(*my lovely friend, Supriya Diwedi, March 2016, when I was sick of explaining all the things wrong with my uterus to a whole panel of medical practitioners)
it’s fucking ridiculous how something the size of a pear will run your entire life and how many people have an opinion on its activity and use.
I’m writing this after waiting about a year on a waitlist for someone to come fetch the beleaguered thing. It’s basically a crime scene by now- after so much blood loss in my mid 30s they went in and scorched its interior and it responded by Making All The Painful Things Happen. (if you’re a geek and into doctor gyno-google: I have endometriosis, adenomyosis, hyperplasia, polyps, fibroid tumours, a 95% septum across the bottom third, and cysts, and also issues from ehlers danlos syndrome II/III)
When you’re still a kid, this thing shows up and kicks you right in the gut. I grew up in the 80s to parents who did believe “the more I knew” and it wasn’t a surprise. At school the girls would get sent to Health Class where we were basically told about flowers and a wonderful passage to adulthood and given very twee pink boxes with what can only be described as diapers inside. No real information about what was going to happen. And what happened was just gross. And then it happened again and again and again.
When I was eleven, this menace started. And despite being doubled over, unable to move, like I’d been kicked, with a river coming out of me, it was just “girl pain” and deemed an excuse for skipping school by administrators.
Thus ensues decades of wondering whether the maximum dose of advil is there for legit reasons (it is) and learning to wash everything from your favourite jeans to an antique quilt with cold salt water and figuring out how to hide pads and tampons in all your purses and jackets.
This is the introduction that you are mortal, you are trapped in a meatcage that will do what it wants, where it wants, and when it wants - and you are simply along for the ride. It’s unfortunate only half the population gets this instruction in life, and maybe that’s why people who don’t have this instruction like to legislate it. Because it seems everyone who doesn’t have a uterus has an opinion on what this angry badger living in the core of your being should be doing. That it should basically have its own rights - like controlling your entire bloody life wasn’t enough of an inate constitutional right. I mean, I was on the pill for years not to control my fertility but to control my life - to quell the crushing anemia, the migraines, the agonizing pain, the sobbing, and the unpredictability of it.
I didn’t want to have sex, are you kidding me??? I wanted to not be in screaming pain and dropped like a sack of sand at sometimes extremely random intervals.
Eventually the chemicals weren’t enough to stop the force of this tiny little pear. Turns out I couldn’t have children even if I wanted to, SURPRISE! and that the thing has always been useless and broken, but try to tell that to a “there, there, you might change your mind” doctor, and having to agree to a compromise (an ablation) that made things worse, not better.
I don’t need a legislative committee to weigh in on what’s right for me.
Now? Now I’m waiting and in perimenopause. The thing no one talks about because of the whole “dried up spinster” thing. We just can’t win. Either we’re too sexy or not sexy enough. I don’t actually care anymore. My angry little pear has decided to do ALL THE THINGS now, including put me into a flop sweat when it’s -20 and turn me into a popsicle. And you’d think you’d get less periods, but you can have more. And this apparently can go on in my family for FIFTEEN YEARS.
I always wondered why my aunt had air conditioning installed and used it.
Meantime I can feel tissue pushing back into my pelvis, because the ablation left it with no place to go but UP. (It’s called a “septum”) And if you think that’s nauseating to read, trust me, it’s worse in real life. My last year has been like dragging a corpse around. I’ve got vast, ridiculous medical complications that make daily living difficult, but the ongoing distension, the burning, the feeling like I’m in a boxing match when I’m just trying to be in a meeting, the rip the legs out from under you sensations…
And constantly reading politicians - politicians without these angry pears lodged in their cores - how they “Feel About It”. Because it’s all about the sex, controlling the sex, the obsession with sex. Fucketyfuckery.
If you cut off access to birth control pills and IUDs, if you smack down legislation on D&Cs and access to abortion, and funerals for early miscarriages, you’re doing more than preventing fertility control. These are how-do-I-function controls for hundreds of millions of people.
Here’s how it works: I do what’s right for ME and MY quality of life in a dungeon of flesh and survival that I did not get to choose and you politicians saying whatever you think will keep you in power sit down and stfu.
Meds? Ablations? Abortions? Hysterectomies? None of your business, elected official. Until you’ve had the sensation of your core being ripped from your body, once a month, every month, since you were still a *child*, you don’t get a say. And even if you have? That’s your experience. You have no idea what’s going on with the person next to you. Simply? You don’t get to say what anyone else should have to go through with their own little angry pear.
I have full autonomy over my meatcage. I am the captain of this ship. And yes, I’m going to have a nice little party when the angry pear is extracted… I will celebrate a goodbye to thirty five years of life-ruining pain.