It's cheaper, easier and opens doctors to much less liability to just give you a hysterectomy; but what it does to the woman is unthinkable. Without your womb (at such an early age), your hormones go insane and many women end up deeply depressed because the body is confused and doesn't know how to regulate your hormones. Everything gets out of whack because you're too far away from menopause. Hormone replacement therapy rarely works and especially not on young women. And the horror stories I heard from my Puerto Rican sisters who were given a hysterectomy without their consent was beyond terrible. Not only is it a form of genocide giving women in their 20's and 30's unnecessary and unauthorized hysterectomies; often, they remove the womb and then replace it with a plastic womb which of course collapses a few years dow the road and it so difficult to remove because scar tissue has formed around it. So you live your life in constant, life-dimming pain.
Everywhere I went: they took one look at my black skin, consulted their rulebooks about how to deal with the 1 in 3 black women with fibroids and determined and basically summed up my predicament the same way as the woman doctor at the NYC Fertility Clinic did. I'm paraphrasing, but this is the summation:
Yeah, saving your womb means 3 hours in surgery where you could bleed out, so let me just take care of it, won't you. And I mean, they're 17 of them, they could be cancerous. Besides, removing them 1:1 could take forever and then I'd have to sew you back up. It would be a swiss cheese job and you still probably couldn't conceive. If I were your doctor, I schedule you for surgery today, I wouldn't wait.
Did this hip pixie-wearing, feminist-sign-toting white WOMAN doctor just tell me the best she could do "was swiss cheese" my womb because it wasn't worth her time to do better?
Is that what I'm hearing?
And then she wanted her $500 check because she didn't take insurance.
I was so upset, I started weeping in her office because I was tired, in pain and scared shitless...and then my anger kicked in.
Sorry, saving my womanhood would be such an trial for you you, but I need my womb: because it's mine! And I come from four generations of women who didn't have their say...
"Fuck you very much for inconveniencing you."
This...was the final straw, this woman was supposed to be on my side. She couldn't be bothered.
You know what got me through this time?
How Writing Saved My Life
Stephen King's On Writing where he says, write every day, no matter what saved my life. Basically hea advises that you lock yourself in a room, tell your family, "do not fuck with me until the door is open and leave lunch outside the door" and sit in front of that computer with the internet turned off for 6 hours everyday even if nothing good comes up. Don't have 6 hours, write for 1 hour or 30 mins or 10 mins during your commute, just don't ever miss a day. I'm paraphrasing, but he was right.
For 2 years, I never missed a day of my morning pages. Never. I wrote down what scared me during every doctors visit, I wrote down how I felt that day. I wrote down the details of the plane ride to the Cleveland clinic, I wrote down the stories my mother told me about my great grandmother, grandmother and her and how they suffered this loss. And I wrote down my mother's words:
"Do not let them take your womb. You keep meeting doctors until you meet one who says, yes. Do not take no for an answer because if you don't fight for your womanhood, they will take it away and leave you with so many other health problems...depression being a the top of the list"
I heard Mommy. I shivered with fear, but everytime fear came up...I wrote. 2 years later, I was healthy, tumor and cancer-free with a wonderful Ob-GYN in my corner and a doctor of Chinese medicine whose work saved my womb. I wrote everytime the fear came up and it make me open up to new ideas, new strategies for finding help. And most importantly, it led me to finally finish my play "Good Bread Alley" about my great-grandmother and grandmother whose struggle to balance their womanhood with the harsh realities of a the Jim Crow South were the stuff of legend.
In 2009, I was told that I had 17 tumors in my womb and no one knew if they were benign or what...they just had to come out because they were pushing against my vital organs and my womb probably had to go to...
Uhm, I was still looking for my "baby, daddy" and the clock was ticking. I was like totally, are you serious. There has to be another way. I went all over the country to 16 different doctors trying to find one who would operate on me and at least try to save my womb.
I mean, four generations of women in my family had all lost their wombs without their consent at the same exact age I was when this was happening. (Wish I was making that shit up)
Writing saved my life. It saved my life as I sat there in examination room after painful examination. Writing gave me the courage to go on. To not take no for an answer. To forge ahead even though it was painful to breathe, to walk...
Writing helped me feel like I still had a place in this world and something worth coming back to...writing would not allow me to forget my life, my blessings and all the stories left to tell and loves to live out.
Writing saved my life...
So why do you write?
- To move people....
- To do what you're good at doing...
- To practice a craft that acts as society's conscience...
- To be a truth teller, right?
- To "put a dent in the universe" as Steve Job says
- Leave the world a little better than you found it?
Well, guess what?
If no one ever gets to see your work,
none of these things will happen....
You have to schedule writing time and then treat it like a chemo treatment.
You wouldn't miss that, would you?
What will guarantee that your work gets seen?
Skill and a business plan Both of these things can take years to learn trying to do it on your own. Or it could cost you thousands of dollars going to school to learn it.
But what if you're already a grown-ass person with responsibilities and can't go back to school?
That's what mentors were invented for
Instead of reinventing the wheel, you find someone who has done what you want to do and create a mentor relationship with them...
That will cut your learning time by 75% because you have someone who has already made the mistakes and become a success anyway guiding you.
How do you do that? What if it's someone famous and you have no way to reach them? Or you don't even know who you'd like to be your mentor
Well, that's what's this video is about:
Find a Writing Mentor & a 12 min Lesson in Structure
Love, Light & Power,
April & TheWritersRoom Team
P.S. Got questions, comments? Post them in the comments below and we'll be sure to respond!
Click HERE now to sign up if you're not already registered.