Madame Ovary

My OBGYM–oh, my god. OBGYM. What is wrong with me? The OBGYM is where you go to lift vagina weights. My vagina waits for no one.

My OBGYN called yesterday. They have a date for my surgery, in which not only will my lemon-sized ovarian cyst be leaving the building, so will my ovaries in general. The date of said festivities is February 18. At least I can still celebrate Valentine’s Day.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, dear. Maybe if I’d hit the OBGYM more I’d have a Valentine.

Anyway, they asked if I had any questions, and of course first on my list was, Can I keep my ovaries, and then of course there was, Can you also fix my nose while I’m under, and finally I asked, How long will I be out of commission?

Because here’s what I figured. I figured outpatient. Maybe I’ll be out of work a day, maybe two days.

SIX WEEKS. That’s worst-case scenario. SIX WEEKS. Because, see, they’re gonna try to do it laparoscopically, meaning I get a lap dance till my ovaries fall clean out, but if that doesn’t work they have to cut me wide open and stuff me with bread, seasoning and maybe a nice orange. Although that lemon already in there will probably do nicely.

So, even if it’s lap-dance-scopically I’m out two weeks, minimum.

WHO KNEW?

So here’s what we need to do. We need to think of some sort of low-key project I can do during recovery. Do I read a volume of stories? Do I organize my wardrobe? Is this the time I get a puppy so I can be home with it?

I realize the reason I will be out is because I might feel like crap, but it can’t all be crap and pain and agony, can it? Don’t answer that.

Here’s the best part: This operation may not even address my constant need to pee. ISN’T THAT THE WORST? I’m technically having this operation because I shouldn’t be having ovarian cysts at my age and otherwise I will have to keep having it checked for cancer over and over again and no thank you.

I have another appointment with my urologist in March, to see how my peeing is going. Frankly I’m ready to just remove everything from the waist down. I’m ready to just hop around stumpily like Lieutenant Dan.

Also, “waist.” Wherever are your four boxes of Girl Scout cookies, June? Are you trying to eat so many Samoas that you look Samoan?

Anyway, that’s today’s big news. I’m fixing to be sans ovaries. If you want them, I’m having a blog giveaway.

Ovarian and out,
June

60 Comments

  1. I just read today’s post (2/11) but there is no “Leave a reply” box to comment. I thought I should alert you. Also, that picture of Lilly and Milhous on your lap (with Edz in the background is awesome. I never update my computer, and it tells me to 85,000 times a day. I hate the waiting.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  2. I started to read this late last night when I was tucked into bed, but for some reason the photos and the words get all on top of each other when I try to read you on my iPad, which is 600 years old. So I had to make sure I checked in and read it today. So. Funny. If you only cross-stitched! That’s my go-to activity when I’m on the couch at night watching television. You could try to learn it while you’re recovering. I’ve been doing it since 1980, so I do it without thinking about it too much. Maybe buy yourself a little kit, and hopefully you’ll have a new diy piece of art by the time your stuff’s all healed up.
    When I was 50, all my stuff decided to make an exit through the hole we typically call the vagina. I mean, all my stuff. My bladder, my wrecked-um, my cervix, and, well, my vagina! It was turning inside out! Typically that only happens when a woman has had about a billion babies, or if she’s overweight. Neither of those fits me. I weigh about 125 pounds. I’ve had two babies. When I’d go for my regular visits, I’d lie prone, of course, and all my stuff would go right back up into my body where it was supposed to be. Even when I told the doctor that something didn’t feel right down there, he’d just say, “Meh. Everything looks fine to me.” It got to the point where it felt a little like those toy rubber chickens that you squeeze and that bubbly egg thing pops out between its legs. I’d try different doctors, and they never saw what I was complaining about until I found a doctor who listened to me, and he did a stand up gyno exam. (Not easy for anybody in the room) So I was a stage 4 prolapse case. Look it up sometime if you’d like to have nightmares. There was a urologist who put my bladder back in its spot, and then my ex-gyno, who had retired, but then came back to practice, put my vagina and my cervix and my butthole back where they belonged. And then after six weeks, my cervix fell out again, so he just cut that thing off. My sister likes to kid and tells me not to let the wind blow between my legs or else it’ll sound like blowing over the top of a coke bottle. Everything has stayed where it’s supposed to since then. I’ve run marathons, I’ve built a 500 foot long, boob-high rock wall that borders our pasture, I’ve lifted weights and picked up grandbabies. Those surgeons can do some amazing things. I’m so glad they fixed me!

