A Year Without My “Hysteria”: A Retrospective.

Rachel Langer
7 min readNov 29, 2019

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 fire sale of my organs. Everything must go. We excavated the ole uterus and all her friends. They did not go quietly or gently, and once they were out it was confirmed that they were so mangled, they never would have been able to bare the spawn they were intended for. Oof. Always gotta take a second after I say that. That said, since their departure I’ve learned a few things:

There is NO cure for endometriosis. (Okay, I knew this already, but damn a girl can dream.) For everyone who’s been curious if the surgery was effective, my answer is “it’s complicated.” There’s less pain overall, but I still suffer extreme flare ups, and they’re more concentrated than before, though less frequent. They knock me flat out in a way I use to be able to withstand. So what’s better? Less frequent but more intense? Or all the time but at a 6/11. Probably I would choose less frequent, if pressed, but it certainly wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for. A lot of people want to know what the next line of defence is. What’s the action plan? But frankly there is none. And there’s really nothing more to do. If they went any further, more organs would have been jeopardized, and it would have caused some pretty significant lifestyle changes. Something I wasn’t ready for. And I’m kinda tired. This has taken so much of my time already, and I refuse to give it more than I have to. Basically, unless it gets completely unmanageable… I’m just living with it. Forever. Cool. Not daunting at all.

People LOVE to retroactively correct your choices. Statements like this one from a doctor on Twitter (read the replies to see me get fiesty) run rampant. Try mentioning endometriosis and a hysterectomy in the same sentence on the internet dot com and I guarantee you’ll get at least a few ringing protests telling you in no uncertain terms that a…

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Rachel Langer

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