Free to a Good Home.... Part 3
Previously on "Free to a Good Home"...
I had managed to make it to January without my uterus falling out and hadn't bled to death. I had made an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss a possible hysterectomy. I was done living as a hostage to my reproductive system...
I entered my gynecologist's office trepidatiously. I had a game plan but, given my past experiences with her, my expectations were not high on our conversation going well. I liked her, but she had a bad habit of not listening. After the pleasantries were out of the way, I started telling her everything I knew about my situation up to that point; the allergy that wasn't an allergy, the hives, headaches, insomnia, how all of that stopped when I stopped taking the birth control, and how the bleeding was back again. I told her I had started planning my life around my periods and how I couldn't live like that. I wanted to talk about hysterectomy options. She agreed that it was time to look at other options for me. From what I described, she thought my body had started to reject the birth control or maybe the manufacturers had changed the ingredients. Either way it was time to distance myself from it. I told her aside from the bleeding and the intermittent pain in my right side, I felt great. I just wanted the bleeding to stop. She balked at the idea of a hysterectomy, though. When I asked why she said, "You have a teeny, tiny uterus." I didn't understand the significance of that statement and said, "I was not aware you guys got paid by the pound." She ignored my comment and went on to explain that the board of the hospital when she performs her surgeries has to sign off on all of her procedures and we'd have to make a very convincing case to justify the removal of such a small organ. She went on to outline other options, like an Endometrial Ablation. I told her I was fine with that as long as it worked because a lot my my research on that procedure showed a less then 75% success rate. Then, as she explained how the ablation is performed, she looked through my medical record. Halfway through her explanation, she stopped and sighed. According to my chart, my uterus measurements were too small for her to get the instruments in to perform the ablation. She offered me a different birth control prescription and I said no. I told her I had made my mind up; no more birth control. My body did not like chemicals and I wasn't willing to press my luck anymore. The only option left to me, then, was a hysterectomy. So, she said we were going to have to gather enough evidence and create an overwhelming case in support of hysterectomy for her to take to her hospital board. She gave me instructions I had to follow the next time I got my period and then she'd be back in touch.
A week later, I got my period again for the second time that month. I was some what relieved I didn't have to wait too long to put her plan in to action. I called her office and told her PA that I had gotten my period. She told me I had to go to a lab the following day and have some tests run. She emailed me the lab order and I printed it out to take with me. So, the next day I called out from work and went to the lab.
A few days later, my gynecologist calls me and says, "Well, you just aren't anemic enough for me to order the surgery." What. The. Fuck?! I asked the obvious question, "What the hell are you talking about?! Just how anemic do I have to be to quantify this surgery?" She said my results were 13/39 and I needed to be at least 10/39 for her to order the surgery. So, she wanted me to wait until my period stopped and go and have the lab work done again. Maybe if we timed it right, we'd get the results she needed. Again, I asked the obvious question, "What makes you think my period is gonna stop?" There was a pause on the other end of the phone and then she said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." "Great", I thought, "She's a medical doctor and a fortune teller".
Well, two and half weeks later, I had a brief respite in my outpouring of monthly happiness, and I headed back to the lab. I called my gynecologist's office once I got there, so they could fax over the paperwork. Luckily, I had the same lab tech as the first round of tests because my right arm looked like it belonged to a heroin addict and I was not in the mood to explain. I kept my fingers crossed the entire time she drew my blood because it was the only tactic I hadn't tried yet.
In the end, crossing my fingers didn't help because the results were only marginally better; 11/39. And the best part of those results? My gynecologist was too chicken shit to call me with the results herself. She had her PA do it for her. I already suspected what was going on, but I asked anyway, "So, what's the next step?" She said there was no next step. I was not anemic enough for the surgery and since I was refusing to go back on the birth control, their hands were tied.
"What am I supposed to do? Bleed to death?! Will I be anemic enough then?" I asked. I was met with silence again and I said, "Thank you. You've just told me everything I needed to know." and I hung up.
One of the lesser known disadvantages of working for the world's most valuable technology company is that you instantly become a source for free tech support to everyone who knows you. Especially, doctors. So it shouldn't have surprised me when a few weeks later, my gynecologist came into the store where I worked. She saw me, waved, and made her way to where I was standing. She asked me how I was doing and I said, "How do you think I'm doing?" She changed the subject and attempted the cliche' small talk topics. Eventually, she came to the point. Her son had dropped his mini tablet and cracked the screen. She wanted me to look at it and tell her what she needed to do to fix it. I took the device from her and looked it over. I handed it back to her and said, "I'm sorry, but this is not quite broken enough for me to fix it."
It was time for a second opinion.
To be continued in Part 4.