Sunday, January 25, 2015

This one's for the guys.

My husband approached me a few nights ago, asking if he could contribute his thoughts on PTLS to my blog. I figured it'd be a decent opportunity, to get a man's written perspective on what he's seen from the sidelines, because it seems many women have a significant other struggling to believe there's a problem at all.

I won't tie this post up with my babble much more. This is from my husband, Michael. Ladies, please share with the man in your life. Whether he doesn't believe you, or is pushing you to have this done but haven't yet, or whatever. Let's call these guys to stand up and be real men in the face of this issue.

[I don't have ovaries.

Icebreaker I know. I have no idea how it feels to be a woman. I've learned a lot through listening to my wife, and sometimes not listening and her pointing it out. I don't know how it feels to have your period, raging cramps and all the lovely thing that come with that.

I've know my wife for nearly 10 years. Her periods were mild, mood swings occasionally, some bleeding. "Mild" is the best word to describe it all. I know her and I trust that she knows her body. The confidence she got after educating herself and having 4 children, the last at home with no meds, she knew her body and how it worked, and she had a high pain threshold.

We went through a very hard year when our daughter Maddy was conceived, and Emily decided she wanted to get a tubal-ligation. I wasn't keen on the idea, it just didn't sit right with me. The way things were after having 4 kids and the worst year of our lives, I knew I couldn't "stop her" if I tried, but I let her know she didn't have to. She felt external pressure that this was the answer. Even her doctor was hesitant that at 23, she was getting sterilized.

Even while in the 3rd trimester Emily had energy, could somehow keep up with the kids despite the stress of not having our own home at the time, and she was not in constant and sometimes crippling pain. She was able to go all day, despite everything life had thrown at her.

After a dramatic few weeks in the hospital for preterm labor, our beautiful bundle of joy, Madelyn  was born by Cesarean and the doctor tied Emily's tubes before sewing her up. 6 weeks or so after she started having horrible pain. After going through pregnancy, birth and delivery 4 times before we both expected her to bounce back and keep going with life. But as time went on she didn't.

I hate watching her suffer in pain I can't do anything about. I do what I can to help make her comfortable, but pain-wise nothing helps. Seems like every month we find a new health problem that's cropped up that comes with estrogen dominance, a condition she "just happened" to get after the tubal. A doctor even suggested that my now 25 year-old wife is just "getting older." Even going through tests for cancer, there was a slight hope that maybe something'd turn up that was treatable. There seems to be an educated blindness when it comes to even the possibility that messing with your reproductive system, the hub of hormone control, might affect your body. Apparently my wife is not the only woman this has affected, which is part of why I'm writing this.

Husbands, this woman is your wife. Can you trust her that she knows her own body? Trust her that when she says she's in pain, it's real. If having no more children is imperative, then why are you not willing to sterilize yourself? It's a much cheaper and easier procedure. Whatever reservations you feel against getting snipped yourself, is she not allowed to feel them for herself as well? If you want to be a man and lead, if you absolutely do not want anymore children, then why not lead and get snipped yourself?

Not trying to sound conspiratorial, but the doctors are financially incentivized to sterilize women, and over time scalding, and eventually removing the uterus. Lots of money for them, lots of pain for her. Honestly these doctors do not "care" about your wives, not like you do. They may be willingly ignorant, or straight up unfeeling jackasses that only care about money. For whatever reason, the medical industry ignores the growing amount of women with these problems. It's your job to protect her. Not pressure her into having someone slowly carve away her reproductive organs like she's a piece of meat.

I hear more and more stories of men pressuring their wives to get the surgery, then leaving them after they do. I only say men because I don't know what else to call them. Don't be that guy. Help your wife with what you may have asked her to do. She needs you on her side, because most of these doctors aren't.

Signed, A Husband Who Wished He Could Have Done More.]