How Odd Is My Bod: Literally Clitoris

anatomical clitoris on green leaves

How Odd Is My Bod is a new feature from Seeta Lee. Each week Whenever I get to it, I’ll share stories about our bodies. The purpose of this feature is to destigmatize body talk, reduce body shaming, and encourage boundaries against unwanted body comments. In other words, I want to give myself and others a space to discuss what we think is strange about our bodies, to feel less alone in and weird toward our bodies, and to get people to shut the fuck up about other people’s bodies.

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And How Does the Word “Clitoris” Make You Feel?

I’m gonna talk about my clitoris, but I’m gonna deny you the pleasure of getting straight to it.

When I started this feature, I thought this was an easy shift into something I was already doing. I used to post frequently about my body on social media, and I’ve written plenty about bodies here on the blog.

However, something about making it a so-called feature changed my thinking. It was unnecessary pressure I’d put on myself to perform. So, then, I didn’t want to do it. I do this to myself all the time. You’d think I’d learn.

What happens when I do this is that I fail at mitigating pent-up frustrations. That’s how we come to today’s post. I’m pretty pissed at my body, specifically my reproductive organs.

It’s gonna get personal. I’m gonna talk about body parts that make some people blush and run away. That said, I want to make clear that there’s nothing inappropriate about this. For instance, if you think it’s fine to talk about hair, hearts, and legs, but not genitals, I refer you to how you’ve been socialized to see the human body. Your discomfort rests with that, not me.

A Pain in the Clit

I’ve had a pain in my clitoris for a couple of weeks. I thought it was a kidney stone pushing through my urethra and causing pain in my genitalia.

I’ve had a kidney stone before. It was tied to drinking too much chai, specifically black tea (due to oxalate content, supposedly). While research is mixed on that, I can’t disagree. I was drinking traditional chai at home every morning. I stopped for several years, and I’d never had another noticeable one. However, I’ve been drinking traditional chai again most mornings of late, and when the pain started and I searched* for what it might be, I thought, “Oh. Duh.”

Plus, I had a miniscule amount of blood after urinating one day, then the pain stopped. In my head, that’s a kidney stone.

*Yes, I know. Self-diagnosing and internet searches are ill-advised, but when you’ve had questionable diagnoses and unhelpful doctors in the past, you do what you can on your own.

Until a few days ago, I was fine. Certainly, I could have more kidney stones. We have them all the time, but they’re usually too small for us to notice. I could have some bigger ones rattling around in my pee pipes. Who knows?

Normally, I’m not one to shy away from making doctor’s appointments, despite my history with doctors. I’m all about “fucking fix this; I don’t want to deal with it.” In truth, I have a lot of resentment toward my body because I’m a control freak enthusiast, and as I age, I realize I am not as in charge of this operation as I thought I was. I’m trying to make peace with this. Therapy and all that jazz. Some days though, I’m angry, and I want to figure it out and fix this shit on my own. Making an appointment, going to a physician, hearing the possible causes, trying to figure out of it’s accurate, possibly getting more meds, the eventual bills . . . it’s more than I can handle some days when I’m in and out of healthcare appointments far more than I ever thought I’d be.

So, yeah. Today happens to be one of the days when I’m fed up, but I don’t want to go through the hassle of a doctor’s appointment when there’s snow on the ground, and my car is a kite, and honestly, I’m afraid there won’t be an explanation.

Periods Suck. Period.

Yesterday, in addition to the pain in my clitoris, I noticed a shift in my hormones. I’ve gotten annoyingly good at picking up on hormonal shifts. The slightest things clue me in: Transient lingual papillitis a.k.a. lie bumps, rapid muscle fatigue, sadness, hypersomnia, and zero energy.

Except none of these have been happening per my usual pattern.

See, this is what the phases of the menstrual cycle look like, courtesy of The Agenda. I share this because a whole lot of people have no idea what the words “follicular” and “luteal” are, and I can’t explain the rest of this without some background. Thanks, ADHD.

For most of my life, I’ve had a menstrual cycle that lasted almost exactly 28 days. I’m talking 30 years of consistent. I’d have a day or two of spotting, four to five days of bleeding, then I was done. I came to lean on my follicular phase as the time when I get shit done, and my luteal phase was my “I’m gonna hide in this room” stage.

The last few years? Not so much. In November, I started spotting on day 22 of my cycle. I had eight days of spotting, four days of bleeding, and two more days of spotting. Never in my life have I had fourteen days of needing to wear pads and period underwear. Y’all, I’ve had about 430 periods in my life. Not once has that happened.

In December, from spotting to being done, it was six days. But I had an acne breakout that I haven’t seen in decades, and those fuckers still aren’t gone.

This month has already gotten weird. I always get a lie bump the day before my period starts. Weird but true. This month, the lie bump came three days ago, and I’m not supposed to start my period for another 12 freaking days. I’ve also been spotting on and off for five days. I’ve obviously shifted into my luteal phase because my mood and energy tanked. I have the added fun of suffering from PMDD. Even though it’s managed with a pharmaceutical, seasonal affective disorder exacerbates it. So far, vitamin D isn’t helping. I’ve got a light lamp coming today.

But when I tell you I’m doing my best to stay home and shield people from this mess, I mean I’m canceling plans with wild abandon. I’m spending my days in bed, in my office chair, or in my living room armchair and nowhere else. I’m getting damn near nothing accomplished including showering, WHICH IS PROBABLY ISN’T HELPING MY CLITORAL PAIN.

What In the Genitalia Is Going On?!

Because of this inconsistency, I was convinced I was in perimenopause. A recent blood test, however, indicates that I’m not. My gynecologist, whom I adore, says my cycle is still pretty normal.

I’m still weirded out by it. Nothing makes sense. So, what’s going on?

The answer is: I haven’t a fucking clue. Stress? Weather? Solar flares? Aliens? Killer clowns? I’d accept any explanation at this point.

This leads me back to my sore clitoris, which is a sentence I never thought I’d write nor do I ever want to write again.

I’m legitimately terrified of whatever might be causing this pain. Frankly, I’m tired of my reproductive organs controlling this shitshow, so having pain in my clitoris–you know, the fun button–is not ideal on top of an already not ideal situation.

I’m reminded of the Green Day lyric, “When masturbation’s lost it’s fun, you’re fucking lazy.” My version is, “When masturbation’s gonna hurt, get to the doctor.”

If you must know (oh, now I ask?!), yes, I contacted my gynecologist this morning. When I’m done with this post, I’ll go shower to keep the area clean. Then I’ll drink a boatload of water to fight any possibility of it being a kidney stone. For all I know, it could be because I’m sitting too much, but my clitoris will have to talk to my fibromyalgia and hypermobility about that.

I mean, it’s not gonna check in with me. They never invite me to the meetings.