“What in the hell is that?” I said this aloud, to no one in particular, this past Wednesday in the shower. I felt a little something where there should have been nothing, and I was concerned. So, I did what any concerned citizen would do. I got out of the shower and grabbed a mirror. And that’s when I saw it. I wasn’t sure what “it” was, but Google told me it wasn’t good. I don’t usually find myself using Google to look up, “pinkish flesh-colored penis-like protrusion from vagina”, but there it was. And i made sure to use an incognito browser because ain’t nobody going to trace that back to my phone, friends. Uh, no. I was afraid of what the results would show, sure that someone had some sort of fetish porn video out there that would come across my phone. And I’d have a hard time ‘splaining that. Almost as hard of a time as going to my husband, as I did after my shower and investigation, and saying, “Honey. I think my uterus is falling out.”
That was, of course, not the conversation I had envisioned us having, like ever. But there it was. And further Googling, and then a doctor’s visit, did confirm that, indeed, my uterus is prolapsed. Stage three of four. The only way to get it fully out is to take it out. So, I am scheduled for surgery one month from yesterday. And there you have it, folks. The bottom has, quite literally, dropped out.
I struggled with the idea of even talking about it, but I do my best thinking while
drinking writing, and I want to be able to talk about it because really, if you think about it, it’s HILARIOUS. The house that kept my babies warm and safe has crumbled and is falling out, only being held up in place now by the strength of the canal of my womanhood, sitting inside me, waiting to go. And if you tell someone this, their first reaction is to say, “Wow that must be so uncomfortable,” and goddamn right it is! But when you think about it, and understand what is actually happening, it is funny. Really, really funny. And while it is uncomfortable most of the time, I still have to see the upside, the silver lining, the something to laugh about. You have to laugh, people. Crying is exhausting, and no one wants to be around someone who is crying about every little thing. But everyone likes a good chuckle.
When I was discussing this with a friend, she said that she had heard someone say that this happened to them, but she thought she was kidding. And if i am being honest, I didn’t know it could happen before Wednesday, so I understand that mentality. But when considering whether or not to even write this and make it “public”, I wondered why I would not want to be open and honest. I’d be honest with you if I had a head cold and snot was pouring out of my nose (which it was, last week). I’d tell you if I had some crazy diarrhea disease you may need to be aware of possibly contracting (knock on wood, none yet here). But this is about my “bathing suit area,” as it is. It’s so hush-hush! Why are we women so afraid of talking about our bodies and what happens to them? Why do basic (and sometimes not so) functions of our anatomy bring us shame? Because of the patriarchy, power and control of our own bodies is so limited that we as women are ashamed when something happens to us, or to our bodies, that we want to talk about. Fuck that, I say. I am taking a page from one of my new favorite people, Helene Cixous, and I am writing my body – myself – into existence and this reality. I’m reclaiming that power. *roar*
I wanted to come forward to be a face for my friends who may go through this or know someone who is going through it. I don’t want to hide in the shadows of my body’s supposed failure to “keep it together, woman!” I don’t want to go into details, because the process is quite gross to go through, but I want to be able to be free to let others know they are not alone. I wanted to be someone that another person could come to for advice, support, a good laugh, and really, a nice dose of reality. It’s happening to me. It can happen to you, ladies (unless you no longer have a uterus, in which case, we have another thing in common. SISTERHOOD!).
There is no going back from this; I cannot feel sorry for myself, as there is nothing to feel sorry for. I didn’t choose this, so I have no choice but to celebrate it all. In a month’s time (or less, depending), I will be hollowed out. The house that built my babies, and punished me monthly when I did not give it something to construct, will be a memory. Its ghost will be all that remains. It served me well for 33 years. And now, it’s time to go. Exit stage left. Or center. Whichever.
Upon another Google search (one not so incognito), I noticed that people had parties for these times (Google “hysterectomy cakes”; it’s a gas!). And that was after I decided that I want to have a shindig, a small celebration, a farewell to the whole thing, if you will. I want to give it a proper send-off for all of the good things it did for me. It only seems right. It may have been a pain on the regular, but it allowed me to nourish, support, and protect my children, and for that, we at least should toast and eat a little cake in its honor.
If these are true, I am a full-on adult doing life the right way…
Because, friends, you have to laugh.
Life is too funny, and too short.
Giggle a little.