Saturday, March 17, 2018


Every morning, I pour some water in a glass and gulp down a probiotic supplement and an aspirin.

The probiotic is because my IUD threw off my vaginal pH balance. I was getting abnormal pap smear results, and the 6-month (as opposed to annual) screenings were about to turn into a second colposcopy. Call me a no-fun-stick-in-the-mud, but having a pair of surgical scissors inserted into my uterus and used to clip my cervix for a second time wasn't something I was particularly interested in. "What are my other options?" led to an over-the-counter probiotic, and I was back to my regularly scheduled annual paps.

The aspirin is for my hypercoagulability. My blood's just...super good at clotting. But not in a positive way like, "oh man you scab over wounds sooooo quickly" and more of a, "somebody should have told you about this before you started on hormonal birth control, because now you've combined two  risk factors for blood clots and congrats you have a deep vein thrombosis in your left leg." (Also, hence the IUD. After I was diagnosed, I was essentially told if I didn't want to have little blood clumps roaming around in my veins and arteries until one of them blocked something and killed me, it would be best to consider non-hormonal methods of birth control.)

I have a history of weird medical maladies. Like the time I thought I had vertigo but it turned out I just needed reading glasses with a prism (very slight near-sightedness, but the real problem was one of my eyes doesn't focus as well as the other when looking at things up close (like any print in a book or on a computer screen, hence the reading glasses)). I'm also on a prescription medication for my cholesterol, something almost every doctor I've seen has told me I'm too young for. (Thanks, genetics!)

Every night before bed, in with the pill for my cholesterol, I also swallow the pill for my anxiety "Pill" is a bit of a misnomer, because, after almost a full year on this medicine, I think I've found my sweet spot at a pill and a half.

My physical problems were (and likely are) hilariously under the radar. Except for my cholesterol, which I knew was becoming problematic because I was monitoring it every year via the health screenings offered by my employer, the rest of it was like discovering a shitty toy at the bottom of my proverbial, corporeal box of Cracker Jack.

My neurological differences, on the other hand, were buried in the style of the Telltale Heart. I'll spare you, dear readers, the years of circular, allusion-laden personal analysis that's been undergone in therapy. The months of adjusting to medication and the knowledge that neither of these treatments might last or make anything significantly "better" for me in the long term. (I feel as though most people have an antibiotic-centric view of "treatment." You take medicine until the physical symptoms of the disease pass, and then things are back to hunky-dory. I wonder if I would have been as amenable to anti-anxiety medication if I didn't already have a host of other disorders that require more "maintenance" style management.)

I'll bring you right up to the present, where I finally took up the rug that's been hiding the trap door in my proverbial, mental floorboards. Let light in and allowed the self-entrapped perception of myself I've been trying to ignore out. I disparage the word "neurotypical." That's not what I'm aiming for. It's more like...I've passed my metaphorical, mental health MCAT. I've still got metaphorical med school ahead of me. Plenty of things could still wind up going wrong. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to put as much work and effort as I possibly can into all those term papers and practicums in the meantime.


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