ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE NING SITE APRIL 15, 2009:
Here are some key points that you need to know before we go on (in case you haven’t been following my blog or read Shape Shifting … otherwise you know most of this):
1. Jeff and I got married in January so I would have insurance to take care of some nagging health issues that I haven’t been able to overcome on my own (we’ve been together 19 years so making it legal was just that).
2. My periods have always been VERY heavy and messy. Sorry if this is TMI, but get used to it…that’s what this blog is about. It’s not too late to turn back.
3. Jeff just got laid off last week, due to the state of the economy. Therefore, the magical door into affordable health care is about to close at the end of the month.
I recently had a pelvic ultrasound after the PA who did my pap smear discovered it hurt me when she pressed on my abdomen during the exam. The ultrasound revealed lots of uterine cysts and fibroid tumors which, as it turns out, cause heavy and messy periods, among other things. One of these tumors is apparently rather large. They immediately referred me to a gynecologist in a rather shitty way … called me on the phone, mispronounced my name (natch), and said, “We have your ultrasound results. I can’t tell you what they are but Doctor S. wants to refer you to a gynecologist.”
Anyway, I saw my naturopath (who had access to the ultrasound results) before the OB/GYN and asked her what she thought. She said, “The gynecologist is going to recommend a hysterectomy, I can promise you that, but they always do.” I asked if, in her opinion, I needed to do this. After all, I’m only a few years from menopause and if this condition isn’t cancerous, if it just means that I carry on the way I have been for just a little while longer … I’ve been doing it for 34 years … what’s a few more? She had no problem with that plan. (I’ve since learned that after menopause these tumors shrink on their own, because estrogen is what feeds them.)
On Monday, I saw the gynecologist and before she even had the gloves off she was insisting that I have a hysterectomy. Told me that one of the tumors is “this big,” her hand positioned as if holding a grapefruit (why are tumors always described as fruit sizes?). Even though my naturopath had warned me about this, I was still shaken and stirred by this news. Hearing a doctor declare that you need surgery, NOW, is an unsettling thing. Especially if this is something you’ve sworn never to do.
See, my mom and her mom both had hysterectomies. I always vowed to never have one. I know enough about the body/mind connection to know that tumors are created by long-held resentments/rage, and troubles in the uterine area reflect imbalance in the way one expresses one’s femininity. And I know, in my own life, that has been fairly dysfunctional. I’ve always deeply resented being a girl … rather, being treated like a second class citizen because of being a girl … having to do the housework because of being a girl … being held up to ridiculous standards of appearance and only considered visually worthy for a brief few years because of being a girl … of having God Himself think of me as “less than” because of being a girl.
So, yeah. It’s no surprise that I’m holding a lot of resentment in that area of my body, and that this resentment has become physicalized as uterine tumors.
However, it was still a shock to hear it actually verbalized by someone else, someone who wants to slice me open and rip my guts out while also saying she makes no guarantees that the surgery wouldn’t cause other problems. I even asked her if it was necessary and she said no, but, “You might have problems later.”
Talk to me again when those problems arise. No one is coming near me with a scalpel unless I’m dying.
She was pretty adamant about doing this, and wasn’t taking no for an answer, so I told her, “Besides, my insurance runs out in a couple weeks. We wouldn’t have time to do it,” because I know it takes forever to get a surgery scheduled and okayed, etc.
I’ve never seen anyone schedule a surgery so fast. Before I left the office, she had me set up for a date two weeks later, just days before I run out of insurance. Never mind “after care,” with the supposed six-week recovery period. What about follow-up appointments? What if something goes wrong? I would have no coverage … just a belly full of stitches and no one to help me take care of them.
I’m not questioning the doc’s ethics. She seemed to really believe she was doing the right thing. But the whole thing smacked of a bloody, profit-steered assembly line, instead of creating wellness for the patient … me! So I went home and started researching. Turns out a huge number of women have fibroids, and a huge number of women have unnecessary hysterectomies for this very reason. It seems that, if you’re not going to have any more kids, you might as well rip it out instead of doing the self-work necessary to clear this up naturally.
Well, I’m a Shape Shifter. I believe in my body’s ability to heal itself, as long as I’m not working against it. This means I have to stop resenting my (aging) female body and the way the world treats it … the way I treat it! This means that it’s time for me to finally embrace my femininity, even though I’m no longer considered attractive by society’s youth-obsessed standards. This means I must FINALLY allow myself to be fully female, no matter how much that scares me.
It’s the only way my body will reflect its healthiest self and, as a Shape Shifter, it’s what I must do. I’m curious to find out who I’ll be once I release one of my most defining personality traits, feminine rage. 😉