I realized this week that it’s been 3 years since I evicted my uterus. 3 years. That’s the approximate time it would take to walk around the world if you walked 8 hours a day every day. It’s been three years since I last menstruated. Three years that I’ve taken two pills a day, every day, to regulate my hormones, stave off early menopause and osteoarthritis. Three years since I definitively closed the door on having a biological child. This also means it’s been two and a half years since I realized that all the big hopes I had for dramatic improvement to my health situation were… misguided.
Let’s be crystal clear. I never expected that having a hysterectomy was going to cure my endometriosis. I’m well aware that nothing can do that because there’s no cure for this disease. The disease that runs in my family going back generations and affects approximately 1 in 10 women, and an un-researched number of people born with a uterus. There’s still no cure. I underwent this surgery because there was a good chance it would halt further any new damage from the disease. If I was really lucky it would halt progression of it altogether. What I didn’t realize at the time is that it would also halt the motivation for most doctors treat me for it when my symptoms persisted. Looking back, I want to shake past me by the shoulders. Oh you sweet summer child, I’d say, what did you think was going to happen?
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned over and over, one immutable truth I’ve come to know in this life, it is that people do not like problems they cannot solve.
When I was in my early 20s I had an office job. I was a receptionist for a temporary agency. I was competent if dispassionate but I faked it well. Mostly my job was answering the phones and not pissing people off (I’ll leave it to you to guess which one of those things I did best.) On top of phone and copier duty, I was also responsible for filing. Payroll, time cards, invoices. Every week I’d finish my filing pile and there would be three pieces of paper left. They didn’t fit into any of the folders I already had created. They had no category. It wrinkled my brain. There was a lot about that job I didn’t like, but these three papers vexed me…