I met with an Endocrinologist and left sadly disappointed. Disappointed because I had had such high expectations that this doctor was going to assess me like the auto shop assesses my vehicle upon inspection. I wanted a printout of my hormone levels and instructions on how to maintain my body as well as a follow up after so many miles.
I was ushered into a room where the intake nurse asked, “Why are you here to see this doctor,” as she stared squarely at the computer screen. I noticed she was waiting for my response so that she can “process” me. I paused until she looked at me and asked her if she had ever heard of the term PMDD and she said, “No. Is that why you are here?” to which I answered, “Yes, I am here to see if he can help me understand the hormonal shifts that are occurring in my body. I am here to learn about how my hormones effect me so that I can better take care of myself.”
“The doctor will be in shortly. Good Luck.” She pushed herself away from my situation and exited the room.
Left alone with my thoughts I began to retrace. I was diagnosed in 2008. Why isn’t PMDD a household name? It’s been years. The toll that this affliction has had on my life from self-confidence, living with a sense of impending doom, financial insecurity, constant turmoil in relationships to the ever present suicidal thoughts that randomly flash to the forefront of my consciousness. These thoughts bring me to my knees, because sometimes it seems like a good idea. In that moment I felt sad not only for myself but also for all of the women across the globe that suffer from PMDD.
The doctor enters the room light on his feet despite the heavy load bequeathed upon this visit, his expertise and the promise of a clear-minded life that I would have access to after only our first visit. Perhaps I was fool hardy and too optimistic, but I had questions to ask and I was ready to listen to answers that I had hoped would bring me relief.
He too begins to stare at the computer. My profile has the answers he needs funneled in from every doctor that I’ve visited within this network of doctors. My information is streamlined. Convenient for the doctors to access information and inconvenient for me, the patient who is looking to be looked at and not reduced to a scientific strategy of next steps that never resemble the complicated external particles that we call “real life.” Finally he looks at me and asks why I am not sitting with my gynecologist and if he were to suggest me to do anything that he would proscribe Lexapro or Flouxitine.
My heart sank. I’ve not had good experiences with either of those I explain. Immediately exasperated, I proceed to question his knowledge of PMDD. He tells me that he’s never seen a patient for PMDD, doesn’t know anything about PMDD and that he can’t run any hormonal test on me because my hormones are being influenced by my birth control pill and then excuses himself to do a little research.
I imagine him going online to do a quick PMDD study. He came back with a band-aid. He asked me to go back to my gynecologist and ask that she prescribe me a placebo pill that will thwart my break through bleeding for 90 days. He handed me a printout and said that he didn’t need to see me again. Sadly, this was the beginning of the end of my “inspection.”
I asked why he thought that the simple 90 day relief would be better? What would happen at the 90-day mark? My fear is that I just might kill myself! Too risky I said. I’d rather suffer with the demon I know and already live with than go back to risking my entire existence and the relationships I’ve built these past two years of rebuilding my life.
He sighed an uninspired retort, “You are doing all you can to take care. Your diet, exercise routine and the fact that you no longer smoke or drink all play a part in your health. Keep doing that.”
I left with my printout…90 days no period promise of keeping #PMDD at bay.
I left with my head hung low.
I left looking for the silver lining.
I left #decidedlySane.