sexual assault · women

Just Another Woman’s Story

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When I was in my early 20s, my mother and I went for a walk along my favorite nature trail near Wolfe’s Neck off the coast of Freeport. For years I would hike this same path by myself. I loved nothing more than to feel the sea breeze on my face and smell the salt air as I hiked the winding trails along the ocean.

We pulled into the parking lot that autumn day and I immediately noticed a man with dark hair pull into the spot next to us. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, but for whatever reason, I brushed off this feeling. There were other people scattered around, what could happen?

We trekked along deeper into the woods toward the glittering sea in the distance, the tall pines and birch trees hugging the sides of the path. Another typical crisp autumn day. Soon we heard soft footsteps behind us. I turned and the man with the dark hair jogged by us in silence. My mom and I continued our chattering, not paying much attention to what was waiting around the bend. Suddenly, the man was standing in the trail facing us and holding his shorts in his hands. We froze. My heart stopped. He lifted up his hands and exposed himself. “Hi ladies, what time is it?”

At first I was shocked, my mind wouldn’t compute — this can’t be happening!  Then a million thoughts flooded my mind. We are all alone out in the woods with this guy! What is he going to do? What if he has a knife or a gun? Is he going to kill us? Is he going to rape us? Should I yell? Should I scream? Holy shit is he really standing there naked in front of us? Is this some kind of joke? Am I seeing things?

My mom — god love her — actually had the courage to say something back. She straightened up, stared directly at him and laughed, “I think time is the least of your problems, buddy.” This threw him off, as he slunk back into the bushes and disappeared. I was shaking like a leaf. My heart was exploding out of my chest. Not only was this the most disturbing thing to witness (and in front of my own mother)) but now, we had to make our way back to the parking lot in the other direction for fear he would pop out of the woods again and do god knows what. Longest walk of my life. (This was before cell phones, so we had no way to notify anyone of what had just happened.)

We finally looped around the entire park and reached the gate. I had to describe our story to the man stationed there. He called the police and I had to detail my humiliating story all over again to him.

Turns out, this man had done this many times up and down the coast on different trails to random women and young girls. Yes, he never actually did anything physical. Yes, he was finally caught and arrested. Yes, I can laugh a little about how absurd the whole thing was now.

And yes — this single harmless experience caused me to never, ever walk on that trail or any other trail outside again for years. This man, because of his depraved urge, took away my sense of safety, my god-given right to freely walk and enjoy the outdoors, something that I adore immensely.

To this day, I carry pepper spray when I walk alone. I hold it in my clenched fist, ready to spray the shit out of any man who jumps out of the nearest tree. I constantly look everywhere, I’m always aware of my surroundings, because hey, that man over there might do something or that guy over there might say something or hey, I might be abducted, raped or murdered.

To men — most of you have no goddamned idea what this is like.

And I wasn’t even physically touched. I wasn’t raped or sexually abused or attacked. Imagine what it’s like for a woman who was. The fear, anxiety and soul-crushing torture of shame and guilt she faces the rest of her life. The rest of her life! It will color and shape everything she thinks or feels or believes for years to come. It never really goes away. Never. No amount of therapy or alcohol or drugs will stamp out that memory that is seared onto her soul. She can overcome it, yes. But she will never forget it.

Sadly — but not surprisingly — since the creepy man on the trail,  I’ve experienced sexual harassment at work from my boss, unwanted groping from strangers, and general leering and verbal abuse many, many times from men*. The sexual harassment at work only five years ago sent me into a tailspin of nonstop anxiety attacks that put me on anti-anxiety meds for 2 years. Of course, I quit the job — I had to. No amount of money in my paycheck matters. Even now, years later, the mere chance of me running into this asshole randomly when I’m in the same town sends me into the nearest bathroom stall hyperventilating with full-blown panic attacks.

And I wasn’t even raped. I’m one of the “lucky” ones.

Hopefully, my own daughter will be “lucky”, too. And that’s sad as hell.

This post is inspired by fellow blogger, Jess.
You can read her post here What it’s Like to be a Woman in America

*Note: I do realize not all men are like this, some always treat women with dignity and respect and if you are one of those men, kudos to you.





This is (Almost) 50

I bought a high-powered magnifying mirror the other day. Just what I need, all the horrifying details of my face magnified 10,000 times.

I peered into the mirror to begin ripping out my eyebrows when,


[mournful cry]


And it’s not like we can get away with it. Oh, no. People tend to notice your face pretty much all the time. You can’t walk into a room backwards and say,

“Greetings, everyone! So thrilled I could make it to this committee meeting about committee meetings! [covering face with a manila folder] Please, ignore the hideousness that is now my face. Just stare at my ass from now on. Yes, my ass is all you’re gonna see. Talk right into the crack, it’s okay. Deal with it.”


Sometimes I think I’d like to play around with what society thinks is “normal” and “not clinically insane”. Like clothes. What we wear every day. Sure, I could wake up, stretch, put on a shirt…maybe some pants. Walk down the street. Go to work.

I’m too sexy for this headband.

Orrr….I could wear a headband. Yeah, just a headband around my giant forehead all damned day. “Yeah, that’s right. I’m wearing a John McEnroe headband. On my fucking head. At work. Boom.” What, are they gonna fire me for that? Nowhere in my 10,000-page employee handbook does it state that I cannot wear a headband. Why not go really crackers and start wearing a snorkel and a cape to Target? Live it up, I say! Create new fashion trends! You’re old, who gives a shit! Be eccentric! Fight society’s stupid rules!



