and my clothes. Yeah. I was sure my uterus and vagina had teamed up to put an end to my then miserable existence. The biggest problem I had at this point, was the timing. The Holiday season when you work in retail is the only time of year you can't ask for time off. Plus, I refused to be the girl that has to call out of work because she got her period. I was sure could deal until January.
I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist as soon as I could once January rolled around. I told the receptionist when I booked the appointment that I wanted to discuss my options for having a hysterectomy. I wasn't playing anymore.
To be continued in Part 3...