Hysterectomy Party: How to Support Me While I Prepare For & Recuperate From

I’m finally having the hysterectomy I’ve desired since the day I got my first period twenty-one fucking years ago at age 11! I’ve known since then that this uterus-cervix-blood-pain-mess does not belong inside my body, and I’m so grateful to be given a date to have it removed. It’s booked for Wednesday, June 27th, during the Full Moon in Capricorn.

{image description: Headless selfie wearing a tight black sleeveless dress with a skeletal frame printed on it, showing collarbone, ribcage, pelvis, and spine. Background is lavender walls and green, leafy plants.}

I’ll need the support of my friends and readers to get through. This is gender-affirming and pain-reducing medical care. My mobility will be, once again, reduced through the season as I recuperate. While my surgery is covered, pre- and post-care are not. Social assistance is not enough for rent and food, let alone health services, and the supplementary income I make through writing does not cover my mad-crip-needs. There are myriad practical and tangible ways you can help me out whether you’re local or long-distance.

{image description: Three books stacked together on a dark wood table, with a few zines on top. The spines of my three books are showing, as well as a small ceramic squirrel and a ceramic acorn. Lavender wall in the background.}

1. Buy my zines and books. I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to make trips to the post office after surgery, so I’m sending as much mail as I can beforehand, and then I’ll be on bedrest. I have two novels, an anthology of the first decade of my non-fiction, and a bunch of zines. I’ll be sending mail on Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th. Although my shop will remain open, I’ll be unlikely to go to the post office again until the end of July.

2. A) Gift me with money for food and unexpected expenses. Most of my food is dumpstered, but I’ve been unable to continue this practice as I prepare my body for surgery, and I’ll be unable to continue until after Summer. I’m on social assistance, which isn’t enough money for food, let alone other necessities or pleasures. Dumpstering takes a lot of time and physical labour, and I will not have the strength to endure. Even raccoons need to rest and be cared for. A few friends have offered to carry groceries to my home, and/or cook for me – now I need the money to pay for that food.

B) A few years ago, I was able to access community acupuncture on a sliding-scale of $30-$60 per session. Besides my Oxy-Codone prescription, it was the most useful, healing, and transformative treatment for my fibromyalgia, migraines, anxiety, and insomnia/nightmares. I had to stop going when I could no longer afford it, and I’ve wanted to return for a long time. Ideally, I could have a session weekly or bi-weekly throughout Summer and Fall, with an especial focus on recovering from my hysterectomy and continuing to treat my chronic pain and depression.

Also: I recently renewed my Y membership, but the price has been raised to $40/month. I won’t be able to attend yoga classes or otherwise utilize their space directly after my surgery, but I intend to return when I’m ready. It’s the most affordable and accessible option I’ve been able to find for yoga and fitness in the city.

C) Other unexpected expenses include: Cab rides when public transit is inaccessible, foods and herbs that heal, comfortable clothes for my changing body, books on queer & trans health care, food/meal delivery. As an example, the first unexpected expense I’ve had in this process was the need to purchase a breakfast-in-bed / laptop tray so that I’ll be able to write, eat, and stay in touch with friends while I’m bedbound. It cost $40.

{image description: Selfie taken at a crooked angle. I’m in a hospital room, sitting on the doctor’s exam table. I’m wearing a tight fuchsia dress with my skin showing through lace on my side, near my ribs, a lilac cardigan, and black- & grey-striped footless tights. My hair is deep violet with pigtails, and I am unsmiling in deep purple lipstick. My lavender cane is resting against the exam table, with a clipboard of paperwork nearby. In the background is a hospital curtain, a small sink, a paper towel dispenser, and small garbage and recycling bins. Everything is white or beige.}

{image description: I am sitting in the same spot, with the camera pointing down at my lap. The short skirt of my dress is visible, the same tights described above, plus my hairy legs and black maryjane shoes on my feet. My purple backpack is on the beige-tiled floor, and my lavender cane is resting by my side. To the right, a cabinet drawer is open, revealing a blue hospital gown folded inside.}

3. Think about me as you make magic under the Full Moon. Light a candle for me, anoint a special object, write my name on a piece of paper, send me a postcard. Celebrate with me wherever you are.

4. Get in touch with your chronically ill / disabled / crip friends. Take a look at How to Support Your Disabled Friends in Winter and Beyond, and take note of what you’re capable of providing. Offer apologies to those who you weren’t able to show up for in the past.

5. As well as making sure I can access good food, a few friends have offered to help do chores around my home, like washing dishes, vacuuming, or cleaning the litterbox and taking out garbage and recycling. If you’re willing to do something similar for your local disabled pals, let them know. They’re likely burned out on asking.

6. Consider buying me a book from my wishlist. In What Is Art About Social Assistance?, I outline the reasons I made my Wishlist, including not only lack of funds, but lack of access to education and academia, resulting in being left out of art, theory, and scholarship on my own experiences. In the long-term, I intend to write about the books I’ve been gifted, with reviews, personal stories, how the work has helped my own life, sense of self, and writing, etc.

{image description: Another selfie with a lavender background. I look tired, but I’m smiling. I’m visible from the chest up, wearing a purple floral dress edged across the chest with white lace, a lilac cardigan, and purple pigtails and purple glasses. Lemon balm and rue plants are visible on a shelf in the background, as well as a purple Hello Kitty doll.}

7. And okay, maybe it’s dorky, but I’d really like to take Chani Nicholas’ courses on the New Moon in Gemini and Full Moon in Capricorn, and A Journey Through Mars Retrograde, since the Full Moon and Mars Retro both occur the day of my surgery. My email is schoolformapsATgmailDOTcom. Witches understand.

Hysterically Yours,

P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!

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