The other day I was checking out at the doctor’s office — sporting a hot pink welding helmet, natch — and the receptionist hands me a little card for the next appointment.

Then she says…”and you can call and schedule the mammogram when it’s convenient for you. ”

Hold up. I can call? Me? When in bloody hell is having a mammogram convenient for me? This chick thinks I am going to waltz out of the office, race home and

[picking up phone] “Hi! Yes! I need to have my tits squashed for about 45 minutes! Can you please sign me up right away! Yes yes, as soon as possible!” I mean, never ever give me a chance at putting off a mammogram.

I always complain about the mammogram to my husband. I’m 48 — so I’ve had a few. My boobs now? Just flaps. Sad flaps hanging down to my ankles. This is what those x-ray machines are doing to me. And my boobs always hurt now. I’ll be sitting in my office typing away and….ooh! Ow! What the? Shit! OW! OW! Is that a hot poker in my tit?!

Getting old means random excruciating pains that come out of nowhere then disappear. My husband will be lying on the couch watching MASH reruns.
Suddenly he’s cringing and crying, “Ah! Oh! What the? My nuts! My nut hurts! Kill me now! Oh, now it’s gone. Huh.”

Basically after 18 years of marriage this is what our foreplay amounts to:
“My nuts hurt!” “My tits hurt!” “MY NUT!” “MY TIT!”


My husband and I have lived together for 20 years. Twenty years of getting to know each other’s bodies and all the weird medical shit that can happen as you grow older and gradually fall apart. For fun, we constantly feel and examine our own bodies, looking for various lumps and bumps. Piece of advice for you newlyweds out there: When your significant other says to you, “Hey honey, feel this lump…” don’t feel it.


True, our bodies decay, but it’s slow enough to make it seem like an eternity. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, it do. Oh, it do. 

Like my waist. Actually, I don’t a waist in the general sense of the term. What used to be my waist is buried under this bulbous, bloated blob that once upon a time was called “my abs”.

I used to have fat around the lower part, but now the upper abdomen has joined in on the fun. My daughter gave me a hug one day and said in that sweet Shirley Temple voice of hers: “You know what I love about you, Mommy? Your three humps. They’re just so squishy!” Then she pokes me in my three humps and runs off giggling.

Three humps: my boobs, my upper and lower abdomen. Of course, the great thing is my 3 humps are now morphing into one giant shitshow. You know how they label women’s body shapes fruits? You can be a pear or an apple?
I’m a fucking cantaloupe.

And the bonus part? My pants constantly slide down. My entire day is me ever-so-inconspicuously pulling up my goddamned pants. First I pick the wedge, then I hitch ’em up. Pick, hitch, pick, hitch. I’m like an rotund oompa loompa — all belly. I’ve tried belts, doesn’t work. It’s like putting a rubber band around a balloon.

“What do you do when your tits and abs morph?”   “I don’t like the look of it.”



And why do men care if we are a little chunky? A little fluffy? Why do we as women care? I wish I could’ve been there that day back in caveman times, when they’re all sitting around an open fire, picking bison out of their teeth with a sharp stick, and the man looks at the woman and says, “Hey, good bison. By the way….y’know…I don’t know how to say this but uh….you’re getting a little chunk in the trunk. Maybe you should try slimming down a bit. Yeah, then life would be sa-weet.”


Of course, along with our bodies, the senses all start to collectively go to shit too. I can’t see or hear much of anything anymore. I was in a deep sleep the other night, my mind dancing on the periphery of a dream, when I heard this faraway noise. Bang, bang, bang.

It was soft as first, but as I stirred awake it became louder. Bang! Bang! Bang! I wiped the cobwebs from my eyes and listened. Bang! Bang! Bang! Was that coming from outside? I got up, crept over to the open window and listened again.  Bang! Bang! Bang! It sounded like someone was methodically and maniacally hitting something or someone with something!  (Hey, I was still half-asleep, it was all my brain could muster.)

Clearly, our drunk neighbors were engaging in some kind of weird midnight squirrel-sacrificing ritual. It’s amazing the things that run through your mind as you’re standing half-naked in an open window:

OH MY GOD! WHAT IS HAPPENING? HOLY SHIT — I really really really think our neighbor is burying someone in his garden! shhh! There it is again! [Bang! bang! bang!] Maybe he’s hitting someone with a log? [Bang! bang! bang!] You’d think they’d be dead by now.  I mean, if this guy’s going to be taking on a career as a serial killer, he really needs to up his game. [BANG BANG BANG] Maybe people are trapped inside a metal 4 by 4 container underground and their only hope is to clang on the walls with a piece of wood? What do I do? What do I do? Call 911? [This is when I began running around in circles, my boobs flapping all about]

I was thisclose to waking up my snoring husband when I turned and saw it: Ohhhh.

It was the bedroom door. [ahem] The bedroom door was softly thumping against the door frame because of the wind blowing through the open window. THE DOOR.  No, it wasn’t a serial killer sacrificing small animals in my backyard but a door.



Getting old sucks all around. Especially when you’re getting old and so are your kids. I was tucking my 11-year-old daughter in bed the other night. We talked about the usual —  Andi Mack, bullies at school, the fact we’re all gonna die one day — I gently kissed her forehead. I’m about to creep out the door when she sat up, looked me dead straight in the eyes and said, “Mommy? I wanna know all about genitals.”


