Archives for category: hippy shit

I just took my first shower in twelve days, having had surgery eleven days ago. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog you know that the fibroids started out in 2011 as a joke. That progressed to “oh damn” levels of pain, combined with healthy doses of sarcasm. About six months ago, I found out the fibroid needed to be surgically removed and like Morrissey said, “that joke isn’t funny anymore.”

Forced to take responsibility for myself, which can still be challenging as a forty-one year-old, I spent months fighting for the right insurance to get into the only hospital I’ve ever been to, Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. I became a beaurocrat. I fought paper with more paper and I out mailed ’em.

But once I had that sorted I had nothing but time to freak the fuck out. I promptly began stockpiling food, water, cat litter, and hauling it up the three flights of stairs to my apartment. By preparing and exerting tons of controlled discipline on my life I hoped to control my fears. It didn’t work, but I readied the house as best as I could, figuring out how to move around without the use of my core, fortuanately it was cost prohibitive for me to install bars on the walls and a pulley over the bed.

I’ve always been more comfortable to give than to get, to care for than to be cared for and to be needed more than to be in need. Now, nearly two weeks since my surgery, I’m home nursing an abdominal incision and having my mind blown by the generosity of my friends. A self professed recluse, in recent years I have become notoriously private, even from the people I love, and I’ve had more visitors in the last week than in all three years combined since I moved into this apartment.

Prone to saying, “I got it” and “Don’t worry about it”, I don’t know how to ask for help, because it’s not a muscle I like to use, but recently I’ve had to ask, and accept it, and the funniest thing has happened. The only cure to this isolating self-suffieciency that I suffer from is to ask for help. That’s it. Just ask for help, without shame I say, “Hey I don’t have the answer, I can’t carry this weight, can you please help me?” And low and behold the help comes and the isolation and fear leaves.

I’ve got dog people cleaning that cat box, I’ve got vegans bringing steaks, I’ve got flowers, cleaning ladies and groceries being sent from friends who can’t be here with me. It’s amazing, humbling and most incredibly it’s forcing a change in perception. My feelings inside don’t match up with what’s happening outside. It’s undeniable, I can see it. I know I am taken care of every time I hear one of my friends unlocking my deadbolt to check on me. This surgery has forced a shift in perspective that I could not have predicted.

To have been wrong about my place in the world is amazing. I had the flux capacitor, I just didn’t have any plutonium, and they’ve been droppin’ off plutonium all week. So alright, now I’m back to the future.

Katja, Beth, Brandi, Ker-Bear, Yoon, Anne, Sam, Cynthia, Camille, Lindsey, Lesley , Autumn, Mau, Benji, POD & KBAOD thank you for making it easy to ask for help.  XXOO

So I’ve been cracking jokes to make myself feel better, but in all truth I’m currently waiting for my doctor to call me to discuss which fibroid surgery I am a candidate for. A few years ago I found out I have a uterine fibroid, which I named The Christ Fibroid. As I was not trying to conceive, my doctor said we’d wait and monitor its growth. Ladies, if your doctor finds a tumor in your uterus and then asks if you are trying to get pregnant, just say yes, say yes even if you’re  a nun, because if you’re a regular non-conception minded woman they will leave the tumor in you, causing you pain, sucking up your nutrients and tweaking your hormones, but as a prospective mother- shit they will clear the decks and get that uterus ship shape. Imaginary babies are more important than living women, that’s just the way it is.

As it turns out, I am not fat (silver lining), my fibroid has grown. So I have battled with insurance and gotten into a hospital I am confident in and met with a surgeon who prescribed an MRI so we can get a better look at what we’re dealing with. For a while I was referring to my uterus as a bag of rocks, but as that was depressing and somewhat factual, I have stopped and am trying to be a bit kinder to myself and my lady lumps.

