“By the way, I’ll be having surgery the 10th, so our lesson on the…” I pulled out my phone to check the date, “13th won’t be happening.”
My student’s eyebrows went up, “Oh, okay. My condolences…or my congratulations?”
I felt a wry grin pull at the corners of my mouth, “Congratulations and thanks for the sentiment.”
The student shifted weight uncomfortably as he fiddled with his violin case, “Is it…serious? If you don’t mind my asking” he hurried to add.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been asked this.
“Yes? No? Maybe? I don’t know. I mean, they’re removing a whole organ, but it’s supposed to be a same day surgery, so…yeah.” I shrugged my shoulders as my grin spread. After agreeing that all surgeries are in a way serious, my student then started talking lightly about some of the surgeries he’d had. And that was that.
This conversation has played out so many times in the past 24 hours, and the first question is always “Is it serious?” My violin student was the first to ask if condolences were in order – usually, people just jump to “I’m so sorry!” Don’t get me started on the shock and pity I usually get when I reveal what kind of surgery it is (that’s for a whole ‘nother blog post).
I don’t know how to respond. I’ve had many surgeries in my life – the minority being related to endometriosis- so I’m used to it. Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous, I worry about not waking up, I worry about pain, I worry about germs. There is plenty to concern yourself with if you’re a worrier like I am. That said…
So, let’s go with the safe answer and say it’s serious. It is a surgery, an uncommon one for a person of my age, and I am losing a whole goddamned organ. Does this mean I can’t have my sense of humor about it?
I firmly believe that everything in life, no matter how dark, can be used for humor if -and this is key- done right. So, my losing my uterus…it’s serious, but is it funny?
No, not really. My humor that is peppered through out my posts comes from a place of fear, sadness, and -honestly- anger. It’s a way for me to cope. I’m sorry to be such a downer, but that is the truth and I promised myself I’d be 100% honest with this blog.
Just as I can’t decide if my hysterectomy is “serious” or not, I can’t seem to decide if it’s funny or not. For example: I briefly debated bringing a baby doll into preop with me. Yes, that would be a horrible joke in horrible taste and definitely not funny. But how about the fact that I kind of want to have a vote for what I should wear to surgery (should I wear my Slytherin quidditch pjs? My ElephantPants?)…treating surgery, a serious thing, as if I were going to be displaying my outfit on the runways of Milan (well, I guess there will be photos here. Heads up, I’m fat.), is this even appropriate?
As these bombard my (overworked because it’s fucking Monday) mind, I have to recall all the unfunny, inappropriate things said to me about my choice. I was mocked for being naive (and maybe I am), told I wasn’t a true woman without children, told that I would feel differently in a few years (guess what! I didn’t).
So, maybe my surgery is serious and I should be too. Maybe it isn’t and I should laugh so hard that my uterus just falls out of it’s own accord (sorry for that mental image). But if I’m laughing, then I’m not crying, meaning that I’m at the very least avoiding any sadness I may (or may not) have. Frankly, a little over a week from surgery, I’d like to stay on the funny side.