My daughter is like me, straight-forward, no bullshit, just the facts, ma’am. The other night I sat down beside her with a heavy sigh. I held her close and gently stroked her downy hair. I whispered, “What ever happened to my baby girl? Why, just yesterday you were a sweet baby with a cute widdle binky, wearing widdle onesies and a widdle bow in your hair. You used to snuggle in my arms for hours while I rocked you to sleep. What happened to her? Where is that girl?”

My daughter deadpanned, “That girl died years ago.”


And that, my friends, is why I drink on occasion.


(Fine, I’m not really almost 50, but I’m almost 48. And 50 is just sitting there. Like some big dead end.)



Woman Gets Shred of Sanity Back During Commute

Greetings fellow bloggers, bored cats, and heavily tattooed men in orange jumpsuits wasting their 10 minutes of Internet time because they googled “Kim Kardashian Boobs”!

Not only do I blog here at She’s a Maineiac, I’m also a seasoned reporter, interviewing poor slobs about their redonkulous lives.

You might remember my last report, Woman Refuses to Live in the Moment, in which gluten-freak Oprah dished out unsolicited advice to a broke woman and her farting asthmatic cat, Mr. Wankers.


No? Well, shut up and eat a bagel.

Now time for today’s report!


Sometimes the daily grind of life is all too much for one 47-year-old woman from the quaint coastal village of East Scrotum, Maine (not to be confused with Scrotum’s Point, a sad little town north of South Bunghole).

Ah yes, Maine — The Way Life Should Be.™

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Unless your life should be that you’re perpetually broke, your feet ache, your boobs sag, and your shit stinks.*

I met up with Starla Turdbucketsen early one morning to see how she does it. How does she survive in today’s crazy-ass world? How in god’s name does she wake up every effing day — remember who she is — yet continue to get up anyway?

“It ain’t easy,” Starla sighed, blowing a steady stream of smoke into my face.

“So, you smoke cigarettes now?”


“Let’s talk about your life. Who is Starla Turdbucketsen? You’re a daughter of an elderly parent who thinks Elvis reincarnated as a 13-year-old gospel singer from Sweden. You’re a mom of a teen who thinks he’s going to college to triple major in YouTube Celebrity/Video Gamer/Culinary Farts. You’re a mom to a tween daughter. You’re a wife to a man who incessantly watches MASH reruns in his underwear.”


“Starla, in the past year, you’ve gone through menopause, major surgery, and the legal separation of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. You work two jobs, yet you’re wearing a bra you bought circa 1989. Any thoughts, insights or revelations you’d care to share with us about being a modern woman in today’s society?”

“Well, if I have to pluck one more freaking gray hair out of my chin, I swear I’m gonna lose my shit. So there’s that. ”

“So, why do it? What gets you going day after day? Why not just drive your Toyota Corolla into the nearest brick wall?”

“The commute.”

“The what?”

“Are you deaf, you unbelievable nimrod? The commute!”

Oh yeah, the work commute!

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(And yes, my doctor says I’m currently suffering from progressive hearing loss, but let’s get back to Starla and her desperate attempt to cling to those last few scraps of sanity.)

Let’s face it — most of our lives would be a never-ending shit parade if not for those blissful 28 minutes of the morning when you are alone in your car, driving to your soul-sucking job.

I think most harried Americans would agree, the commute is that rare time when you are free to let it all go. That’s right…just take a deep breath…roll down the windows to air out the stench of “medicinal” marijuana…crank some hip-hop…and forget our president is a cross between Forrest Gump and Gary Busey.

Slide1“What is it about the commute that appeals to you, Starla?”

“Two words: No. News.”

“Two more words: ‘Nuff said.”

And so concludes another in-depth interview! Stay tuned next week when I ask Starla her take on the current nuclear crisis with North Korea! (Preview: She thinks it’s the classic “my missile/ego/therapy bill is bigger than yours” dust-up)


*In 2007, the Maine State Tourism Board fired the marketing director after he presented the slogan: Maine: The Way Life Should Be (Except For Those Who Are Perpetually Broke & Their Feet Ache & Their Boobs Sag & Their Shit Stinks. If That’s You–Move To New Hampshire.)



14 Menopause Tips That Might Just Save A Life


  1. Never say to the woman, “This must be the menopause talking, right?”

    The moment before all hell breaks loose.
  2. For hot flashes, freeze a washcloth, then slap your husband upside the head with it.
  3. Still feeling blazing hot? Carry a good portable fan.

    Oh, darling, I do declare I shall hit you in the head with this here fan!
  4. Make mood swings fun. Get out a timer and count how many intense emotions you feel in three minutes. Then throw the timer at your husband.
  5. Practice saying sincerely to your spouse: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, honest. It’s the menopause talking.” Then strike the classic ‘Hold head in hands and look tormented’ pose.
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  6. See a mom with a newborn and think, That will never be me again! Yay!
  7. See a mom with a newborn and think, That will never be me again! STILL YAY!!!
  8. Realize that you’ve entered the I-Don’t-Give-Two-Shits-Anymore stage of your life and it is glorious.
  9. Crying a lot? Keep tissues in your bra. Worked for my grandmother.
  10. Chocolate is soothing. Always have it handy for those moments you feel like punching someone in the throat. I keep a bag of chocolate chips in my bra.
  11. Go full-on “old lady”. Buy the National Enquirer, a gallon of butter pecan ice cream, and a jug of cheap white zinfandel. Say things like, “She’s much too busty” or “That Harrison Ford sure is one hot ticket.” Get a short tight perm and start wearing cat sweaters. Or get ten cats, give them tight perms and name them all Harrison.

