About Me

Maybe if I stop changing my mind on what I want to be when I "grow up" I'll end up with a degree and a job! Right now, I'm about to start a new school... I have a wonderful son and awesome hubby. I am a flutist and bassoonist, music is my first love.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Agree to Disagree

I used to trust doctors. Until I started doing things like researching on the internet and watching shows like Mystery Diagnosis. Now, I feel that the profession is just like any other--filled with the good, the bad, and the completely incompetent.

Having my son come early left me without a pediatrician lined up for his care. I hastily agreed to see one that came very highly recommended by a family member. Let's just say it was not love at first sight. That first meeting was rather disappointing. I was in my hospital room when he came to see me. I had no questions for him other than his opinion on vaccinations. I really wanted to feel him out on this issue having just done a bunch of research myself. He told me, "I hope you haven't read The Vaccine Book." Really?! He went on, "I just skimmed through it, but it's not a good book." I questioned him about the studies citied in the book. "All those are bad studies," he said. Really? All of them? I'm so sure he actually went out and read every single one, especially since he admitted to not even reading the book itself. Red flag, right there. However, he was very kind and I got the feeling he was a very gentle and caring physician. And, he is. He is just not right for our family.

Throughout the last 15 months we have had various differences of opinion. On certain issues I remained silent, such as co-sleeping, but on others I couldn't help but to speak out. We disagreed about many things, including vaccinations, iron supplementation in an exclusively breastfed baby, and most recently, the care of a natural (uncircumcised) penis. There was never a raised voice or angry tone, just uncomfortable conversation and a general feeling of conflict.

At our last visit, we argued about at what average age a boy's foreskin will naturally become retractable. Predictably, neither side budged. This was brought up after he held my son's penis and manipulated the foreskin so he could see the urethra and size of the foreskin opening. He did not tell me he was going to do this, and he did not offer any explanation as to why it was medically relevant. Everything I have read about the foreskin has told me that this is completely unnecessary. Of course, he wouldn't listen to me as I tried to explain to him my reason for concern. He tried to tell me that it was necessary to wash the end of the glans, and when I told him I did not believe that was true, he then thought I was somehow talking about lifting the penis to clean between it and the scrotum. Really, I don't know how he could have thought that's what I meant. Conversations like that always happened. Either he didn't like what I was saying and tried to twist my words, or truly believed I was that dumb. I never felt like he even listened to anything I said, or gave me any credibility whatsoever as a rational, educated adult.

After this visit I was determined that I could somehow educate him with the knowledge that I have on the subject. I also wanted to validate my argument. I dropped off an envelope with information about the average age of natural foreskin separation along with a letter which stated he was not to touch my son's penis without my permission. Two weeks later I received a certified letter stating that he was terminating our physician-patient relationship.

I had never been anything but kind to this man, and I feel that he just did not want to enter into any kind of discussion. All I ever wanted to do was to have a rational, meaningful conversation. I felt like he wanted nothing to do with any opinion that wasn't his and didn't respect me enough to even listen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Five Stages of Grief

There are many things that may trigger us to experience grief. I was unexpectedly overwhelmed by my emotional response to the realization that neither my husband nor I will every be able to experience sex in a normal and natural way. My husband is circumcised. I was okay with this until I began to research and learn about the functions of the foreskin. Now, I grieve the loss of an experience I can never have.

I don't believe the denial stage lasted very long for me. At first, I really didn't think that the foreskin would make much of a difference in my experience. I knew how sex was with partners who were cut, and I wasn't complaining. The more information I took in, the more I realized that there was a difference--that I was missing out on something.

 I don't know that I will ever stop being angry about this. I am still angry. I am angry every day that this was not only taken (forcefully, without consent) from my husband, but it was also taken from me. My anger runs deep to the core of my being. It is an intense anger that drives me to fight to stop this senseless practice.

I am not sure how one can bargain over the loss of a foreskin. There is nothing I can do to change the past. I can only hope to bring my husband around to my side. I would absolutely love it if he would attempt to restore, but I feel that it will be a long emotional journey before we reach that point.

I have always been prone to bouts of depression. It seems to come and go sometimes without reason or explanation. This time it hit me hard. I felt defeated and dejected for days. I did not want to be intimate with my husband, every time I looked at him it reminded me of what we were both missing, of what I could not have. It made me even more sad that I felt I couldn't talk to him about it. I still don't feel like I can talk to him about it.

It will never be okay. It will never be alright that my husband was cut. But perhaps I can learn to live with it. I can accept that this is the man I love and I love him even if he is not whole.

 It is true that in time all wounds will heal. Becoming an intactivist and fighting to help those that need to be protected from unnecessary circumcision is helping me to heal. One day all our children will be protected from genital modification.

No One to Blame

There has been an awful lot of anger running through my mind lately. Frustrating anger that cannot be directed at any particular person. Anger about my husband's circumcision.

I am angry that I have not been able to experience natural sex with a normal penis.

I am angry that I am reluctant to have sex with my husband since becoming aware of the purpose and anatomy of the foreskin.

I am angry that every time I look at his penis I see it as damaged.

I am angry that this surgery was done without his consent.

I am angry that he doesn't agree with me that it is unnecessary.

I am angry that I feel unwilling to broach the subject with him because I don't want him to become sad or angry over what he is missing.

I am angry that countless other boys and men will have to deal with this injustice until we successfully put an end to this barbaric practice.

I am angry that I have no one to blame.

I cannot blame my husband, the choice was not his.

I cannot blame his parents, they were told it was beneficial for him.

I cannot blame the doctor who performed the surgery, he was no doubt convinced it was beneficial.

I feel lost in this circle of anger.  Anger without a face.

But I will move on. I have to move on. For all the little boys out there that I can help. All the minds I can free from the misinformation and misguided advice. I will fight to put an end to this cycle of abuse.