my knight in shining Zofran

"my knight in shining Zofran" - in which est. 1975 battles with onions, barf, and cigarette butts. #est1975blog @est1975blog #morningsickness #zofran #funny #humor #pregnancy

My one and only pregnancy started out like many others—with crippling exhaustion, inexplicable cravings for meatballs, the purchase of about ten pregnancy tests (“Is that a line? I can’t tell. Should we call the help number? Get a magnifying glass”), and copious amounts of drool on my pillowcase. Other than those fairly standard symptoms, however, I honestly felt like being pregnant wasn’t too different than being not pregnant.

For the first six weeks.

Around my sixth week, I made the healthful decision to eat a sub from Quizno’s.

First_Quizno's_Subs_restaurant
Just in case you’re an off-the-grid mountain man that hasn’t driven by 700 billion of these in your lifetime, here is a Quizno’s Subs. Behold.

I ordered the sub with beaucoup onions, because I like it when my mouth smells like a grody armpit. I began eating the sub with gusto, but about three chews in, I realized that someone had played a terrible joke on me and poured the contents of an ashtray all over the inside of my sandwich.

That’s right. I WAS EATING CIGARETTE BUTTS.

I tore off the top bun in horror, only to find what you might already suspect: there were no cigarette butts anywhere on the sandwich.

Huh.

I replaced the top bun and began to eat again, only to have my mouth fill once more with the taste of tobacco and ash. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Was there something wrong with the meat? Had the mayonnaise gone off? Had the Quizno’s guy smoked 3 packs of unfiltered Winstons while making my sandwich? I sure as hell wasn’t going to finish off the rest of it in order to find out. I threw the Rotten Butt-Tastin’ Sub in the garbage and went my “merry” way.

I felt a little queasy that day, but I chalked it up to the fact that my sandwich had tasted like a gas station toilet bowl. It never crossed my mind that this experience might be an indication of what the pregnancy books call a Food Aversion™, and that my beloved onions would taste like cigarette butts for the next eight months. That particular day, all I knew was that Quizno’s was beyond disgusting (it isn’t) and I would never eat there again (also untrue.)

Mmmm. Onions.

Besides, I felt much better the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after . . .

Wait a minute.

What’s that smell?

Is my husband cooking? Why is he cooking? WHAT is he cooking?

It smells like fried butthole.

That . . . erp. That is . . . nauseating. I must get to the bottom of this.

“HUSBAND! WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU COOKING?! IT SMELLS LIKE HOT PEPPERONI AND FRIED BUTTHOLE. NO ONE IS GOING TO WANT TO EAT THA—“

*erp*

“NO ONE IS GOING TO WA—“

*blerp*

“NO ONE IS G—”

Oh shit.

*BLERGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*

With that, the morning sickness had begun.

And it didn’t end. At least, not when it was supposed to. Believe me, I tried waiting it out. But it just kept coming. My daily existence consisted solely of sleeping, barfing, and peeing my pants while barfing. My doctor suggested an anti-emetic, but because I am old enough to have learned in high school about Thalidomide and its ensuing wave of flipper babies, I decided to tough my way through it until I was about 16 weeks along.

At that point, I was losing weight and severely dehydrated, so my OB/GYN forced the issue and wrote me a prescription for the anti-emetic called Zofran. I was hesitant (flipper babies), but after I started taking the blessed Zofran, I could actually keep some food down, and went from throwing up multiple times a day to multiple times a week.

The little yellow pills that saved me from becoming a malnourished skeleton during my pregnancy. All Hail the Mighty Zofran!
The little yellow pills that saved me from becoming a malnourished skeleton during my pregnancy. All Hail the Mighty Zofran!

But the morning sickness NEVER fully went away. Even on the delivery table, with copious amounts of Zofran running through my IV drip, I still managed to puke twice. (The upside, however, was that I didn’t poop. With nothing in my stomach, my bum stayed as clean as two Georgia peaches. Relatively speaking.)

Not until my son was pulled from my vagina red-faced and covered with vernix, did my morning sickness finally leave me. And I know this is hard to believe, but I swear I actually *felt* it happen. That moment was possibly the best experience of my entire life—well, second to the whole “bringing a human life into the world” thing—and I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was resplendent. After nine months of Blerg Stomach I finally felt normal again.

So I ate EVERYTHING.

