With the notes on my files from the mental health department at Kaiser Permanente, I scheduled an appointment with a different OBGYN about 5 months after my last visit (I went last Tuesday, the 7th). It started out much like they all have for the past 5 years: I get asked to stand on a scale (doesn’t matter that I was in a week earlier to be put on new meds for my hands*), then I get asked what my level of pain is (because, yet again, they’ve just put down “pelvic pain” as the reason I’m there that day), I tell them 5 years, they suddenly forget how to use words, and after they take my blood pressure I’m told to put the gown on and wait for the doctor. Well, I didn’t put the gown on because I wasn’t there for an exam, I was there to talk to someone about my possibly having endometriosis, and, you know, doing there jobs for them in researching my own symptoms.
So, I wait for a half hour after my appointment is supposed to start until the doctor shows up and I’m already about to just Hulk the fuck out and tear that building down. When she finally showed up, she listened to what I had to say (she hadn’t looked at my chart previously to seeing me, which is always a fucking surprise since I made the appointment a month in advance), told me I was too fat to have exploratory surgery to get a definitive diagnosis on endometriosis, but that she felt fairly confident that from what I had to say, for how long it has been going on, from her quick glance over my chart, and the fact that the oral contraceptive they had me on was managing a majority of the debilitating pain that I had endometriosis. I got a diagnosis.
Just to be sure they don’t have to do surgery on me, I’m going to have to get an ultrasound at the end of this month to check for any large masses on my ovaries (which didn’t really make sense because the problem is on the outside of the uterus with endometriosis and I’ve already had an ultrasound of this kind and they found nothing). On top of that, they’re going to switch me from The Pill to a IUD since some of the pain has started to come back and the fibromyalgia/IBS is kinda worse. Basically, it just means that my body has changed and the original dose of hormones wasn’t cutting it anymore. The doctor thought that a IUD would work better than upping the dose on The Pill. We’ll see.
I don’t really know how to take this. I know I just wanted a diagnosis from a doctor to validate all the shit I’ve been put through these past 5 years from Kaiser and my family. Especially from Kaiser. It gave me no pleasure in having to relay that the previous OBGYN told me to see the mental health department, or that I should really get more exercise despite the fact I can’t walk or stand up straight or use my hands, when I asked about endometriosis back in December because that shit’s embarrassing for everyone involved, not just for me. It’s frustrating and depressing when healthcare professionals treat you like you’re making shit up because you have a mental health disorder and you’re not the weight they think you should be (despite the fact that you’re the weight they made you by flippantly throwing medication at your mental health disorder), ignoring the fact that you’ve been in and out consistently for 5 years with the same set of symptoms, seeing the same set of doctors. That’s pretty much all that diagnosis was for because I already know what I need to do for this condition, because it turns out that I’ve probably been dealing with it since I was 16. They’re not going to do anything for me now that I have it, you know?
It’s pretty much bullshit that you can’t get anyone to take you seriously unless you’ve got a name for what you’re dealing with, I guess. I don’t really feel any better now that I have it, and maybe that has to do with the way that I got it. I don’t know.
*Because the condition of my hands had been deteriorating so quickly from my pushing my luck with the drawing, I went in to see what other kind of pain management they could give me. This new PCP suggested a med that had been used for people with depression because it helps with nerve pain. Obviously, alarm bells went off for me because of the bipolar. We talked it out, then had the pharmacist research the med and my history, and we decided that because it’s a very low dose and I have a good handle on my bipolar that I should try it out. I’ve been on it for about two weeks and it has bee working really well. I just have to keep an eye on myself to make sure I don’t cycle into mania while I’m on it. It was worth it just to meet my new PCP who reminded me of Specialist Traynor from Mass Effect 3. I totally have a crush on her. I think anyone who I can connect back to a character from Mass Effect is someone I’m most likely gonna have a crush on. She liked my hair.