My doc–a PCP/internist, not a gyno–is pretty good. She’s very business-like, swift without being brusque, and lets me know what each step is coming and why. HOWEVER. She also repeatedly uses the phrase “when you get pregnant,” even though 1) I’ve told her that is Not Happening, and 2) she’s the Dude’s PCP too and referred him for a vasectomy a little over a year ago. I’ve stopped correcting her. But that’s just an annoyance. As was her smiley, approving comment about the weight I’ve lost in the last year, although a) I wasn’t “overweight” to begin with, b) I’m still in the same BMI* range and c) it’s due to a medication I was taking for a recently-diagnosed case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, not any healthy choices on my part.
Anyway, the “nervous” thing. I’ve got some genetic tendency towards blood clots, which is a big reason I went off the Pill and the Dude got the snip. As I mentioned in the thread to Becky’s I Heart BCP post, I have been on oral contraceptives almost continuously since the age of 19, after my one and only pregnancy scare. There might have been a month off here or there, since I moved around a lot and couldn’t always get to a clinic right away, but then I was right back on it. And it was good to me. No babies, of course, and before I took it, my cycle was never regular: 21 days, 33 days…who knew? On the Pill? clockwork. Literally: 4th Wednesday, around 4pm.
Until January of 2009. I went off. And everything went off. I went kinda wackadoo. Mood swings, pimples like a 14 year old boy’s, and maaaaaaaad libido, followed by a profound, raging depression that was no doubt exacerbated by the Seasonal thing. Bad times. A lot of lost time.
So I went back on it, for nearly a year, until we figured out wtf was going on. And the answer is: SAD? Peri-menopause (keeeeerist, at 34)? Uh…fleas? Not sure. But I leveled out with the combination of BCP and the drug what tweaks my dopamine levels (SSRIs decidedly DID NOT work), we went with it.
Until now. I’ve run out my Rx for BCP, and agreed with my doc to play the waiting game to see what happens to my “unregulated” body and brain. And I’m nervous.
I’ve read more than a handful of posts in the fem-o-sphere about the risks of taking hormonal contraception, and plenty of horror stories about bad experiences on this pill or that, but frankly, I’m worried about what’s going to happen not taking them. To me, personally, because last year sucked giant mega monster dongs. But also, more generally, from a feminist perspective. No one can deny that chemistry matters, or that body and brain are intricately intertwined, so what if my lady-hormones naturally fluctuate so much–or are just so out of whack–that I become utterly unreasonable, emotionally whippy, a giant walking bag of gushy fluids and angst? A hideous stereotype of the excessive, out-of-control woman, incapacitated by that which makes her (biologically, anyway) female? In other words: everything I reject and debunk?
I know I’m not representative of all womanity, but srsly, cue the Painful Irony.
Anyway, I guess where I’m headed with this is to admit something I deeply, deeply don’t want to admit: I don’t trust my own body. After my experience last year, I’m afraid of it. I’m worried about what might happen to my body, but more worried about what might happen to my brain.
This is already overlong, and I’m just touching the intersection of feminism and disability/ableism (absolutely not my strong point), and pondering the idea of sex AS disability, so I’m throwing this out there, though I don’t know what to ask for or expect. Weigh in, theorize, refer (I can’t find any good info on this issue that isn’t about fertility, which I don’t give a crap about), yawn, bleach the overshare-y details from your brain, whatever. It’s where I am, and I could use some perspective.
*I think of it as Bogus Medical Idea, or the Bite Me Index, but she has her little chart on the wall and uses it to decide people’s…health? worth?