I don’t believe in coincidences, do you? I also don’t believe time heals all wounds. That’s giving time too much credit. Time is not my friend, it makes me achy. There’s two things I don’t believe in. ( think for a good story I should have three, but I can only think of two)
Great uteruses think alike, is that the saying? Here is the tale of two uteruses. (that is a very funny plural) One which you already know and have an archive of blog posts to read about. The other is owned by a woman I’ve known for 22 years. She developed a fibroid last year. What a coincidence. (no it isn’t) Hers was not the asymptomatic kind like mine, it was the bleeding incessantly kind. Sad, right? I t reached the point where it required attention hourly, so that’s a lot of blood.
I’m her person, so I went to all her appointments with her. She went in for emergency surgery the week before I went in for surgery. We had a lot of jokes about her showing me how it’s done. The reason for the emergency part is because she was bleeding to death, slowly. We had a lot of jokes about that too. We checked in and the lady said, ” I don’t see your name on the docket”, “well it just got added, its emergency surgery” we answered. She appeared to be in perfect health so we felt like we were lying, even though we knew the secret truth. The surgery (D&C) revealed the cause was fibroid.
This ob/gyn surgeon was in on my surgery too, she’s really great with a fun laugh.* She takes her time talking to you and explaining (with drawings when necessary) what is happening in your body. She presented several paths towards a solution. We took the drug that shuts off your hormones just weeks from each other. The bleeding had slowed down as a result of the surgery, but it was not the end all. After a few weeks it was apparent that the Lupron wasn’t helping.
This is the part you guys. The part where I reveal to you what a badass my bestie is. She shows great fortitude, and an excellent sense of humor.
Monday May 23rd she went in for a surgery that was to be the end all of the pain.** It was going to be another D&C to remove the 0ne fibroid. and if that was unsuccessful it would be a laparoscopic removal of the fibroid, and if that was unsuccessful it would be a hysterectomy. We don’t want to wake up from anesthesia with this ominous beast still in there. There was a lot of crying and praying and sleepless nights over this decision.
She woke up and it was still in there. The excellent surgeon couldn’t get the whole thing from the first approach, so she called it a fail and delivered the bad news to me first in the waiting room, and then to the post anesthesia patient. Both the doctor and the patient were bummed, like really pissed. No one wants to get beaten by an small organ that has big powers.
Since I was 8 and learned that I could grow a person inside me I was certain that’s what I would eventually want for myself. I never faltered with this desire. My sweet uterine sister has never been exactly sure if she want’s to or not, she’s open to it in the right circumstances. Without a partner to make this decision with there is extra weeping. Guys this is hard. Uteruses are tricky.
Thursday May 26th she went in for her 3rd surgery in 12 months. She fasted. We arrived for surgery at 9, and were delayed and delayed and delayed till about 1:00pm I think. (That’s a long fast) ( we sent each other hilarious snapchats from across the room while we waited, we talked politics and religion and made lists) There was a special tool flown in, and the maker of the tool was present in the gallery during surgery. First time it was used in this hospital.
Big Success! (you were starting to hold your breath weren’t you?) Got the whole thing. “Kate you have no idea how hard it was to get out!” said the surgeon. She and I happy danced in the waiting area.
The tale of two uteruses ends with two uteruses, for now. We love to apply meaning to our experiences, especially the painful ones. Coincidences seem to imply a glitch in the system, a synchrodestisty, a divine correlation. Are we really so close that we develop the same pathology of the same organ? Litearally one week apart…I am to close to it to see any kind of insight. I am thankful to have a person to commiserate with, who understands things about guts. I am sad that it happened to her and that she had such worse symptoms.
We both watch vigilantly for recurring symptoms. We both celebrate as often as possible, in as many ways as we can think of. We both cry at really good movies, and we laugh at really funny things on youtube. We don’t at all know what is next for our uteruses, we have hopes and dreams tied to these organs (and several thousand dollars). I can’t believe I have a person in my life who is as relentless a warrior as she is, who laughs till she cries on a fasting stomach while waiting extra hours for a high stakes surgery. She wore a turkey hat to my surgery. We cried joyfully together when we awoke from surgery with intact uteruses. You know what, I just thought of one more thing I don’t believe: That suffering is bad. We can not survive without some suffering, I think it produces deeper happiness and richer community.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you that we are officially allowed to conceive now. So we are “working” on that. I’m accepting mix tapes.
*the doctors names are Dr. Morishita and Dr. Murphy at St. Charles Women’s Health, very highly recommend them both.
**There are many ways I considered telling this story, keep in mind this is my version of the story from my perspective. She will have a very different recollection of these events.
I hope that song is stuck in your head now. What song? Re-read the title of this post. You are welcome.