Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Waiting for results and the expectation of nothing

The 21st of December 2007 is a date which I'll never forget. It was the day when I had the first real examination after nearly two years of struggling through and losing against the Dutch 'healthcare' system. The MRI scan which was scheduled for this day would however not take place in the Netherlands, but in Germany instead, as what I was about to do on that day was completely illegal in the Netherlands. What this scan should show me on that day was whether or not I am in fact intersex, possibly a hermaphrodite, which was what I had surmised based upon my own research, despite fierce opposition from Dutch 'healthcare professionals'.

On that day I could not eat a single bite before my mother and I left by car to the private clinic in Germany. I knew I had been thorough in my research and examinations. I knew that there was at least a grain of truth in my theories up to that point. Yet despite everything I had reasoned together intellectually, my heart still refused to go along in it. Even after the MRI scan, while waiting the thirty minutes before we would hear the results, I dreaded hearing the results more than anything. I could already imagine being told that I had just imagined everything.

Standing there in the room where the radiologist was already waiting for me, I knew for certain that if I got told that they had not seen any trace of an intersex condition, I'd just sink through the floor right then and there. Fortunately on that day it took less than two sentences from the radiologist for me to completely abandon any trace of trepidation, as the radiologist kept gushing about how amazing everything she saw on these scan images was. That day taught me the meaning of 'as if floating on clouds'. It was and still is one of my most memorable and treasured days, as it finally gave me the feeling of knowing what was going on with my body.

Fast forward through over eight years of largely disappointing or just simply useless (Dutch) medical conclusions, all of it aimed at trying to undermine the German findings. Even a second German medical conclusion, based upon exploratory surgery in 2011, which confirmed the original German MRI findings, did not sway their opinions. Instead of solidifying that amazing feeling of certainty then at the end of 2007, every fact became more and more muddled, until I had no real notion of who or what I was any more.

Tomorrow morning I'll be calling my gynaecologist's office to hear the results of the blood test. This because of the abdominal distension, cramps, vaginal pain and many other symptoms, including at least one which should be exclusive to pregnancies. While these blood tests should be showing at least something, there's still this nagging voice in the back of my mind informing me that I'm imagining these abdominal issues, and that I created any symptoms myself, using my subconsciousness.

What reason do I have after all to assume that anything I think or feel is true, and not just me being crazy, as countless healthcare professionals have tried to tell me for a decade now? I cannot possibly have medical complications due to an intersex condition like hermaphroditism, as I have been told over and over by very learned people that I am not intersex. I didn't study medicine. I was just born into this body and just have access to information which I try to fit onto the symptoms I see.

That I have learned the finer points of differential diagnostics, have learned to interpret MRI scans, have gained intimate knowledge of the biology of the reproductive organs, the biochemistry of related hormones, genetics and the medical background of the many types of intersex conditions is all of no relevance whatsoever.

My fear is that tomorrow morning I'll be told that nothing unusual was found with the lab tests, as this will confirm to me that I imagined all of it. That all of the symptoms are only there because I am willing them to happen on a subconscious level. That I didn't know what the hell this 'linea nigra' thing was until less than a week ago is of no relevance. I willed it into being anyway because of some reason.

Nothing truly makes sense. I'm intersex and not intersex. I'm a woman and I'm not a woman. I'm pregnant and I'm not pregnant. One doctor vehemently disagrees with another doctor about what this body of mine is. I'm suffering chronic pain, but there's nothing going on.

Some days one's grasp on sanity seems tenuous at best.


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