For the past few days I have been suffering through the same chronic pain and related issues as basically every month. This mostly involves a bloated abdomen, lower back pains, stabbing pains in my side and abdomen, very painful hips and a loss of sensation in my right leg and arm. Of these symptoms, some (including a short temper) can at least be partially attributed to a regular period. The rest, especially the pain and numbness in the arm is most probably due to endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition whereby the cells which normally line the inside of the uterus end up elsewhere in the abdomen, attach to the diaphragm, or even travel through one's arteries to other parts of the body. There they still respond to the changes in hormone levels, growing and shedding material as usual. This can create pressure on other tissues, negatively affecting their functioning and causing pain and numbness by pressing on nerves.
Pain on one's chest, as well as pain and numbness in limbs are all possible symptoms. Treatment can consist out of hormone and other therapies, as well as surgery in order to remove the patches of tissue. It appears that this will be the next step for me after the upcoming reconstructive surgery.
At this point there's absolutely zero doubt remaining that I am a hermaphrodite and a woman. Yet my troubles are absolutely not over with just yet. Even assuming that the reconstructive surgery takes place and is successful, that still leaves me to deal with the diagnosis and treatment of the suspected endometriosis. Even as I type this, my right arm and leg feel numb, with a tingling sensation in the arm, along with painfully sensitive skin in some areas. Waking up with an arm which hurts like hell and which cannot be moved without severe effort is terrifying. Obviously I cannot just let this be.
I guess all of this wasn't quite what I had in mind, all those years ago, when I thought of my future. Yet what I feel most strongly at this point is a bitterness and anger towards all of those doctors and psychologists who just had to pretend to know better than me, and deny me the medical help which I so clearly need at this point. All of this should have been resolved a decade ago already.
Some day I'd like to just be done with this all, not having to keep begging doctors to please take me seriously for just once. For now all I can do is pray that the upcoming appointment with the new surgeon goes well, that he is interested and can help me with the surgery. Once that's over with, doing the endometriosis testing will suddenly become so much easier. That's the one small hope I have at this point.
Here's to a future without chronic pain.