Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Asking help from people who might wish to see you dead

Tomorrow I will have the first appointment with my new gynaecologist. Sounds innocent enough, but the impact and implications are rather severe. The primary reason why I am changing gynaecologists is because my first one in this city did not wish to examine my case in any detail and ignored the development of pregnancy-related symptoms such as the linea nigra on my abdomen.

This is well-illustrated by the commentary written by my family doctor on the referral for this gynaecologist: "To resolve the contradicting opinions and conclusions by doctors on which organs are present based on MRI scans and other examinations."

In short: I have no clue what this body actually looks like - inside and outside - so please help me figure out why two groups of medical professionals have two completely opposing opinions on this matter.

Worse than those two conflicting opinions is that of physicians and the like who change the opinion half-way through, such as a recent doctor and radiologist who started off with saying that they could see the closed-off vagina clearly on the MRI scans, but the next time they would say the complete opposite: that they could not see a trace of intersexuality.

It is thus why this appointment tomorrow and another appointment two weeks from now fill me with such dread: will it be the same story again? Will they first give me hope, then turn around and make me feel like I'm insane, delusional and that everything I am seeing and feeling about my own body is just... imaginary? That this linea nigra line isn't there on my abdomen, that these monthly pains have no physical cause, and so on?

It is little wonder then that on Monday night I could barely sleep at all, instead feeling consumed by thoughts of suicide. The almost certainty of doctors reopening this barely scabbed over wound where others before have tried to drive a wedge between my sense of self and my body. I cannot accept that my body is that of a male because that's not what I see and experience when I regard this body. Nor do others accept this, beyond a certain group of doctors, apparently.

I am not sure that doctors realise what they are doing to me when the insist that I must be transsexual, when it should be beyond obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense that this cannot possibly be the case. That I have been officially diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their behaviour doesn't seem to matter to them in the slightest.

All of it seems to boil down to the question of whether or not I can trust doctors at this point. Tomorrow I'm putting myself at risk once more, trusting a medical professional who is very likely to just turn around and hammer in that wedge even deeper.

Do doctors realise that they are driving me towards another suicide attempt? Do they care? I doubt it. I wish I didn't need them, but that road too is unfortunately fraught with risk due to the medical complications and weird symptoms which keep appearing these last years.

I need medical help, but judged on behaviour alone, most doctors appear to be more than happy to chase me into an early grave.

Yet to be frank, I'm not sure I really care that much any more. I'm so tired. So worn-out from fighting this same battle for more than a decade now with nary an end in sight. On many occasions I simply do not care enough any more about life to want to go on. I only want the pain to stop. The pain of betrayal and uncertainty, of living in terror of people around me because I cannot trust any more.

If these two new doctors I'll be in contact with end up betraying my trust as well, I fear that I may not have the energy to go on any more. That is a frightening realisation in itself, also because of the subsequent thought of having to come up with a painless way to end my existence. I would just want to switch off my existence, not die. No violence. No pain. Just stop living.

I'm aware that doesn't really make sense, but it's the way things work. One can get to a point where living has become impossible, but one still does not want to die. The question is how long one can stay at that point before finding an agreeable way to commit suicide.

I should stop writing - and thinking - at this point. I cannot predict how the coming weeks will go, even as I fear the worst. I should probably take a painkiller now, as my non-existent ovaries are cramping up and sending imaginary spikes of pain into my side among other delusions of discomfort, because I have been imagining having a menstruation cycle since I was eleven years old.

The most precious commodity in the world is truth, which is why everyone hoards it like it's gold.



Foley said...

Hey Maya- I only really know you because I've liked some of the technical stuff you have posted in other blogs and follow you on twitter, so I feel kind of strange commenting on something so personal- but fwiw... It sounds like you are going through some really hard and confusing times right now, and it must be really frustrating trying to deal with seeking medical opinions when doctors may not be counted on to just give medical opinions.

But I can't just read a post of someone in pain like that and not say something. I don't have knowledge to offer, and I don't have any similar experiences to your current problems. I've attempted suicide before, but not for the same reasons. I just want you to know that you are a good enough person to merit random strangers following you on the internet, and that we care about your pain. I don't have much to offer but platitudes and empathy, but take them for what they're worth. I care.

RW said...

Dear Maya,

I too have read you often and come to care deeply about the struggles you are going through, even if I am not a commenter. I feel that listening is the best I can do to learn about what you are facing, but I realize that sometimes you could use more than that.

I know what it is like to go to the doctor with symptoms only to be told I was imagining it and too young for the symptoms, but we would get labs to make sure. Then when the lab results showed something was very wrong, they are only lab results and "we don't treat lab results." In my case the issues were hard to nail down and difficult to understand between specialists with conflicting opinions, but it did not affect my sense of self the way yours do. I can't imagine living with your pain over these attacks and rejections from people who have no room in their world view for anything but the gender binary.

Please know that you are valued and contribute to humanity with everything you do or don't do, that I read your words and admire your courage and determination to make it, to find solutions and ways forward for yourself.

All the best wishes for you, let us know if we can help.