I guess any year can be a mile marker year, but we tend to celebrate in 10s.
2016, gainfully employed, a boyfriend, property in a pretty ridiculous market, and … my health?
My 40th birthday was celebrated in the brit themed Hotel Zetta bar, drinks finished off with ‘Leisure’ night at the Cat Club. Though the boyfriend was absent, friends were abound and it was a good night.
A couple months prior, I finally got around to seeing an Ob-gyn about my increasingly sparse menstrual cycles. Looking back they did start getting flaky after 35, but they tell you things start to go down hill around then. There was the accidental pregnancy that didn’t stick but again, they tell you it is much harder to get pregnant than you think so a miscarriage in your late 30s is nothing to be alarmed about. I had a few bouts of ovarian cysts that were quite painful in the recent years so the conclusion I ultimately came to when seeing the doctor about my female issues was, I was getting older so shit happens and you have to live with it.
So coming up on 40, though my periods were becoming less and less frequent, and I was having what seemed like hot flashes, it took me some time to see a doctor about it since I figured she would just tell me I needed to take this pill to get on the regular.
It was a simple blood test, but different than in the past the doctor wanted me to come in to discuss the results. I was notified of the results online and nothing was flagged so I wasn’t too concerned.
ESTRADIOL – 86 pg/mL
AMH/MIS – <0.03 ng/mL
Prolactin – 4.7ng/mL
FSH – 54.6 uIU/mL
TSH – 1.28uIU/mL
HPV – Not Detected << Of course they throw in an STD test in for Good Measure.
I remember when I got to her office, I was pretty worked up because I had gone to another location where I saw her previously and then found out that she was working out of a different office that day. I was flustered, so when she asked me if I was ok, I thought it was because I was obviously anxiety ridden from driving 60mph in a 35mph zone to get to her office. But then it was kind of marked with a hand on the arm kind of, “Are you ok? How are you feeling?”
I had told her previously of my miscarriage but how my boyfriend and I were talking about having a baby. I knew it took me a while to find an OBGYN, but ultimately that was the goal of coming to see her. I was only 39 of course, that was still “young enough” right?
She told me the blood work showed that I was in menopause, maybe peri-menopause, basically I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. It took a while for me to understand that what she was trying to get me to grasp was that, I would not be able to have a baby of my own. Ovaries were closed for business, but also given the history I shared with her and my age, it would be hard for any egg to stick.
I remember asking her questions like, well maybe this? or what if that? And she just had this look like, I could lie and give you hope, but the reality is get the idea of procreation out of your head and move on.
So on my 40th birthday, with friends, and without my boyfriend I danced, Elastica, “Connection”, one hand in the air pogo jumping as best I could with my knees mouthing the words.
But somehow the vital connection is made.
Just as they brought me round,
Now that they brought you down,
Roundabout and roundabout
Who wants a life anyway?
In the back of my mind, I thought about how the coming year was going to be different than I had hoped for by this birthday. A nuclear family was not in my future but then maybe it would have been to alien to me anyways.
Of course there was another diagnosis to come. My mutant gene.