*DING DING DING* Round Two!
As a woman, I am no stranger to doing things I don’t want to do. But as a woman with endometriosis, I am also no stranger to pain or discomfort. So when I was told I needed to have monthly hormone injections again as part of my treatment to try and get this condition under control, I should accept it easily, shouldn’t I?
There is not a single part of me that wants to accept this treatment. Not a single ounce of me that is OK with it.
In April, following 2 surgeries and almost a year after we decided to start trying to conceive, my consultant told me I should go back on the zoladex injections. I was devastated. It was proving too difficult to manage the pain and the ‘trying’ part of conception was near impossible with the levels of pain I was experiencing. I was in bed every day, my GP had introduced a pain patch and periods were horrendous. And the cherry on the cake? I’d still not managed to conceive.
But I was doing all the right things; I was taking the vitamins, I had the ovulation sticks and the fertility tracker and I was even taking my temperature to monitor my cycle. Still- nothing.
Reluctantly, I agreed to go back on the menopause-inducing drug.
“What’s it like? It’s like being impaled by a javelin and expected to be grateful for it!”
The night before the first injection I sobbed. It was so unfair. The resentment welled up inside me until it spilled out in fat, hot tears. And those tears fell in abandon that first month. I have a hard time swallowing them, even now.
It wasn’t the pain of the injection, it wasn’t even the nasty side effects or the fact that it would 100% prevent conception. My resentment lied in the treatment itself. The fact that I was given no alternative; it was either this injection or agony every day. Rock meet hard place. Neither was what I wanted. I felt like an animal, backed into a corner. Have you ever had to do something everything inside you rejected?
I’ve never felt so out-of-control of my own life, of what happens to my body. And the doctors never ask what I want! Like this was the only option and I should be happy about it.
And worse, when I spoke about it, about my feelings and how much I hated this treatment, some responses was one of indifference: “Well, which would you rather have? Agony, pain and being in bed every day or an injection and a few hot flashes?”
NEITHER! Is that too much to ask?
I know from the outside it looks like a ‘done-deal’, a no-brainer. I rebel against everything about it.
Today, I have had my 4th injection of this cycle. Last time, August, I upped my dose from a 3.75 (monthly) injection to a 10.8 (3-monthly) injection. The difference? It’s a much bigger needle, but one stab lasts 3 months. I decided this would be an ‘easier’ option when I started to have panic attacks prior to the injection due dates and appointments.
I am 7 months into this cycle. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a long, long time, I feel exhausted; mentally and physically. The hot-flashes are enough to cause spontaneous combustion and my mood swings are enough to give me (and my husband) whiplash. I don’t even get any relief using HRT as I had to stop it after it caused chest pain and SVT.
But, I haven’t had a period in 7 months and the endo pain has abated. And I am so thankful of that.