    Work it, girl!
  12. Embrace feeling increasingly invisible to the opposite sex. Shave legs? Eh. Makeup? Please. Clothes? What’s the point?
  13. Eat a lot. Get bloated. Wear leggings. Fart in public. You’re invisible now, go for it.
  14. Rent the movie Sisters with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. It will make you laugh so hard your chocolate chip and tissue filled bra will explode.

If you have any other menopause tips, please leave them in the comments below. I’m sure my husband will appreciate it. I’m running out of chocolate chips.


Adventures in Anesthesia: The Urination Proclamation


A few weeks ago I underwent abdominal surgery. If you’ve ever had surgery, the first thing you notice is how many times the nurses and doctors ask you what you’re getting done.  Apparently, this is their safeguard protocol in case you’re there to have a tonsillectomy and instead end up with one less testicle. I’m not sure why they insist on asking the patient at all. Wouldn’t they have learned to write this crucial information down somewhere? Maybe jot it on a post-it note:


So there I was in pre-op, all splayed out in a johnny while an RN tried to start an IV.

“And what are you here for?” she asked. I had already been asked this by nearly everyone else in the hospital at this point, including the janitor, and my response was the same every time: “Why, a tummy tuck and boob job, of course!” (The janitor seemed to think this was a good idea.)

Some nurses have a sense of humor, but this time the joke fell flat. Maybe she’s heard this one before? She jammed the needle harder into the top of my hand. “OK, I’m kidding,” I winced. “I’m really here to have a hysterectomy. Yay. She’s removing all my endo and an ovary.”

“Which one?” she asked.

“Well… I only have one ovary left…so, I would say the one that’s still there. Tell you what — if they don’t see an ovary, then don’t take it out. If they do see one, take it out.”

Again, nothing but a solemn glare from Nurse Ratched.

She left the room. “Tough crowd,” I whispered to my husband.

A few minutes before surgery, my surgeon breezed into the room. She thought my tummy tuck joke was funny, but I noticed she didn’t actually agree to do it, so my hopes were crushed once again. Then she lifted my hospital gown and drew a circle over my left ovary.

Great, the success of my operation depends on a Sharpie.

I kissed my husband goodbye and reminded him that I might very well die on the operating table, but not to worry. Did he have my living will? Did he know how to make the kids breakfast? Did he know the Netflix password?

They wheeled me into the OR, and the last thing I remember is looking up at a large bright light, just like in the movies. The anesthesia kicked in and I drifted into a painless deep sleep thinking (and probably saying out loud to the surgical nurse) “Tummmmy tuuuuuuucccccckkkk…don’t forget it’s the only ovary there….no, no, no! Don’t take out my testicle!…just a nice tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmy tuuuuuuck….”

My three hour surgery was over. After a strange block of timeless time, I started to drift back to the land of the living. I was doped up to my eyeballs on fentanyl so the pain was thankfully absent. But I had this horrible crushing sensation that my bladder was full and about to explode. It was unbelievably uncomfortable. The kind of urgency you feel when you’re stuck in traffic for hours after consuming a 64 ounce Big Gulp and you want to say “fuck it” and urinate into the nearest receptacle.

Before I go any further, I have to explain that Maine women are a unique independent breed. We tend to be strong, stodgy, stubborn and stupid. My grandmother lived to 100 and she used to take my brother’s dirt bike for a spin well into her nineties. My mother still moves heavy furniture around and she’s 82. I once mowed the lawn with a push mower while 9 months pregnant. After the baby popped out, I scooped him up and continued mowing. We don’t need no help, dammit! We’re built like tanks and can power on through anything.

Except holding in our pee.

There I was in recovery, drifting in and out of consciousness, alternating between yelling that I had to go pee and drooling helplessly all over my gown. I faintly overheard an RN telling my husband I needed to sleep. Sleep? My bladder is burning hot and bursting and she wants me to sleep?! After pleading, “I gotta go pee! Please let me pee!” a thousand times in a half hour, I had had enough. Goddammit, I’m going to find that janitor! He’ll let me pee!

“It’s just your bladder having spasms, dear,” Nurse Ratched kept insisting. “You don’t have to pee. It’ll go away in a few minutes.”

Of course, the nurse probably insisted I remain lying down so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Maybe this is because I just had major surgery. And okay, in my drugged-up haze I thought my husband was Sting and the nurses giant pesky bumblebees flitting about my consciousness. But at this point, deep in agony, I was unstoppable. The sweet relief of urination was within my grasp.

I swung my feet over the edge of the bed and things began to spin. For a few moments the entire room seemed to disappear into a milky white fog. I didn’t know where my feet were. When I reached up to scratch my head, my hand moved across my field of vision like it was encased in syrup. Where was my head? Who’s hand is this? Help me, Sting!

“I can’t find my head,” I slurred to my husband as he tried to steady me. An RN and a CNA magically appeared by my other side. Ugh, Nurse Ratched! NO! You will not stop me, devil woman! I plodded forward a step only to be snagged on something. I tugged at the annoying IV line, oblivious to what the hell it was and why it was holding me back. Am I in the jungle? Is this a snake?

