Angry 911 Dispatcher. Cloudy days. Hopeless romantic. Fall leaves. firefighter. Puppies. Music. EMT. History. Photography. Art. Poetry. Love. Pain. Friends. Laughter. Kindness. Snow. Deep thoughts. Challenging conversations. Books. Vintage everything.
Me: Go into work at midnight to eight.
My body from 12am to 7:59am: I’m so sleepy.
My body at 8:00: WOOOOO HOOOO. Let’s go run a marathon. We have things to do. Clean the house! Wash the car! Who needs sleep?! C’mon, let’s go!!
Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy 10x22 "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (via alone-in-your-thoughts)
Thank you! <3
I know I have been absent for awhile. I have been busy trying to get some things done. Last week, I had surgery. I wanted to talk about it because all the research I have done paints the type of surgery I had in a negative light. While I can see how some women would consider it negative, I think it’s important to see things from another perspective. Last week, I had a labiaplasty. For those of you who don’t know what that is or are unsure of that procedure, it is a procedure where the labia is reduced by surgical means. Basically, my doctor cut off excess skin. Most places and insurance companies consider this a cosmetic procedure. Women seem to be having all kinds of genital procedures to make their vaginas look “pretty”. For me, this was not why I had the procedure. Things in my life have never been easy and that goes for my vagina as well. I am prone to cysts. I get them in my labia quite frequently. Most of them go away. However, there is the occasional one that wants to be stubborn and refused to heal. Usually this means I have to have it lanced. This is a terribly painful procedure. it all started about 8 years ago. I had a lump develop in that area. It grew from a quarter sized lump to the size of a baseball size overnight. This resulted in emergency surgery. They had to put me under just long enough to lance the area and place a drain. I had to wear the drain for a few days to make sure everything came out. Once it was healed, I was left with a pea sized hole as a reminder of the experience. Two years ago, I developed a cyst on the opposite side. It wouldn’t go away so I went to my gyno to have it looked it. They lanced it and it went away…..for awhile. Then it came back and this routine went on for two years. Each time it was lanced, I developed more scar tissue and more permanent damage to my lady parts. My gyno has been unable to tell me why these cysts appear or what causes them. The only explanation he could come up with was my excessive labia. He told me that he could do a labiaplasty. He said it would be a complicated procedure. It would require an overnight hospital stay. The idea of surgery didn’t excite me. He then told me that he only does about one of those a year, and that really prompted me to seek out a second opinion. A few months ago, I decided to consult a plastic surgeon who specializes in the labiaplasty to see if he do the procedure. Meanwhile, I still have this cyst that is growing. While it’s growing, it’s causing a lot of pain and putting a huge damper on my sex life. The plastic surgeon looked at me and said that I needed to see a gyno/oncologist in order take care of the cyst. The idea of having to go to an oncologist scared the crap out of me. With everything else I have going on down there, now I could have cancer on top of it. Great! Finally get to see the gyno/onco and he schedules surgery right away. Surgery to take care of the cyst, which isn’t cancer (yay!) and surgery to remove the excess skin. Once again, he can’t tell me why these cysts come up either. His only suggestion is the skin. So we are going to remove it as well. This will be outpatient surgery and back to work in two weeks. So here I am a week and a half post op and I don’t even know where to begin. My parts are sutured in all sorts of places. The cyst had created nearly eight tunnels and the excess skin was growing into the tunnels. He stated he had to remove so much more than he thought just to get the cyst out. So regardless, I guess I was destined to get my skin cut off anyway. The pain is manageable, as long as I’m still. Don’t get me wrong. The pain is constantly there and sometimes it’s more than I think I can stand, but so far I have been able to manage the pain with Advil. When I saw my vagina for the first time post op, I cried. I cried because I had no idea how self conscious I had been about all that skin until it was gone. I don’t consider myself a vain type of woman. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t dress up. I consider myself a butch kind of girl. I had no idea how much the skin really was impacting my thoughts, until it wasn’t there anymore. Right now, I am pretty sure my vagina looks as though Edward Scissorhands operated on it, but from everything I can find that’s pretty normal. I now have what I call a “vagina routine”. The area has to stay dry. Bathroom times have been increased by at least twenty minutes and shower times increased by at least an hour. Let’s not forget keeping it extra dry by using a hair dryer or sitting spread eagle in front of my fan. After almost two weeks, I am getting pretty good at the routine. Anyway, why am I telling you all this about myself? Everything I can find about labiaplasty has a negative connotation. It is been labeled genital mutilation and female circumcision. I can’t speak for women who decide to have this procedure because they don’t feel like their vaginas look they way they are supposed to. I would have never had my skin removed because of cosmetic issues. I’m just not that kind of girl. However, I am so relieved that the skin is gone. I am so relieved that my cyst is gone. I don’t feel like I gave up a part of my womanhood either. I don’t feel like my doctor circumcised me or mutilated me. Now that it’s over, I feel like this is one of the best decisions I have ever made about my body. No more pain when I sit down from skin getting caught in places. I am in a committed relationship that I plan on being in forever, but if ever there is a new sexual partner to come about, I won’t have to warn her ahead of time about the two protrusions down below. No more extra skin with scar tissue and holes. I never would have thought two pieces of skin would cause so many issues. For the first time in my life, I feel pretty normal looking down there. That makes me happy. So for those of you out there who are anti-labiaplasty for feminist reasons, I get it I really do. Hell, I am pretty feministic myself and am all for woman empowerment. Before you start picketing, please consider the perspective and the reasoning behind why a woman would get this procedure. It’s not always about conforming to fit some vagina mold. For me, it was about health reasons. For me it was about feeling good about how my vagina looks and feels for the first time in my life. No one forced me to do this, I did it on my own accord. I did it for me and no one else. And I’m sure I am just one of many.