In less than three weeks, I’m scheduled for a hysterectomy. I have some conflicting feeling about this to write out, but it’s such a personal topic that I decided humor is the way to go. So hopefully this is funny. Maybe it’s not. You be the judge.
Why not just write it in a private diary, you ask? Well, this is one of those “not talked about” topics that I think probably should be more out in the open. Because I’ll tell you what: As a woman, I was completely unprepared for the massive and unpleasant changes that would take place in my body once I entered into what they euphemistically call “change of life.” I kind of wish someone had been open with me about how dreadful it can be. So, I’m throwing this out there in the interest of transparency—I think most of my readers are probably female and may experience this at some point (or perhaps already have). Maybe it’ll be of some use to see that you’re not alone. So without further ado…
A Farewell to My Uterus
My old friend, I’m bidding you goodbye in a couple of weeks. And yes, I’ll still call you friend, even though you haven’t really been a good friend these last five years.
Because I do appreciate what you’ve done for me in the past. You carried two beautiful babies for me, and that doesn’t go unnoticed. I’ve seen so many friends struggle with miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility, and you didn’t put me through any of that. You gave me the opportunity to carry two beautiful babies who are now two beautiful little boys. So thank you for that.
But somehow, after I pressed you into duty for the last time five years ago, you decided it was time to be a jerk. You, along with your friends the ovaries, decided that you had played nice long enough. Game on, you declared!
And oh boy, you came on strong. Your entire job this last five years has been to every twenty-eight days shed unused “material” for four of five days. But you decided to up your game and go through this process every twenty-one days and stretch it out to seven or eight days. Super fun. For every one week of “shedding,” I get one week of peace before the cramping and discomfort of the next “shed” are on me again.
Apparently you’re also supposed to “shed” about two to three tablespoons of material a month. I laughed when I read that. Literally laughed out loud. What a glorious month that would be if it were true!
Apparently you didn’t think I was paying enough attention, so this last month you decided to achieve your three tablespoons literally in the matter of thirty seconds…over and over again as the night progressed, until I was weak and shaky and afraid to go to sleep because I wasn’t entirely sure I’d wake up.
The next day, I made the mistake of reaching for the toilet paper in a public bathroom, and the result looked like a crime scene. I had to clean up a public bathroom. Let that sink in for a moment: A person who hates public bathrooms with a passion had to clean one up (because I’m not enough of a jerk to make the poor restaurant employees do that).
So it’s time for you to go, my old friend. I can’t live like this anymore. Well, I suppose I can, but I don’t want to. It’s surprisingly challenging to parent two young kids when you’re somewhat incapacitated for a twelve-hour stretch every three weeks.
My doctor agrees. At my pre-op appointment when I told her about last month’s crime-scene episode and the night in which I stayed up hoping I wasn’t hemorrhaging, she said, “Yeah, we need to get this done. You don’t need to be living like this.” Indeed.
So you’re outta here, friend. (Assuming I can survive the next three weeks without coming down with a cold.) And we’re saying goodbye to your friends the cervix and the fallopian tubes, too. Because there’s no point in keeping them around to potentially harbor cancerous cells if you’re coming out already. My family has a wretched cancer history on one side, so it seems prudent to let them go, too.
The only ones who get to stay are the ovaries. We like them. They’ll keep me from instantly growing a mustache after the rest of you leave the building. And really, other than driving me up the wall with hormone shifts the last few years, they’re not so bad.
Plus, I have allegiance to them. They created two eggs that grew into my two amazing sons. Sure, they got a little confused with that one egg with the extra chromosomal material, but that’s okay—we consider that our family’s biggest gift. Apparently my ovaries knew we needed some extra chromosomes in this household, and they were right.
I’ve got one more cycle to get through before you’re outta here. Do you think you could play nice? Just once, for old times’ sake? I’m going to be solo-parenting when that happens, and I don’t really need a repeat of last month when I don’t have my trusty backup with me. So let’s all get along for this last time, okay?
Peace out, uterus. Thanks for your years of dedicated service.