(It has been so long since I last wrote something on this screen, I had to reset my password.
So much has happened in the last 18 months. The way you go to school, the way we go to church, the way we live on this planet; its all so different. Though I am certain this blog will not be what you need to remember these current events, there is a lot I need to say. And I will – I promise. This story isn’t more important, but it is easier. )
I think that I was in 7th grade the first time a doctor told me that it would ultimately be challenging for me to have children. I heard the information the way that kids do, when “adult” feels like anywhere from an era to a lifetime from “now”, and I let it fall to the back of my brain. I was sitting in a very Grown Up office with a lot of art featuring Orchids on the wall, covered in a paper sheet. I honestly just wanted to be anywhere else.
I was in 9th grade when I went on a field trip and had to hand the birth control pills I took every day, to keep anemia at bay, to a chaperone. There is nothing subtle about that pink compact of pills, and it prompted more assumptions about my lifestyle than it did concern about my health.
It wasn’t just the bleeding; soon there were ovarian cysts and a diagnosis of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. College started off with food restrictions and exercise, fad diets and cleanses. Hormones on top of hormones. Sometimes it felt like it was working.
Several years later a doctor finally took me seriously about my pelvic pain, when I involuntarily burst into tears during an exam. My first surgery for endometriosis came quickly after that, and 6 months in a drug induced menopause followed.
And then, as you know, the process of child bearing was every bit as complicated as they had promised.
I look at myself now, hardened by 28 years and 12 pelvic procedures, and see no trace of the modest girl who wished the paper sheet covering the lower half of her body would just swallow her whole. Now I see nothing but data, a collection of circumstances, and a mountain of evidence that it is time for this ridiculous roller coaster I’ve been riding since puberty to come, if you will, to a complete stop.
Luke 8: 43-48
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
The thing that has always struck me about this miracle is that she had to reach for it herself. Her problem was not one that was obvious enough to broadcast a need for healing, no one begged on her behalf or carried her to Jesus. But she knew, and she believed; she lived in the cage of her pain and bleeding and the exile that it caused. She reached out in faith, and she was healed. She was freed.
All this to say: tomorrow I will be headed to the hospital for my 13th and hopefully last gynecological procedure – a hysterectomy. Hopefully a partial one, but I am leaving that in the capable hands of the woman who has seen me through an awful lot of this mess. I know what we are expecting the surgery to be, but I have confidence – I have faith – that we can handle any parting shot this organ wants to fire.
I am pretty excited about it, because I will no longer feel like I’m carrying around a ticking time bomb. I will no longer lose days if not weeks of my life to pain and exhaustion on a regular basis.
Danny, I think you are pretty excited about it because it means you get some bonus days off of school. And, if that is enough to make you smile tonight, that is just fine with me because why this is really exciting is difficult to explain.
I think, much like when I quit my job to stay home with you, *that* this happened will be more important than why. This will mean that more often we will go to that place. We will go on that walk. We will go for that swim. It means that I may once and for all recover from all of this and be a version of your Mom that you and Ezra have never known. And, though I know there will be recovery on the other side, I think that our entire family will benefit from the breaking of this chain.
I will always be grateful for you, Danny, and your brother. For all that it put me through my body managed to grow my two greatest treasures, and that is a privilege guaranteed to no one. I don’t take it for granted or regret any ounce of the effort it took to bring you both into our lives.
But now the best thing I can do is close this chapter so that, for as long as we are together, we can go as far as the Lord allows. I can see the hem of His robe, and I have faith I can be free.
(P.S. – I’m going to need the Switch to binge on Animal Crossing when I get home. Consider yourself warned!)