Home > Life, Really? > Use It Or Lose It: A Uterus Speaks Out

Use It Or Lose It: A Uterus Speaks Out

sure1Even if the title itself doesn’t scare you away, you might want to ignore this post. Or if you are squeamish about girl parts, ditto. I’ll try not to be too graphic but I wanted to discuss my thoughts about my first “major” gynecological procedure.  I’ll bet you can hardly wait!

About a year and a half ago I was made aware that I had some polyps growing in and on my uterus. Nothing to be concerned about but it took me this long to do something about them. I started to have flashbacks about the spate of hysterectomies that had taken place back up in Vermont when about half a dozen of my middle-aged friends had their wombs removed. I was not eager to join them. 

So I went in for my pre-op appointment to get the low-down on my down-low. I was given a couple of prescriptions to take prior to the procedure and sent home to wait a couple days. 

One of the pills I was to take is called Misoprostol, which is a “prostaglandin used to prevent stomach ulcers in certain patients”. But in my case it was intended for its secondary use: “In combination with another drug, can be used to end pregnancy”  by dilating the cervix. 

Wow. That was a weird feeling, reading that. Not only have I never been pregnant, I have never even had the opportunity to accidentally become so. Reading this information catapulted me into another consciousness: that of a woman contemplating ending a pregnancy. Suddenly, this strange line of thoughts started to parade through my head like, what if the Virgin Mary had had the option of aborting Jesus? What kind of world would this be now?

Don’t get me wrong. I am very solidly pro-choice. I believe that few women choose to abort a fetus without a great deal of consideration and reasons that need not be judged by anyone else. When I went to take that first pill, I was transported into a world where I was making that choice and I realized that I don’t think I could ever end a pregnancy on purpose. 

The process I was about to go through would very simply scrape the inside of my uterus and remove anything growing in there that shouldn’t be. The day before, the anesthesiologist called to explain the process to me. After I took the prescribed 10 mg of Valium before I left for the office, a “cocktail” of medications would be administered through an IV which would not only put me into a twilight sleep (one that is easily reversed), but I would not remember anything about the procedure. Sounded like a fun time!

I’ve never taken Valium before, but being the relative heavyweight that I am in terms of sedation, I figured I’d take both of the 5 mg pills they gave me. Hoo Boy! Forget “Mother’s little helper”…. this was more like Mother’s little army of helpers! Interesting feeling, but nothing I’d want to get hooked on. 

They got my IV in (the most painful part of the whole thing, incidentally), brought me in to the operating suite, laid me down and put my Maine Moose sock-clad feet up in the little foot hammocks, attached the med tube to my IV port and away I went. 

The next thing I remember was waking up in another room entirely, asking the nurse if they had found anything with a face on it while they were in there, and then seeing Mama N come into the room. 

“How’d I get in here?” I asked. 

“We stood you up, put you in a wheelchair, brought you down here, put you on this chair, and waited for you to wake up.” 

I had zero memory of that. Nada, zilch, zip. I guess the amnesia drug did the trick. It turned out that there wasn’t too much going on inside my aging, underutilized, monthly profusely-bleeding, anemia-inducing uterus — more on the outside. They said it went well and I could go home. Just like that.

Still, the thought followed me about the reality of abortion. As I said, I think the decision is not taken lightly by most, but the sheer comfort of the whole procedure made me wonder how many women do it repeatedly because it’s not a big deal physically. But what is it doing to them spiritually and emotionally? The issue isn’t easy to reconcile, no matter which side you’re on.

It doesn’t look like I’m in any danger of losing my reproductive capability anytime soon, and I am oddly grateful for that, not because I intend to make use of it but because of the permanence of losing the ability. Weird concept. 

Back on track today, just 24 hours after the cleaning out of my girl gizzards, relieved to think that nothing spooky is happening in there but living with a slightly altered understanding about choices that I didn’t have before. My respect for some women has increased but has been diminished for others. 

I hope that anyone who has to make the decision to undertake “the procedure” for reasons other than medical will take the time to understand the permanence of their choice. It may not be a painful operation, but there’s no amount of amnesia anesthesia that can erase the memory forever…

Just sayin’….

Categories: Life, Really?
  1. Father of the ROBZ
    June 13, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Baby Blister,

    You succinctly and thoughtfully touched the points that keep you and I on opposite sides of this ideological fence. We, societally, have made this permanent profound choice way too antiseptically clean and painless. When given the opportunity to confront the REALITY of what freedom to choose means, many are forced to “take pause”. It ceases to be a hypothetical discussion on rights, and suprisingly takes on “flesh and bones” that have to be reckoned with. A simple diagram (no graphic photos) showing the process of a partial-birth abortion, makes the absolute right, become less absolute in the minds of many who would otherwise not think twice about the termination of a pregnancy throughout the entire three trimesters. The following is an extremely un-P.C. statement (you know me: what else is new?) Life is a sacred gift. Not an inconvenience due to a cosmic “oops”.

    I love you and respect your willingness to discuss that which, for many, is “beyond discussion”.

  2. June 13, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I have received some feedback about this post from women who have undergone abortions and the consensus seems to be that their experiences were quite different from mine. Theirs were painful, both physically and emotionally due to the circumstances of their pregnancies.

    As much as I would like to say that all life is sacred, too often it is the “un-sacred” means of conception that is in question. In the cases of rape and incest, when a woman is left alone to raise a child conceived in an act of violence, the burden is placed on the child ultimately, unless the mother is extraordinarily capable of forgiveness.

    Until we can figure out a way to punish the perpetrators of these “mis-conceptions” and make them share the burden these women bear in dealing with the aftermath, I’m not sure we will ever be able to fix the problem of unwanted pregnancies.

  3. June 13, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Leave it to you to make me laugh and make me think all in one post.

    I can relate to how might feel about losing the equipment. I’m done with mine, but I kind of want to keep it around.

  4. CherylZ
    June 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Never simple. Always remembered. On some level eternally regretted. Life altering in more ways than the obvious. A choice made that allowed other choices that resulted in the conception and birth of three extraordinary lives that would probably not be were not the first decision made. This issue will always be a conundrum.

  5. Ted E. Kinson
    June 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I truly enjoy coming back to your site to read your material. This article didn’t help me through any of life’s little obstacles as some of your past words have, but instead made me chuckle when I read the paragraph about your first experience with Valium. When I was at sea, during my Navy Enlistment, the sickbay dentist announced “whoops” while extracting a wisdom tooth. They decided to put me under and when I awoke, gave me 10mg of Valium with a 3 day rack pass. I believe that I slept the entire 3 days thanks to ‘Mother’s Little Army of Helpers.’ Some time during that drug induced stretch I had wandered up into a passageway and slept on the deck until my shipmates returned me safely to my rack. Thanks for stimulating that memory.

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