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  3. I find audio books useful when I am too wiped out to do anything but am not quite tired enough to sleep more. I like to listen to old favorites or nonfiction. New fiction doesn’t work as well if you fall asleep and then wake up and don’t know what’s going on in the story.

    I take a screenshot of my phone when I start listening, so if I fall asleep, I know about where to “rewind” it to.

    Your public library system probably has audio books you can download for free — you would just need your library card number and pin to log in. If you don’t already have a library card, you could get one beforehand. My library (different state) has audio books through Overdrive and Hoopla. Each of those services has their own app for your phone.

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    1. Girl, when I had my concussion last fall, the ONLY thing I was allowed to do was listen to audiobooks. I listened to I think 10 or 15 of them. I will def be doing that again this time!

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  4. Ok, I just spit out my coffee all over my laptop. This is hilarious! Although the situation is not. Sorry, I’m a nurse practitioner, so my sense of humor is already skewed. Anyways, best of luck with your surgery–I think you’ll be fine. I had a partial hysto 12 years ago to remove a uterine fibroid that was the size of a baby’s head. Yikes. I kept my ovaries but they don’t work anymore, so really what was the point?

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  5. Oh, I am so happy you have a date. I hope that the pee-all-the-time problem will also heal with the surgery. I think all of the suggestions have been said, so I will tell you my favorites in no particular order:
    READ
    PJ’s collage project sounds awesome
    Write
    Binge TV

    I like to knit/crochet, so if it were ME I would add that to the list, however, it is not me so I am not adding it.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  6. What did you end up doing for your reward or haven’t you done it yet, it needed to be uncostly ?

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  7. June: This is a classic June blog. So funny. My post-surgery advise is to nap when your body needs to. It is normal and necessary for full recovery.

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  8. I’ve had three laparotomy surgeries for ovarian cysts and one laparoscopy for appendicitis and was not able to do anything after them except watch tv for a few weeks. So maybe no puppy.

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  9. Get one of your friends to show you how to crochet a”granny square”. You’ll only need a needle and some yarn. In the end you can make a big beautiful throw for your bed/couch. No heavy lifting, no heavy thinking and something to remember your dearly departed ovaries by.
    Trust me, you won’t believe how much better you will feel when it’s over.

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  10. Take the full two weeks! Put health above work, I finally learned how to do that at age 54. And for something to do, I’ve been bingeing Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, highly recommend!

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  11. Had the laparoscopic bilateral “oompfectomy” (whatever) for endometrial cancer a few years ago. Laparoscopic is the way to go. The leftover gas in your abdomen is the worst part. I made myself shuffle around and walk. It helped. Also….stretchy pants! Get yourself a couple of pairs. You won’t want to have anything tight around your middle for a while. I also binge watched Doc Martin. I love that show.
    Good luck, June! Will be standing in your doorway.

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  12. Yeah Just like Lisa, not that Lisa said at the beginning here – You had me at Madame Ovary! Seriously though – the reason you really need to follow doc’s orders and take it easy as long as they say, is to minimize your chances of getting adhesion’s. Even with the laparoscopy it could happen and it is not worth the risk. .
    I think that while you recover you should consider writing a memoir of some kind! It would no doubt be a best seller! Hugs to you…

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  13. ” just hop around stumpily like Lieutenant Dan” magnificent visual. BTW, Gary Sinise, the actor who portrayed Lt. Dan, wrote a book called “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service” and it is a good book if you’re into the recent surge in actor autobiographies. He is a major supporter of Veterans services and his role as Lt. Dan helps bring attention to those programs so that’s nice but it is also an interesting read about his rise to fame.

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  14. I did not even have to read past the title to start laughing. Madame Ovary. My god.