Hospital food never tasted so good. I inhaled every shit they put in front of my ravenous face. The gross grilled chicken. The gross mashed potatoes. The gross limp vegetables. The gross pudding. I didn’t even ask for my family to bring in food from the outside world, I just ate whatever the hospital served me. Didn’t care. Didn’t mind. I just ate and ate and ate. I was delighted. I was overjoyed.

The grossest picture of hospital food I could find. And I would have still GLADLY slurped this shit down.
This is by far the grossest picture of hospital food I could find. And yet? I would have GLADLY slurped this shit down after giving birth. And I do mean slurp, because I’m pretty sure that none of this is actually solid food.

I was unwittingly establishing a pattern that would last for years.

I still eat to make myself feel better. I revel in it. Don’t get me wrong—I’d had my binge-y moments before my son was born. But after the fact? Eating became my regular, day-to-day comfort. And as with the hospital food, what I was eating didn’t even need to be particularly tasty. It just made me happy to be chewing and swallowing, swallowing and chewing, until my belly was full.

Now, that pattern is taking its toll. I am overweight, out of shape, and other health problems are also cropping up as a result. As much as I hate to leave behind what made me so happy for so many years, my self-medicating in this way needs to stop. I can’t do it all at once. I can’t do it overnight. But I need to do it.

Right after this cookie.

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An earlier version of this piece was published in 2014 on BLUNTmoms.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Portrait of a Woman in Red” — Author: Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561–1636); Title: Portrait of a Woman in Red; Date 1620; Source/Photographer Tate.org.uk — Modified
“Hospital Food” — Date 6 April 2005, 18:06; Hospital food; Author Siobhan from Upstate New York; Licensing: Creative Commons; Attribution share alike; This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
“Zofran” —  Drug Name: Zofran 8 MG Oral Tablet; Drug Label Author: GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Date 2010/2011; Source NLM, http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/assets/large/000817lg.jpg; Author NLM; Public domain: This image is a work of the National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
“Cigarette butts” — “Filled with butts”; Author: Stefan-Xp – Own work; A “well” filled Ashtray; Permission details: GNU-FDL
“Quizno’s” — Description English: The first Quizno’s Subs restaurant, located in Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado; Date 4-17-09; Source Own work; Author Xnatedawgx

yellow legs

So a few days ago I started having some pain in what felt like my left ovary. Given the nature of my recent surgery, I thought that I should maybe probably absolutely talk to the doctor about it. It took a few days for me to get past the gauntlet of nurses who always seem to take waaaaaay too much satisfaction in keeping me away from the doctor AT ALL COSTS, but I finally got an appointment with him yesterday morning.

Given the thatchy and overgrown state of my down-below, I thought that I should probably show the doctor a little consideration and attempt to whack back the weeds. I know, I know — gynecologists allegedly don’t care. They claim to be totally immune to the state of their patients’ nether regions, because blah blah clinical detachment and also they’ve “seen it all before.” And maybe that’s true. If a crusty 1950’s vagrant popped out of my vagina with a checkered handkerchief tied to a stick and a lengthy discourse on the ins and outs of the “hobo code,” my doctor would probably shrug and be all: “NBD.”

Nevertheless, I felt a nice long shower and some bush maintenance were in order.

Now. There’s two things you need to know before I go any further with this story:

1. I’d had a little bit of pain with urination when I woke up that morning, so I’d taken one of those Uristat pills that help your pee-hole feel better but also turn your piss BRIGHT ORANGE FUCKING YELLOW.

Pyridiumurine
Not actually my pee. BECAUSE BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I’M NOT *THAT* GROSS. But this is essentially what my pee looked like.

2. Since the surgery, I’ve had a lot of leakage. You know. Urine leakage. And sometimes I don’t even notice the leakage until it’s already happened. Apparently this is completely normal, and it’s expected to happen off and on for a few more months. It’s gross and inconvenient, but that’s the state of affairs at the moment.

All right. Let us continue.

So I took my Uristat pill, got in the shower, tamed the pubic lion, and got back out. So far, so good. But then I looked down at the bathroom floor and saw a puddle of BRIGHT ORANGE FUCKING YELLOW PEE. Thank God I was alone. I used my (fortunately) black towel to quickly mop it up, and threw the offending towel right in the wash. “Whew!” I thought to myself. “Good thing that didn’t happen out in public!”

