When I was 15, I was diagnosed with something called Uterus Didelphys. In other words I have two wombs and in my case, two cervixes as well. It’s caused me pain beyond what you can imagine. But yet, it’s also pushed me to learn more about myself and my capacity as a human being, than I ever thought was possible.
Being a teenager sucks
Puberty is defined as “the period of human development during which physical growth and sexual maturation occurs.” I knew it more for its awkwardness: Awkward body, awkward behavior, and the not-so-mature actions of my peers. Teenagers are mean. And being a teenager sucked. Picture a 5 ft, 7 inch girl who was rail thin at 110 lbs. I was fortunate and missed out on the acne outbreaks. But I also grew 7 inches in one year, my nose leading the way, wore braces until I was 15, and wasn’t genetically blessed with boobs like quite a few other girls in my class. I was a member of the orchestra, and people thought the only social activity I participated in was studying. I felt like a moving target and a huge freak. There were many days I walked home off the bus crying. I didn’t feel normal, and people pointing out all my abnormalities only made me feel worse.
Putting the social adaptations of teenagers aside, I also had a growing medical problem that was slowly causing bigger problems than what I was facing at school. For the purpose of this blog, we’ll call her “Aunt Flo”. Flo was an obnoxious visitor. She didn’t just talk, she screamed… and it was crippling. No over-the-counter medicine would quiet her. She wouldn’t just get mad every once in a while, she was always pissed. She had it out for me, and she was winning. So, at 15 years old, my mother took me to the “female doctor.” Needless to say, I knew what was coming, and I was not excited.
I’ll never forget that first diagnosis. I had been poked and prodded by several doctors, and eventually it was recommended that we get an ultrasound. So there I sat, awkward teenager-totally self conscious about her awkward body-in that horrible stirrup contraption, being examined by 3 doctors. (We were at a learning hospital) All of a sudden, there was some “excitement” in the room. Instead of telling my mother and me what was going on, they rushed out and brought the rest of the class in! The room was now crowded with around a dozen doctors. “Wow, I’ve never seen this before” and “How unusual” were phrases coming out of their mouths. I remember thinking… “Gee thanks. Don’t mind the human freak in the room that you, apparently, are finding so unusual!” I felt like an experiment, a petri dish that happened to land at their hospital, not a human being.
We later found out, that their diagnosis was a little off. But none-the-less we were on the right track. I had an abnormality with my uterus that would require many more doctors’ visits. Whether that was the cause of my pain, we weren’t sure of. And that final diagnosis wouldn’t come for another 15 years.
Incidentally, mom and I decided we weren’t ever going back to that hospital. Being a teenager sucked enough. We didn’t need doctors making me feel like a bigger freak than I already was.