As I get older and learn to open up and share with people, I realize that the word that changed my life is pretty darn common. Endometriosis. So many women have heard that word in diagnosis and then heard the potential treatments and felt completely bereft. I remember a period of relief as I came to grips with a real ‘thing’ causing my pain. That felt good. I wasn’t nuts; the pain was real and caused by something. Whew.
But, I distinctly remember sitting across the big old Dr. desk hearing the prognosis for my future as a mom. Start having children now. At least start trying. Now.
Super. I wanted a big family. I was 24. Dating a great guy, but only for about three months. How could I tell him that ummm, now was the time for me to have kids. By the way, do you want kids? It seemed overwhelming.
From that point of being overwhelmed I made the decision to try Lupron as a treatment. One shot a month, instant menopause. No period, No endo.
I didn’t ask many questions. I didn’t research or google or ask around. I just stuck a hip out and said go.
I was completely unprepared for the side effects. Hot flashes and chills were the least of my problems, though they plagued me hourly. My heart raced. My weight dropped. My hair fell out. I was a nervous wreck, the anxiety almost crippling.
The pretty great guy I was dating, well, he hung around through all the ups and downs and down furthers of Lupron. When I had my second shot and the side effects got worse it was him that said enough was enough. By this time I was a ‘hot mess’ but so in Love with this man. He proposed. I said yes. We went to the priest, who went to the archdiocese and 5 weeks later we were married. I cried as I called to cancel the appointment for the 3rd Lupron shot.
As I look back on that horrendous time in my life, I am struck by several things. Primarily how amazing it is that God puts the right people together at the right time. If anyone ever doubts that God has a plan I think the summer and fall of 1995 in my life are clear indicators that there is a reason for everything. But I am also struck by the events that led me to such an invasive and difficult treatment. Truly, I asked NO questions. I didn’t do any leg work. My step father, the man who raised me, was an OBGYN in Omaha for 40 years. He told me to trust this Dr. Only after I began to struggle did I start looking in to Lupron and drugs like it to find out what was happening to my body. I can’t believe that. How could I have so blindly agreed to such a huge change: menopause at age 25?
The thing is, I know that so many women have gone through this and worse in the pursuit of a family. It challenges you physically, mentally and spiritually. Don’t even mention financially,. Holy Cow. Yet couples choose these struggles all the time.
I ask myself every now and again, If God knew what my family path was, why did he let me struggle so? Nearly every step I took to put my little family unit together was a challenge. Why?
I met a beautiful woman on my first and only trip to Haiti. She had been waiting to bring her son home for more than 2 years. Just like us. When we said good bye to our son/daughter she and I held hands and cried as we walked back to the hotel. I said to her, Why? If God is watching and he wants these children to have homes, why can’t he move this along?
She said to me, ‘Everything is God’s time. And God’s time is perfect.’
I wish the faith to believe and live by that statement had come to me much earlier. But I cling to it now and with perfect hind sight vision realize it is so true.