All right. Many of you know of the passionate summer love affair I am currently having with maxi-dresses. So after I wiped up my BRIGHT ORANGE FUCKING YELLOW PEE, I pulled one out of the closet. It was one of those that hit the floor in the back but are kind of scalloped up to the knee in the front. Here’s an actual factual picture of it if you can’t get a mental image going:

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If you don’t like how I’m posing, or the face I’m making, or the fact that my bed isn’t made, or the est. 1975 sticker on my phone, or my nail color, or my cleavage crack, feel free to decipher the “secret message” my right hand is sending to you.

So I slapped on the dress and slid into my flip-flops and off to the doctor I went. Yes, off to the doctor I went, without once asking myself: “Hmm. If there was a gigantic BRIGHT ORANGE FUCKING YELLOW puddle of piss on the bathroom floor, where else could it have gotten to?”

I discovered the answer once I got to the doctor’s office. I sat down and crossed my legs, which were visible to everyone due to the scalloped nature of the dress, and saw

TWO MASSIVE BRIGHT ORANGE FUCKING YELLOW STREAKS OF PISS AND URISTAT DYE RUNNING ALL THE WAY DOWN BOTH OF MY LEGS AND ALL OVER THE BOTTOMS OF MY FEET.

Holy shit.

I’m pretty sure the doctor noticed but I did my absolute best to hide it. When he asked me to give a urine specimen, I ran to the bathroom, ransacked it for baby wipes, and started scrubbing. But that Uristat dye is POTENT. After a few minutes and about a thousand baby wipes, I’d done the best job I could, but my legs were still stained. Particularly the bottoms of my feet, where apparently my skin is the consistency of dollar-store toilet paper and absorbs literally EVERY MOLECULE OF EVERYTHING.

I was mortified, but My Girl T told me to look at the bright side — “maybe it looked like sunless tanner.” I guess it did *sort of* look like that – if you could believe that a blind monkey with inexplicable access to self-tanner had for some reason smeared it down just the inside of my legs with a dying vibrator. I wasn’t sure that was any less embarrassing, but T’s response? “Better than pee.”

I GUESS.

Still, I have this suspicious feeling that the doctor and his gauntlet of bitchy nurses were under no delusion that the yellow streaks on my legs were sunless tanner. In fact, they’re probably somewhere laughing it up right now and telling hilarious stories about their gross weirdo patient “Ol’ Yellow Legs.”

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits: 
“Urine Sample”: James Heilman, MD – Own work. The characteristic color of urine after taking pyridium. CC BY-SA 3.0. File:Pyridiumurine.jpg. Uploaded by Doc James. Created: 11 May 2011

pelvic organs? come on down! (part 4 of 4)

Hello loyal so-and-sos!

Some Many Most of you will be happy to know that with this post, the est. 1975 “pelvic organs? come on down!” series is finally coming to an end. (Well… I guess there’s always room for an epilogue post. You know. Down the road a piece. If you’re “lucky.”) I’m actually going to miss this series a lot! It was fun to write and hopefully more than a little bit educational.

If you’re interested in binge-reading the whole series, you can find the previous installments here:

Post 1: Diagnosis: Prolapse

Post 2: How to Fix Dem Sagging Girl Parts

Post 3: The Wide Wide World of Pre-Op

Before we get started with the final post, though, I do have an important announcement to make. At this time I would like to inform you guys that after giving it some long and very serious thought, I have chosen a new, more “action hero” type name for myself*. From now on, I will be known the world over as: PROLAPSIN’ JACKSON.

(Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty.)

*not true

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Okay! So many of you know that two weeks ago I underwent surgical treatment to correct my pelvic organ prolapse. The procedure involved a partial hysterectomy and fairly extensive pelvic reconstruction surgery, and now that I’ve recovered from it a bit I thought I’d give you a little peek into how it went.

Here we go!

1. The surgery itself went great. At least that’s what I’ve been told – it’s not exactly like I was awake – but I believe it’s true since I seem to be healing quite nicely. No fevers, no complications, no infections other than a “maybe UTI”. The abdominal incision looks neat and clean, and last Friday the surgeon took out the staples and replaced them with Steri-Strips. I get to take those off later today.

Even the episiotomy wasn’t that bad, and I was *so* afraid it would be. I mean, it’s definitely tender down below, and the stitches are still there, and it will take a while for them to dissolve. But I was expecting it to be SO. MUCH. WORSE. Obsessing over old stand-up comedy bits like this didn’t exactly help put my mind at ease:

(In all seriousness, though, watch it. It’s Margaret Cho. It’s hilarious. It’s only 3 minutes. It involves the word “Frankenpussy.)

So all in all, the procedure went great and the surgeon was excellent. And for that I’m super thankful. If I’m going to have a Frankenpussy, I want it to be the best Frankenpussy there is.

