Surgery, Mamie and Womaning Up

Hey y’all. It’s been a long time. First it was deadlines. But then things got a little deep when I had to deal with this thing that actually happened inside of my body. I had a routine surgical procedure at the vag-doc’s.

Although this procedure cost $3,000 (I know the cash value because the pre-op letter told me), the insurance company didn’t even have to pre-certify it. But it still required anesthesia. And it hurt. And it made me feel alone and weepy.

Thoughts of mortality came up, followed by some worrying about whether I’ll ever be a mother. Then I wondered if the routine biopsy they’re doing will prove that the shit they scraped out is as innocuous as they think it is.

Anyway, before I could throw a proper happy hour at Club Neurotic, I found out that my Grandmother, Mamie Nichols, was in the hospital.

Mamie is damn-near a mythic figure. She got married at 27 (yes, back then), had six kids, started one of the first Home and School associations in Philly, cleaned floors to help pay the bills, got a master’s in social work at 40, buried her husband, started a community organization at about 50, stayed fighting gentrification through her 80s and still lives alone and reads every paper every day at age 90.

Mamie’s a strong, serious, race woman who has never had or made time to play games with her insides or outsides. She’s one of those Depression-era ladies who would still pull a knife if she thought she could successfully shank a bad guy with her arthritic fingers.

Thinking about my Grandmother’s and my insides has been sobering, but empowering too. If Mamie can do all she did and still live her life right, a little bit a of surgery at a Manhattan doc’s office isn’t gonna kill my privileged, insured, early 30s ass. Right?



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3 responses to “Surgery, Mamie and Womaning Up

  1. Aliya S. King


  2. Rochelle

    It won’t kill you, but there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that you felt “alone and weepy.” There’s strength in admitting our fears…

  3. serenakim

    Oh sorry that you had to go through a gynecological procedure. Those suck doggy-doo. I had the worst thing happen to me once at Murray Hill OB Gyn. I almost thought about protesting with posterboards to try and dissuade any women from going in, but I didn’t want them to think I was some kind of pro-Life freak… Well, our hearts and minds are with you. Thank you for sharing…

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