Call me morbid, but I made up a will yesterday. It’s kind of funny actually, as it’s my sloppy handwriting on a piece of spiral notebook paper with the jagged edges and all, which is driving me crazy. I hate the edges.
Why the will? Well, because I’m going to have surgery on Thursday; a hysterectomy to those who ignore my Facebook posts. I know it’s not an overly major procedure or anything, but things can and do go wrong, and it’s just me, so I thought I’d make my wishes known for, you know…”just in case.”
I was sitting on the deck and drinking my usual cups of coffee before work and I just thought it’d be a good idea, but also, it made me sob uncontrollably for a minute. Intentionally placing yourself in a situation where you must really face the idea of your own mortality is kind of a trip. Most people my age don’t think of this junk– advanced directives and living wills and whatnot. This is for old people, not soon-to-be 33-year-olds, but life is a fickle bitch and no one can ever tell what their future holds.
I don’t know how legal this chicken scratching on college-ruled paper (always college-ruled; wide ruled paper is for the birds) is, but I hope I don’t have to find out.
So yes, having a hysterectomy. In general, people have been nice and great, offering the typical responses of “hope the procedure goes well” platitudes, but the women I work with have the reaction I am not fond of: sympathy. As in sympathy that I’m having what makes me a woman and gives me purpose in this life taken out without ever having had children.
I hate this reaction. I know I shouldn’t think this way, that I should be grateful they even care and force the smile and accept their words, but it bothers me. Quite a bit, actually.
I have my own thoughts of inadequacy about having this done, like I somehow failed as a woman, that I can’t even have a normal, functioning uterus and use it. Hell, might as well cut off my tits and external genitalia and make me as sexless as possible, right? If I can’t do this whole woman thing correctly, might as well shame me even further.
When I try to explain to these women that it’s really okay I’m having this done, that I made the decision long ago that I didn’t want kids, looks of sympathy turn to looks of puzzlement. The lightly furrowed eyebrows and slight head tilt as if to say, “…really? But…you’re a woman.”
I know the childless existence is an uncommon one, only made slightly less scandalous than if I had never been married at all. These women are the true oddities, aren’t they? Forever single and childless, the poor dears. Who’ll take care of them when they’re old? Who’s going to take care of me? Even better is that I’m the only child my father bore with my mother, since my older brother is technically my halfsies brother, and my uncle never had kids, so damn. It’s me. It’s like Last of the Mohicans up in this piece. Call me Chingachgook (although technically, his son, Uncas, is the Last of the Mohicans, but “Chingachgook” is more fun to say).
So, I have my guilt about all this, I don’t really need the clucking tongues of the mother hens at work adding to it. And again, I appreciate their concern, but I can tell the rumor of my surgery has made its rounds through the office. A few more smiles and stops for small talk in the halls.
The thing these women don’t realize is that I feel guilty about not wanting kids. I really do. I’m denying my parents biological grandchildren. A few weeks ago, my 86-year-old grandma said to me, “so when are you going to get married again and have babies?” I laughed it off, but that really kind of stung me. I’m the only female in the family who doesn’t have kids or isn’t married. Points to me for having been married before, though, and getting divorced. I’ve always been the “black sheep” of my family, and this recent development only further cements that status.
Not wanting kids was a hard choice to make, but I made it out of knowing that my reproductive organs were not right. I could always tell something was amiss. One tends to play Sherlock Holmes a bit when after having sexual intercourse and no form of contraception was used and I went about my business knowing that the only way this chick is getting pregnant is if the seed of god himself implanted itself into my womb, and we all know my thoughts on god (h/t to Dishwalla). Sure there are things I can have done to make my childbearing a possibility, like scraping my uterus clean, being put on fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization, etc, but I’m of the mindset of why spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for this stuff when there’s a chance it won’t work? Besides, if in a few years I have a major turnaround and decide I do want kids, there’s always adoption. Teen gals and guys are always going to be stupid and irresponsible.
Like I said, my body failed me spectacularly and with much gusto. The official diagnosis is a very large degenerating intramural fibroid. To those going “huh?” it means this growth is actually in the uterine muscle, not just growing on the wall, but in it. Fibroids have their own blood supply and because of the heft of this thing, which I’ve named Terry, by the by, Terry is essentially cutting off its blood supply and breaking down in the middle, hence the degenerating part. I also found out my uterus is 14.6cm by 10.4cm. Normal uterus size is 7.3cm x 5.2cm. Say what? Yeah. It makes so much sense to me now because good god a’mighty. The pain associated with Terry has been…well, unbearable at times. I hate Terry.
And, as I was told by my doctor, this particular type of fibroid is very difficult to remove AND there’s a chance this sucker is cancerous. The odds are small, but still a chance. The doctor wants to try to remove this thing with a super cool robot-guided surgery with a few small incisions, but given the size of Terry and the fact he’s eating himself, she may have to cut me open. I asked her about my ovaries, since I know these things are as useful as an asshole on an elbow, but when I had my ultrasound done, she couldn’t even see the damn things because Terry was so big. The idea is to leave the ovaries alone as to not place me in medically induced menopause because that means hormone replacement therapy and from what I understand, that isn’t good and can cause other cancers and cut my life short. Neat.
But whatever happens, happens. I’m trying to not be completely terrified by all this, but I’m completely terrified by this. I have a long recovery time and I found out my insurance may not cover the cost of the surgery because I work for a Catholic health organization and these fuckers will try anything to make you have babies, so a hysterectomy basically gives a giant “eff you” to that. But based on my documented medial necessity for said procedure, it might be covered. Guess I’ll find out in a few days, huh?
My surgery is scheduled for this Thursday at 1pm. I’m simultaneously excited and nervous. A part of me is being taken out and getting tossed into an incinerator. I kind of want the doctor to take my cell phone into the operating room and take pictures of the surgery for me. I’d get so many likes on Instagram with that shit. I think the Kelvin filter will really accentuate the removal of my uterus well.
Sorry for the rambling tonight, but if you’ve learned anything, it should be that all responsible adults over the age of 19 should have a will written up; you know intimate details about my lady parts; and I have a weird sense of humor when it comes to somewhat serious things. If you can’t laugh during hard times though, when can you?
I promise I’ll be done writing about my anatomy after this week is over. Thanks for reading about it.