Two Roads Diverged

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth…”

I have always loved this poem by Robert Frost. As a child, this poem reminded me to stand against the crowd and take the road less traveled by. Lately, however, I find myself drawn back to these words, “two roads diverged.” I continue to image myself as the wandering traveler reaching a fork-in-the-road and not knowing which path to choose. This has become the metaphor of my current predicament.

As some of you may know, I’ve been in search of a new doctor. Not to get a second opinion but to get a seventh opinion. In 10 years I have been told: I have endometriosis stage 2, I don’t have tissue that tests positive for endo, I should be ‘normal, I most likely have adeno and endo… Regardless of the prognosis, all of these ‘answers’ still end with birth-control and hormone treatments as my only solution. I’ve traveled across New England, been to the most prestigious hospitals, and still I am left without definite answers. None of these ‘specialists’ have ever given me real answers with proof.

I did well for these past three years of avoiding any hormone treatments and injections by utilizing exercising and dieting. But for whatever reason I’ve reached a new low where nothing is helping. In hindsight, this past year has been a slow decline. I’ve recently had 45 day cycles, bleeding heavily for 5 days and period for 7-9, migraines, and extreme tiredness. Frankly, I feel like I have the flu once a month because I am so drained. This is all still better, in my opinion, than birth control. But the question remains, how can I live another 10 years like this??

After months and months of research, I’ve finally found a doctor in New York who is covered by my insurance who may be able to provide alternative treatments than birth control. He’s the chief OBGYN specialist and I feel as though he may be my best bet. There’s an underlying hope that he may be able to finally give me a real diagnosis. I would love to have an MRI done to diagnosis me officially or a scope that proves I have something. It’s pure torture to be told I have these underlying conditions but they may never be proven. It’s enough to drive me mad…

So you’re probably thinking (if you’re still reading this), “that’s great, you should give it a try! Nothing to loose!” Because that was my initial reaction too. It all seemed meant to be when he had a cancelation this upcoming month, on a week I am off from work. Yet, I now find myself at a crossroad of which do I risk? Do I go for the possibility of finding real answers? Or do I stay home to avoid exposing my dysfunctional immune system to the possibility of COVID?

So as I mentioned, I feel as though I am at a crossroads. One path could lead to answers but the other could keep me safe. If I go to New York, there’s a chance that I could at least get better pain management to help salvage my poor quality of life. If I stay home, I don’t risk getting COVID but I would have to wait another summer before I go. Ultimately, I have chosen the former and go to New York but I’m absolutely petrified to go. I am going to do my best to social distance, wear gloves and a mask, and avoid elevators and crowded spaces.

Often I wonder if I’m making the right decision; if I am risking too much for the possibility of “what if…” Sometimes, I wonder if my real fear stems from the concept that I may finally have answers. Am I more scared to get a diagnosis or to be told I have nothing… I keep reminding myself I need to stand up and fight. I’ve been fighting my adeno and endo pain almost my entire life. I cannot let the battle end here, not before I’ve given it my all.

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