I’m sitting here with my feet in a wooden tub of hot water. I’m about to get a pedicure-a birthday gift-and one of my favorite indulgences.
I don’t know why I’m writing here again. My first entry had a purpose and I wanted as many people as possible to see it. I don’t feel the same way about this one. I feel like I just need to put this somewhere.
I’m over two weeks out from my surgery. It’ll be three weeks on Tuesday. The surgeon and my regular doctor both said I shouldn’t be experiencing pain anymore and that I definitely don’t need more time off of work. I feel like another couple weeks would’ve been good to have. Instead, they doubled my Prozac and scheduled me with a pain management doctor and I’m going back to work full time, 8 hours on my feet, on Monday.
I started my new dose of Prozac on Tuesday morning. During the night on Friday, I woke up in pain, something I hadn’t done since that first week of recovery. This morning I woke up in pain. I also woke up feeling very...off. I’ve been pretty down this week but mostly wrote it off as anxiety about returning to work and feeling that maybe the doctors have gone back to not listening to me.
My regular doctor, who did my post op instead of my surgeon because my surgeon practices 200 miles from me, sent me to a pain management doctor because I’m still in pain and am not supposed to be. I told him I thought another two weeks off work would be helpful because my pain level increases with activity. He said he “doesn’t do time off” and quadrupled the percocet they gave me post op. I haven’t taken more than I was taking before because the doctors say I’m not supposed to be in pain.
My Catholic fiancé stayed with me for the two weeks after my surgery to help with the house and five kids. But he left yesterday to go back home. I’m sad.
He and I are caught in a standstill of time because the church says they have to annul my previous two marriages before we can get married or live together or have sex. We filed for the annulments a year ago. They told us the process would take 6-12 months. I last contacted them in June and the wait time had increased to 3 1/2 years. From June.
The things that are wrong with my body, the scar tissue that is likely to grow back, the endometriosis, the PCOS would all be slowed or possibly, miraculously cured if we were able to conceive. I wouldn’t mind having another child. I would love to have a child with him. I would rather have a sixth child than the 4 more surgeries that are currently in my future.
We asked the church to expedite the annulments for this reason. We asked in January and they said no. We asked again a week ago and the bishop said he would do everything in his power to expedite them, but couldn’t tell us what is within his power or what that timeline would look like.
Meanwhile I’m still in disbelief that the Catholic Church has any say over any part of my life. I’m not catholic. I know I’m not. I know it in the same way I know I’m not a polar bear. I think, though, that my fiancé, his parents and sister, the priest who did our marriage prep and will eventually marry us and my doctor think I will eventually come around. They can’t see that I’m not a polar bear. I don’t know what I am, religiously. I think it’s possible that I’m the only one of my kind. But whatever I am, it’s still a nice thing. Even if it’s not a polar bear.
You may be asking yourself about the doctor being Catholic thing. That’s an interesting situation. My OBGYN who has been my doctor for years didn’t believe I was in pain and certainly didn’t believe it was caused by Essure. She wouldn’t do the laparoscopy to see what was going on with my insides. She offered me birth control pills, an ablation or a hysterectomy. The ER after 10 or 20 visits deemed me a pill seeker. I was at home in pain occasionally contemplating suicide when the priest who did our marriage prep (and with whom I have a friendly relationship) told me about a network of Catholic healthcare professionals who would believe that my pain was from Essure. My doctor was the first one who listened and who tried to repair the damage to me instead of just masking the symptoms. The price I paid for that was being chastised at every visit for not seeing this as God’s call for me to become Catholic and a prayer at the end of each visit. But she listened. She got me short term disability so I could continue to be paid. She sent me to a surgeon who would try to correct what was wrong. And, upon looking into my body, he saw that things were very, very wrong. He said I have one of the five most damaged reproductive systems he’s seen. He told me to go home and try right away to have as many babies as I’d like to try to keep the adhesions at bay. He put my chance of conceiving at below ten percent. He said once the adhesions come back I would need a surgeon more skilled than him to remove them. He said that I could repeat the procedure two, maybe three times but that a hysterectomy is undoubtedly in my future.
He had told me before the surgery that the only way I would wake up to find I’d had a surprise hysterectomy is if he went in and found I had a frozen pelvis. He went in and did find that I had a frozen pelvis but didn’t do the hysterectomy. I think he thinks that he should’ve but knew how much even this tiny chance would mean to me.
And so now I’m here having a pedicure silently crying for what feels like no reason but maybe it is for every reason. I’ve reached out to my fiancé, to my friends to let them know how and where I’m at. They say they’re sorry. They want to know what they can do. I don’t know what they can do. I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know why I feel like this. Is it everything or is it nothing?
And if I could pick a thing to do that would make me happy, it would be getting a pedicure-which I am doing right now.
When I feel like this, pain and sadness and crushing anxiety-things that I feel like I shouldn’t feel because I did the things you are supposed to do. I went to the doctor. I went to counseling. I was honest. I took the meds they gave me-I question my ability to deal with all of this, everything and nothing, for the rest of my natural life. It takes my breath away.
I’ve been treated for depression enough times to know that it isn’t always this way and that good things are going to happen. I don’t know when or how but they will and I have to stick around or I’ll miss them. I have to stick around for my kids. I’m their constant. And I want so much to do right by them that I wouldn’t commit suicide for that reason alone. Even if I knew for a fact that there were no more good things coming. But depression is tricky and sometimes will tell me that my presence; seeing me sick or hurting or unable to participate, with a broken brain that I’m having a hard time managing is more damaging to them than my absence would be.
I choose to ignore that thought so I can keep going.
So now this is out and I do feel a little better; lighter for putting this somewhere outside myself. I wonder if I will ever feel like I am not in a desperate battle to keep my head above water. I wonder if I can learn to float.