    I’d tell you about the time I had a cyst removed from an ovary, but it didn’t end well. I’M KIDDING. It just turned out to not be a cyst at all – just a big ole fibroid in a really weird spot.

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  15. I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy 2 years ago because of cervical cancer. They pulled everything out laparoscopically, but I was still feeling tender for about 10 days. I agree with OP who said the gas pain will be the worst. The air that gets in your body is painful! It moved up to my chest and collarbone – I thought I was having a heart attack or something. Nope, just gas. Awesome.

    Also, I would arrange for someone to walk Edsel if he’s not the most “gentle leader” Walking helps with the gas pain, but the jostling of a brisk walk was a bit painful. Someone else had to walk my squirrel loving dog for about 3 weeks until I could be jerked by a leash and not wince in anticipation of any pain I might feel.

    Good thoughts for a smooth surgery and an end to all this health drama!!!

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  16. I wold cut and paste all the things that made me laugh with this but then it would pretty much be the whole column. Oh the wit.

    Part of the recovery is the part where you get up in the morning, think “oh, I feel better!” and an hour later you need a 3 hour nap. And the older we are, the slower we are to bounce back. I say this as my 50 year old self who just had her face peeled back on Dec. 17 to remove a tumor and a gland wants to know why the hell I still don’t feel just fine.

    Save “The Stranger” on netflix for when you’re recuperating.

    You could upload your phone pics to one of those apps that sends you prints in the mail, and make a scrapbook of your pets, or your Alex-es. or your work walks, or your drives in the country. If that sounds like an option I can send you the rest of what you need, I have a metric shit ton of scrapbooking stuff.

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    1. Seconding the “I feel better!” and now I need a nap part. The first week will probably suck and you will feel bloated and tired and need a nap after you shower. I don’t think they lie about how anesthesia wears off after so many hours, but the after affects stick around for a while. So make sure you have several comfy napping spots and soft blankets. It will pass, just be nice to yourself. Probably reading and TV watching will be enough of a project.

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  17. Hey June! I just had bilateral laproscopic oophrectomy (lol, lots of words) but basically my ovaries are out of the building now. 🙂 I’m on the first week of bedresting healing so I can help you figure stuff out? Maybe?

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  18. This better improve your constant need to pee! Love that you can put a hilarious spin on the whole deal with the stuffing and the vagina weights, etc. Do you want to take up knitting? I don’t knit but that might be fun. I would definitely watch a whole series of something and organize photos and read, but like someone said the meds might make you too sleepy. Hope yours is the quick recovery route.

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  19. When I had my gall bladder removed, I streamed a bunch of Taxi episodes, which if you’re tripping balls on Vicodin is pretty much the ideal situation. Smooth jazz and foxy Marilu Henner.

    Since I assume you’ll also be on The Good Drugs, just try to do things that will bring you a bit of joy while you’re horizontal. (Heh.) If you have a Kindle or tablet or whatever, get some books and trashy magazines. Maybe download some silly games in the vein of Candy Crush or trivia. Get some of those makeover filters and see what you (your friends, your pets, your friends’ pets) would look like with pink hair. Go to Youtube and watch old episodes of your favorite sitcoms from the 80s. You know what has curative powers? Old episodes of Newhart.

    If you’re feeling a bit more energetic, try a puzzle or one of those craft kits from Michaels. I saw one the other day where you can bedazzle pet collars. I bet Edz would look fabulous in a pink rhinestone number.

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  20. I’ll never look at stuffing (or dressing) in the same way ever again! I’ll be thinking about your lemon joke.

    It’s time to fire up the Cooter bus and round up your readers to stand in your doorway on the 18th. The OR might get a bit crowded and noisy, but we’ll try to stay out of the way.

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    1. Hey Sadie , The Cooter bus hasn’t seen much action lately has it. Good use. The 18th let’s make plans.

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  21. The size of a lemon? That sounds huge. I would be happy if I had my computer in front of me. There’s a couple of games I like to play (The Washington Times Spellbound and AARP’s Mah Jongg Toybox or other Mah Jongg game), plus email, blogs and shopping. Plus a good book or two.

