Sit right down folks because I’m about to get all TMI on you (seriously, again.)

I have found that going through this kerfuffle to make moosh 2.0 has been a blessing in disguise.

I was so focused on getting that baby in me and getting it out of me that I failed to realize just how messed up my body had become. I ignored screaming signs and symptoms that something really was wrong, infertility was just a side effect and the only thing that opened my eyes to just how out of control my insides were.

When I was pregnant in the beginning, barfing over a dozen times a day, I figured “this is morning sickness, this is what so many people talk about, why there is an entire stereotype around it.”

Barfing 12 times a day is NOT normal. But I didn’t want to look like a complainer for mentioning it to anyone else.

For the last 12 years (gah, 12 years) I figured it was perfectly normal to double over in cramps each month, take vicodin for them and miss days of work due to crippling pain associated with my period. All those Midol commercials must have been talking about what I was going through, I was just a wimp and needed prescription drugs and a day off to make it through.

WRONG.

I spent all of BlogHer on my period. (TMI ALERT TMI ALERT) It wasn’t just a pretend period either. It was a burn through super tampons and overnight pad in less that four hours period.

I didn’t feel a thing.

Not a cramp.

Not a twinge.

Not an ache.

You have no idea how pissed I am that I spent one week every month for pretty much the last decade in pain, no one ever even suggested endometriosis as a possibility. I’m pissed that I never spoke up for myself and said “YOU KNOW WHAT DOCTOR? MY PERIOD HURTS REALLY BAD AND I’M SICK OF IT. SOMETHING IS WRONG, I KNOW IT.”

I’m not going bald anymore, I sleep better, my emotions are in check, I’ve lost 9 pounds, I don’t retain water like I used to, I don’t get headaches like I used to, I don’t have constant dull stabbing pains in my abdomen, my depression is better, MY SKIN IS BETTER and SWEET NAKED ANGEL BABIES IN HEAVEN I DON’T HAVE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS ANYMORE.

Now I’m not saying that if you have the above symptoms you too can be magically healed by bellybutton sodomy. But I can say that if you chronically don’t feel good? TALK UNTIL SOMEONE LISTENS.

Being on the panel with other bloggers who write about their diseases opened my eyes, even patients who KNOW something is wrong, who KNOW what is right and best for them can back down when someone in a white coat acts as if they know our bodies better than we do.

I’m ashamed that I’m the one that said “If someone says they’re not doing well, listen.” and yet I let doctors tell me what was best for me for years, when it was me that had to live in my wonky body.

Being healthy and having control of my body for the first time in years feels spectacular.

SO THIS IS WHAT BEING A HUMAN IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE! IT DOESN’T SUCK!

Suddenly I’m not so worried about getting a baby in there, I want to see what this body can do when it’s not overproducing this, underproducing that and going bat crap crazy over there.

I angered some people when I mentioned that the follow up shots to my surgery were not being covered by my insurance. (Which they are now FTW!) While I can see how some people don’t feel infertility a valid medical concern worthy of coverage by a health plan, I hope they can understand that while my journey began to get pregnant, it has since turned into a journey to reclaim my body. To have it back in working order. Had I never gone it with the intention of getting pregnant I would have never come to where I am at today. And today? I feel good.

If $6K worth of shots will keep me in working order and preserve the benefits of a $17K surgery, why not cover them? Why run the risk of my symptoms returning resulting in more costly doctor visits and perhaps another costly surgery?

When I was pregnant my insurance refused to cover more than 21 anti emetic (anti barf my brains out) pills in a 30 day period. But they would cover my weekly trips to the ER to get IV fluids and a shot of the same anti emetic drug at five times the cost of giving me enough pills in the first place.

So many plans refuse to cover dental care. Having a $100 cleaning every six months is way cheaper than going without for five years and ending up with a $4K dental bill.

I am a firm believer that taking care of yourself is your biggest responsibility when it comes to your health. But there are times when diet, 64 ounces of water, exercise and getting enough rest aren’t enough.

This is where our healthcare system is failing so many of us.