2. For as well as the surgery went, however, the following 24 hours were easily THE WORST 24 HOURS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. After the spinal anesthesia began to wear off, and I was taken off of my lovely “Do It Yourself Dilaudid” Machine of Goodness, shit began to get REAL. You see, the doctors decided to transition me from the morphine drip to Vicodin pills, which sounded fine in theory, but in reality it DID NOT WORK. Like, literally. The Vicodin did not work. There was no pain relief, not even a little bit. Only a copious amount of OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP WHY DID I AGREE TO DO THIS TO MYSELF OW OW OW OW OW OWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Which, coincidentally, was the point when ALL the nurses disappeared.

I think the floor must have been short-staffed that day, because it started to take at least 45 to 60 minutes for someone to show up after I pressed the Call button (if anyone showed up at all.) And before you start jumping to conclusions, it was not because I was a horrible patient and all of the nurses were just ignoring me because they hated my guts — there was just no one around. My mother would go out to the nurse’s station and it would be completely deserted. The one time she actually managed to find someone it was an “Art Therapist” with her hands full of crayons and posterboard.

Useful!

Now. Don’t get me wrong – I love nurses. As a rule I find them friendly and reliable, selfless and committed, patient and hardworking. They are, for the most part, people who put themselves out there in a way that not a lot of other people could ever do. My nurse friends, as well as most of the nurses I’ve encountered in my life, are amazing men and women with so much integrity and medical knowledge that it’s practically coming out of their buttholes.

However.

When you’re in desperate need of a pee and you can’t get to the bathroom on your own because your abdomen doesn’t work and you’re hooked up to 2348973 IV drips and attached to the bed by a pair of compression socks?

When your meds aren’t working and you’re in such excruciating pain that you don’t even realize that you’ve been steadily crying for SIX STRAIGHT HOURS?

When you’re so nauseous and uncomfortable that you can’t drink or eat or barely even move, let alone take seriously the FIRM AND FAIRLY PATRONIZING RECOMMENDATION that you need to “get up,” “walk around,” and “wake up your bowels”?

When you’re in what feels like drastic physical straits and having to jam repeatedly on the CALL button to get attention and/or send your 65-year-old mother to patrol the hospital hallways in order to find help?

I hate to say it, but the fact of the matter is that, in those moments. you might feel A LITTLE BIT PISSED OFF WITH NURSES.

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Thankfully, it all worked out in the end – after about 6 hours, the nurses finally upped their game and got the attention of the doctors, who took me off the Vicodin and gave me new pain meds that actually worked. And afterwards there was plenty of nursing staff and they were attentive and sweet and responsive and we all loved each other and lived happily ever after and had a million babies together.

3. After the pain was under control, things got a lot better. Since then, my recovery has been steady, though it has also been slooowww:

  • It took me about 12 days to ween myself off of the painkillers, and I’m still on about 2400mg of Ibuprofen a day. Which means that my pain levels are now manageable but my liver probably looks a piece of beef jerky. A piece of beef jerky from Ancient Egypt.
  • It’s hard to sit upright in a chair for long. I have to lay down and rest my abdomen after a while. As for other activities? Walking around is fine (though it makes me incredibly tired), bending over hurts, and laughing KILLS. It hurts so bad that I didn’t even use the tickets I had for Eddie Izzard last night. And I LOVE HIM. So you know it’s serious.
  • My stomach/various guts are much better than when I first came out of surgery, but they’re still pretty messed up. I’ve gone from an inconceivable and unholy TEN DAYS OF THE WORST CONSTIPATION EVER to an inconceivable and unholy STATE OF CONSTANT DIARRHEA which I can really only describe accurately with this picture:

    poowatergif
  • I was given the A-OK to get back behind the wheel two days ago, so I decided to go for a little journey to test my stamina. A *very* little journey. My mother came with me, we drove less than a mile, and we were in one single store for 15 minutes TOPS. Still, this was me afterwards:

    babypattongif

So yeah. Recovery is coming along, steady but very slow. I don’t get the “all-clear” to resume normal activity until the very end of June, so until then I’ll be doing a lot of taking it easy.

(In the meantime, feel free to make Prolapsin’ Jackson action figures and send them to me.)

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Willam”: Source unknown. Footage taken from Rupaul’s Drag Race, broadcast on LogoTV.

pelvic organs? come on down! (part 3 of 4)

Blah blah blah part 1 and part 2 of the series. Go read! Or don’t! Be whatever you wanna do!

