It Hurts - Transcript

This is a transcript of a “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” episode entitled “It Hurts.” The text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future for accuracy.

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Pain is universal. Right? In the immortal words of REM, EVERYBODY HURTS SOMETIMES. I remember seeing that video for the first time. I was in middle school. I cried. I was like, “Yeah, I hurt sometimes. I hurt a lot. Middle school is brutal.”

One time, as an adult woman in my 20s, I fell off my bicycle. It was dark. I’d had between 3 and 5 beers. I was picked up in an automobile by my little brother, and he brought me to the emergency room, where I made myself a sort of splint out of a magazine. The nurse asked me, “What is your pain level?” And I said, “An 8?” And she said, “Well, a 10 is a gunshot wound.” And I thought well… that context would’ve been helpful, ma’am. It was an 8 to me. It was the most pain I’d ever been in, right next to the time that same brother broke my tailbone in a fistfight over the remote control, which happened when we were in high school.

ANYWAY. After knowing that a 10 was a gunshot wound and I had just fallen off my bike, I said, “Okay… I guess it’s maybe a 6,” and then I got an x-ray and the doctor told me that my arm was fine. There were no breaks in my bones. He actually said I had “beautiful bones” — that’s a direct quote, I believe that was a flirtation. My physical pain, hearing that, dropped to a 3. My embarrassment level shot through the roof. Off the charts.

It’s hard to quantify a feeling.

It’s hard to put words and scale to something that is happening to us, or inside of us.

Jessica’s pain started young.

She grew up in Boise, Idaho. Her parents were divorced, and she spent a good amount of time living in the city with her mom. Probably most of the time. Every other weekend, she’d be dropped off at her dad’s house. Jessica’s dad lived in the countryside, out in a rural area where Jessica measured the distance between houses by the number of pastures between them. Life was just different at her dad’s house.

Jessica’s dad was a drinker. A real, big time drinker. And not a jolly one, either.

Jessica: He was always drinking. I never saw him really not drink. I know that he would get really, really mean when he drank. He was a sport fisherman. And... that was, like, our favorite thing to do together. But there was also times that I'd be at his house... And it was 3:00 in the morning and he'd be like, "Hey, we're going fishing." And me as a kid... didn't realize that he had been drinking all day and all night, and that... we're going out fishing and he's drinking on the way out there. That I probably shouldn't be going fishing with somebody that's been drinking.

It’s not easy to be a kid with an unpredictable parent. It’s not easy when you can’t articulate the pain that puts you in, or the confusion you feel when you realize that your dad isn’t like the other dads.

Jessica: I just thought that's what all dads were like. I didn't really think that there was anything different. And I would go to, like, friends’ houses. And their dads would be... I guess in a sense, normal. And be... not drinking, or maybe they would have one beer, but they would still be... interacting with my friends and they wouldn't be... yelling at them. Or... they wouldn't be... Just... standoffish or not talking to them or leaving them alone for hours at a time by themselves. And I was... and I just thought that was... I thought that wasn't normal.

Nora: You thought they weren't normal?

Jessica: Yeah.

Nora: You're like, "What's wrong with your dad? Why isn't he yelling?"

Jessica: Yeah. Exactly. Pretty much. Or like, "Why is your dad interacting with you and not ignoring you? Like why... What's wrong? Why is he happy?”

Nora: "He should get a life. Why is he, like, asking about our day? I don't know, dude…”

Jessica: He could be really, really nice and very compassionate. And... then there was times that he was just so distant and mean, like he would go... four or five months without talking to me. Because I did one little thing to make him upset. Or I would stay the weekend at his house and he would go the whole weekend without talking to me.

Nora: What would you do that would make him that upset?

Jessica: You know, that's the thing. Like, I was so young that it's — I wouldn't even know what I did. It was like I spilt a cup of water and it would just send him over the edge. Or I wouldn't even know, he would drop me off at my mom's and my mom would come and pick me up. And then... he just wanted to talk to me. For months at a time. And nobody knew why.

