Hot waves of panic lick my diaphragm. It’s 5AM and I know it’s going to be a bad day.

I can’t afford a bad day. I owe three pieces of writing and my very full time gig starts back on Monday. But it doesn’t matter because I don’t get to choose. It’s a bad day.

Lately a lot of the days have skewed bad. Not surprising. The world is in chaos. Avenues to the things that help are barricaded by restriction. And stress makes everything worse.

Nope. I reject that reasoning. It was bad before the world was in chaos…

I went to the Emergency Room this week.

I REALLY didn’t want to.

Partly because we’re still in a global pandemic (yeah sorry, I know you were hoping it was over. It’s not… so pull your damn mask over your nose.) Even though precautions are being taken at hospitals and health care professionals are working incredibly hard to contain things, it’s hard not to feel like Covid is lurking behind every curtain in the emergency room, festering under every mask, taking root in every vague symptom not mentioned at triage.

But in my list of reasons for not wanting to…

“Your tele-health visit is scheduled for Friday at 11:30am. Please be prepared to answer a call from <insert human voice> at the scheduled time…”

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this robo-voicemail message punctuated with a single human-spoken word since the world changed in March of this year, and I doubt it’ll be the last. This will be my 6th tele-health appointment in the past few months in an attempt to manage what I’ve affectionately dubbed the Tolkien Novel of continuing health sagas. If you haven’t been here before the Coles Notes are that my decades-long journey to manage…

Remember high school? It was all about categories. Specific labels and pre-existing groups you could commit to so fully that it was like a built in identity cloak wrapped around your shoulders; a parameter against which you could contextualize everything and everyone else. The options varied depending on your school, but they were all relatively similar. Band geek. Theatre kid. Sports person. Advanced studies. To the untrained eye there were lots of options out there, just waiting for you to adopt one. Even passably faking interest could secure you somewhere to belong and a group to have lunch with. Look…

It’s been a year and three months since I underwent a radical hysterectomy at age 35. Hysterectomy. Sometimes I can’t believe we still call it that. I think about it every time I have to say it. Sometimes I slip and joke that they removed my “hysteria,” only no one told my tear ducts. (Okay, there may be a reason I’m a drama writer…) I really wish there was a different term. I’ve tried out a few, and I think I’ve settled on Pelvic Renovations. In my case it was a complete overhaul due to an infestation of endometriosis. A…

On losing something I wasn’t sure I wanted

Image: jklr/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s been 82 days since I had my uterus and all its appendages removed in what my surgeon and I have affectionately dubbed “not your grandma’s hysterectomy.”

Once removed, my fallopian tubes and uterus were found to be so ravaged by endometriosis that my specialist was confident I never would have naturally conceived a child. The disease had also compromised my bowel to the point where we required a second surgeon to shave off layers of it and stitch it up. They even prepped me beforehand for a possible ostomy. …

Dear My Recently Ripped Out Uterus,

I have a box of your stuff. Pads, tampons, a few random boxes of Cyclen you left here. I know it’s awkward, but it’s probably best if you’d come and pick it up so I can move on.

The month since you and your posse “the ovaries” have been gone has been a bit of a roller coaster. I want you to know I’m doing well though. Super well. I don’t even think about you (except every day all the time) and I totally don’t cry in public a lot as I attempt to…

A week from today I will undergo a full abdominal hysterectomy. I am 35. I have no children. By the time you read this, it will have already happened. When you next see me, I will be sans uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, which according to an astounding amount of media, means I am devoid of my ability to carry out my biological imperative by baring children. I will also (hopefully) have my life back.

If you know me, you likely also know that I’ve been suffering with stage 4 endometriosis for most of my adult life. In fact, I’ve…

Silenced by a biological imperative.

This is the story of how I ended up ugly crying in the hospital parking lot yesterday.

It’s also the story of how a perceived biological imperative continues to erode my autonomy over my health.

I promise, I’ll make it as funny as I can.

Yesterday, at the behest of my colleagues who are lovely are care about my well being, I went to the emergency room. I’d been toying with what to do about my health situation all weekend. My abdomen was waging a war against itself, and while I’m fairly used to that kind of friendly fire, this…

This is the level I expect in exchange for asking “the” question.

I’ve been pretty pissed at my uterus this year. Girl is out of control. I am almost positive she’s trying to kill me. Hey, maybe we’ll end up on Dateline! Keith Morrison will narrate it — “It was a stormy night in the Pacific Northwest. While some allowed the rain to soothe them into a deep sleep, one woman was engaged in a battle for her life, and you’ll never guess who the killer was…” Yup. That about sums up my year. So you’ll understand why even casual questions about having kids send me into fight or flight mode.


Rachel Langer

Screenwriter. Canadian. Wordsmith for Transplant (Crave/NBC) The Order (Netflix) andThis Life (CBC) . Loud about endometriosis and women’s health.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store