No, I didn’t just post a random picture of my breast in a shameless attempt to boost my readership. There’s a reason. You may notice the white colored drops of fluid that seem to be emanating from the nipple area. If you guessed that it’s breastmilk you would be correct. Scooby snacks for you! Only problem is that I’m not pregnant and I have not recently given birth. Color me freaked out. I first noticed when I was on my trip out of the country. I got out of the shower and was drying myself off and then re-dried by breast, and the re-re-dried my breast and yet there it still was: colostrum. I gave my breast a little squeeze just to be sure and wouldn’t you know it but more milk came oozing out. Now, I’ve seen plenty of people breastfeed and I’ve seen my fair share of breasts but what I had never seen before was a breast spontaneously behaving like Old Faithful and spitting out breast milk for no reason. I wrapped my towel around me, ran to into the room that I was sharing with my cousin and demanded that she have a look. Because, apparently, I have some slutty tendencies, she immediately countered with a suspicious “Are you pregnant?” After repeated declarations from me that I was not, in fact, in the family way, she joined me in my state of disgust and bewilderment. So what would any savvy American girl do when she finds herself stuck in a third world country and suddenly lactating? I googled of course. Let me just say that googling one’s symptoms is not the best way to overcome hyphochondria. Turns out what I have is galactorrhea. Yeah. As in, diarrhea of the breast. Yech. Now, what are possible causes of galactorrhea? Oh just, you know, brain tumors or pituitary disorders, or thyroid issues etc. Minor stuff like that. At that point I was wishing that I had, in fact, conceived the second coming of Christ because none of those other options were sounding at all appealing to me. And then I read it.
such as hormones, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines and others.
The asshole, known as Mr. Shrink had recently prescribed me .5mg of risperdal daily. Now this is a very small does for the sole purpose of easing some of my anxiety issues. He warned about the possible side effects like increased appetite and fatigue and I was like, ‘oh hooray, just what I need, to become lazier and fatter’, but because, despite his asshole-y-ness, he normally knows what he’s talking about, I agreed to try out the new meds. Well, guess what one of the lesser common side effects of risperdal is? Ding, ding ding! Galactorrhea. Turns out it’s so rare that there are really very few case studies online about it. So when I went in for my med check and we went over how much better I was doing on this new drug, Mr. Shrink was all smug and self-confident over his decision and choice of drug I nodded and agreed and ever so sweetly exclaimed. “Except that I’m lactating.” The look Mr. Shrink’s face is one that I truly wish I had been able to photograph. It almost made my lactation worthwhile just to see the conflict race across his face. Bless the asshole’s heart, he remained wholey professional about it all, but the redness in his cheeks gave him away. Turns out my body is incredibly sensitive to this stuff because .5 mgs is next to nothing. According to him, there are people on four times as much of this stuff who aren’t lactating. Fan-freaking-tastic for them. What about me? Turns out there is diddly squat I can do about it unless I want to go off the drugs. He asked me how “severe” it was and if it leaked through my clothing and if it was painful. Yes and yes. “Let-down” Hurts damnit! And my right breast makes like five times what my left breast makes. My dearest shrink’s response to all this was what? “Congratulations, you’re a woman. Now you know they work.” Thanks but I was well aware of their function long before I became bessie the cow. I’m going to have to work with him on his sensitivity issues.
So yeah. I’m lactating. Every day. My breasts make milk. But no problem. It’s okay. At least I know they work.
Oh! And the best part? With the proper pressure from my thumb I can squirt milk across the room!
I am a full-on walking, talking, lactating, fembot, baby.
So, I’ve been brainstorming ways with which I can, excuse the pun, milk this oddball situation and I feel that I’ve come up with no solutions. Several male friends of mine were rather quick to remind me of Rose of Sharon in the Grapes of Wrath but I’m pretty sure I will be declining any and all offers to breastfeed adult men.
But then again, they may have a point. Screw nannying. Maybe I should just expand my horizons and set up shop as a wetnurse…