31 March 2007

rant: female body processes

**disclaimer: if you're a guy, reading my blog, you might want to skip this post. that is, unless you're the odd-man-out who can deal with rants about the female body's processes.**

I realized recently that the contents of my posts have taken an odd turn: I've ranted about being a patient much more than I've discussed medical school. perhaps that's because being a patient has taken over medical school. at any rate, this post will not be different. i need to rant.

i've mentioned previously that i've experienced various medical problems throughout my life. enough medical problems, in fact, that my classmates would likely freak out if my case file were presented in pbl instead of our usual, tame, uncomplicated case patients. (<--i say this because we once had a case where the patient--gasp--actually had a past medical history and my whole group started whining about how difficult the case was.) amongst my myriad pathophysiologies is an endocrine disorder that basically throws everything out of whack. generally what this means is that i don't get periods unless they're induced. now before you ladies utter the ubiquitous "lucky," let me tell you, this is not a bit of good fortune i've stumbled upon. having to induce periods sucks. i once had to buy $500 in medication to induce one. how lucky is that? you're right, it's not. [and, in case you're wondering, some scientist somewhere decided that women need an average of four periods a year in order to stave off the risk of endometrial cancer; hence the necessity of the inductions. no, i'm not yet convinced it's worth all of this trouble.]

this year, since i clearly don't have enough going on, my body has decided to mutate again. so last semester, right after the term ended, i got a spontaneous period. now, this should be no big deal, right? i mean, women go through this all the time, don't they? well, most do. but i don't. which means that every time i get a spontaneous period (all of the like seven or so times it's happened in my life), i spend the two days before it comes thinking i'm going insane because, of course, i don't recognize that what i'm suffering from is a huge hormone shift and not mental instability. in essence, i regress into an inept thirteen year-old girl who cannot figure out how to stave off cramps, what types of tampons to use to prevent flooding, how to keep from crying over everything, etc, etc. it's horrid.

so, when i went to see mr_dr_do the other day and ended up crying in the parking lot? should have been a clue, right? *sigh.* i'm hopeless. i came home from that appointment and proceeded straight to my bed and have not left the house since. sometime late friday night/early saturday morning, i was up reading another novel (yep, that makes two this week...), but i couldn't focus. i seriously thought i might be having a nervous breakdown, that's how agitated and out-of-sorts i felt.

as it turns out, i'm not insane. rather, i was experiencing pms but didn't realize it until the damn thing appeared saturday. now, on top of the abdominal pain i already have because of the lap chole and wtf has been going on since, i have cramps. and i, the person who is usually very peaceful and who saves turtles from certain disastrous death on the road (<--i'm not going to live that one down anytime soon; my mom was driving the other day and i made her stop so that i could carry a turtle across the street because it was going to become road-kill if it tried to reach the pond itself; she thought for sure the turtle was going to bite my finger off!), now am so angry that i want to castrate the first guy i see. why? because *they* don't have to do this. and this--this period thing--this *sucks*! seriously, how in the hell do women get anything done if we spend so much time feeling like this? it's as if somebody is trying to hoover all the energy out of me from below. (oops, can you tell i was reading a british book? ;-) ) i want to throw a temper tantrum. seriously.

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a little disclaimer...

i'm a medical student. just a student. so please, don't take anything i say too seriously. remember that i was an english literature major as an undergrad, so there is much fiction to be found in these pages. do you think i'm telling a story about you or your illness? more likely, you're tapping into my sense of "everyman"--that is, your story resonates with what i write here because it's not so uncommon after all. need help? please, please go see your physician. <--i'm not her. yet. ;-)