Menstrual cramps are kicking my ass! My period is yet to make its appearance, but in the meantime my lower back and front have collaborated on a duet. Apparently my head had been feeling a bit left out because it too has decided to join in. What I should do is walk out of my office, walk… okay, strut to the train, go home and get into bed. Instead, I will continue to sit here and grin through the pain and discomfort. I have been egging the pain on and applauding its efforts to have me fold. I have been taunting the fuck out of it, asking, “this is all you got?” Yes, I have been, through the “ouches” (almost) luxuriating in the wonder that is the human body. I have been, I think for the very first time, truly marveling at the mechanisms that collude each month. For the first time I am letting my body do what it was designed to do, without complaint. I am allowing it its moments to show off. I am sitting back and bowing down to its momentary dominance over me. And I am doing so because this will be its last time.
I am scheduled for a hysterectomy in approximately three weeks.
There are fibroids and too many for my doctor’s comfort. So, they need to come out. No big deal. What IS the big deal however, is the decision to, while they will be poking around, to go ahead and remove the one organ that will prevent any future occurrences of fibroids; my uterus. We (the doctor and I) had the conversation with regard to her recommendation and I had the conversation with that other doctor whom I trust explicitly, my sister. Ultimately however, the decision was/is mine and I am very clear and resolute… it comes out. Let’s address this…
I’m not using it. It is truly that simple. My uterus has already served me very very well and, I am eternally grateful. But, I truly do not have any further plans for it. And aside from that, its presence now causes a health risk. So, no hesitation.
But my doctor, God bless her sweet soul, has encouraged me to ‘check in’ with myself with regard to any feelings I may experience regarding any thoughts related to my femininity. Specifically, she has cautioned me that many women do experience a form of grieving at the loss of the organ that represents the possibility of birth. And femininity. And womanhood. That the removal of the uterus can spark emotions of loss. And possibilities. Okay. I (kinda) get it. And, I appreciate her sharing this with me; so on the off-chance I start to get weepy afterward, I and all around me, could understand why. Cool. But I seriously doubt it. My response to her then and, as I continue to check in with myself my response still is, “I have never seen the thing! It and I do not have any conversations on a regular basis. In fact, THE only time I acknowledge its presence is once a month questioning why the fuck it is still carrying on! I think I’ll be just fine.” That truly was my response. Hers was to burst out laughing J
But I do understand how for some/many women it could signify a much greater loss. Especially for those women who may still be in their child-bearing phases and for whom this eliminates a hope or a dream. I get that. And, I do empathize. For me however, the removal of my uterus means nothing more than the elimination of a problem and the probability of future problems. I have already received the best it could have done for me and now, the only uterus’ health I am interested in is my daughter’s 😉 I have also realized that those signifiers that mark the stages in my life, are incredibly sacred to me. As I age, I have become quite comfortable with and welcoming of those age-related occurrences. Those conversations that start with, “after fifty you should…”: the bone-density tests, colonoscopy, mammogram, stop wearing the short-shorts… ha-ha. Seriously though, I value the conversations and recommendations that are now part of this phase, because people, the alternative to aging is of little interest to me! I freely and openly have conversations about menopause because it is ‘that time’ and sadly I know there are many people denied the privilege to grumble about hot-flashes.
So I will be heading home next week for my beautiful daughter’s (thank you, uterus!) wedding. Then I will have my surgery because that is in the best interest of my health and well-being. Three weeks of recovery (I told them they have two!), then I will head back to school at the end of August to complete my second-to-last semester before graduation. This blog will spawn a podcast in September; I will keep you all posted. Graduation next spring; then, heading to my master’s. So, I have plans. And they demand I am healthy. Period.
I am scheduled for a hysterectomy in approximately three weeks. But I am scheduled for a (healthy long) life every single day.