TMI FTW: Why I Need to Show You What's Been Ravaging My Body
My uterus and colon are totally awesome and you should want to GAWK at photos of them.
What? What do you mean that's too much information? Looking at my insides is WAY COOL and rather fascinating, if I do say so myself.
Yes, I'm about to show you what I mean ... so look away now if you don't want to see the inside of my body ...
All right: So as it turns out, some of you didn't really want to see my innards and had some issues when, after my last surgery, I shared that photo of my insides on Twitter and Facebook. Is it too much?
How about this one of one of my laparoscopic incisions?
For you ... maybe. Maybe it was too much. But for me? It was just what the doctor ordered. I needed to talk about what was happening to my body. I needed to tell you everything, show you everything, have you talk back to me about it and give me that virtual "Oh honey, I've been there" or "don't worry, it will be ok."
I wasn't really going for grossing you out. OK, maybe that was a little fun, but it wasn't my end goal. I needed to commiserate and feel that virtual hug. Plus, I thought my internal organs were kinda cool.
I'm not the only one getting up close and personal online. Yvette showed off her six-and-a-half pound fibroid tumor to the world too. Yes. I clicked. It's disgusting but important. She wanted us to see what had been plaguing her body. Just like I wanted you to see what had been ravaging mine.
LOOK. SEE! THIS IS WHY I HURT! THIS IS WHY I COMPLAIN! -- that's really the message I'm sending when I take shots of my IV-laden arms that make me look like a junkie or my kids making me smile in my hospital bed.
When you are scared, sick, and worried ... sometimes all you can do is reach out to your friends. That's what this whole "oversharing" thing is all about. I know some times it's over the top, but when I posted those photos, I had messages from other women about how they were going through something similar. We traded war stories. We traded tips. It reassured me in my time of need, and I reassured them they were not alone.
It's why I blog. It's why I tweet. It's why I Facebook. It's why I am here.
The communities surrounding any given disease or diagnosis are nothing shy of essential support systems to help you through. Even if I don't normally talk doctors and procedures (and trust me, I'd much rather be talking politics and parenting), I easily found an entire community ready to talk hysterectomy, fibroid, colitis, diverticulitis and auto-immune disorders as I struggled with what happened to my body.
Over and over again, people recommended to me sites like HysterSisters and gave me their tips for dealing with colitis and gastro issues. Over and over again people also admonished me for ruining their appetite and giving them more information about my life than they really wanted.
But I have to be honest ... for the those people upset with me ... too bad, get over it, or just go ahead and cut your ties with my social networks. I have another surgery coming up in a few weeks, and I NEED to talk about it. I NEED to find others like me to feel less alone. I NEED my community for that virtual hug.
I also need to overshare, because it's the only way I know how to be real and for you to know the true me. TMI FTW.
Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog where she's lamenting about losing her gall bladder, part of her colon, and most likely her uterus on June 24th, 2010.
Politics & News Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest