Stop Asking Where I'm From

Good thoughts appreciated! (I’ll be fine, though.)

Written By: humarashid - Jul• 30•16

So it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t been around because I’ve been burned out on blogging, and very busy with work and life. But more and more people have been telling me over the past few months to get back to my blog, so I figured I could give it a shot.

I’m dealing with a little something right now, and figured I would share it. I’ve had some health issues recently – specifically, multiple trips to the ER with unexplained, off-the-pain-chart abdominal pain. No one could tell what it was. At first, it was deduced to be a bladder spasm, and I was put on medication to help with that. Then I had it again, and it was deemed to be an ovarian cyst and/or an ovarian torsion (it wasn’t a torsion). Then I had crippling pain while I was trying to drive to court, and later realized that I had been passing a kidney stone (my third), while driving, without any pain medication. So THAT was interesting.

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But the pain stayed with me, and it was determined to be a cyst that is a bit larger than my left ovary. I’m fine with it all as long as I know what it is, you know? And what can be done about it. I’m very much of a get-in-there-and-fix-it kind of person, with anything.

Then my doctor said the C word. He said he was concerned, based on a few things but I wasn’t paying attention at that point, that it might be cancer, so he ordered the tests. That was the day before I left on a week-long trip to Michigan, so it’s fair to say it put a damper on things a bit.

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I got a call almost a week later that it wasn’t, and that the growth (the cyst) was benign. But still getting bigger. So a surgery was scheduled.

I’ll be having surgery August 3, 2016, and will take about a week to recover while a pathologist takes a look at the stupid thing and determines conclusively the cancer question, why it grew so big, etc. etc.

So that’s what’s been going on. I’m pretty nervous, which is hard for me to admit, because I’ve never had surgery before. But whatever. I’ve got a few surgeon friends, and some doctor friends, and they said that it was a fairly common procedure because so many women get cysts – although most of these cysts go away on their own, even if they grow to the size of a grapefruit.

The issue is, during the surgery, if it’s determined that the cyst is too entangled with the ovary, I’ll lose the left ovary.

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Now, practically speaking, I don’t really care about that. Conceptually, I am struggling with it. My doctor obviously doesn’t want me to lose the ovary, because he says I’m still young, and I may want to have children, and if I develop autonomous cysts on the right ovary, then I may have to lose that, too. So he’s assured me over and over that he will do everything to spare the ovary if he can.

Again, on a practical level, I’m cool with it.

Even if I lose an ovary, so what? I have another one. And I don’t anticipate that losing it will change my life much.

Plus, thinking forward (and perhaps over-thinking it), I don’t really want kids, I can’t really imagine myself having kids, and, given my disastrous luck with men, frankly, I can’t really imagine a situation in which I’d have a partner and would be in a position to try to get pregnant. Plus, I don’t really like kids. I fake it just fine, and depending on their age I connect with them well enough, but, damn, I don’t go out of my way to spend time with children. Just not my scene. So if I lose my left ovary and this diminishes my chances of carrying a pregnancy to term, then, okay. It is what it is.

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But here’s the thing – and I’ll let you guys in on a secret – I’m kind of a spiteful person.

Don’t you dare tell me I can’t do something. Because I’ll do it and stick it under your nose just so you’re well aware I went ahead and did it.

This has worked very well for me my entire life, mainly because the things I was told I “couldn’t” do were things I was discouraged from due to misogyny and other limiting social structures and beliefs. So when a bunch of people in my community told me I shouldn’t be a criminal defense attorney because it wasn’t “a good job for women,” or because “you’ll be defending guilty people and that’s forbidden by Islam” (this is horseshit, and super ironically, was said to me BY MY FORMER ISLAMIC STUDIES TEACHER, which made me severely question her credibility on anything having to do with religion), you can bet I worked incredibly hard to learn all I could about criminal law, which ultimately led me to my career as a criminal defense attorney.

And yeah, you can bet that at dinner parties, I say, “I’m a criminal defense attorney,” loud and proud, so that the older people can quietly disapprove while their daughters flock to me and ask me questions and start thinking that maybe they, too, can be defense attorneys (much to their parents’ horror, and my glee).

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So yeah, I can be a spiteful person, and I have been very blessed that it has worked out very well for me.

It’s the same with this situation. I don’t believe I want children, but don’t you dare tell me I can’t have them.

But I realize I’m getting ahead of myself. One of the many valuable lessons I’ve learned during my career is that it’s not a problem until it’s real. If I wasted my time worrying about every potential problem before it actually reared its ugly head, well, I’d never do anything else. It’s a good thing to anticipate a problem so you can plan what you’ll do and how you’ll fix it, but there’s no sense in fixating on that.

So the surgery will be August 3, 2016. Hopefully I’ll come out of it with both ovaries intact; if not, hey, that’s okay, too. I’ll need about a week of recovery, so instead of flitting about from one work/social engagement to another, I will be in bed. Which is gross, but whatever.

That puts me at August 10. The next day, August 11, is my 30th birthday. I don’t foresee any crazy celebrations. ;) I think I’ll do what I do every year: a quiet dinner after work, by myself, at my favorite restaurant, then home. It seems as though that’ll be the best option.

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So. I feel gross sharing this much personal information in such a public place (as in, my blog that is attached to my actual name) and probably sharing it on FB so I don’t have to have the same conversation over and over again when people inevitably ask me why I wasn’t at this or that event, or why I can’t come to dinner, but … yeah. I feel gross sharing all this personal information, but it is what it is.

And who knows, maybe a week off will give me the incentive to blog more. (NGL, I’ll probably be writing like 20 motions in limine while I’m convalescing. No sense in wasting that much uninterrupted time.)

Good thoughts would be appreciated. Even though I’m probably being a big baby about all of this.

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