Hear Me Out


October 5, 1997


I'm recovering from a pimple that changed my center of gravity (and perhaps the topographic maps of the U.S.). I have to wonder about that old adage, "if you have your health, you have everything." I wonder who has mine.

When I was growing up, I spent time in my doctor's office, but I never thought it was excessive. Of course, I really only had my older brother to compare that to and he made Evel Knievel look like a wimp. My medical problems fell into two main categories, pretty much like everyone else:

1. It's broken or bleeding and the ice isn't helping, and
2. I'm sure my ears are bleeding. . . look again.

As an adult, things aren't all that different. I've merely added two more items to the list:

3. If you don't get away, I'll kill you and eat your heart out! Do you have any chocolate?
4. I'm sure my head is bleeding; it can't hurt like this. There must be blood involved.

As a 30 year old lesbian, I find it annoying that I have to take birth control. I've been on the pill since before my mother knew I was gay. And don't be fooled; all mothers know. They get some sort of twinge in their wombs and they KNOW everything about you.

"Did you spoil your dinner with 2 hot-dogs and a large chili fries after practice today?" She stares at you with that glinty mother stare that makes Clint Eastwood look silly.

"No." LIAR - LIAR -PANTS - ON - FIRE rings through your brain like the bells of Notre Dame. "Really?" She's not buying it. Abort the mission! Give up before she looks deeper into your skull and finds that math test you were trying to drown out with the chili fries. "Well, sort of." "All right, you can have salad and nothing else." Whew, you got off easy this time. She walks off toward the kitchen. At the last minute she turns, with an odd look on her face, "And next time I expect better than 67%."

My mother's gynocologist put me on birth control, not to control the chances of a birth but to control my hormones. It must be that Latin blood! Actually, I think I got the Anglo blood and the Latin hormones and no one is sure what to do about it. Imagine it, I'm in junior high and I'm fainting, barfing and having hot flashes. What parent wouldn't be honored to have the first little girl on the block popping estrogen?

I've tried to kick the habit, once in college and then again about three years ago, but it's always had disastrous effects on Leslie. When we first moved in together, I was ashamed to admit that I couldn't handle my own hormones so I just stopped taking the little pink pills. The first three months were a breeze. The fourth month was a little hard to handle, what with the feeling that my spleen was being removed through my vagina (I figured that's what most women go through every month). I popped some Advil (20 or so) and went on with my life. On the fifth month, I had a breakdown of mammoth proportions.

I needed ice cream and the only ice cream I wanted was McDonald's ice cream. Leslie, being the good and sane person she is, drove me. After we got our cones, I asked her to reach behind my seat and hand me my bag. She accidentally dumped it on the floor of the car. Keep in mind, nothing was broken, nothing was maimed. So, of course, my head exploded on her. I told her this just proved what I've thought all along; she doesn't respect me.

I went back on the Pill for many years. I made a similar mistake when we bought our first and current house. I picked one of the most stressful times in our lives to try to kick that cute pink monkey in off my back. Same story. By the fifth month, Leslie made the colossal error of suggesting someone help us build the six and a half foot high, one hundred foot long fence. Once again, I went insane and told her this just proves what I've always thought about her; she doesn't respect me.

We've been happily encased in that gentle cloud of fake estrogen ever since.

As with most women that suffer form Hormonal Hell, I also have migraines. Now, if you've ever had a spear pushed into your eye, had it protrude out the front and back of your head and then had a thousand penguins dance on each end sending rhythmic shivers of pain through your body, you may have some idea what a migraine feels like.

Once again modern medicine has stepped up to the plate. A few years ago, a very kind doctor prescribed heavy doses of Vicaden. I would still have the dancing penguins tearing holes in my skull but with the help of Vitamin V I really didn't mind it too much. Last year, I got something even better: Imitex. I pop one when I feel a migraine coming on and it fades away.

So, with the help of the pharmaceutical companies I have my health and a fistful of pills. What a winning combination.

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Copyright 1997 by Laura Jiménez.

Updated 10/11/97
D&S Associates