Drugstore Cowgirl

I decided not to take my computer to the hospital. The lighter the load and the fewer the valuables, the better they said. So I made this little video on my phone right before surgery. I was the last scheduled surgery for the day for my doctor (whom I love). But the two surgeries before mine were very complicated and took longer than expected. So my surgery which was scheduled for 3pm didn’t happen until 7:30! I was restless and frustrated, mainly because I was afraid they were going to reschedule me. Because of all of the  rejection and frustration I’ve seen over the last couple of years, I was preparing for the worst.

But it happened! They wheeled me in and my doctor was there along with his very sweet and chipper staff- one after the other confirming the nature of the surgery, confirming that I knew I would never get pregnant (I laughed at this one), and having me sign off on everything. I asked my doctor if he did a full “poking around”. I told him about my friend who’s doctor ended up finding a very early stage ovarian cancer on her so I was terrified by what else he might find. He assured me that a) it’s a one in a thousand chance I would have ovarian cancer and b) he would do a full inventory of all my lady parts and not to worry.

Virginia was standing by my gurney/stretcher thingy the whole time until the last minute. When she grabbed my bag and hers to go to the waiting room, I started to cry and she looked at me…of course she started to cry too, not for any other reason but just separation anxiety I guess. It felt like the first day of Kindergarten when you feel so relaxed and confident and then your mom has to leave and your whole world comes crashing in on you.  She stayed another minute and I wiped my tears.

The operating room was FREEZING. I transferred from my stretcher to the operating table. The light fun attitude of the staff and residents and other assisting doctors  made me feel very at ease. The anesthesiologist looked kind of like this guy:

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TJ Miller from HBO’s Silicon Valley. He assured me that he was going to take me to a happy place. I believed him. Going under always seems scarier than it ends up being. I’ve had surgeries before and there is a little “appetizer” like drug you feel when you’re still awake that makes you SO OK WITH EVERYTHING. And then boom. GONE. No memory, no sense of time. I just woke up high as a kite with no pain at all-just kind of a small sensation in my gut- mainly as the gurney traveled from room to room, any groove in the floor jiggled my body ever so slightly and I could feel the swelling in my abdomen and the cut they had made…it all jiggled. Not painful though. I heard someone say, “…No, I gave her the Dilaudid.”

Holy shit! I’m on Dilaudid?! No wonder I felt so good! I was Drugstore Cowgirl. I was totally at peace, totally ok. I could hear Virginia’s voice and the nurse talking to her. I wasn’t super clear on what they were saying, but I assumed everything was ok. And if it wasn’t, I was cool with that too. I had come out of surgery and now I was just going to sleep. I knew that if they had to dose me up with Dilaudid, I was in for a rough ride ahead. But for now, I would sleep. I heard Virginia say, “OK Amy I’m going to let you sleep and I will come back tomorrow.” “Thank you, Virginia, for staying with me…” I fell back to sleep.

Drugstore Cowgirl

Surgery rescheduled!

 

Just a quick announcement: my surgery is coming sooner than expected. March 9th! Praise the Lord. I am tossing and turning through the night now because of the pain. Its a low grade menstrual cramp-like pain…along with feeling like I have a brick in there.

I was talking with a friend yesterday about the pain and the upcoming surgery and he said, “It seems like the female anatomy is so flawed in its design, with all of the troubles you all have”. But I refuse to believe that as a species we are so inherently flawed. I think it’s the environment we live in. If over half of women over 40 have uterine fibroids, there has to be something wrong. Those statistics drop when you look at other countries. Cancer and mental illness are higher here in USA. Ultimately we are living longer in a more toxic world.

I’m looking forward to having all of this behind me; to having no more pain in my abdomen and lower back. I’m looking forward to having energy again, to hiking again, and to sleeping well again. Until next time…

Love, Amy

Surgery rescheduled!

A Brief Timeline of Symptoms

 

Hello! I just wanted to give you all a little summary of the events that led up to this place. After 15 years in Los Angeles, I had moved back to Texas to take a break and figure out what the hell was next with my life. I had a brother in Austin with two kids and I just wanted to be Aunt Amy for a while. It was around this time (2010) that I noticed my periods had become so heavy I couldn’t even make it through an hour (super plus tampon and full pad) without soiling myself. I would teach a yoga class for one hour and would be running to the bathroom immediately following. A few times I almost fainted…and I became severely anemic.

At the time I didn’t have insurance so I didn’t see a doctor until 2012. An Ultrasound showed that I had 3 Uterine fibroids that weren’t terribly big. We would watch them and in the meantime I had an IUD (Mirena) put in. The Mirena IUD is made of plastic (as opposed to the copper kind) and it emits the tiniest amount of progesterone which controls the bleeding. That part was an incredible relief. But I will say, almost immediately I had weird joint issues, mainly in my hip flexors. I would be standing there and out of nowhere I would get this crazy pain that would make me buckle over. So embarrassing. Also, I would get the craziest rush of water as discharge. Gross right? Sorry, but I have to share. The worst symptom, however, is the low grade depression. I have NEVER been a depressed person! Always hopeful and productive and full of ideas and action. Since making my film, North Blvd, I have been so unproductive, feeling hopeless and generally foggy. I started to connect the dots. A lot of women have no issues with IUD’s but I am not one of those women. I think they are best for younger women. But when over half of women over the age of 40 have uterine fibroids, things can go wrong- in my case, the fibroids grew and basically pulled the IUD deeper into my Uterus.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful and feel free to comment and ask questions. Have a good day.

Love,

Amy

A Brief Timeline of Symptoms