Wednesday, 8 May 2013

On Being A Medical Experiment

A fun factoid about my body is that large sections of it are still unknown and unexplored. My exact genetic makeup. The exact build-up of my hormone levels and the effects of the in between testosterone and estradiol levels I grew up with. Whether what portends to be my prostate is more like a female or male prostate. In how far my existing vagina is functional, and what state it is in after having been closed off before I was born. Whether an infection has formed and still exists in said vagina ever since the surgery in late 2011, or maybe that a new infection has occurred.

Shortly after the surgery in October 2011 I was put on a month-long regime of medium-spectrum antibiotics due to a staph infection of the surgery wound above the vagina. Last year I was in severe pain for a few months in that same region, but a cause could not be established. When a urologist at a local hospital examined me with me nearly fainting from the pain, he just dismissed it as nothing serious and prescribed strong painkillers (NSAIDs) which did exactly nothing. It took quite a few months for the pain to pass.

Recently I have begun to experience pain that region again, with this time the area around and underneath the old surgery wound being painful to the touch and regular flare-ups of pain regardless of the activity I'm performing at the time. I'm also noticing that I'm short on energy for much during the day and am in general not feeling a hundred percent alright. All rather vague symptoms, and leading me to my plan of action.

I will be doing exactly nothing. My experiences have made it clear that unless there are clear outward symptoms which leave no doubt of something serious going on, there is no way you're getting anything more serious prescribed than painkillers or antibiotics. Even a medical student knows that inflammations in the body can become encapsulated, where antibiotics can not reach them, along with other complications which warrant a proper examination. Unfortunately such an examination is not part of Dutch medical protocols, ergo it's pointless for me to even try.

So far I can still function on a daily basis and do not exhibit worse symptoms than the ones I described. Hereby should be noted that even as a child I rarely if ever developed a fever when I was sick, so that's no symptom to count on. Whether or not at least some of my symptoms are due to simply stress from the situation I was forced into is hard to judge, but shouldn't be discounted either.

Together with my status of 'medical experiment', I think that my best chances lie in awaiting a surgeon who can perform that final surgery on me which would restore my female side. If there is an inflammation in that area, it would be discovered and dealt with that way. If there isn't, it'd be one less worry. Until that time it seems I can only wait.

Here's to gambling with one's own body.


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