Jessica: There was one time... I did have a friend over at my dad's house and my dad got really, really, really, really drunk and... in the bathroom. It was like an old mirror with... I don't know really how to explain it, but... there was two mirrors where your toothbrush and all of your stuff goes in and you could slide them open and closed.

Nora: Right. Yep. Like a little medicine cabinet.

Jessica: Yeah. And one of them got stuck. One side got stuck, and it broke and it shattered everywhere. And my dad thought that I did it on purpose because I was angry. But it was a complete accident. But he had been drinking all day and drinking all night. And he just got so angry with me. And... he just took it too far. He just started spanking me, but it got... into like... spanking me so hard and so much that my friend that was over started screaming and saying, “You're gonna kill her and... please stop,” and was trying to pull him off of me. And I can't remember how old we were. We're probably... 10. Maybe 11. And... finally, he stopped and I just remember crying all night, and my friend was just holding me all night in my bedroom. And... I called my mom the next morning secretly from my dad's cell phone — because I didn't have a cell phone at that time... And I said, "Mom, you need to come get me." You know, and I don't remember exactly what I said, but she rushed over to my dad's. And me and my friend were getting ready to leave. And he just came out like nothing had happened. And he just said, "Hey, guys, you want to go get cheeseburgers?" And my friend just started shaking right when she saw him. And I was just like, "Mom's here to get me." And he just looked really confused. And I remember my mom taking me home, and, like, pulling down my pants and looking at my butt and it was just like, "Oh, my God, what happened?" Because I couldn't sit down for like a week. And... I remember her calling my dad so angry. I think that she even threatened to call CPS or something and threatened to not let him see me again. But from what I remember, I just don't think that. I mean, he was just so drunk that he didn't even remember what he did.

There’s a saying… hurt people hurt people. But Jessica’s a kid, she doesn’t know popular sayings yet. She doesn’t know what’s going on with her dad. What happened to him before he was her dad. She knows that he’s hurt her. And that she loves him.

Jessica deals with this the way a lot of kids deal with things — by doing anything to get her dad to LIKE her. To be like him so that he WOULD like her.

Jessica: We were... out at a lake. He had just gotten some jet skis or something. And I had a friend that was out there with us. And my dad gave us a beer to split.

Nora: How did it taste?

Jessica: Good. Weird, but good at the same time. And I just was like, oh, it's cool, I get to be like my dad. And like, now we have something in common. And like something for us to bond over.

Nora: Did you do that more than once with your dad?

Jessica: No, I stole beers from him, but I only drank with him that one time.

Jessica only drank with her dad that one time. Having something to bond over is so important for kids and their parents. But it’s definitely healthier to bond over a shared love of anime movies, or a sports team… not how much you both like a cold Mich Golden at 3AM while you’re fishing.

Jessica doesn’t know enough to know that this isn’t a healthy way to bond with her dad. She just thinks that if she and her dad have something in common, her life will hurt a little bit less.

On her weekends with him, he would sometimes work. He worked for an auction company, which meant that it was kind of fun to tag along with him. One night, not long after the spanking, Jessica is with her dad at an auction. It’s getting late, and one of her friends is there with her.

Jessica: And... my dad said, "Why don't you just go home with her?” You know. “And I'll pick you up in the morning." I said, "Well, I don't really want to. I want to stay with you." And... he was like, "Well, I'm going to be here really late and I'd rather you just go home with them and get some sleep and I'll see you in the morning." And I said, "OK."

Jessica heads over to her friend’s house, which is just near her grandma’s house, a couple of pastures away. She calls her dad and he says, “We’re just wrapping up, I’ll call you when I get home.” But he doesn’t call. And when she calls him, it just keeps going to voicemail. And then, it’s four in the morning. Her dad hasn’t answered…

Jessica: And I said, "Something's wrong." I just felt it like in the pit of my stomach. I just had a gut feeling. I was like, "Something's wrong. Something's not right. Something happened to my dad." And she's like, "No, it's OK. You know, he probably just went home. He probably got drunk and fell asleep." She said, "Let's just go to sleep and, you know, we'll see your… we'll see your dad in the morning." And I said, "OK."And then... I just remember, you know, being like, half awake, half asleep for two hours. Then there was a… somebody rang the doorbell. My friend's mom answered it and she just kind of looked over at me. And the way that she just looked at me, I just knew.

