I almost died of embarrassment. Did you know that could happen?
Tomorrow I have another doctor’s appointment. Another. Since I hit bottom – and I mean the bathroom floor-I’ve had quite a few. I’ve gotten a look at the US medical system from the point of view that no woman or man wants to. As a patient. This blog isn’t for finger pointing ( although that could happen once in a while) It’s not an indictment on anything other than stupidity. Mostly my own. I am writing this to encourage women to say something about their health. Tell someone out there. Whether you have insurance or not, tell someone you are ill. And if that person pushes your concerns aside, if that doctor, husband or friend doesn’t believe or hear you, save your own life. SAVE your own life. I almost didn’t.
On January 11, 2013 I collapsed on the bathroom floor. Thank god I was at home. How incredibly embarrassing to collapse anywhere, but at least at home there was no one there to stare at me and I didn’t have to see that look: “Is she going to make it?” “That could have been me!” “Poor old thing….is she bleeding?” And you look up and see 10 people with cell phones calling an ambulance and 5 or 6 trying to slip away and a women there, your age, looking horrified. Because you know she was the one thinking “oh god that could have been me”.
It’s hard to think that I could really, quite literally, have died of embarrassment. Because I had what I thought was an embarrassing problem. I was bleeding out. My doctor said it was normal for my “time of life”. My doctor thought I was going through menopause and prescribed me birth control pills. So I took them. And I kept right on bleeding, gushing, pouring…EVERY DAY for months. But for me, it was embarrassing. I told him it didn’t seem to be working but…I had to give them time to work, he said. Then he was out of the office a lot. The partner gave me a print out with numbers and something about severe anemia. Told me to take iron pills, along with the birth control pills I was prescribed. To level out my hormones.
And I bled some more. Until I had almost no blood left.
Now, I’ve got another doctors appointment tomorrow.
I start chemo on Friday.