Medical Misogyny Threatened to Bring me to My Knees – So I Punched it in the Balls. Part 2

See, I’m angry. I’m so angry that I have paused the writing of the essay just to rant in these paragraphs. I am the one who lives in my body. I know the pain I’m going through. Look, I have a very high tolerance for pain. It’s a product of being my mother’s daughter. I barely cry cos I’m in pain. In fact, I usually welcome pain. 

So for me to be lying in the hospital, weeping, snot and tears and saliva and all the liquids in between running down my face and chin, you should understand that I’m in pain. Bro, I’m in the kind of pain you don’t even wish on your worst enemy. 

The doctors won’t fucking tell me what’s wrong with me. I have taken at least ten injections in the past few days and I can’t tell you what was in up to three of them. 

I know and I understand that you don’t rush to give patients permanent, irreversible solutions. Regret is real. Changing your mind is real. However, shouldn’t there be a system and process in place to counsel patients to see if indeed they’re compatible with drastic measures? I should be going through such unimaginable pain because of some man I don’t have, or want or will never have need for? I am a gay woman with no desire to have her own kids, for crying out loud! 

At one point I was so frustrated, I came out to one of the doctors. I hadn’t met him before. I asked him what the problem was and if they couldn’t fix it instead of just injecting me with different shit. I 

I asked him what was wrong, because apart from the endo they said I had, I hadn’t been told anything new. I still didn’t understand why my abdomen was spasming. I didn’t understand the pain in my lower back. They weren’t doing any new investigations either. And I kept asking. Anytime a doctor came near me, which wasn’t very often, I asked what was wrong. Why was I still on admission? Why am I still here if you’re doing nothing new? What were they injecting me with? The responses were usually; it’s something for the pain. Yes but what? Because I found out they had been giving me Diclofenac for days. Again, I have an ulcer. Diclofenac is an NSAID. The two do not go together. This doctor just said some shit about babies again, I shit you not. I was like why are you so concerned about babies and my husband? I’m gay. He just laughed and walked away and I never saw that particular doctor again.

One of the few times when I did see what I was about to be injected with, I realised it was Diclo. I protested. The nurse agreed with me and went to ask the doctor for alternate meds. She returned and gave me the Diclo shot, saying the doctor said I am in a lot of pain so they should give it to me. They dispensed Diclo suppositories too and asked me to start its use immediately. I figured perhaps the mode of administration meant no effects. I stuck the thing up my ass and ten minutes later, I was running. I texted my doctor wife and she told me not to use it anymore. It’s not the mode of administration, it’s the mechanism of action that fucks you up. 

My pain wasn’t receding. They gave me another shot of medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo Provera) and gave me a shot in my belly called Zoladex. One after the other, in a space of about two minutes. They told me the shot was 3.4k. I had to crowdfund. If I didn’t have such a wonderful support system, I really don’t know what I would have done. Why am I telling you this? You, lemme come. 

Another thing that pissed me the fuck off was that I registered as unmarried. I kept referring to my housemate Nana as my brother. Somehow though, they read and heard husband because they were deferring to him. I would be in the hospital all day asking what’s wrong with me, what are they giving me and they’d say nothing. Nana would go home to get me a change of clothes and when he returns, they’ll call him and give him a rundown. If this isn’t stupidity. He’s not a doctor. He could relay information wrongly. But that’s beside the point; the patient has the right to know. I wasn’t afforded this right. 

By this point, I was convinced that the hospital only cared about my money and not my wellbeing so even though it was past midnight and I could still feel pain in my abdomen, I lied that I was fine and left. 

I went to ?baatanpa Women’s Hospital and this was the first place where I felt like the doctor saw me as an autonomous person capable of thinking for myself. I narrated the story I’ve just told you to her. Remember when I said they gave me Zoladex and Depo? She said you give one or the other. Besides, they gave me a shot of medroxyprogesterone acetate on Monday, gave me Depo whose active ingredient is medroxyprogesterone acetate, within the same week and Zoladex. 

I also learned that one of the hormones they gave me at Mt. Carmel is menopause inducing. They didn’t tell me this. Didn’t tell me about all the possible effects like the hot flashes I get which are so annoying. Also, for people who were so determined that I have babies, why are you inducing menopause? Tsw.

I don’t want to say I had the best experience at ?baatanpa because the doctor was a woman, but I had the best experience at ?baatanpa because the doctor was a woman. There wasn’t a modicum of misogyny present in the room. My permission was asked for everything that was done. Best of all, further investigation was done, which is why I found out my myometrium is distorted and I’ll need surgery to get rid of the pain. It wouldn’t even be a hysterectomy. It would be a myomectomy. 

I don’t have to live with the pain till after childbirth or menopause or death, like those idiot male doctors said. I don’t have to live with the pain at all.

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