BLOODBATH IN THE ER
By: Fela M'tima
Where do I begin? I had been bleeding for two days and by bleeding I mean if I sat on the toilet it felt as if a bucket had poured out of me. I have always been a heavy bleeder and have stuck it out during many periods through my lifetime so far but this was definitely different. I remember tearing the cover of my heating pad off and scorching my abdomen for two days. I had burn marks but I couldn’t really feel it compared to the achy blood filled pain I was enduring. I knew I needed to go to the ER but I was hoping the bleeding would pass, literally, hoping it would keep pouring out and I’d eventually be fine. Makes sense, right? This is where it gets a bit sad for a minute because I was really in excruciating pain. I had just had excision surgery two weeks prior so I really should have been worried. I sat in my bed and cried and bled and cried and bled. By day three I went to my doctor who looked at me like I was a gunshot victim who was avoiding the ER. Like any other ER trip I’ve had, you get this weird feeling of relief knowing you will be in a hospital but also the dreaded fear that nothing will be wrong and your body is actually just against you. When you have Endometriosis you get used to nothing being wrong because 9 times out of 10 it really is just the Endometriosis or also in my case, could be from the Adenomyosis.My dads girlfriend fortunately was able to take me to the ER once my doctor told me that I definitely should have gone the second I started bleeding. I couldn’t help but notice the fear in my doctors eyes as she took my tea away from me because there is always the terrifying possibility that you will need an emergency surgery. I was honestly more upset at the fact that I had left my croissant in the car and now wouldn’t be able to eat it. I really should have eaten it before I went in, but there are many regrets us *spoonies* have.I was able to get into the ER right away which is the one of the only non traumatic parts of this trip, so, hold onto the good things because on days like these they can be very small and hard to grasp. The IV of Dilaudid that was in the near future of this experience was also on the list of good things. I got an older male doctor who looked at me confused and when he noticed I had to pee, he believed all this pain was probably from my bladder. (They really need to educate ER doctors on Endometriosis) Of course after I peed I felt just as bad and that’s when they ordered a CT with contrast. Getting contrast is such a strange, gross, and cool experience. As someone who has always struggled with anxiety and panic attacks, the feeling reminds me of the beginning of a panic attack. When your head gets that warm fuzzy and slightly dizzy feeling. As the lady injected the dye, I’m explaining this to her and she says “Well, most people feel like they’re going to pee themselves”. After the dye hits your brain, it trickles down through your nose, mouth, and chest. Feels just as it is, a cool dye running through your veins. And yes, when it hits your pelvic area the cool feeling makes you feel like you peed. Fortunately it doesn’t take too long and the sound of the robot telling you when and how to breathe helps control the anxiety that I get.I survived the contrast and was back in my safe place, my hospital room. I don’t remember too much even though I wasn’t even on drugs yet. I had been in such intense pain and had lost so much blood that I just wasn’t myself anymore. As I started getting IV drugs, I remember looking up at my dad’s girlfriend, crying and saying “I’m too much of a hypochondriac to be this sick.” And god, is that true.As the Dilaudid took full effect and my tears dried, my doctor came in and asks me “Do you have anything in your vagina?” and I reply with “Um, do I?” I mean shit, you never know. My scan showed something in my vagina cavity and with having such bad Endometriosis, I haven’t used a tampon in over a year so the mystery was a bit scary. “I’ll have to take a look” he says. Fortunately, when you have this disease you get insanely comfortable with spreading your legs to random doctors or at least I have. Of course, the drugs helped ease my mind as well.So there he is putting a speculum inside of me when all of a sudden I feel a huge gush of warmth and hear a “Oh my god”. Again, I can’t thank the Dilaudid enough because I really feel like this experience would have been so much more traumatic without it. Apparently, I had a blood clot inside my vagina and he popped it. I will forever regret not taking the gruesome photo of the crime scene my vagina created in this hospital room. I don’t think I had ever seen so much blood in a hospital before. It covered me, the table, the sheets, and through the sheets. Of course, my doctor looked at it and says “Well, I’ll let the nurses deal with that” and leaves. What a dick, right? A sweet nurse came in and cleaned it up as I stood naked in the corner with a sheet around me attached to my IV that I was tempted to crank higher, if possible. I could hardly stand, I felt gross, longed for my bath tub, and really just couldn’t believe the day I was having. Once all was clean, I got back into bed to only hear from my doctor that my scans show that my insides look “GREAT”.In my head all I could think was “What a fucking joke.” So, this was one of those traumatic ER visits, when you don’t get answers. All you get is some minor panic attacks, blood stained sheets, and a prescription for Dilaudid and hormones. This is when the Endometriosis wins, in a sense. I can almost hear the evil giggle as if Endometriosis knows it got away with not being seen or detected and is making this woman (me) bleed to death for no reason and oh, the only way to stop it is to take hormones that will make you feel literally mental. *Hears evil giggle again*I survived this ER experience, just like the others, with all the feelings that come with being home after. You almost feel like you’ve been in a nightmare all day and you wake up, high as hell, but you’re back home and it’s comfortable and everything is okay. Even when it is not okay and you don’t have answers you still get this rush of sanity and one with the world. Maybe it’s because you realized you literally did everything you could for yourself, even if it fails you. And it will continue to fail you when you have this disease, time and time again. But hold onto that feeling when you get home, the warmth, the big breath you take when you finally snack on some food and put on your favorite show after a long day, the feeling of your clothes on you and not a hospital robe, the feeling of walking to a bathroom without an IV attached, and the badass feeling of realizing you survived the train wreck of a day. Never forget you will always, always come home.