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  22. When I’m recovering from something I can’t always keep my mind on a novel – too drowsy and my mind wanders. SO, I read short things like peruse cookbooks for a new recipe or two, short story compilations or humor books with no real plot.
    You’re going to be A-OK!

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  23. I’ve had both laparoscopic and full, cut-you-open surgery for endometrial issues. I was much younger for the full surgery and felt fine enough after a week and a half to go to a New Year’s Eve party and imbibe, a lot. But then I puked, a lot, which is super painful when you have a bikini line incision full of staples. So I don’t recommend doing that. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery was easy, the worst part was coming out of the anesthesia in the recovery area so they could send me home. I was the last one there and they wanted rid of me so they brought my parents back to help. They talked to me and made jokes and held my hand and then I puked, a lot.

    I second organizing your digital photos as a project or if you have a scanner, scanning all of your actual photos.

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      1. Healing was pretty easy for me for the laparoscopy as it was mostly exploratory and all they removed was scar tissue. If you have an incision in the navel area, take extra care to keep it clean. Good luck and rest up!

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  24. Here’s something different to do when you are tired of reading and watching television: from now till then ask your friends and workmates to bring you their magazines they are finished with. Get a glue stick, a small pair of scissors, and a small set of colored markers, and a small notebook or journal or really any book you can glue things into. Stack the magazines someplace you can reach without bending down.
    First, just take one of the magazines and flip through it quickly not reading any of the captions or headlines (that’s actually hard for a reader). Tear out any picture, color, or graphic that hits you–either in a good way or in an annoying way, Also any words that did jump out at you. doesn’t matter. Flip and tear, flip and tear. That in itself is fun, mindless and not taxing and a change of pace. Good for times when you are antsy, irritable, or bored, or just want to do something.
    .
    In the basket at hand keep your few little tools and your growing stack of pictures and words. Then either take all the time you want, or if you’re impatient set a timer for 3 minutes, or 5 or 10 or whatever. Without thinking flip through and pick out images and words that hit you at that moment. Don’t look for meaning. Surface of mind only.
    Now take your 5 or 6 images and put them together cutting them however you want. Overlap, juxtapose, fold…Add color or outlining or mustaches if you must. Turn to a new page and do a new one when you want. It is fun to look back and remember doing them and how you felt and you will have a record of your recover in something other than the written word.

    When I was recovering from a bad time once I kept the basket beside my bed and as soon as I woke up I did a 3 to 5 minute collage in a cheap little 4″x6″ spiral notebook. Boom. Distraction and a feeling of satisfaction. You can also do it on an old file folder. Anything.

    Remember that you are not creating art to share (though you probably will). You are flipping, tearing, cutting, folding, pasting, without thought. When you look back you will be impressed at what your fun and wicked subconscious created.

    Have a visitor over? Throw them a few magazines. Cut and tear and paste together and share your creations. You’ll have fun. For the cost of a glue stick.

    Note: All magazines are good but you’ll be surprised how much fodder there is in a New Yorker. Tons of drawings, cartoons, graphics, photos, large and small scale.

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  25. Sweet Edsel looks like a Gremlin in that photo!

    I have no ideas for projects yet but I bet I come up with one in the middle of the night when I’m not sleeping.

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  26. I shared your pee all the time feeling, it was painful. They put me on Methenimine, which sounds more Walter White thannold lady with bladder issues. But it turns your pee into arsenic so it’s actually more Borgia-ish I guess. So I’m just here to recommend meth, .

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  27. I will never see OBGYM the same! You are hilarious, even when dealing with something serious, that would be surgery. Minor surgery, surgery on someone else, no such thing as minor surgery. I’ve never had abdominal surgery, so no suggestion for how you might feel, but I have had hip replacement, which wasn’t exactly a cake walk, probably because they lengthen my leg. I couldn’t sleep, but a little Ambien helped. That’s the best sleep ever. Better life through chemistry. Project suggestions? Declutter your digital photos, then sort them and put them in files/albums (dogs, cats, family, friends, etc.). Oh, how I need to do this! Declutter emails. Go to the library before surgery, check out a stack of books to read. You will have a guilt-free reason to rest and read. Looks like the gym doctor and the pee doctor would be communicating. In the meantime, I will be praying.
    Tee

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  28. I vote for reading some wonderful books which you have not had time for prior to now. Or you could just plan to binge watch every series you ever wanted to see. I hope all goes well and that you are back to feeling better in no time.