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Well, loyal so-and-sos! As most of you know, in just two days I will no longer have a uterus. Which means that:

1. I will no longer have periods. 

Translation: I will no longer spend seven days of every month gushing blood and other grossness. I will no longer RUIN ALL THE UNDERPANTS. I will no longer clutch my abdomen in pain from the bullshit cramps that every woman is rewarded with when she chooses not to house a baby in her womb every single month of her reproductive life.

2. I will no longer need pap smears.

Translation: I will no longer need a complete stranger to jam an ice-cold speculum into my vajay, crank it open, and scrape cells out of it on the regular. I will no longer have to worry about those cells being cancerous, pre-cancerous, mostly cancerous, a little bit cancerous, or maybe possibly cancerous.

3. I can no longer get pregnant.

Translation: I will no longer have to have those awkward “uh… husband?” conversations that precede a panicked run to Target for a pack of pregnancy tests. I will no longer have to make excuses to my son about why he doesn’t yet have a baby brother (there’s no interest in a sister.) I will no longer have to pull and pray.

And I am MORE THAN FINE with all of that.

I am also MORE THAN FINE with the fixer-upper jobbie they’re going to do on my *other* down there parts. I can’t wait to be able to do such luxurious and indulgent things as a) hold in my pee, b) not pee my pants, c) stop leaking pee, and d) poop without drama.

I am also MORE THAN FINE with not having to deal with my own pubic hair for once:

2014-05-12-20.01
Hooray! A white-trash Brazilian!

But the thing that I AM THE MOST FINE WITH is the fact that YES! OUR INSURANCE APPROVED THE MEDICAL NECESSITY OF THIS PROCEDURE AND WILL IN FACT BE COVERING IT. Hoorah! Hooray! Huzzah! O frabjous day! And other things people say on the Internet!

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So yeah. Surgery Wednesday. And all of my pre-op testing is complete. By the way, the pre-op stuff (the ominous “bladder testing” I mentioned in my last installment) was HORRIBLE. Like so horrible that I actually don’t even want to go into it too much. Let’s just say it involved:

1. More than an acceptable number of catheters. (More than 0 is unacceptable.) Also, one of the catheters went in my butthole.

2. Electrodes taped in places where there may or may not have been pubes. Which were later ripped mercilessly out of my skin.

3. Having my bladder repeatedly filled up with water. COLD WATER. COLD, EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE WATER. And being forced to do stupid things like “hold it,” “cough,” “cough harder,” and “do the thing like you’re about to poop.”

Anyway, it was all very traumatizing and I’m glad it’s over. At least I’ll be anesthetized for most of the yucky and undignified things yet to come. MOST of them. I’m not under any real delusions about the privacy of my hoo-ha and poop chute in the coming week or two.

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So. My apologies if this installment of the “pelvic organs? come on down” series seems a bit slapdash. It really kind of is. I’m scrambling to get all the shit done that I need to do before the surgery, I slept a whopping three hours last night, and my mother is about to pull in the driveway after an 8-hour car trip. The next installment will be better, and both super gross and totally informative. I promise.

On that note: I’m obviously going to be out of commission over the next two weeks, so I won’t be posting for a while. But guys? DO NOT WORRY. I’ve totally got you covered. I’ve lined up two weeks’ worth of hilarious guest posts from a bunch of talented bloggers and friends, including:

And guys? Listen up. My guest bloggers put in their valuable time and gave up their original comic material to bring est.1975 the funny. So do me a favor and bring *them* your love. Read. Comment. Share! We will all appreciate it.

Wish me luck and see you on the flip flop!

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Interested in reading more of this series? Follow the yellow brick links!

Post 1: Diagnosis: Prolapse

Post 2: How to Fix Dem Sagging Girl Parts

Post 3: The Wide Wide World of Pre-Op

Post 4: Pain and Catheters and Constipation, Oh My!

sickening

every year
just once a year
i get Consumption Lite.

i wheeze and cough
and rattle
all throughout
the day and night.

i blow my nose
until it’s raw
and red and peeling too.
i pick at it
obsessively.
and my meds?
they make me poo.

i lose my voice so bad
i order fast food
with a note.

and my breath gets
so damn funk
you best believe
it smells like scrote.

at least
when i’m the one who’s sick
the snot rags
get thrown out.

