10 September 2013

Side effects may include abdominal pain, anal leakage, and esophageal tumors

I volunteered for take your child to work day because I had nothing else to do on a Thursday afternoon. Why just the afternoon? My morning was already booked with happy fun time shot of Lupron. Therefore, aside from the obvious problems associated with putting me in front of a bunch of impressionable youths, there were no other reasons for the organizers to be worried. So I fainted.

I was informed afterwards that I was out for about 10 seconds and my eyes rolled back into my head. And yet somehow I convinced everyone not to call an ambulance, since the person who just lost consciousness is clearly the person who should be making medical decisions. More than one doctor made me promise not to do that again. Yes, the next time my brain completely misfires, I swear I will be more rational.

My brain continued to misfire for the next few weeks. Massive headaches, severe balance issues, and lots of nearly fainting. To top it all off, I managed to get TWO periods because why not. So instead of going to work, I spent lots of quality time in cold exam rooms under the tutelage of various doctors.

After thousands of dollars worth of nearly every medical test possible, not one doctor could satisfactorily explain what went wrong. The only thing they agreed upon was that things went awry.  Useful.

Time for another stab in the butt! This time things went more according to plan. The hot flashes came back and the brain problems stayed away for an entire month. At my next pre-stabby-time conference with Dr. Oncologist, she became suspicious. Completely unheard of side effects randomly appearing mere hours after administration that disappeared equally mystifyingly the next month? Sounds like a bad batch.

A quick look through my dismayingly large file revealed that the lot number on the malfeasant dose was different from all of the others. While rare, bad batches* do occasionally occur, so she was going to look into it.

Then things got really weird. Blood tests revealed that my hormone levels were correct for someone on Lupron. Clearly the drug was working, and yet Aunt Flo continued her monthly visits. Dr. Gynecologist and Dr. Oncologist asked colleagues for second, third, and twenty-seventh opinions, but no one could explain it. They concluded that it had to be some sort of fluke and that it wouldn't happen again next month.

Was anyone surprised when they turned out to be wrong? Nope! An ultrasound revealed that the cyst on my left ovary was back, and Dr. Gynecologist dove in for a closer look. She took a sample of uterine lining straight from the source, which was merely uncomfortable. The biopsy, on the other hand, was absolutely horrible.

Using the external ultrasound, Dr. Gynecologist attacked with a ten inch needle via the internal route. She stabbed her way into the normal looking cyst on my left ovary and grabbed a piece of tissue. Even worse, it took ten excruciatingly long seconds. "One one thousand. Two one thousand..."

The assisting nurse wiped away my tears, while complementing me on my lack of screaming. I think it's safe to assume that will never happen again. Then came the bad news - I have two ovaries. Time for round two, despite the right side never having any cysts.

I patiently waited a full week for the results. There was absolutely no random panicking or needless fretting. I certainly didn't check my phone for missed calls every three seconds. And yet the phone eventually rang! Everything was normal, for whatever version of normal applies to my entrails.

Still completely unable to explain what was happening, the doctor brigade decided to continue with the Lupron shots. Any further weirdness would trigger a new round of intricate tests of my intimate parts, but there was nothing left unturned for now.

I assume my ovaries were waiting to hear that. "We've experienced every possible test, so let's behave for awhile and see if something new happens!" "Great idea!" Miraculously they did just that - August came and went without a period. I can only hope September is similarly uneventful, but I'm not holding my breath.

Unscrupulous douche canoes sell watered down or completely fake medicine to idiots who don't stop to think "huh, this brand new supplier is disturbingly cheap." Dr. Oncologist assured me that this was not the case here. If it was a bad batch, it was a legitimately manufactured bad batch. Yay?

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