Archive | 11:45 pm

Common pain, different reactions

19 Nov

Yesterday I was seduced by a banner ad. I clicked and wound up reading this story.

I was particularly stricken by her concluding paragraphs:

…Perhaps the reason we get scars is to tell stories that initially scare us. To realize what that scar has taught us. And maybe this tumor was just a test so that I could discover how strong I am and how in control of my body I am.

So, when I’m dancing at the bar and my shirt rises slightly above my pants and my scar shows, or when I’m laying on the beach and swimming in the surf and my scar peaks up above my bikini, what the world is seeing is proof of how strong I am. And that is a badge of honor I am learning to love.

Just three weeks ago this woman had her belly sliced open, much like I did. To my envy, she is already able to move on. I realize that having a hysterectomy is not the same as having a tumor removed, and that having a hysterectomy following a vaginal birth, is not the same as having any old hysterectomy, but still. It’s been four and half months and I feel worse about my scar, my nagging pain, my misshapen abdomen. At three weeks, all I wanted was to stand without shedding tears and to breastfeed without lying down. I wasn’t optimistic then, I’m not very optimistic, now.

I desperately want to make lemons out of lemonade. It’s why I keep coming here. Telling this story over and over gain (boring youto tears in the process). I keep writing it, because I’m so damn far from over it.

A year ago, we were just coming to terms with this pregnancy. Rife with hormones, my pants were already too tight. We announced the news to Garrett’s family by presenting a special dessert to his mom after we finished Thanksgiving dinner. hidden inside a small covered casserole was a jar of sweet potato and turkey baby food. I still remember the tears in my sister-in-law’s eyes when they all figured out why we were calling a jar of baby food a “special dessert.”

Right now, it’s as if every path of memory eventually leads to this surgery. I had no clue the enthusiasm everyone felt in that moment, would be met wit fear a grief just eight months later. I want to find that place in me where I am simply happy for the happy ending. I want to have a mind that doesn’t wander from the announcement of my pregnancy and the screams of joy, to the days after the emergency surgery that were interrupted with cries of pain.

I want so desperately to be proud of my scar. I don’t want to resent it. For it to be a constant reminder of closed possibilities, an ending I didn’t choose. I’d settle for plain indifference, but I’d suppose it would have to stop burning and throbbing, for me to ignore it’s existence and let it slip out of my mind.

I don’t have a conclusion, here. I have no point to wind down to. Some day you will come here and I won’t be writing this story anymore. I won’t be weeping on my keyboard and spewing melncholy about my poor, poor lost uterus, and my aching, aching belly. Because some day I will be over it.

Bu that day…is not today.