I just want to be able to go to the doctor when chicken soup and orange juice fails me.

Not have to wait until I’m so sick that I require a hospital stay and perhaps even surgery to get better.

Is that too much to ask?

Comments

  1. I am SO GLAD you are feeling spectacular. You spoke so many good points here. So true.

    Steph

  2. That is SO AWESOME that you’re feeling better- I can’t imagine dealing with the pain month after month. I’ve always had relatively mild cramps, but a few times I’ve had them BAD and OMG IT WAS HORRIBLE.

    I hope this means good things for you in the future for moosh 2.0 🙂 And hooray for feeling BETTER!

  3. I’m teary here because it’s true. And because it’s true it’s sad.

    SO GLAD things are going so much better for you! Sadly I wasn’t able to attend your panel but my room mate did and she came back with such passion and emotion while telling us all about it. She got teary again, and I got teary and GAH HERE I GO AGAIN.

    Casey Reply:

    @samantha jo campen, That makes me so glad. Best panel at blogher, yo!

  4. glad you’re feeling better. Hope the US sorts out its healthcare soon.

  5. Spectacular! One of the things I find fascinating about women (myself included) is our completely backwards reasoning for finally getting checked out. I suffered from Celiac disease most of my life. Going gluten free changed everything, but I had no idea because I just get headaches and stuff doesn’t typically translate to lifelong autoimmune disorder.

    I was only able to attend BlogHer last week because I listened to my body, stopped the super mom routine and went to the doctor right away when I realized something was wrong. I spent the weekend on meds, meeting people and enjoying Chicago instead of in the hospital where I would have landed had I ignored it.

  6. Yaaay!! I am so happy for you!!

    xox

  7. This is a seriously powerful post. I’m not usually short on words but anything I could say would seriously miss the mark on how this touches me.

    Right on Steph!

  8. I could never understand why our insurance wouldn’t pay for the shots my preemies needed to prevent RSV, but would be willing to foot the bill (which would likely be in the tens of thousands)if one of them contracted the virus. Whoever is making those decisions = moron.

    Casey Reply:

    @Momo Fali, Yeah. I have stronger words than moron.

  9. I am sooo glad you are feeling better and so sad that we didn’t meet up in Chicago over the weekend.

    Casey Reply:

    @Don Mills Diva, Like ships in the night right?

  10. I wanted to start clapping at the end of this. I’m a type two diabetic who lives in fear of being without insurance. I love my husband but I’m terrified to be a SAHM because what if I don’t have insurance of my own and he leaves? Health care in this country is so messed up in so many ways.

    Hugs to you and I’m SO glad you’re feeling better.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jess, Duuude, yeah. Not fair. My husband doesn’t even come with good health insurance.

  11. Amen sister!!

    And cheers to you for getting serious about getting healthy!!

    The more you talk about your busted lady parts, the more I am realizing that I need to call the doc to talk about my own.

    What’re the chances that she can fit me in by, oh, September?
    I say slim to none.

  12. so glad you are feeling better and taking care of YOU. for a long time, my husband and i listened to doc after doc and specialist after specialist talk bull**** to us about our son’s health… and then we took things into our own hands… really listening to PEOPLE and found what worked for US.

    my wish is that you continue to do what you’re doing and for continued health.

  13. I am so thankful you had even one “right” period.

    As far as I know, I don’t have endometriosis or pcos or anything actually wrong with my girly parts. My fertility and pregnancies have been unaffected. But still, I went for half a dozen years with extremely painful (GEEZ people would you PLEASE take my word for it, it’s not just “ow” and “suck it up”, even if it wasn’t vicodin-requiring), irregularly spaced periods before I finally went to my doctor and asked for some birth control. And like, poof. I didn’t have cramp-free periods, but I wasn’t having to stay home writhing on the bed for the first 6 hours each month, either. And I looked around and thought, why the HECK did I wait so long? I missed at least a half day every month of high school. GAH! So, anyway, I just wanted to say that I have my own little mirror to look in and see what’s going on over there, and I am SO glad that it’s good for you.

    xoxo.