(unlike with certain others
who leave them
strewn about.)

i hope that i’ll
be better soon
because i’m bored as fuck
my house is gross
my face is gross
it’s really pretty suck.

but until i am on the mend
i’ll lay right here
in bed
and let my hub do all the work

(i should probably give him head.)

pelvic organs? come on down! (part 2 of 4)

Welcome back to the est. 1975 “pelvic organs? come on down!” series, in which I discuss the ins and outs of female pelvic organ prolapse (also known as The Gynecological Great Escape or MY GIRL PARTS ARE FALLING OUT OF MY BODY.) If you’re just joining us, you can read the first installment here.

WARNING: This series of posts tackles some fairly gory details of some fairly gory girl business. I promise you’ll learn a lot if you read along, but if you’re squeamish, you may want to bail now before you end up doing one of these:

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Basically what I’m saying is this: if reading about medical stuff and/or lady parts makes you gag like a drag queen, you might want to skip this one.

Onwards!

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The loyal so-and-sos among you have been wondering what’s been going on with my girly bits since last we spoke.

Well. The main thing is that I’ve finally gone ahead, hitched up my big girl panties, and scheduled the date for my hysterectomy and pelvic reconstruction surgery. As of right now, everything’s going down on May 14th… or should I say everything’s getting jacked back up on May 14th?

*har har chuckle snort*

*ahem*

Regardless, May 14th is when it all gon happen.

Of particular interest to y’all has been whether or not our family’s health insurance is going to pay for this surgery. The answer is: I still don’t know, and I won’t know until one week before the procedure is scheduled to take place. Which is just AWESOME, because I for sure don’t want to plan my life and finances around possibly having to shell out eleventy billion dollars for this shit. No, I like to fly by the seat of my urine-soaked pants when it comes to that kind of stuff.

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For those of you just joining in, the reason I’m not sure whether our health insurance will cover the procedure is because apparently this kind of surgery is considered “elective” by some insurance agencies. It’s their stance that this is a procedure I don’t absolutely need to have, and that I can easily live without it. I guess it’s a lot like the attitude they take with most cosmetic surgeries, or LASIK.

I mean, technically it’s true. I *can* live without this surgery. I can live until I’m 90 years old without it. It’s not like this procedure is going to correct some drastic problem with my breathing or my heart or my digestion or my neurological function. It’s merely a “quality of life” concern, in that I prefer not to spend the next fifty years of my life:

  • Being unable to completely empty my bladder, resulting in awkward “Excuse me but I’ve just peed my pants” moments whenever I cough, sneeze, fart, laugh, gag, barf, blow my nose, bend over, walk, run, exercise, have sex, do anything, or exist;
  • Straining like all hell whenever I pee, resulting in OH MY GOD I HAVE BUTTHOLE CANCER persistent and painful hemorrhoids;
  • Leaking urine constantly, leaving my “down there” parts feeling and smelling like a damp bog;
  • Living with what amounts to a perpetual urinary tract infection;
  • Having to take stool softeners all the time, which can lead to everything from I’MA KICK YOUR ASS! diarrhea to the dreaded OH SHIT! IT’S A SHART;
  • Settling for a sex life that I would now classify as “essentially frictionless” because my vagina is so saggy and blown out; and
  • Feeling like I have a super-absorbency tampon crammed in my hoo-ha AT ALL TIMES, even though I don’t. (Interesting side note: I haven’t actually been able to use tampons in years. My bulging bladder, uterus, and rectum just push them right back out. The more you know.)

“Elective” surgery indeed.

bianca

Sigh.

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on the insurance situation as I learn more. For right now I thought I’d take some time to explain exactly what my surgery is going to entail, and in order to do that, I’m going walk you through a list of procedures that my urogynecologist will be performing on the big day. Don’t worry if the medical terminology makes no sense to you, because I’m here to translate it into plain English. You know me. I’m all helpful like that.

Here’s the list:

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Looks completely uninterpretable, right? Don’t worry. You’ll be an expert on pelvic reconstruction surgery when I’m done with you. Now let’s do this!

(Warning: some of the following links have NSFW medical diagrams. Proceed with caution.)

  1. SCH.

Medical Terminology: Laparoscopic Supra-cervical Hysterectomy

Plain English: You know the phrase “she’s got a bun in the oven?” This is the part where the surgeon goes ahead and disconnects my oven. And cuts it up into very small pieces. And takes it out of my body through my abdomen. And burns it.