Before I knew it I was out in the hallway/jungle with two nurses and my husband all trying to hold onto me. They were talking to me, but my brain concentrated only on the excruciating bladder cramps. My untied johnny hung loose in the front, leaving my ass to flap in the cold breeze. I shuffled along like a tranquilized bear, occasionally pausing to try and brush off Sting and the bumblebees.  “I GOTTA GO PEE!” I hollered at random patients and nurses in the hall.

I finally made it to what I judged to be an adequate hole in the ground by the bamboo trees, grabbed onto someone’s arm, sat down and let it go.

Into the toilet, of course. I’m not an animal.

And Nurse Ratched was right. False alarm. I didn’t have to go after all. Maddening.

Still ranting to no one in particular, “Why won’t they let me pee?!” they led me back to my bed. I repeated this charade at least three more times (that I remember), each time getting angrier and louder. I was in recovery for a very long time. My surgery was at noon and I didn’t get permission to leave until 8 pm. I was close to being admitted overnight, but I think the nurses for some reason were happy to see me go.

Later on, when I was a bit more lucid and back to my normal sweet self, my husband told me how funny it was when I shoved the nurses aside and dragged my IV down the hall while almost completely naked to go to the bathroom, when I didn’t actually have to go at all.

“Yeah, that must have been something,” I said, mortified at the thought.

I faintly remember after I was discharged, I continued to whine about peeing while the nurse wheeled me (hurriedly) out to our car. I think I might have grabbed her hand to pet it like she was a kitten, and told her that she was very nice but kind of mean, too.

I blame the fentanyl.


Thanks for all the well-wishes. My surgery was a big success. All went perfectly and I didn’t die. I feel wonderful. Back to blogging!











The Inside Story

Warning: This isn’t my typical lame humor post. In this one things get real. And graphic. I’m talking about (gasp) female reproductive health issues! Feel free to close your eyes and run away screaming. I won’t take it personally.  

Okay…are they gone? What? You guys are still here? Look, I’m not kidding. This isn’t the good fun reproductive stuff, it’s the uglier side about pain and disease. Fine, stay if you want but I tried to warn you…

Once upon a time I was a young girl who suffered agonizing pain during periods. I ate Advil like candy and spent several days every month writhing in bed with a heating pad on my belly. It was difficult to get up and walk around, much less go to school. People told me this was “normal” and that I was being a baby. I believed them and sucked it up.

Funny, this is exactly how I looked when I had bad cramps.

In my late 20s I met my husband. We got married, and not soon after we decided to try to get pregnant. I felt becoming a mom was my destiny, a lifelong yearning rooted deep in my bones. We tried for over a year with no luck. Around this time I started to have strange vague symptoms: bloating, pelvic pain, urinary, digestive issues. I saw many doctors over several years. One said I was “depressed”. One told me I had IBS. Another said it was stress-related.

Well, I thought, if they think it’s all in my head, I must be crazy. I trudged on, trying to live my life while ignoring that nagging feeling something was very wrong. Finally, feeling humiliated and defeated, I gave it one last shot and saw a Nurse Practitioner. She patiently listened to me and gave me a pelvic exam. The next words she said changed my life: “You have a large mass. I’m sending you for an ultrasound immediately.”

During the ultrasound I wasn’t scared. I felt pure relief. That may be hard to understand, but when you’ve basically been patted on the head by doctors for so many years, when one finally believes you, and there’s proof something IS wrong, it’s like a godsend.

The ultrasound tech was very quiet for a long time. Not a good sign. Then she kept asking me if I had to use the bathroom. Finally, she left the room to get a doctor. Yikes. After several minutes, they returned. She finally turned the ultrasound monitor toward me and pointed. “See that?” she asked.

“What? I don’t see anything.” It looked all black to me with no discernible shapes that resembled organs.

“That is a mass. It is so large it’s covering all your organs. Your bladder is flattened. I’m surprised you can hold urine at all at this point.” She put her hand on my shoulder.  “Are you all right?” I was surprised at the technician’s warmth and kindness. It was probably the most compassionate interaction with medical staff I had had in decades, aside from the NP.

It turned out I had a large ovarian cyst, about 15 cm in diameter, or six inches, roughly the size of a soccer ball. I know, crazy. Why couldn’t it have been a baseball? Why not fruit of some kind? Pomegranates are nice. And how in the hell did I not know it was there? I suppose I thought I was just gaining weight or very bloated. Not to mention the rest of my abdominal organs were all squished to make room for this… thing. As much as I was happy to know what was wrong with me, I felt like a total freak. Like I should be on the cover of one of those old Ripley’s Believe it or Not! books: “Woman lives with giant tumor for months and doesn’t know it!”

Soon I met with a wonderful  OB/GYN (who went on to deliver both of my babies) and he said I had to have major surgery as well as a biopsy of the cyst to rule out cancer.  I was 31. My gut reaction? (pun totally intended) Get it out now. What in hell are you waiting for?

It was during this surgery that my doctor made another startling discovery. I had endometriosis. Everywhere. To put it simply, it’s when the uterus lining for some reason spreads and grows in other places it shouldn’t. Then every month it bleeds and becomes inflamed as if it were inside the uterus. And it was all over my bowel and my bladder and my ovaries and my fallopian tubes and oh, let’s just say it was all over the goddamned place.


So I had one obliterated ovary, one disintegrated fallopian tube, and the stupid giant cyst thing removed. It was benign. “But doc,” I cried. “Can I still get pregnant with only one pathetic, diseased, lonely ovary?”

“Yes,” he said. And I believed him.

