The requisite recovery period

**This post contains images of my insides**

The saga of This Damn Cyst (at least as we currently know it) is finally done.  On Tuesday, I showed up an Northwestern, was bestowed with some really good drugs, and remained blotto from noon to roughly 6pm while my very large cyst (and its not-so-large friend on the opposite side) were excised.  The good news is they’re gone.  …The bad news is that I’m up one diagnosis of endometriosis, so they could send friends.  Let’s look at what I got sucked out of a tiny hole in my abdomen, shall we?

Ick.  Goodbye forever, TDC.

Bonus:  My liver.  That is one, sexy, shiny, healthy looking liver.  I’m not sure why, but I derive some weird pleasure out of peeking at my organs, particularly when they want to look all healthy.

So… I did the thing (or rather, the surgeon did the thing), and today is day… 4? 5? of recovery.  (Do we count Tuesday as day 1 or day 0?) The whole process is supposed to take 2-4 weeks.  It’s a weird process for me for a lot of reasons.  First off: I’m in basically no pain.  I haven’t been the entire time.  I’ve been taking some ibuprofen and… that’s about it.  You’d think that this would be great.  And it is, I’m super grateful.  But it’s also weird, because, like, there’s no reason for me to be taking it easy.  Except for the three holes punched in my body where they don’t really belong.

My relationship to rest and recovery is… contentious.  I don’t like letting other people take care of me.  We’ve already talked about that before, but I probably cannot stress enough I do not like letting other people take care of me.  I don’t trust the process.  I don’t like needing people or needing things.  I’ve often wished I didn’t need anything at all.  Ever.  So having to lean into letting people do things in my house while I get extra rest, all while I feel completely fine is really weird.

But I will say, finally having the procedure done and over with, finally getting out of the lobby of life, and back into moving forward feels good.  Mentally.  It feels productive.  It feels like possibility and the promise of things changing.  It feels like being able to get back to doing the things I enjoy without being self-conscious or feeling like I need to treat my body like a china doll.

Things I’ve worried about since This Damn Cyst showed up:

  • wearing corsets (will they squeeze the wrong spot?  Will I rupture a cyst and end up in the hospital again?)
  • my self-image (for reference, TDC was the same size as an 18-week-old fetus, so I just had to wander around wondering if I looked 4 months pregnant to anyone else?)
  • This was more of an annoyance than a *worry* per se, but going along with the size of TDC was the fact that it was shoving all my internal organs over to the right.  My uterus, my bladder.  Basically I just had to pee all the time, and it was a giant hassle and I hated it.

Basically just a bunch of random extra things to weigh on my mind, as if my usual melange of mental illnesses weren’t enough.  It’s nice to not have to worry about those for now.

…Of course, the thing I get to worry about now is being homicidally psychotic again, because the best treatment for endometriosis is hormonal birth control and, spoiler alert, when I was on it in my 20’s, it made me want to kill people and regularly self-harm.  But… I wasn’t on antidepressants then, so maybe my trusty Zoloft will keep me from cracking up.  I’m not on HBC yet, but we’ll see how things develop at my follow-up on the 18th.


Lastly, I’ll just say that I cannot wait for these bruises to subside, because I’ve been avoiding booking photoshoots for months, and I’m so excited to get back in front of a camera.

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