Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Doc! Give Me a Sex Change!

You men have it so easy.

What a rough couple of days. It’s been just horrific. Guys, if you don’t wish to read this due to feminine problems and what notplease look away!

PMS. Well…actually, why do some of us call it “PMS” when in actuality, we’re speaking of the aftermath of PMS? Get me? Good.

This is the problem. My aftermath of PMS is debilitating. Symptoms range from severe cramping to where I nearly pass out, vomiting, hot and cold flashes and muscle spasms. (I can't forget the awful mood swings!) When I was working at a telecommunications company with Tamar, we both had to be on the phones at all time. It was a call center. Our whole being was monitored by the phone. If we had to get up and go to the bathroom, we would have to log off on “24” to indicate it was a bathroom run. If we had to let them know anything---we had it coded in our phones and they would ‘time’ it. They could see, “Oh Deb has been in the lady’s room for two minutes…” After two minutes, a manager would nonchalantly walk in making believe she had to go—but really checking in to see if you’re smoking a doobie or having sex in a stall. What else would we be doing in there? Come on! (Tamar can back me up on this--they are that strict over there and she still works for them!)

Well, I knew it would be an issue if I had to go to the bathroom, because they would check up on me and see that I was ‘fixing’ things or relaxing on the loo because of my severe cramps. I had to think quick. I had to get out of there and do what my grandma always suggested. The old Italian remedy----a fix of brandy. I needed it. It had to be blackberry brandy; no other would do.

So, I punched out “16” on the phone, which meant ‘offline project’. It basically says that a manager has taken you offline from answering the phones from cranky customers to do a project somewhere.

I grabbed my keys and headed outside to my truck. I drove home, put one of those thermacare pads on my stomach and took a couple of shots of blackberry brandy to feel better. Almost instantaneously, I began to feel calmer and my cramps began to slow down to a dull ache. This I can handle. I decided to wait a few more minutes to relax a little before I went back to work. Technically, I was ‘still there’…still within their building. The funny thing was, when I swipe my id card to get back in, they can totally see what I was up to. I had it all planned out though. I was outside getting air because of my pain. Not home drinking my butt off.

I come back to work and sit back at my desk. My friend Celia that was sitting next to me looked over at me as she was still wrapping things up with a customer. She kept giving me that ‘side look’. I knew she was going to say something after she was done with her call. She was this hotheaded Latina woman who was very nosey. Almost like one of those annoying neighbors that watch your every move and monitors who comes in and out of your house…but this time…it was my cubical.

Oooh, ju know Carol was lookin' for you?” She says to me, anxiously awaiting my response. Carol was the manager back then.
“Oh really? Yeah I was just outside getting some air because I didn’t feel so well.”
“Ju know, your keys weren’t up dare’ where you usually put dem’.”
She says, suggesting that I took a joyride somewhere.
“I know, I had to go to my car to grab my Motrin..” I said, thinking quickly, “I have bad cramps...” I whispered over to her.
“Ohhhhhh….You okay mama?” She said, in her concerned Latina mama voice.
“Yeah, I’ll be okay, I just needed to grab the ibuprofens so I can function.”
“Ju let’ me know if you need anything mamita.”

No one said anything after that because I am sure that Celia had a little meeting with Carol to discuss where I’ve been. At a job that was so structured and monitored every move you made, you really had to think fast and make excuses left and right. They didn’t accept that you ‘had cramps’. Every woman in that call center (which is 98%) has cramps, right?

Fast forward a few years later to yesterday morning. Madelene had the day off to spend with me. I was happy that we were going to have a Tuesday off together. It’s rare, but I was planning to do things with her. We love having a day in the middle of the week off together because everyone is at work, all the shops are all empty, restaurants are less crowded and we can do everything leisurely. It’s a different type of ‘feel’ to it rather than having a typical Saturday or Sunday off.

I woke up and started hallucinating. No—not the LCD type of hallucinations; the type of hallucinations you get when you have an incredible high fever. I was awake, but still dreaming---as well as talking to whoever was in my dream. Scary, huh? I was having a conversation with someone as though there was a ghost in my room. I was fully awake though—yet not.

I finally snapped out of it and crawled to the bathroom as Madelene tried to help me up. My lips were pure white. My eyes were puffy and I had absolutely no strength. What’s going on with me? I was so scared. I seriously thought I was dying. The weird thing was—I wasn’t scared. The sedated feeling made me calm—yet I knew something was so wrong.

I drank some juice to get my glucose up, and I took an iron pill. I thought I was hemorrhaging. I have always have had bad menstrual cycles, but this one takes the cake. I thought I was in trouble until I got my sugar levels back up. I can’t go through this anymore. I have seen doctors to check for cystic ovaries and other things that may cause this to happen. I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong. Just like what every other doctor of mine says, “Nothing’s wrong…You’re fine.” When I think I’m having a heart attack, the cardiologist says, “You’re okay—healthy as can be!” When I think I’m having an aneurism, the ER doctor says, “Nothing wrong—you’re fine!” I had two masses on my left breast once, and went to the doctor to check it out. He saw it, his nurse saw it, so I had to get a mammogram and an ultrasound. They all said, “You’re fine! Just cystic breasts!” Great. Lumpy breasts---what’s better than that? Either my body is great at hiding things, or these doctors are lazy. Something’s wrong. I swear to God, I told my family that I want a huge plaque on my tombstone that says, “I told you I was sick!!!” They all think I’m a hypochondriac.

You men have it so easy.