After several miscarriages, (and along the way another diagnosis of a blood clotting disorder to boot, called the MTHFR gene or as I like to call it, the Motherf—er Mutation ), I eventually had my two babies. I’d even go so far as to call them miracles.


Unfortunately, the endometriosis didn’t go away entirely. (Maybe you’ve seen on the news this week that actress Lena Dunham knows what that’s like.  I wish I knew who in the hell she is.) For years I tried several IUDs and drug therapies to keep it at bay. For some reason, the endo didn’t get the memo. To say I was in constant pain is an understatement.

After much deliberation, I had a partial hysterectomy at 39. Worst surgery of my life.  And that was my fifth one. When my surgeon, in her words, “got in there to look around” (a phrase that makes me think of someone opening a suitcase and rummaging around for some socks) she discovered a horror show of Stage 4 endo. It was just a mess of adhesions and nodules and lesions, oh my. My organs — my bladder, uterus and bowel — were stuck together, some of them frozen in place, most of them crunched and flattened. What was supposed to be a quick 45 minutes turned into nearly 3 hours. She had to call in another surgeon to help her excise everything. I think there may have been a chainsaw or a weed wacker involved at one point. And to top it off, I was bleeding somewhere after the five incisions and they couldn’t stop it. Apparently, a nurse came out and told my husband it was “touch and go” at one point.

“It was a pretty hairy situation,” was how my surgeon put it later on when she sat by my hospital bed. “You really had us worried. You gave me a run for my money.”

Well. It’s how I do.

But I lived through it. I’m sure you guessed that part already. I even came home after a few days and managed to take care of my two year old not long after the surgery, a point I like to bring up to my husband whenever he has a cold. So, all in all I had a few good healthy years and felt like a new woman again. Until I felt like crap again.

Which brings me to today. It’s been over 6 years since my last surgery and you guessed it, another one is coming. I didn’t make this decision lightly. My doctor is open to alternative medicine and last year put me on a strict diet to curb the endo. I tried herbs, vitamins. I’ve seen chiropractors to help with my lower back pain.  I even tried Lupron last summer. (A horrible, terrible, no-good chemo drug used for men with prostate cancer. Too bad I’m neither a man nor do I have a prostate.)  I’m going to start seeing an acupuncturist this month. I’m not sure what’s left to try. Maybe a full body transplant? Give me Sofia Vergara’s.

So, another surgery it is. Will it finally cure the endo? I’ve read good things and bad. Mostly, the answer is maybe. Honestly, I have run out of options at this point. And chronic pain tends to wear you down enough to make you actually want to have major surgery. I admit I’m a little scared shitless this time. I suppose this is why I’m writing about it because it helps me gain some distance from that fear brewing in the back of my mind.

Last week, my doctor said it’s time to take out my remaining sad ovary and clean out the endo again, except this time I’ll be plunged into instant menopause. I don’t know about you, but just the sound of that gives me a hot flash. And to top it off, because of the extensive bowel endo I had last time, there’s a possibility of a bowel resection. (Oh, my god! I swore if there were anything I would never write about on this blog it would be a bowel resection!) She’s going to have a general surgeon on standby just in case they decide to yank part of it out. If they don’t, well, there’s a good chance I’ll end up with another surgery just for that in the near future.

“Oh, hell,” I told her. “Just take it all out! I don’t need no stinkin’ bowel! Could you give me a good tummy tuck while you’re at it? Maybe inject all that excess fat into my boobs? I swear I have a punch card somewhere that says Buy 6 Surgeries, Get One Free.”

The best part was when my surgeon, someone who’s been doing this for decades, said to me, “I’m not gonna lie, I am dreading your surgery. Dreading. It.”

When I told her, “that makes two of us” she responded with, “Yeah, but you’re the lucky one! You’ll be asleep! I’ll be awake!”

Good point. Let’s hope so anyway.

Thanks for reading this long, long, graphic TMI reproductive history of mine. I just had to get this out and let you all know I’ll be taking a very long break and won’t be around much. At least I get to lie in bed for a few weeks and read, right? But before I go, let’s review a few key points to ponder:

  • Always trust your gut instinct.
  • Always get a second, third, and in my case, seventh opinion.
  • Always make sure your surgeon is fully awake during your surgery.
  • Take care of yourself because it’s all you got, ya dig?
  • Tell me again, who in the bloody hell is Lena Dunham? I’m stumped.

After it’s all over and I’m fully recovered, maybe I’ll come back here and start blogging about silly stuff again. And if you care to send some positive vibes, say a little prayer, or just say to yourself, “Damn, girl! See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” I’d appreciate it.


Endometriosis, Women’s Health

Endometriosis Awareness Month, What Are The Symptoms Of This Commonly Misdiagnosed Disease

The Personal, Painful Ordeal of Women with Endometriosis, global forum for news and information












Yes, I am a Woman.

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Newsflash: We all have feminine and masculine tendencies. Naturally, some of us might be more on one side than the other regardless of our gender.  Some of us might have an equal balance of both. These traits might be due to our childhoods or because we were born that way.

What I’m saying is — enough already. Sheesh.

Still some people automatically lump either gender into tidy little boxes. Men like sports. Women like makeup. Men burp and fart. Women like makeup. Men scratch themselves a lot. Women tell men to stop burping, farting and scratching themselves and give us their credit card already so we can go buy more makeup.

We all know it’s ridiculous to overgeneralize based on gender. I’m a good example. I grew up with five brothers. And last time I checked, I am a woman.