  1. ASC.

Medical Terminology: Abdominal Sacral Colpopexy

Plain English: This is where the surgeon shores up my lady bits by taking the very end of my vaginal canal and using surgical mesh to hitch it to the very end of my backbone. (This is not, I repeat NOT, the same thing as in those scary TRANS-VAGINAL MESH KILLED MY VAGINA commercials you see on daytime television. Not that I ever watch daytime television or anything. *cough*)

  1. Paravaginal Repair.

Medical Terminology: Laparoscopic Paravaginal Repair

Plain English: This is where the surgeon restores my bladder and urethra to their normal positions by attaching them to my pelvic side-walls. Basically the doc’s just putting my pee-making machinery back where it should be.

  1. TVT.

Medical Terminology: Tension-free Vaginal Tape Procedure

Plain English: This is where the surgeon places a mesh tape or sling (but again, NOT the dreaded TRANS-VAGINAL MESH OF DOOM) under my urethra to provide it some additional support. This step will help put the smack down on my perpetual incontinence.

  1. Rectocele Repair.

Medical Terminology: Rectocele Repair

Plain English: This is where the surgeon pulls together the stretched or torn tissue in The Land of Where My Rectum Insists on Bulging into My Vagina. This helps strengthen the vaginal walls to keep the prolapse from reoccurring.

  1. Perineoplasty.

Medical Terminology: Perineoplasty

Plain English: Plastic surgery for my veejay. That’s right. This is the part where they make my girl parts SEXY, SUPER TIGHT, AND SMOKIN’ HOT AGAIN.

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  1. Cysto.

Medical Terminology: I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure my doc is just using shorthand for “cystoscopy” here.

Plain English: A cystoscopy can be done for any number of reasons, but I think in this instance it’s just referring to the fact that the surgeon is going to give me a catheter until I can pee again on my own.

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So that’s that. Do any of you loyal so-and-sos have any questions? If you do, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. No guarantees on the accuracy of my answers, though. Do I look like I have a post-graduate degree in ‘giners? (Don’t answer that.)

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series when I discuss my first pre-operative appointment which apparently can take up to two hours and is vaguely and somewhat ominously referred to as “bladder testing.”

Till then, head over to my sidebar and subscribe for email notifications SO THAT YOU NEVER MISS A SINGLE HILARIOUS WORD I EVER SAY. Also, take a stroll over to pixie c.d. and check out the clever, awesome, brilliant guest post I did about the first time I smoked weed. And while you’re there, take a look around. It is a vair vair funny blog. I promise.

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Interested in reading more of this series? Follow the yellow brick links!

Post 1: Diagnosis: Prolapse

Post 2: How to Fix Dem Sagging Girl Parts

Post 3: The Wide Wide World of Pre-Op

Post 4: Pain and Catheters and Constipation, Oh My!

10 after 30

THE TEN MOST ANNOYING THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO MY BODY AFTER HAVING A KID AND/OR TURNING 30

1.       Liquid Boobs

Before 30: At the pinnacle of my youth, my boobs were my best feature. They were firm. They were proud. They were big, but not too big. They were round, but not too round. They retained their shape while still maintaining a seductive jiggle, like two expertly-prepared Jello molds.

After 30: Pregnancy. Childbirth. Breastfeeding. Beautiful life moments? Of course. Hormonal nightmares that kicked off my bosom’s slow transformation from wondrous boobage to a pair of soft-boiled eggs? Also yes.

Putting on a bra used to be a literal snap. Now it’s a whole PROCESS of lifting, dropping, adjusting, pouring and repouring. There’s also a fair amount of contorting my arms behind my back while struggling to do up half a dozen tiny hooks, all before settling my inch-wide bra straps into two very angry red shoulder ruts.

2.       Chinese Phone Book Syndrome

Before 30:  I’m maybe not the best example of this phenomenon as I’ve always had some measure of double chin, but before 30 I could at least disguise it with heavy contouring, artful photography, and, depending on the season, turtlenecks.

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Me in the mid-2000’s, using the “up, out, and down” chin-tuck technology popular with those who need to conceal a modest double chin in photographs.

After 30: There is NO disguising my double chin now. Not with even the most over-exposed downward-angle cam-whore photography there is. I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten heavier. I also suspect that at some point Chin #1 and Chin #2 got drunk and hooked up, because a bouncing baby Chin #3 has appeared.

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Yowza. And before any of you go “OH COME ON IT’S NOT THAT BAD” please be aware that is the ABSOLUTE BEST picture of my chin that I could find from the last year.

