Bleed Me a River

Another day concerned with orifices. I went to the endodontist for part 1 of a root canal for tooth number 13. He was a modest guy without the Hail-fellow-well-met-ness of many dentists or others who often greet the public. He only said what needed to be said, no small talk or jokiness. I'd asked him to explain what he was doing and he did. He numbed me (three shots), clearing out bacteria from under a cracked filling, and cleaning out and widening the canal, home of the inflamed pulp. Now I'm using file number 30, he said, then I'll try size 40--or something like that. The only thing that hurt was the first two shots. I go back in two weeks for part 2, when he will fill the tooth permanently. Everything is fine except tonight I smelled cloves and realized that my tooth felt hollow and there was soft clay coming out--the source of the clove smell. I read online that oil of clove, eugenol, is used to sterilize the tooth, and is also part of a cement compound used to seal the tooth. A certain site says that eugenol is one of many toxins used in root canals, and recommends using acupuncture instead. However, having gone this far with conventional endodontia, I will ignore that. (My acupuncturist threw in some needles last week to help the tooth, but nothing changed.) I can't ignore that the temporary filling in the tooth has fallen out. I'll have to call tomorrow.

While I was filling out a form at the endodontist's, the Boyish Gyne called on my cell phone. My biopsies were negative. He hypothesized that I'm in menopause but bleeding because of the fibroids. I don't agree. I think I still have real periods but they're very very looooonnng because of the fibroids. Why would I think this? Am I loath to give up this sign of young womanhood? Maybe. Am I scared? I think I'm scared. Of what, besides death and old age and turning into a crone, a word that feminists reclaimed 20 years ago, after all? Have I enjoyed the sheer weirdness of 38 years of bleeding? Put that way, I realize I've bled more years than I haven't. I am used to it. The blood seems alive, a sign of life, though I know it's a sign of death (no embryo taking hold). I am so full of life that I have blood to spare. I have so much blood that it falls easily out of me, doesn't have to be sucked out by leeches. So much blood...but I have to admit it's too much; I have to take iron twice a day.

The gyne said that when I go in for my ultrasound (to see if the fibroids are growing), I can (or did he say should?) get a blood test for FSH, which is follicle-stimulating hormone, to see if I'm menopausal. However, it seems that the test might be unreliable. I would like for it to be reliable. I don't want to be in menopause but I don't want to be in limbo, either. I want to know. And then what? I want to be in menopause because menopause is supposed to cause the fibroids to shrink. But if I'm in menopause already, and am having faux periods caused by fibroids, then it means that menopause is not causing the fibroids to wither, as Engels said the state would, after the proletariat seized the means of production and abolished social classes.

There's an analogy here, but it only goes so far.