Here are a few facts about me:

  • I hate makeup.
  • I rarely wear makeup.
  • Once a year when I wear makeup for a special occasion, I have no idea how to apply it so I don’t end up looking like this:


  • I love sports. I like to play them, I like to watch them on TV.
  • I live for Super Bowl Sunday.
  • I love to listen to bands like Alice in Chains.
  • I am strong. I’m wily. I could drop you like a sack of bricks with one swift chop to your trachea.
  • I hate washing my hair. I hate brushing my hair. I hate my hair.
  • Shoes are evil. Especially any shoe that is not a sneaker or flip-flop.
  • I hate purses. I have no idea why people spend tons of money on them. I walk into a purse store like Coach and my mind switches off. Picking out a purse is like watching my horribly-applied clown makeup dry.  I prefer to just stick my wallet into my jacket pocket and call it good.
  • If I carry a purse, (I own exactly one) I will spend the entire time flinging it around while yelling “What in the hell am I supposed to do with this stupid thing?! It’s like an anchor around my neck and I swear I will die right here in the middle of this fracking Coach store if I have to drag it around one more minute!”
  • I hate clothes shopping. I hate clothes. If I could wear the same outfit every day — say, a large potato sack with a rope belt — I’d be happy.
  • I have no idea what pants go with which shirt. Or what’s considered trendy or fashionable. Because I. Do. Not. Care. (also, I have bad taste in clothes, see above)
  • I hate shopping in general. Going to the mall is cruel and unusual punishment. While my husband will agonize over which coffee pot to buy, I’ll slink slowly to the floor in agony, crying “for the love of all that is holy JUST PICK ONE SO WE CAN GET OUT OF THIS HELLHOLE!” Then I hit him in the head with my giant ugly purse.
  • I don’t like to cook.
  • I don’t like to bake.
  • I do love to eat.
  • I don’t like to clean. I will clean of course, but I won’t like it.
  • I hate math but I’m good at it. I also excel in science and medical stuff. (that’s right, the technical term is “stuff”)
  • I love to play basketball and I’ve got a killer hook shot.
  • I love to play video games for hours, like Tomb Raider and Mario Kart.
  • I actually rather enjoyed all of the Iron Man and Avenger movies.
  • Sometimes I burp. Very long and loud burps that rattle the windows.

So is your mind blown? No? Fine. (ahem)

What about you guys? How are you unlike/like your gender’s stereotypes?



What a Woman Really Wants


Snowflakes drifted down in slow spirals, landing on my cheeks like bits of delicate lace. I peered through the window and saw him standing inside the foyer waiting for me. A bolt of excitement flashed down my spine, sending tingles to the darkened corners of my heart. Despite the cold, the heat emanating between us was radiant, a blistering flame threatening to engulf us both with its power, leaving nothing but dying embers in its wake.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” he had whispered to me on the phone earlier that day.

“Oh, really?” I purred.

“You’re gonna love it,” he promised in that silky voice that drove me mad. “I can’t wait for you to get home.”

And now after eight agonizing hours at work, I was home.

He threw open the front door with such force, a gasp escaped my lips. I ran to him, the space between us electric, filled with the pounding pulse of aching desire and raw lust. His hands slid underneath my heavy down jacket, squeezing my yearning body tight, enveloping me in a passionate embrace. His breath heavy and hot in my ear he teased, “This is your night, my love. Yours.”

I stood trembling as he kneeled before me, gently sliding the snow-caked boots off my legs, my breath quickening with every tantalizing touch.

“I think you need some warming up,” he said, wrapping his arms tight around my legs.

I nodded, still in a trance, willing to relinquish my very soul to this man. “Yes!” I begged. “Please, do it now! I’m so cold!” He caressed my feet, slowly placing them into my soft brown slippers. An instant rush of release, the dam finally bursting and giving way to a thunderous flood. “Oh, yeah,” I murmured, my voice barely a whisper. I wiggled my toes and sighed. “Ooh….that feels so good.” I shut my eyes, surrending to the pleasure, my arms limp and powerless at my sides.

“Please, don’t make me wait any longer–you must come with me now,” he demanded.

“But–what about the kids?” I asked, nervously glancing around the room.

“No worries. They’re gone for the night,” he whispered. His feather-soft lips brushed against my cheek as his hand trailed slowly down my back. I shivered. “We’re all alone,” he breathed into my ear.

He held me even closer, tracing the outline of my trembling chin with his finger. “Come, darling, please…” he pleaded. He took my hand and led me down the darkened hallway.

One glance to the left and I squealed with delight.  The clothes in the laundry room sat stacked in several tidy piles. “Oh, you didn’t!” I yelled and squeezed his hand. The bathroom sparkled in the moonlight, smelling of lavender. I felt my heart stop. My eyes watered as my hand flew up to cover my mouth.

“Oh! Honey!” I cried. “You cleaned!”


“Wait, there’s more,” he said as he led me toward the living room. Flames from a dozen candles danced with the shadows on the walls. In the center of the coffee table, a silver bowl filled with Godiva chocolates. A bottle of red wine gleamed in the candle’s glow.

“Oh, sweetie!” I gushed. “It’s all so beautiful!”

“Shhh…” he soothed and pushed me down onto the couch. He leaned my body back onto the cushions and stroked my hair. Our eyes locked, the flames of desire licking at our souls in a near explosion of searing heat as we edged ever closer to becoming one.

“For you,” he said and ceremoniously placed the remote into my trembling hands.

