Saturday, 22 November 2014

Too Late For This Body Of Mine

Last Friday I was at the office as usual, working on debugging a mysterious crash in the project I'm currently assigned to. It was during this that I noticed that I began to stretch out my right leg, because it felt more comfortable, I guess. After a while I began to feel this sharp, constant pain in my right hip, which I managed to ignore just enough to keep working. When getting up at one point I noticed that my right leg was dragging a bit, indicating that mild paralysis had set in.

This entire week I have had severe lower abdominal pain, combined with pain and a general sensation of discomfort in the vaginal region. It's pretty much like that every month for the past years, though it is getting more severe every time. The general pattern seems to follow the usual female pattern of mittelschmerz [1] which is ovulation-related pain, followed by dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) [2]. The discomfort I feel in the vaginal region would be due to some kind of fluid discharge, which of course is trapped there without an opening. The disconcerting thing about the severity of the dysmenorrhea is how severe and persistent it is becoming. This brings the unpleasant possibility of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) [3] to the foreground.

With few clues available as to what my internal anatomy in my lower abdominal region looks like it's hard to say what might be going on. There's the strong suggestion of a monthly cycle, which would require the presence of ovarian tissue - likely partially formed - and some kind of of tissue that would respond to the hormonal cycle, i.e. like the tissue lining the inside of the uterus. As PID brings with it the severe risk of scarring and other unpleasantness (responsible for infertility when left untreated in normally fertile women), it seems pertinent that my symptoms be further examined. Only thing I know at this point is that taking the anti-conception pill reduces the severity of the symptoms significantly, pointing towards a hormone-based cause.

Unfortunately that is pretty much what I have attempted for the past ten years. Even here in Germany I have found that there are no physicians or gynaecologists with any knowledge of an intersex condition like mine, let alone who knows how to examine it. Also considering the trouble women I have talked to before have getting help related to menstrual and related pain with their perfectly boring female anatomies, I deem it quite unlikely that I'll ever get answers.

Thus my options are limited to waiting and hoping for the best outcome, namely that I'll just have to deal with this crippling pain every month for a week or more. If the symptoms continue to become more severe and complications begin to develop (with sepsis as absolute worst-case option), I can only pray to the uncaring heavens that the pain won't become severe enough that I'll be bed-ridden for roughly half the time each month. Or - heavens forbid - end up actually dying.

While it may seem fun to have a unique body there's nothing which frightens me more right now than the whole 'not knowing' part as pains which Dutch physicians have assured me are completely imaginary tear through my abdomen every month again, driving me to tears as no painkiller is strong enough to stop them.



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