Endometriosis, expectations and planning

Last week, I started having pre-menstrual symptoms. I was getting shooting pains on my left side, which was likely ovulation. I was feeling low uterine cramping. I was getting shooting pains through my anus. I started feeling run-down and depressed, and generally overwhelmed. It’s continued through to the present moment – I’m having wincing arse pain as I write this.

I told my gym buddy that I’ve started to present symptoms, and that as a result, the next week would be up in the air for me. She told me that’s fine, and asked me if I knew when I’d start bleeding.

This is where I got frustrated, though I didn’t let on to my friend. I told her that since I was late last month, and since I’m already presenting symptoms at the time I would normally have been due had I not been a week late last month, that this is confusing for me, and therefore I do not know if I’ll actually be bleeding this week or next – I have no way of knowing til it hits. I told her I could just have symptoms for two weeks straight before I start bleeding – it’s happened before. In fact, before surgery in February, 2007, I always had cramping and felt fatigued up to two weeks before bleeding.

This was all just too much for my friend to process, I think. A couple days later, she asked if I knew yet when I’d be bleeding, so she could plan accordingly for her gym week. I got frustrated again and told her I still have no idea. I again explained the situation I’m facing: I would be due on Tuesday, March 11th, except last month, I was a week late. So therefore I could be due on Monday, March 17th.
OR, my period could simply re-adjust back to its normal schedule, discounting last month’s lateness, and therefore I’ll still bleed as previously predicted around Tuesday, March 11th.
I told her again, I have no way of knowing for sure until the bleeding starts, and that all I know is that I am having pre-menstrual symptoms, which could last two weeks and so is not a reliable indicator of when I will bleed, so just bear with me and I’ll let you know as soon as I start bleeding.
Sure, that’s like zero notice, and sure, I understand people not liking to make last minute adjustments to their schedules, but if you’re going to be in any way involved with my life, you also have to deal with my illness.

As a result of my friend’s two inquiries about when I’ll be sick, I had a flashback to another person who’d done this a few months ago, and I became quite bitter and angry on the inside.

I called my gym buddy last night and we talked about my illness and expectations and planning around the time of my period. I’m really glad I never lost my shit with her – she has been coming from a place of well-meaning and caring, and assured me she can always make other plans and can easily get to public transit on her own. She told me not to fret, and to just let her know when I know and we’ll take it from there, no worries. This made me feel so much better!

So I’m not mad at her. I’m still however pissed off at other people and companies who never bothered to talk it all out with me, who never bothered to give a shit about what I’m going through. Because of this anger, it’s very difficult for me to not get triggered again next time someone puts the phrase to me, “So, do you know when you’ll be out sick?”

I want to function as an employee and as a friend. I want to provide services and help to companies and to friends and family. It’s demeaning when I’m not feeling well and I get dismissed as someone who is non-committal or a slacker, just because people can’t detect outwardly that there’s something wrong, or that I’m in great pain. Unless they see a dangling shredded body part, people don’t believe that I’m ill.

It’s the same thing with my forgetting. And you know, all this time I thought it was from the car accident – it may be related to the rest of this immunological crap going on – I saw that it’s a symptom of hypothyroidism that I’m currently looking into. In any case, I still get the same treatment. People dismiss me or think I’m faking or think I’m a flake, instead of hearing me out that I have a real issue going on that scares even me.

These are what are termed invisible illnesses. I want people to read up on this and get a friggin’ clue.

And really, all I want is to be taken at face value, people. When I say something related to my health, you accept it. I know myself better than you, better than doctors, better than my family, and better than anyone’s deity. If you don’t want to believe that, then you can take a walk and don’t look back. Cuz I’ll be walking, too, and I don’t look back.

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