“Oh, no, honey…I…I couldn’t…” I protested. My heart skipped a thousand beats. I gazed down in wonder at the buttons, all shiny and begging to be touched.

“There are 3 seasons of Scandal on Netflix, please…watch all of it.”

“But I–”

He placed his finger on my lips. “Shhh….it’s okay. Please, do it. The dishes are done, the house is clean and I’m going to put the last of the laundry away. There is nothing more for you to do now but watch your show.” He handed me a glass of wine and a hunk of dark chocolate. “And we can do it….all….night…long.”

“All night?” I asked, blinking.

“Unless you want to talk about your day at work?” he asked, leaning back, his eyebrows raised in genuine interest. He started to rub my feet, the day’s strain melting away with the gentle touch of his hands.

“What was it you told me yesterday?” he continued. “That Debra told Lisa about Sue and she didn’t even care that Sue wasn’t speaking to Lisa anymore because of the time she caught her rolling her eyes at what she said about Wendy?”

“Yeah! I mean…huh? You really want to talk about that now?” I sputtered in between bites of chocolate. Swigging back a gulp of wine, I sighed, “And it wasn’t even what she said it was–”

“How she said it,” he said, shaking his head.

We laughed. We watched Scandal for 10 hours straight. Exhausted and spent, the first pale rays of morning light spilled onto our entwined bodies still curled together as one on the couch, basking in the afterglow of a perfect night.

“Honey?” I asked with a slur, still drunk on wine and chocolate.

“Yeah?” He reached over, absent-mindedly twirling my hair with his fingers.

“Do we have any Excedrin Migraine left?”

“Yes, I’ll go get you some.”

“I love you,” I whispered.

“I know.”

“It’s just…what with the red wine…and all that chocolate…it’s a migraine waiting to happen and I–”

“Shhh…it’s okay. It’s okay. I know,” he said, tenderly rubbing my temples. I began to shiver again. As he drew my hot pink Forever Lazy Snuggie tighter around me, his arms created a cocoon of pure bliss I never wanted to escape.

“Oh, and honey?” I asked, grabbing his hand.

“Yes, my love?”

“Happy Valentine’s Day.”


Boys Vs. Girls

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

Men say “tomato”, women say “get off yer ass and get it yourself.”

Women say “Did you hear what I just said?” and men say, “Huh?”

I suppose the take home message here is apparently men and women are different.

I guess. I don’t know.

Are men and women really that different from each other?  I’m only one month younger than my husband, and I think we’re pretty similar in many ways:

  • We both like to eat.
  • We both prefer to get sleep every night.
  • We both laugh too much at America’s Funniest Videos.
  • We both think Ryan Seacrest’s fame was purely accidental.

Yet I often wonder how we would have communicated when we were kids. See if you can spot any differences. Slide1 Slide1 Slide1

Slide1 Slide1 Slide1

My Conclusion? My husband is from Mars, I like to talk.

What do you think? In your experience, do women really talk more than men or do I just need to shut up more often? (If you’re a man, don’t answer that.)

If you’re a woman, I totally don’t think that’s true at all, do you? I mean so what if I like to have discussions and express my thoughts on things and sometimes I tend to ramble and all but really, I think gender differences are all a bunch of hooey because we are exactly the same and just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m the stereotypical never-ending-talker and he’s the one who says nothing but “Yes, dear” and “Huh?” because I know men who like totally talk a lot and women who don’t talk a lot so what do you think? Does Cory or John like me? because I totally think they do.



Well, Duh…


Hold onto your beer can hats, guys, because I have something big to tell you. Everything you ever knew about the world and how it works is about to be turned upside down.

I hate to be the one to break this to you [sigh] but here goes…

Women Prefer Men With Bigger Penises


Beer Makes Men Happier

Is your mind blown? Well believe it, baby. Would I lie to you? It’s been proven in recent studies. Yes! By people in white lab coats! Who are no doubt running around some freaky lab, analyzing brain scans of men drinking Heineken while women are judging their manhood on a scale from 1 to 10. My husband wants to know if they’re in need of any more test subjects because he’s available and will work for free beer.

So I’ve decided to save these scientists future time and money and let them in on a few of my own earth-shattering studies:

  • When Women Ask Men “Am I Right? Well, Am I?!” They Prefer Men Nod Their Heads, Hand Them Their Credit Card And Walk Away
  • When Women Ask “Does This Make My Butt Look Big?” They Prefer Men Answer, “Hell No! Never! You Have The Best, Most Perfectly Sized Ass In The Universe! Here, Take My Credit Card!”
  • Husbands Who Say “I’m Sorry, I Was Wrong and You Were Right”  Live Longer
  • Men Prefer Women With Bigger Breasts
  • Small-Breasted Women Prefer Men Who Prefer Women With Smaller Breasts
  • Both Men and Women Prefer Men Have No Breasts
  • Men Prefer Women Who Stop Talking For Five Seconds So They Can Watch The Game In Peace
  • Women Prefer Men to Say Something, Anything, For The Love Of God Isn’t There One Tiny Spark Of A Thought Flickering Across That Simple Little Brain Of Yours?!
  • Women Get Bitchy During Their Period
  • Women Get Bitchy When Not On Their Period
  • Women Get Bitchy, Period
  • Women Like Chocolate
  • When Women Eat Chocolate They Get Really Happy And Very Quiet


So there you have it! I am so happy to enlighten you guys today. Hope you learned something.

Ladies, if you’ve done any of your own scientific studies, please, share your results below in the comments.