Thursday, 8:15am

I’m meeting with a new doctor this week. Thursday, 8:15am.

My one year preexisting condition waiting period is finally over. After being hospitalized for four days the summer of 2010, I’m finally getting answers—or, hopefully, confirming presumptions.

For the past almost 3 years now, we’ve (my doctors, family, friends, and I) have been working under the assumption that I’ve got endometriosis. It’s meant taking half a pill every single day just so I can function. Without it, it’s meant a lot of pain and (boys if you’re squeamish about lady functions, well, get over it) it also meant barely any time between cycles. When they put me on my current medication, it was 18 days between them. I could probably count the days I wasn’t in pain each month on one hand. Even on the pill now, I’m bloaty and there’s still some pain. Fun side effects also include mild acne and weight gain. I’m also pretty sure this has increased my emotionalness too.

Endometriosis isn’t curable, but it is manageable. Most women are fine after surgery—which is necessary for diagnosis. Some women need to take medication their whole life. And some women can’t get pregnant. Endo is manageable. Endo is what we want.

Starting the diagnostic process again, however, is bringing back old fears. It reminds me that we’re not quite certain what I’m dealing with. Not yet, at least. I’m hoping that my worries are for nothing—that it’s just endo and I can eventually go back to a moderately pain and bloating free life. That I can feel sexy again, and actually believe it. (You try having an extremely painful problem with your lady parts and try feeling sexy…)  That my mind can stop going to worst case scenarios.

I know overall that regardless of what happens, I’m going to be all right. I’ve already decided I’m going to tackle this as best I can like a champ, and be ok that I might break down at some point. This Thursday morning’s appointment is just the first of possibly many. I won’t likely get my diagnosis, or have my surgery, this week. But it’s the first of many steps to taking care of myself.

I’ve had some people in the past imply that I should get over it. That I’m just being dramatic. But endometriosis is a real problem. And for me it’s incredibly painful. So much so that it interferes with my life. The easiest way to describe it is that it feels like something is ripping and being stabbed at the same time while having a truck drive over your abdomen. When I’m on my medication I’m mostly fine. Very few people have actually seen my bad days, even fewer saw me in the condition that landed me in the hospital. And in the realm of endometriosis, I feel like I’m getting off easy. I have a hard time talking about it occasionally because I know there are women worse off than me. But in my world, this is a big thing, and not knowing for sure this is what’s happening with my body is a big scary thing.

I’m very fortunate for my close network of friends who have supported me through this, and continue to do so.