  14. Health Insurance in this country is rediculous. I’, surprised more people aren’t ashamed of our system that doesn’t work. I’m surprised that people are against Obama’s plan. HELL-O people!!!

    I’m going to have to induce my labor because my insurance ends a week before my baby is due. How messed up is that?

    Casey Reply:

    @damaris, Whoa. Yeah. That’s all I’ve got.
    Whoa.

  15. Here’s to good health!
    I am so glad that you are feeling better.

    Casey Reply:

    @schmutzie, You of all people can appreciate good health right?

  16. Excellent post. Taking care of yourself is SO important. I’ve had to learn that lesson this year, too. This whole being a grown-up thing sort of blows sometimes, huh?

  17. I love when you have the TMI disclaimers…it alerts me that this is going to be a great post.
    I’m not disappointed. Need to take some of this to heart and get my act together.
    Big Hugs!

  18. I have many (many) issues with healthcare in our country, but most of them stem from doctors who don’t listen to their patients & or are too busy to care. I work in insurance & I understand that their is a bottom line to watch out for – but refusing coverage for necessary medications is infuriating as a patient. My ins gave me the same run around with Zofran ~ I’m on the hook for over $5,000 in home IV therapy from my last pregnancy … and yet had I gone into the hospital & been admitted for 2 or 3 days every week, they would have covered it 100% as part of the pregnancy. And I love my nurse case manager for bringing that to my attention AFTER she watched me rack up $19,000 in home health care bills. It was cheaper for them to encourage my desire to stay at home … next time? I’m checking into the hospital the first time I puke & BCBS can SUCK IT.

    A good and caring doctor is worth every penny they charge. An insurance company that works with you ~ priceless!!!

  19. their, there, they’re …. apparently I’m having a problem with basic speech today!! LOL

  20. So glad this has made you feel better!

    And no, it’s not too much to ask, AT ALL.

  21. Can I ask what kind of insurance you have? HMO or PPO?

    I had a friend who had an HMO. She also had Crohn’s. There was an “experimental” drug that was approved for arthritis but not Crohn’s. The HMO wouldn’t pay for the drugs. They preferred to pay for her to be in the hospital for a month. For 3 surgeries. For week-long hospital stays every other month. Her doc eventually just started petitioning her insurance company over and over and over whenever the shot was needed.

    It made no sense. But her doc had no control over her care. The HMO did. Even if she had been yelling and screaming that something wasn’t right… it wouldn’t have mattered because the HMO had complete control over decision making for her health, her body.

  22. This was a fantastic blog and so on-point. Fertility is a health concern, regardless of whether or not you are trying to get pregnant. All of the hormones in our bodies work together to keep us healthy – and so many hormones come from our reproductive organs!

    Right on, Casey.

  23. I am equally thrilled that you are feeling healthy and clear-headed. I am glad that you are liberated from your blog ads. As a reader, let me tell you that I enjoy your site layout because your ad space wasn’t intrusive or flashy or annoying. It doesn’t look much different to me. I just worry though, did you earn money from those ads, how are you going to make a living now?! I’m panicked down here in FL, Casey. PANICKED.

    Casey Reply:

    @Shana, Yeah. We’re pretty much going to have to proclaim bankruptcy without those ads.
    Shame really.

  24. Can I ask if they think your endometriosis and hyperemesis are related? I have both also and wondered if there is a link…

    Casey Reply:

    @Amy, I’ve never been pregnant twice to tell you if there’s even a possibility.
    I’ve never heard of it though. And I have a lot of endo/HG friends that didn’t have to go through both.

  25. I totally agree! With every sentiment! I had tons of unexplained bleeding. Every fertility specialist I saw – every single one – said it was fine. Finally, when I basically cried about it to my ob/gyn he told me what he thought was wrong. And he was right. It is very empowering to be heard, and it is even more spectacular when someone hears you AND fixes things! Glad you’re on the road to being fixed!

