The Big H.

Rachel Langer
12 min readAug 24, 2018

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 already had three surgeries to try and manage the disease — for which there is little research, less funding, and no cure, despite the fact that 1 in 10 women suffer from it. Endometriosis is a condition where rogue cells grow outside of your uterus causing scar tissue, adhesions, and often gluing your parts together. It can cause excruciating pain, infertility, and a whole host of complications. Some women have reported these rogue cells travelling as far as their diaphragm, even causing collapsed lungs. For me, the adhesions have compromised my bowel function, both ovaries, and made sure my parts have more internal glue than a first grade art project. We currently can’t even find my left ovary. We’re fairly certain it’s fused to the top of my uterus, but that’s just an operating theory. Which would be why they are going to actually operate to sort this mess out. I like to think good old lefty has travelled through a wormhole to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilization, and to boldly go where no ovary has gone before. It better come back with a damned cure.

The interesting thing about needing a hysterectomy at 35 is that no one really wants to give you one. To finally book this one was a process several years in the making. I had to go through an educational pain management course (worth it) see a counsellor, a physio therapist, and eventually write a letter to the surgeon stating in bold black and white prose that I was 100% certain this was the right decision for me. Oh, I also had to end up in the ER with excruciating pain on the opposite side from my usual pain to get upgraded from a conservative surgery that would require ultra strong hormones to keep my mangled reproductive system in tact, just in case I decided to go against the odds and pursue that elusive spawn. Apparently the medical community is extremely…

Rachel Langer

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