After 40 with fibroids the medical community has written motherhood off, “these eggs are no good.” So although I have top doctors, the only medical person who’s ventured to ask if I actually wanted to have a child that was genetically “mine”, was the Wiccan-ish (I’m guessing, no judgement witches!) nurse who put an IV into my hand last week. After trying both arms and one wrist, she jabbed a needle into my hand, explaining that the MRI I was about to have  was a contrast MRI. My surgeon neglected to inform me of that when he scheduled the procedure, so I was ill prepared for the IV. So I’m in a hospital gown, underground in radiology, with a needle in my hand and, although I wish my doctor or surgeon had taken the time to discuss it with me, the nurse asks if I’m planning on freezing my eggs. Well goddamn woman, can’t you see I’m in distress?! I told her I didn’t know and that I was scared. It’s confusing, I never thought about having a child until someone said I couldn’t, then I wondered if I’d blown it. It’s a lot to consider. The nurse continued asserting her beliefs about the importance of a genetic child. Warning to women battling  fibroids, everyone who is made aware of your situation will have an opinion, including the nurse you’ve known for less than 5 minutes. Finally, after yelling out in pain as she poked around looking for a good vein, I asked her to focus on handy tips for the MRI itself and to pump the breaks on her Dateline style interview. She told me to ask for a washcloth to put over my eyes during the MRI, which ended up being great advice. Thankfully she stopped talking about egg freezing vs. adoption.

Back in the waiting room, an older woman, also wearing a hospital gown, sat patiently awaiting her turn with the Wiccan and the MRI. She looked over at me and told me she was scared. I told her, “Me too, but we gotta do this, right? This is how we’ll get to feel better.” She nodded in agreement. The feelings rushed from my belly into my throat and I felt like I was choking on fear; fear of pain, fear of death, fear of facing the fear alone, so many layers of fear that I never even knew existed, like a shitty monstrous fear onion. It was a relief when the male nurse popped his head in and said my last name. I bid the woman good luck and was lead  away to the MRI.

The MRI room sounds like a rave, with the constant pulsating beats of the machine’s magnets. I asked if they had the radio on, buh dum bum, I got the nurse to laugh, hoping that they’d like me more thus hurt me less. The machine itself is beautiful and looks like something out of a Kubrick movie, smooth, white, and other worldly. I asked for the nurse to place a washcloth over my eyes and  was strapped in to the bed, which was backed into the tube. I was instructed over the headphones when to breathe and when to exhale, which I found relaxing. After 20 minutes of that,  the contrast die was released and it felt like they shot the contents of an ice pack into my veins. I had another 20 minutes of breathing instructions and then it was over.

That was a few days ago, and like I said at the beginning of this post, I am currently killing time waiting for the surgeon to call me and tell me what we’re gonna do. I’m not stoked about what’s happening to me, but I am fortunate enough to have friends who’ve been willing to talk me through their own experiences with uterine fibroids, the surgeries they went through and most importantly the life changing results of having their fibroids removed.

Throughout this whole experience I haven’t googled anything about fibroids, because I’m scared enough, but just incase there’s another woman out there, feeling alone and afraid, I wanted to write a post that would show up in a google search to say that you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of women live with fibroids and never notice them, and if they do become a hindrance to you living a happy, pain free life, there are procedures to solve the problem. Additionally, if you’re willing to be a bit vulnerable and open up to women about your situation, you’ll be surprised to find advisors within your circle who’ve already walked the same road.

The best advice I can give has been the hardest for me to accept, which is, ask for help. Be willing to ask a friend to roll with you to your appointments, as you will probably leave your body the minute the doctor walks in, there’ll be another smart woman in the room asking questions, taking notes, and advocating for you. Doctor’s talk fast, and they speak in medical jargon, like you’re another doctor and understand what they’re talking about, so having a friend there to decipher  the doctor’s orders is priceless. Additionally, this shit is hard, this brings up a lot of emotional stuff, at least it has for me, so grab your friend and lean on her, you can get her back with pedicures, footwear and brunch later.

Well, it’s almost 5PM and the doctor hasn’t called yet, so I’m gonna go for a walk in the park and then, when I get home, I’m gonna call my friend.