Saturday, 21 October 2017

When medication is all that keeps one going

Earlier this year I started taking the contraceptive pill again to deal with the monthly symptoms of the numbness and pain in the right side of my body. This seemed to work great until last month, when I began to lose sensation in my right leg again. As a result, I figured if it was only going to be a temporary solution, I might as well see what these monthly symptoms are like without being kept in check by the pill.

Suffice it to say, it's pretty darn bad. Much worse than before, really. The past few days I tried to suffer through the pain and everything else without resorting to painkillers, but as yesterday I practically lost all sensation and mobility in the right side of my body, I figured some painkillers are in order.

The amazing thing which I learned as a result is that diclofenac [1] applied as a gel directly on the right side of my abdomen (as that's where the sharp pains originate) seems to almost immediately very effectively deal not only with the pain in that area, but also removes much of the numbness and weakness in both my right leg and arm. Adding ibuprofen (another NSAID) improves things even more.

Although the pain isn't fully gone (I can still feel it burn in the right side of my abdomen as I type this), it reduces the effective impact from the pain, numbness and other symptoms to a point where I can walk almost normally again, use my right arm without it tiring almost instantly, and perhaps most importantly, where I can feel my head clear from the fog of pain and headache.

That NSAID medication appears to be so highly effective against these symptoms argues again for endometriosis [2] or similar to be behind them. Endometriosis is something which generally also worsens over time, and which is strictly tied to one's monthly cycle. Two characteristics which sadly hold true in my case.

Unfortunately, endometriosis is generally tricky to diagnose. Whether or not next week's MRI scan will be in any way or form revealing if the underlying problem is in fact endometriosis has to be seen. Each case of this condition is different, making it hard to say with certainty what is going on. All I do know is that when the last MRI scans were made of my abdomen back in 2014, I did not yet have symptoms like these of this severity and magnitude.

At this point I could gamble that I do in fact have endometriosis and try to self-manage the symptoms with the contraceptive pill along with plentiful use of NSAID painkillers. Yet experience has taught me that this would help to cover things up for a bit longer without really addressing the underlying issue. Considering that my female reproductive organs seem to be an utter mess as a result of my intersex condition, there do not appear to be any existing cases or data in the medical records which would preclude the possibility of endometriosis in my case turning fatal.

Living a life that's only made bearable through plentiful medication does not seem like a great prospect to me, either. I would much rather get a diagnosis and possibly surgery that would both give me some concrete answers and conceivably a life free from constant painkiller use and the necessity of taking the contraceptive pill or similar.

Next week better get me some answers, really.



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