Saturday, 21 February 2015

Got to be nice to oneself, sometimes

This week I have been little more than a scientific experiment. A rat in a little cage to be poked and prodded with all responses noted and analysed. Only it was me doing the experimenting on myself, and recording just how terrible I felt on each respective day. The reason for this experimenting is as I have mentioned on earlier occasions these worsening monthly hormonal cycles I seem to be dealing with. Before I ran out of the anti-conception pill last year I used to take the pill every day, without taking the usual week-long break each month. This meant that any symptoms I then felt were relatively subdued and not very characteristic.

After getting a new prescription early this year from my GP I decided to stick to the prescribed 3 weeks on, 1 week off regime, as would be normal for any regular woman taking the pill. This week was the second time that I tried this and the results have been quite interesting. Most notable is that as far as I can determine it largely follows the normal pattern of menstruation, with the abdominal cramps. What is definitely not normal is that it also somehow affects the nerves to/from my right leg and to some extent my right arm, with loss of sensation and coordination observed.

This is actually quite characteristic from those months without the pill, as well as those years before I started taking the pill. My first time suffering these symptoms I was 11 years old and it completely disabled me for a few hours, unable to walk. I remember crawling to the toilet when I had to go, tears flowing freely from the agonizing pain. On occasion the cramps are bad like that first time again. Part of me wonders what would happen if I suffered such a horrible thing while in public, or at work. It would most likely be horribly embarrassing.

The last symptom of each cycle is one which I remember vividly from my days as a teenager, although back then I didn't understand at all what was going on. This symptom involves the region where the vagina would be and is experienced as an itching, burning, sometimes extremely painful sensation, as though there's a vagina underneath the skin and it's swollen from terrible inflammation. A brief physical examination in that area does painfully confirm that particular hypothesis. On the worst days it basically means that any position is exceedingly uncomfortable and going to the toilet can result in me blacking out from the pain. This, too, goes away by itself, though. As a teenager I mostly experienced it as though I had a bad rash down there, causing me to walk funny for a few days.

That's just the pain symptoms, of course. As for my emotional condition and general mood, I can say that during this and the previous week I was a lot less emotionally stable, with a proneness to outbursts, be it from frustration or sadness. I have to admit that the pain is most definitely contributing to this, at least the during the latter days, as I'm feel very anxious and distraught over feeling such pain, with no clear idea of what it is or in how far I should be worried. As I type this text, I can feel pain pulsating in alternately my right and left side, with occasional bursts of pain from lower areas. Where's the pain from? Should I be worried about it? I do not know.

So I am thus reduced to a mere experiment and curiosity. I'll have to report my findings to my gynaecologist some time really soon now, while suppressing any emotions which might dissuade me from doing so. Me as a person isn't relevant here, and hasn't been relevant in any of this since before I was a teenager. It's all about this body. This horrible, painful, mystifying body.

Yes, I do desire emotional consolation and comfort. I'm only a human, after all. Yet in all of that my body is still the proverbial elephant in the room. Virtually all of my emotional problems can be deduced from and will loop back to said elephant. If my mind were a maze and someone were to wander through it, they'd just keep bumping into elephants, which would all be the same elephant. It's elephants all the way down. Regardless of what you'd define 'down' to be.

One of my worst nightmares has to be meeting friendly people. People who express concern for my situation and a desire to help in some way. I say 'nightmare', because this is something which involves a little thing called 'hope', which is as pleasant a thing as taking a swim in a warm, fluffy, yummy smelling pool, right before being dumped into an Arctic landscape, in the freezing snow, with hungry polar bears gnawing at your face. Even for a Finnish person that'd be a tough sell, I imagine.

Back on topic, the central theme is 'disappointment'. Do not promise what you cannot reasonably make come true. Disappointing someone who still bears many fresh wounds from psychological trauma may not seem like much in comparison to the wounds already suffered, but it's about as subtle and pleasant as having someone step onto your leg after it's been broken in multiple places and riddled with bullets. The existing trauma amplifies new pain. It doesn't subtract from or soften it.

This brings me to the title of this text. Basically it's about meeting someone who seems to have such innate understanding of what you're thinking and - more important - feeling, that it's many shades of awesome and reassuring. As usual there's a lot of shared experiences, but the most important thing is that such a person then proceeds to proclaim that they'll help you, darnit, and there's nothing you can do to stop them from helping you. That's... different. Maybe it's another lead which won't work out, but being left with 'just' a good friend is something I would hardly call a disappointment.

Such things somewhat lead me back to thinking about myself as a person, instead of just a body in an experiment. Being described as a 'beautiful woman' yet again and reading how someone else perceives me as a person allows me to claw my way back to actually being that person. To being a person, with a personality, feelings and emotions. Not just a body. Sometimes one has to be ignore the gargantuan elephant in the room.

So yesterday I dropped by a local electronics store and picked up the new 'New' Nintendo 3DS XL with a copy of Pokemon Alpha Saphir (Alpha Sapphire in English). Just as a little gift to myself, who had wanted to play a Pokemon game for the first time in years so badly. I think that myself deserved this one for putting up with everything. Got to be nice sometimes.

Small steps.


1 comment:

Paul said...

First and foremost you are a mind. A mind that is embedded in a body that seems definately intersexed to me. (No typically male bodied person (particularly as a teenager) would have the pains that can be be relieved by taking the pill the way you have (i.e. without the weeks break)) You also happen to be unhappy with your body (I imagine this is different from intersexed person to intersexed person) that is similar to trans-people (a spectrum I am on but you are definately not). You have discussed the pain and suffering you have had and are suffering now. But none of this negates that you are that mind, that person, that deserves to go and do something that makes you happy and to have a good time.

Go to it, girl!