Return to Self
“Allow myself to introduce…myself!” — Austin Powers
If I’ve written about my having Endometriosis and infertility issues in the past, I (think) I’ve been pretty vague. Typically I only share details of my health with my family or those who are in a similar situation. It’s not because I feel these things are too private, but because I don’t like the spotlight kind of situation.
Yet, here I am about to write about it on a blog for the whole world to see! Actually, my WordPress Stats (showing me the number of people who visit my blog) say I have no concern there.
As I was saying…
My health has been a trial of mine and part of that is in learning how to deal with it emotionally. I tend to keep my feelings about it hidden. It festers at times. I would like to be able to fully let my anger about it go so forgive me if I show a little of that here.
A Little History
In 1998 I went in for my first laparoscopy to diagnose and treat Endometriosis. It’s one of those conditions where scientists only have theories as to the cause and thus, there is no cure. Endometrial cells that are for menstruation are found outside of the uterus. Wherever they land, they attempt to function with every menstrual cycle. It can cause pain, webbing of organs, bizarre organ function, the creation of cysts, scar tissue and infertility. It’s also a genetic disease so I could pass it on to my daughters.
At the time, my former husband and I were thinking seriously of having children. We were faced with THE conundrum: 1) treat the disease with hormones which also prevents pregnancy or 2) go without the medication and run the risk of the Endo coming back.
Between the years of 1998 and 2005 I went through a series of surgeries, infertility treatments, application for adoption, changes in diet and exercise, many hours of research, and many hours of time on my knees.
To sum up… The most interesting part of the process has been learning how to be ok with it. In my early research, I looked at some “support” web sites for women with Endo and infertility. I quickly learned how unhelpful and depressing that was and decided to just spill my guts in prayer and seek for answers there.
And that’s the way it went.
For the past few years or so, I’ve been having symptoms that lead me to believe Endo is pestering me again. Although not as severely as I remember from the past, my reproductive cycle causes a series of events that has very little whatsoever to do with what it is intended for. Mostly–let’s say 95% of the time–I accept it. And then there are the 5% days where I’m not completely ok with it. Maybe all those forum women who griped about their infertility and pain were on to something. Maybe I just needed to let it all out.
Some days I’m just plain mad.
I’m mad that I was given these organs that only cause me pain. What good are they anway? Why have them if they’re not performing their intended function? Why are SO many women inflicted with this disease? Why are so many girls allowed to get themselves into a situation of motherhood before they’re ready or able when I’ve been preparing for that title since I was 8 years old? Can I smack the young woman in her 20’s who complains about her swelling feet or vomiting or any of the other symptoms that come with a human life growing inside of her? I’ve done everything there is to do for this and I do NOT want to have another surgery. I’m burned out.
Why don’t I cry when I hear about woman after woman who gets pregnant when they were told they never could and then, bam!, miracle ensues? Am I numb? Am I resentful? And WHY, oh why, do I still–after all these years and all the medical, natural, and emotional processes I’ve been through– why do I still have ever-so-slight a hope every month that this will be the month I get pregnant? What are these feelings? Confusion, doubt, denial, depression? Is my faith really that weak that I have to have this trial to test it over and over and over again? Why even care about getting pregnant after all that?
What is it all for anyway? Nothing!
Whew! Now that that’s over, I’ll find my sanity.
I believe it’s understood by a loving God when we have those insane moments. He knows how I feel, but I hide it from the world, thinking I can’t show that I’m a wimp and am insensitive to others on the opposite end of me. Thankfully, the insanity is only moments or days and not months or years.
I do not believe that darkness, fear, belief in a person’s ugly words, confusion, and doubt come from that same loving God. The darkness always leaves and I remember wonderful lessons I’ve learned along the way, unearthly lessons. The details of those experiences will not be written here, but here are some things they taught me.
– Don’t take the ignorant words people say personally. Instead, take the issue personally and do what I feel is right for my own body. But don’t be afraid to stand up to ignorance either.
– Have patience with myself, my emotions and work through the dark days, not around them.
– Don’t allow the hay-days of these issues to control me.
– Share, through the Spirit, with other women because we need each other.
– I’ve learned to trust in a compassionate, loving, validating, husband to support me and open up about it instead of burying my feelings.
– And just as Endo appears to be in my nature, so does believing in miracles.
If I ever do stop believing in miracles, it really has all been for nothing.