3.       “Mom Mouth”

Before 30:  In order to demonstrate the “Mom Mouth” phenomenon, I had to find a ten-year-old picture of my face in “resting” position (read: not smiling, not laughing, not posing for the camera.) Consider the below photograph the best I could do. You will notice that “Mom Mouth” has not set in, largely because I wasn’t a Mom yet.

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I know my mouth looks weird, but it’s because I was employing another popular “chin camouflage” technique: the Straight-Up-Put-Something-In-Front-of-It Technique.

After 30: AAGGGHHHHHHHH!

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Double Chin Disguise Trick #3: Crop your double chin out of all your photographs. Voila!

Believe it or don’t, this is my face in “resting” position now. Note if you wish the deep laugh lines above the lips, but those are simply due to age. “Mom Mouth,” however, is the more disturbing phenomenon in which the corners of a mother’s mouth start to turn irrevocably downward, mainly from being forced to act like a complete crabass 24 hours a day.

4.       Let’s Hear It For the Beard

Before 30: As a brunette of heavily Eastern European stock, I have never been what one would call “smooth.” (You can read about the woes of my hirsutism in more detail here if you’re so inclined.) Still, before I turned 30, I maybe had a chin hair once every three to six months. Not unmanageable.

After 30: Now if I don’t pluck my chin every other day I start to look like Abraham Lincoln PDQ.

5.       Like A Flan in A Cupboard

Before 30: Back in the day my girl parts were tight. Elastic. A pleasure, I dare say, to all who ventured forth. Sometimes, if a man was large enough, I even *gasp* bled a little. How dainty I was back then!

After 30: Brilliant actor-comedian Eddie Izzard once quipped: “The Austro-Hungarian Empire, famous for fuck all! Yes, all they did was slowly collapse like a flan in a cupboard.”

Just like my girl parts after delivering a child.

(Yep. That’s right. I just compared my vagina to a collapsing flan, and by extension, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Click here if you want to read more gory details about my gynecological woes.)

6.       Adult-Onset Grossness

Before 30: I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a porcelain-skinned doll. My face has always been a war zone, with troops of blackheads encamped across my nose, and small but tightly organized bands of guerrilla whiteheads terrorizing my T-zone.

After 30: Adult-onset cystic acne took hold after 30, running rampant once I got pregnant and gave birth to my son. Long gone are the mere pimples of yore, skirmishing for territory. Now huge, red, nuclear cysts explode all over my lower face and chin, taking months to go away and leaving bitter scorched earth behind.

7.       The Walk of Nosferatu

Before 30: I walked proud. I walked tall. I held my head at the 5’7” height it was meant to be held at. My knees didn’t make noise. Neither did my back. And while I’ve never been a morning person per se, getting out of bed was in no way the rich and painful symphony of grinding bones it is today.

After 30: Mornings now consist of me easing myself slowly out from under my bed covers, pulling myself up to an osteoporotic 5’3”, and shuffling downstairs to the kitchen like a slow, gimpy, complaining Nosferatu.

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8.       Ashy Feet

Before 30: You know what I did to take care of my feet before I turned 30? Essentially nothing. Sure, I painted my toenails. I took a pumice stone to the bottoms of my feet once in a while. Slathered on some lotion… sometimes. Generally though, my feet were fairly low-maintenance.

After 30: My feet are now drier, scalier, and ashier than the bottom of my oven after I never clean it. Bottom-of-the-foot maintenance is becoming increasingly more time-consuming, and it involves more acids, peels, lotions, and treatments than Gwyneth Paltrow’s ugly entitled face.

I’ll also add that my toenails have become thicker and more difficult to clip, with a serious tendency toward “the yellows.” Now I don’t paint them so they look pretty; I paint them so they don’t look disgusting.

9.       Piles for Miles

Before 30: You can read more about this in my previous blog post “piles for miles,” but the upshot is that before I turned 30 I had absolutely zero experience with hemorrhoids other than occasionally seeing a Preparation-H commercial on TV and thinking: “Gross.”

After 30: With pregnancy came piles. Piles for miles. And after the pregnancy was over, they didn’t leave. Now I’d classify my current asshole status as “bumpy at best, no man’s land at worst.”

10.   Hot Flashes

Before 30: What are hot flashes? I don’t even… only old women get those, right? I mean, menopause doesn’t start until you’re like, 70. I’m pretty sure.

After 30:

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So there you have it! Those are my sad but true “10 after 30.” Feel free to add any of yours that I’ve left off my list, and check the est. 1975 Facebook page early and often for fresh material!