My name is Jessica, and I'm not going to shut up anymore.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Today I wrote a long email to Dr. H. and confessed.

Today I confessed how bad my pain was before surgery. And also that the medication that he prescribed me for three weeks was taken. In three weeks. Because it was bad.
Really bad.

Today I confess that I'm worried the pain won't go away.
Today I confess that I don't know what else to do at this point.
Today I confess that I am trying to be strong, but it's hard.
Really hard.

I lost 16 lbs since June. Not because I was trying. But because of the nausea before surgery. And now, after surgery, I don't eat much because of the pain. Because I'm scared that any extra pressure in my bowels will just make me feel sick.
And I feel like a chronic complainer. I feel inadequate when I tell my husband "I can't do (fill in the blank) because I don't feel good."

And then when he asks me "why don't you feel good?" I just want to scream at him.
I confess: I do scream back: "WHY DO YOU THINK I DON'T FEEL GOOD?!!!"
So now the protocol is when I say "I don't feel good," he must respond with a mechanical: "Is it Pamela Beard?" I will reply with a sound, "Yes." Conversation: over.

Today I confess that I'm worried about my body becoming addicted or immune to pain management tactics. Like drugs. Meditation. Breathing. Heating pads. Stress eating.

Today I confess that I strive to lead by example. And I'm not worried about the example I'm leading for my students--it's more for myself. When is it okay to get up and leave work? When is it okay to call off sick? When is it okay to "suck it up?" When is it okay to take pain meds when the world is telling you that you'll become a drug addict?

I confess: I wish men had uteruses.
I don't know what difference it would make. But, like all things, isn't it easier to understand someone when you have the tiniest idea what they're going through?
I confess: I wish all people held virtues of compassion. But the truth is, they don't.

So Dear Dr. H,
I'm an over-achiever who thought this (third) laparoscopic surgery would be a piece-of-cake.
I confess: it is not.


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