My absence here has been conspicuous, but also by design. There’s little that’s happened that I felt like talking about, or at least opening a discussion about, as this blog has become since readership shrunk. Which I guess isn’t a bad thing, but over the past year, I’ve found that I am better at dealing with almost all of my issues on my own. It’s certainly appreciated to know that you have support and that people are rooting for you, but when you’re having a particularly bad time with a particularly bad situation, the last thing you need is some asshole commenting on a year-old blog post about how you were wrong about something you honestly haven’t thought of in months or are a spoiled shitty brat in general who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. When I realized that the comments didn’t make me angry as much as the time it took to read them, I decided that I was better suited for Twitter and forced myself to stop looking at my life as something to be written about.
And for the most part, that’s gone okay.
However, I did keep paying for the domain name, both because I am an idiot who likes to waste money and because I figured that I might eventually have something to say. And aren’t we all lucky that I did, because I have some news and you guys are going to shit yourselves.
I’m 20 weeks pregnant.
Wait for it.
With a tumor.
All those times you saw me in the past few years and thought “her belly looks kind of big,” congratulations, your eyes were not deceiving you! They were honest and true. My belly did look kind of big, and this was a thought I carried with me day in and day out, it was a thing that caused me to get a Fitbit and lose (by now) over 30 pounds, it was something doctors loved to comment on (“a woman of your height should have a lower BMI, try losing some weight” no matter that I was consistently losing weight with each consecutive visit). It was a thing I hated about myself and still do, and while I can’t pass off all of the blame, I can say with certainty that a lot of this belly isn’t a belly at all. It’s my uterus, which is currently inhabited by a fibroid tumor the size of a grapefruit, which has ballooned me up to the size of a woman who is 20 weeks pregnant. And believe me, all of the doctors I’ve seen over the past 4 days would love to prove that I am, in fact, pregnant, but all of the pee and blood I have given so generously to their cause keeps shutting them down. I was tempted to take a baby bump photo and post it to Facebook with the caption “PSYCH, IT’S A TUMOR, YOU DOPES” but someone out there is too big a of a dope to get the joke and I don’t have the patience to explain that one.
Fibroid tumors are not uncommon. A lot of women have them, and most never even know. Typically, you only find out when one gets so large and greedy that it cuts off its own blood supply and begins degenerating, and the excruciating pain that results is basically this thing turning necrotic. That’s what began happening to mine sometime in the past few weeks, with the past 7 days being the most agonizing part of the process yet, what with the unending severe pain in my lower back and pelvis and the ER visit and the crying to medical professionals and the robotic partial hysterectomy.
Oh yes, there’s a robotic partial hysterectomy. I’ll get to that.
I will say that enduring severe, life-destroying pain for a week straight is certainly enough to shove whatever remaining Catholic body shame you might have right out the window. When I was 16 and getting my first pelvic exam, I was mortified when I heard that I had a backwards uterus. At age 33, I’ve probably told this fact to at least a dozen individuals over the past several days. I also gave no shits when I nurse asked me to fully undress in a partially-open ER exam room and would have gladly walked the hallways in an open hospital gown had someone promised more painkillers. Youth and Catholicism make you ashamed of your body. Age and pain make you realize that it is a garbage dump and must be dealt with accordingly.
But first, though, I’d like to talk about a thing I’ve realized about doctors. It’s a thing I’ve realized for years and years, but only recently has it become a glaring boil on the ass of the medical profession, as things are wont to do when you’ve spent 7 days in the kind of pain that renders you incapable of walking, speech, or a field of vision that does not include slashes of light and spots.
Doctors don’t fucking listen.
Ok, ok, obviously some doctors listen. And I know that a lot of doctors probably have to deal with a lot of patients living out their ER/Chicago Hope/Greys Anatomy/webMD fantasies, so there’s a lot of talking and speculation that could be shrunk by about 85%. But doctors? It’s your job to listen, and to use your listening skills to properly diagnose a patient, and to provide options for care other than “have you tried ibuprofen?” It is your job to deal with issues expediently to heal and/or comfort a patient, rather than to nod with glassed-over eyes and say “maybe we can talk about the next steps when you’re feeling better.” It is not your job to ask me why I didn’t know about my fibroid in advance, this enormous 2-fisted thing in my womb, as I suspect it is not your job to assume that I am also a doctor (especially when I told you I’m not) or to know that any of the symptoms of uterine fibroids are at all distinguishable from just hating your periods more after you turn 30. Oh, and constantly being told to lose weight by doctors, of course. Even though you already have.
Sorry. Sorry, okay? I spent 40 straight minutes hysterically crying in a doctor’s office yesterday, and that was after I spent nearly an hour in her waiting room, sweating and shaking because it wasn’t time to take my pain meds yet, and that was after I cried in my bed for 3 hours and begged the empty room to make the pain stop, and that was after Graham drove me to the ER on Sunday because the pain made me vomit. And even that was after I went to Urgent Care and dealt with some dipshit in a Mickey Mouse tie who wouldn’t stop talking about how I really should get a chlamydia test. All in all, the only positive experience I’ve had so far was in the ER, which was filled with an Australian nurse-angel who administered Dilaudid via an IV and warm blankets and a doctor who said, no joke, “this thing didn’t grow overnight, it’s been cookin’ in there for years.” I mean yes, I also had to have a pelvic ultrasound which is like aliens using the longest dildo you’ve ever seen to take pictures of your ovaries, but really, the ER gave me care, took care of the pain, and told me what my options were going to be going forward. Which is what I expect from medical professionals, and so far, 2 out of 3 experiences tells me this is wildly optimistic.
I have a surgical consult tomorrow (note: this is where the ROBOTS come in). I’m going to talk to an OBGYN about a partial hysterectomy, which is not as scary as it sounds because a) it’s not like I was planning on using my uterus for its intended purpose, anyway and b) something like 80% of hysterectomies are because of large fibroids. Again, not uncommon. I would like to schedule this surgery as soon as possible. Why not? The pain will stop, the pain-causing apparatus will be destroyed with a bunch of other medical waste, and I’ve already cancelled Iceland because the world is unfair and my health is more important than seeing the Northern Lights, apparently.
Feel free to look up robotic partial hysterectomies. Graham has been doing it for 2 days and seems to enjoy what he’s learning. He has also asked me to ask to keep it (if not the uterus then at least the fibroid). I have refused. He’s been taking remarkable care of me so far despite this, and has also taken on additional research when I briefly panicked and wondered about where the cum goes if there’s no uterus, partially because that was a real question I had and partially because I was afraid that if I didn’t find out, I’d just start yelling “WHERE DOES THE CUM GO?!” under anesthesia, much like Captain Jack Sparrow yells “WHERE HAS THE RUM GONE?!”
I hope tomorrow’s doctor listens. I hope she understands that I want this taken care of and done right sooner rather than later. My painkiller supply is not a neverending one, and besides, I’d wanted to wean myself off of them before I became a poor substitute for one of the guys in Mötley Crüe. I don’t want to sit around and miss work and keep crying about this. I want to be the Ron Swanson of partial hysterectomies, goddammit, so bring on the motherfucking robots.
WHERE DOOOOOES THE CUM GOOOOOO?
Congratulations on your impending partial hysterectomy! Yay for no babies!
Hey Erin! Happy to see you’re writing again! Hope all goes well with the doctor, I know you can handle this.
p.s. sooo…where does it go?
Erin I know you’re good with what’s happening but I’m still sorry you have to go through it at all! Good luck!
BTW…”Youth and Catholicism make you ashamed of your body. Age and pain make you realize that it is a garbage dump and must be dealt with accordingly”…perfection.