Okay, so maybe this will be too much information. I know you don't know me very well, that we just met. It's something that you don't necessarily want to know about. But, listen, here it is: I have uterine fibroids.
"What?" you ask, "In the hell is that?"
Or maybe you know about the little benign tumors that grow in woman, just after they arc past viable childbearing age. That's me: Just past viable childbearing age. They can be painful and inconvenient and interfere with that solitary life my uterus was having since I gave birth going on twenty one years ago. I imagine them like rocks,rumbling around inside me. That's what it feels like sometimes.
So I'm going to have a slick little procedure done in a couple of weeks, nothing too intense. My doctor says the operation is like a video game. Then he told me it was like farming--the little scope rolling up and down the walls of the uterus, getting every single surface. A farming video game. He loves this operation. It's so much fun.
My mouth hung open.
Anyway, here's what I was thinking. For women like me who happened to live in any time before, say, 1920,this condition was all about ten years of bleeding and pain. Then, when menopause showed up, the tumors would shrink, all the estrogen dried up, the little tumors going home.
But those ten years!
I feel lucky to be alive in this century, even though I should have bought stock in Tampax by now.
But despite the fact this is out patient surgery and no big deal--just like a farming video game--I have to sign an advanced directive. You know, that happy little sheet that tells folks what to do with you should you become incapacitated.
How I felt was: Who is in charge of me now? My husband is not my husband. My boyfriend is my boyfriend, but maybe we haven't had the thorough "What Do You Do With Me When I Am In A Coma" talk yet. We've skirted around it, I think. My former spouse knew that I wanted out. Out! My mother knows that I have no interest in hanging around vegetable like, but that's a great deal of pressure for her. Her time of being in charge of my body is over. She put in enough time. My sons are in their early twenties. My friend Elizabeth knows to bring a gun and a bottle of pills at any such event, but she's too busy dating right now to do this.
Who gets the pleasure of turning me off?
It's weird not having anyone walking beside me, no one legally responsible for my physical body any more. Divorce brings that as well, this sense of complete physical responsibility. I'm the one to haul myself around mostly. Now my boyfriend is here to help during migraines or stomach flu, but when it comes down to what to do with my body--it's my decision, my choice. But if I can't speak, I have to have trusted someone, spoken my wishes.
I know what I want to have happen should something dire occur during the procedure, and I think that my boyfriend has inherited this task. It's what we do for each other in relationships. It's one way that we care. We say your heart and your body are mine to care for. I take you on. What do you want me to do for you? I will do it. The best I can.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org