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  29. I had a hysterectomy years ago, probably before laparoscopy was invented. So I had surgery, stitches, etc. (Bye-bye you whore of a uterus, but I still have the twins.) I was supposed to stay home for six weeks but I felt fine after a few days and was bored out of my freaking mind, so I went back to work. About ten years ago, my daughter had her appendix removed laparascopically and practically went back to work that afternoon.I think the doctors just want to prepare you for the worst. MedMal, you know.

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    1. OMG, I didn’t mean to sound like such an asshole, minimizing the situation. What I was trying to say was that it wasn’t nearly as bad as advertised. Slinking away now…..

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  30. You’ll need to take it easy physically for a couple of weeks if you have the full procedure so plan sedentary pursuits like reading, binge watching , the photo projects sound good. I’m glad Pam will be there for you.
    I had a huge cyst (thank you fertility drugs) and had to have my right tube and ovary removed to get it all out. He (GYN) showed me pics of everything with funky colored dye on my inner bits. The docs wouldn’t even give me my gallstones when I had that done.

    There were many, tiny like gravel. I saw pics of that too. Nasty. They were not believing me because they didn’t show up on X-rays. The GYN surgeon was great, the gall bladder one was an ass. He bitched that I ruined his Memorial Day weekend by forcing my way in through the ER. I was a diabetic having low blood sugar from all the stomach flu like events 2 or 3 times a week. After he left the room my roommate said, “Fuck him and his four hundred dollar shoes.” THAT was priceless.

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  31. You could buy one of those giant vintage costume jewelry lots that the seller doesn’t want to detangle. Bonus is it’s a sitting project with jewelry reward at the end!

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  32. Wow – what was Eds in a lather about in that picture? He was very not happy!

    What can you do while you’re recovering? Personally, I think it would be a marvelous time to gather your best “not-blog” writings together and start shopping them around for a publishing contract. The world needs to share in all this that is the Book of June.

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  33. Do not get a puppy, we puppy sit for 2 of the kids and puppies are a ton of work and involve lifting and bending, things you should not be doing. You are way more ambitious than me as I would just be looking for shows to binge. I always think if I ever get laid up for a long time I will watch thirtysomething and west wing.

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  34. Had the lap dance myself about 6 years ago. You’ll be sore for about about a week and a half. You’ll also have a bunch of gas which will likely keep you laughing. Just laugh while sitting or laying down. You don’t want to break a hip while you’re recovering.
    You’ll do just fine and we can cheers to ovarian times before long!!

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  35. No horror stories here. I had m’parts out 20 years ago, full surgery, but after a week, I felt mostly just fine. Still took another three weeks leave because stuff has to resettle in there, but there was no agony at all. And, I immediately felt about 100 times better, which is pretty much the point!

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    1. also, potential projects (because that is actually what you asked for). Puppy! Or aA small hooked rug is easy and you can do it while watching TV. Go through your digital photos and make yourself a couple of those photo books from Shutterfly or one of the other services. Read “Dreyer’s English,” if you haven’t. Wonderful cranky copy editing stuff.

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    2. Glad you have a date set to get this taken care of. Helps to have a ‘focus’ point so you know there’s a finish line. Will pray for laparoscopic approach. However, if full surgery is needed the recovery period probably means you can’t lift/lug anything over a certain weight. (Fork-to-mouth is not in that category.) Will pray for the very best outcome and quick and full recovery.

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  36. Hopefully you can have it laparoscopically. That will be easier. Usually they have to open if there’s a lot of scar tissue from previous surgeries. We ran into that issue in our OR the other day. That person had three c sections so she had a lot of scar tissue. They always have to tell you worst case scenario.

    I love you Sex and the City quote about the vagina weights!

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