  26. Amen and hallelujah to that.

  27. When I was pregnant with my twins, I went into preterm labor, and didn’t know it, even though everybody says, “oh you’ll know.” (which is whole other story) I distinctly remember telling my doctor, “No lady, you don’t understand. This can’t be labor, I’ve had cramps with my period that hurt WAY more than this my whole life.”
    Ding! First, I was in labor. Second, not everybody has to take loratab to survive their cycle!?! It wasn’t until after my pregancy that I realized that I should have done something a LOT earlier. Congratulations on having a painfree flow! It’s it a strange concept.

    Casey Reply:

    @Aurelie, Yeah. Strange that we should be stoked about not being doubled over in pain right?

  28. Amen and Amen!

  29. I’ve always had a pain-free period, and I feel blessed as a result.

  30. I am with Kat, amen, amen.
    I had to endure dismissive comments at school from male teachers when I had to leave class because of these horrendus peridos pain. Even the male doctor said to get over it and it would get better after pregnancies!!!!!
    Having a voice via blogging, superb.

  31. CHEERING wildly! Yay!

    (I totally agree, if that wasn’t clear.)

  32. It PISSES ME OFF that someone told you that you shouldn’t have your shots covered and that health insurance shouldn’t cover infertility. Wtf? Like you asked to have fertility problems? Nothing you did caused that and it’s not your fault. Ugh. People!

  33. Melanie says:

    I am so happy for you Casey. I am so glad you have relief now at long last!

    I have a story to share in the same vein… My mom spent 4 years trying to tell her doctors that something was wrong but none of them found anything. The second to last actually tried to send her to a shrink because he thought it was all in her head! On her bajillionth opinion visit, they found out she has Chiari malformation, a serious brain malformation requiring surgery. Four years it took them to find it, and the doc who found it saw it on her original MRI. Four years during which the disease caused permanent nerve damage and debilitating pain.

    Never, ever take their word for it if you think something is wrong. You know your body, they do not.

  34. I am so a propenent for speaking up for yourself. It’s YOUR health. Doctors do not know it all. I learned that the hard way after I let a healthcare professional…well 2 in fact talk me out of the fact that my son had not swallowed quarters.
    When in fact he had. Poor little things didn’t have to endure 5 days of misery had we insisted they do an x-ray!
    Hard way to learn but lesson learned for sure.

    Insurance is a whole other story…but I’m hopeful we will get where we need to be w/new administration

  35. What I think totally sucks is they give you a drug to fix one problem and it gives you another. I have horrific periods, but no one can agree if I have endometriosis or not. I went on birth control pills at 19 and my life was WONDERFUL. For YEARS! Now I have to be off them due to horrific migraines. So either no cramps and disabling migraines or no migraines and disabling cramps. So I can empathize and it was wonderful to hear you speak at BlogHer.

  36. Oh Oh and so glad you’re feeling healthy

    DUh , can believe i forgot that.

  37. I had to take my daughter to an ER for an ear infection once because my insurance wouldn’t let me see anyone but my primary care physician and they couldn’t squeeze me in for a few days. It would have been cheaper for the insurance company to just let me take her to another pediatrician – but alas insurance companies are all goofy!
    Glad you’re feeling better.

  38. here’s to feeling better and reclaiming your body! and oh, getting pregnant.:)

  39. So well said. It took me over a year of being in constant, unending, unbearable pain to find a doctor who would even listen. Almost 20 years later I still live with it everyday, but at least because I didn’t give up I know:
    a) I’m not crazy
    b) it has a name and it’s real
    c) I’m not the only one.
    And most importantly, if the doctor doesn’t believe something is wrong–they aren’t in your body–find a new doctor.

    So very glad you’re feeling better! What a great and impassioned post.

  40. and I can comment as your BlogHer roomie, I would have never known you were on your period.

    But I knew, because you were always bragging to me on HOW ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC YOU WERE FEELING! NO CRAMPS! NO HEADACHES!

    I’ll listen to that all day long…

  41. I totally get it. With diabetes, sometimes it seems that health insurance would rather there be complications than cover things like insulin pumps and CGMS (like Kerri fought for) to help blood sugar control. Heck, test strips to poke our fingers are outrageous. It raises one big WTF.