Over-educated, Old Fart!

I haven’t written in a little while because I have been dealing with some things. I never wanted children when I was younger; this is no secret. I did not like to babysit, I never ooohed and ahhhed over newborns, and I never felt like my clock was ticking. I was always encouraged to complete my education, and then focus on a career. I did both of these things well. What I did not realize was that while I was securing my professional future, I was losing ground for starting a family. I have read books written by powerful women whose mantra is, “YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!” I want so badly to believe this, but the reality is that I am not so sure.

I started having trouble with my lady parts (I will spare you the specifics) when I was around 28 or 29 years old. Every doctor would run the same tests, examine the same images, ask the same questions, and offer the same solutions. Time and time again. Each visit was beginning to feel like groundhog’s day and I could not wake up to a new day. Finally, I am living in Columbus, OH at around age 35, I find a specialist who would, as soon as I push back onto the table and sit up, look me in my eyes and tell me the honest truth. I mean, he gave it to me straight; no chaser. “Listen, Doc. You over-educated old farts come in here with your bad uterus and you want to talk about your options.” I remember thinking, ‘well, damn’! Honestly speaking though, this is what I asked for. Goundhog’s day finally ended, and I was getting a new result. I didn’t like the delivery, but the truth was refreshing. I thought he was finished–nope. “You have a sack of marbles (referencing my uterine fibroids) and if I go in there and clean them out, I need you to have a baby within the year.” Whoa! Sound the alarm! Now, I am stuck because I never really wanted children, but I did want the choice to be there. I was in a conundrum; majorly.  My thoughts are swirling and I hear the doctor saying something, but it all sounds muffled as if I am under water. I finally focus just in time to hear, “You don’t have a man you could just call and tell him you want to have a baby. It’s okay if he likes mustard and you like ketchup, just keep them separate in the fridge.” What in the world is he talking about. Babies are conceived out of love, and with the intentions of starting a new life together with someone special. Did he just use run-of-the-mill condiments to describe what I was raised to believe was so sacred?  Alright man, enough!  I took my sack of marbles and left. My homework assignment was to think about the options and let the doctor know. Well, in my mind, I came into this world with all of my parts, and if I can help it; I would die with all of them too.

Now, living in my 40th year on this side of Heaven, I am faced with the same issues; only worse. I have continued to work with a doctor to monitor my marbles, and keep my pain managed. But something happened that is forcing me to face my reality. I keep hearing the words from the doctor in Columbus, “you over-educated old fart with a bad uterus.” Womens’ bodies have the unique ability to create miracles in the matter of nine short months. There is an expiration on that miracle-making and wondrous temple, but I am not there yet. I am not ready for certain decisions to be out of my control.  About a year ago, my body started to inform me that something was wrong. I became extremely fatigued. I was exhausted trying to walk to my office or across campus to another building. When I cancelled class one day because I could not make the walk, that was the day that I decided to make an appointment with the doctor.

This visit would feel so familiar. He ran the same tests, asked the same questions, scanned the same images, and so on, and so on. This time, he had no answers and no clues. “You appear to be the picture of health”, he told me. Well, then why do I feel the exact opposite. I started taking B-12, as recommended by a friend who is a nurse. I started to have a bit more energy, but never back to the same. Now, here we are approximately 4 years later and my body has once again let me know that something is wrong. She is rebelling in a big way! If you have seen “The Perfect Storm”, I am the Andrea Gail at sea, fighting the biggest waves and going up against a tropical storm.  This time, I go into the doctor and here come those tough decisions again. I heard everything they were saying to me, but the translation was “you will never have children.” Did I wait too long? Should I have made finding Mr. Right a priority sooner? Would my outcome have been the same? I don’t know.  In the meantime, I will cope with my new reality. I am still putting all of the pieces together in my mind. One day at a time.

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