On march 23rd, I’m taking myself to be sterilized: I literally couldn’t be more excited about this, but I’m also bloody terrified because like most invasive surgeries, it means I’ll be put under. That fear is a small price to pay for not being made bat-shit nuts by hormonal birth control. It feels liberating to make that choice with minimal interference. Yesterday, I had an appointment with my GP to follow-up on blood work: It’s clear that I’d been previously misdiagnosed, which can happen when you have no insurance for all of your twenties and move all the time, leaving you with a broken chain of sporadic doctor visits for separate but inter-connected issues. That’s a clear perk of the American medical system, friendos. When I get to the office, She, a woman in her mid-to-late forties with a beautiful and grainy russian voice not trimmed by her 20 years in the US, (I know this because she gave me way more information about her than I wanted) tells my I don’t have RA, and long story short, have fibromyalgia. I have an MRI scheduled to rule out fractures in my spine, a possible result of my less-than-idyllic childhood. Here’s where think start to feel heavy and uncomfortable. She asks why No-one has done imaging of my spine. I tell her that I’ve spent ten years with no insurance. She asks why I had back pain as a child, and I briefly explain it was very abusive. I do this with my face made of stone, my tone the tone of someone who is used to this conversation and begging to have this over with. She begins to blubber. I know doctors have feelings, but this isn’t the first one who’s cried, and I am uncomfortable being put in a position to think about comforting someone whom I am paying for the time of. That horrible phase of my life, my childhood,has long passed. I left home more than 15 years ago. I rarely cried then, and I don’t often now. I don’t have the time. After what feels like 30 minutes of stilted convo about how badly women are treated and the #metoo movement, we move on to talking about my upcoming Tubal Ligation. She begs my rapidly angry-growing self to “think about it”. What if I realize I’ve mad a mistake after? Is this because of my childhood? I assure her that I have never wanted children. My life-plan involves travel and unencumbered fucking of the man I married for as long as possible without the risk of accidental procreation. She prescribes drugs. the conversation ends.
It wasn’t until 3 hours later , sitting in my car after running a million errands and realizing how little goddamn time I have in a day, that I began crying out of frustration. Frustration at the American Medical System, at misdiagnosed illness, at the diagnosis itself, and most of all, another persons patronising gall . Frustration at how little time we have for life as adults, and how doctors visits eat up that precious time.
I have “thought about it”. I’m looking forward to not thinking about it. So, on march 23rd, I’m looking forward to starting the first day of the rest of my life unencumbered by the idea of childbirth and pregnancy. So save your tears, Doctor What’syerface, do your job, take my money, and STFU.