Saturday, 5 March 2016

A punch line over a decade in the making

During the last appointment with the endocrinologist I found myself expressing again my wish to find out the source of these monthly pains which have been plaguing me since I was eleven years old. At this she responded with: "That's because you're a woman."

Cue the 'badum-tish' of a punch line being hit.

In a sense it's really a pretty hilarious joke, albeit with a serious undertone and a lead-up stretching back over two decades. Decades during which I found myself wondering many things about my body which I did not understand, with ever more questions and contradicting statements by doctors and psychologists making it ever more difficult to perceive reality and truth through the murk and confusion.

Don't worry, you're just a woman.

The almost slapstick-like simplicity of such a statement, putting everything back into proportion. Sure, I'm still an intersex woman, born with both testicles and ovaries, as well as a penis and a vagina. Yet I'm undeniably a woman if you ignore the unimportant details.

Sure, there are still the questions about what kind of hormone therapy I may need to keep my bones happy - due to having fairly low natural female hormone levels (for a woman) - and there's still the issue of the reconstructive surgery options for the vagina, but beyond that it should all be fairly normal. Beyond the irrelevant detail of me having been born fully infertile, that is. Fertility is not an important qualifier for whether one can be male or female, after all.

I'd also still like to clear up exactly which tissue is responding during these monthly cycles, considering that I'm not supposed to have a functional uterus, and there's the tiny detail of my right leg going slightly numb during each ovulation period as if a nerve gets pinched. When it all comes down to it, these are at least details I can live with, painful as they may be. They're pretty much just things even regular women may have to deal with, as well.

But whatever happens, in the end I'll just be a woman. Nice and simple.


1 comment:

nebnotlepats said...

I laughed at the 'badum-tish' comment, but it's been far from funny for you for such a long time. But "at last" ! ..."medical professionals", along with other scientific types, can be awfully blinkered and reluctant to "peripherally view" matters pertaining to their 'skills' . My wife was born with cerebral palsy: 1: "Oh don't be silly, there's nothing wrong with her" , when her mother took her in at 6 months 2: "She'll never sit up or be able to walk" and "she'll probably be retarded" , once they realised they wrong at #1. She certainly DID sit up, walk, get educated and finally get a mature-age degree and become a teacher. 3: When we had our daughter, she was told at 3 months "You can't possibly be as far along as you say; if you are, you will have a puny baby" , so she stopped going to pre-natal clinic (and got a telling off!) until 7 months, by which time they had switched to saying the baby couldn't possibly be due late September, as she was too far along ! (This from the senior gynaecologist for the area!). Anyway: healthy baby, as expected on Sept 25 ( she got pregnant after a Christmas party ) . So I DO know the kind of crap you deal with !! Best Wishes !