You expect the healthcare industry to be full of open minded non-ignorant people, but you’d be surprised how many of these people exist in this world. I found this out pretty quickly when I became a quadriplegic, especially when dealing with the oh-so-delicate female department.
It was actually an RN who started the fire within me; the anger that made me go, “OMG what is wrong with the world”. She said the following (get ready…) when I told her I menstruated, which SHOULD BE a normal thing for a 19 year old female to say: “You mean they haven’t given you the Depo shot?” She was referring to a type of birth control that altogether stops menstruation, and she wanted me on it asap.
I was averse to this type of birth control because it notoriously causes weight gain. So I decided to go on the birth control pill to regulate my period. This method of course meant I’d still get my period. I never once thought about needing help with everything that goes with it (putting a pad on your underwear, changing it at night, whatever), and none of my caregivers ever said anything about helping me either.
But since this RN was from a different era, she was still thinking of me as a non-woman; definitely more of the invalid-status. I didn’t need to have my period if I couldn’t take care of it myself, she was thinking. Being newly injured, I was shocked at her cruelty. She didn’t have to be the one helping me, so why did she care?
I’ll never forget comments like these, but holy moly did it make me feel grateful this way of thinking going away quickly. I could never have lived in her world 30+ years ago. So much rudeness, and everyone just accepted it. Being a woman, we just have our own set of unique experiences that men don’t have to worry about. If you’re wondering how I dealt with that RN, I simply smiled and said, “I don’t think it’s any of your business.” She didn’t like me very much after that.
I won’t lie – it’s never fun when that time of the month comes around. Every woman hates it, but it’s a part of life. I have considered birth control that stops my period now that I’m older for other reasons, mainly because it does get annoying, but that’s the only reason why. I did try an arm implant that does this, but after a few months I started to feel like I was going crazy. The hormones did not sit well with me.
I’ve also considered trying Mirena, the IUD everyone seems to be raving about. But when you have decreased sensation, I don’t think IUDs are a good idea. They are known to shift, which requires a doctor visit to put them back in place. You need to be able to feel this. If you don’t and it’s out of place, it could stop working and fail. This can result in pregnancy, among a host of other potential complications.
Now that I’m getting into my late thirties, other things are on my mind that I’m not quite ready to think about, or even blog about for that matter. If you have any comments to share about paralysis, menstruation and birth control, please share in the comments below.
What type of birth control do you use?
Photo courtesy of Flickr