The rest is blurry. Jessica was a kid, but she remembers her mom and uncle showing up. And delivering the news.

Jessica: "You know, you need to come with us. Something happened to your dad. You know, he got in an accident." And I said, "OK, well. I knew something happened, like, let's go to the hospital and let's go see him." I just kept saying, "Let's go to the hospital, let's go to the hospital." And they finally — I can't remember who said it, I think it was my mom — they just said, "No, Jessica. Like, we can't — you know, he died." And I just remember feeling, like, stupid and feeling guilty. Because I left him... to go stay with a friend. But it was my weekend with him and I should have stayed with him. And if I wouldn't have been selfish by staying with my friend... then my dad would still be here.

We’re gonna take a little break.

We’re back. And Jessica’s dad is dead. She killed him by having a sleepover. That’s not true, but when you’re a kid, that thinking makes sense. She is filled with grief and guilt. She’s still only in elementary school.

Hurt people hurt people… and sometimes, they just hurt themselves. And that’s what Jessica did. Little, grieving Jessica got really, really good at hurting herself.

After his death she didn’t have to go to her dad’s house — back into that chaos and alcohol. But she made the chaos herself. She became the chaos.

In middle school, I once split a gallon of chocolate milk with my friend Erin Mulcahy and we truly thought we were drunk. My mom came home to us laying on the kitchen floor laughing hysterically.

Jessica was still in grade school… and she was getting legit drunk. On alcohol. Like, all the time. By the time she’s in middle school she’s a regular drinker.

My mom wasn’t happy that I wasted a whole gallon of milk, but like the doctor said to me 15 years later, it did give me beautiful bones. But Jessica’s mom is really, really unhappy with her daughter. And the drinking.

Jessica: We were fighting all the time. She got obviously very, very, very strict with me, which just made me out — even more out of control, and I was seeing a psychiatrist and I was trying to get her to give me pills like, you know, anything to alter my mind, alter anything.

Now, for little ears that might be listening, we are going to talk about some stuff related to the human body. When a girl becomes a woman… no, when a girl… look, Jessica eventually got her period and EVERYONE who has had a period has at least one horrible story about their period. One of mine is in my first memoir — check it out — but Jessica has a million of them. Because Jessica’s period is BAD. It’s not just blood. It’s pain. Horrible, horrible pain.

Jessica: I honestly don't know, I think I'm dying. And I... don't know what's happening to my body. And I-- I just don't know and I don't know how to explain it to my mom, I don't know how to explain it... to a doctor. My periods would last... sometimes for a month. [What?] Yeah. I think the longest one I had, not even over-exaggerating, was... almost three months. Just constant. But there was just so much — like so many big clots. And we were like, okay, this just doesn't seem normal. And we went to the hospital and I honestly, I don't remember what they said, but they said, "It's OK, it's normal." And I was like, "This doesn't seem normal to me like what a normal person would go through."

When Jessica is drinking, she’s not in pain. She’s not sad about her dead dad. She’s not thinking about how much her body hurts. Because her body hurts all the time.

Jessica: It's in my lower back and my lower abdomen... Some days it's just like really bad period cramps times 10... Sometimes it's like a Charlie horse... in my... pelvic muscles-- like my pelvic region., I would say, it's like somebody is taking a serrated knife and cutting my stomach. Over and over and over again. And I can't stand up.

The pain is constant, and Jessica keeps medicating herself.

Jessica: You know, I didn't know what was going on. I just knew I was in pain. But I would miss so much school because of all of this, all the pain that I was having. And we just didn't know what to do about it.

At several points, she ends up being taken to the hospital. In the ER, they’d sometimes give her pain meds. Which really freaked her out.

Jessica: And my eyes got really big and I took her hand and I said, "Oh, my God, what's happening? Please don't let me die." Because of that rush that you get when you get IV pain meds. And I don't like it at all. I -- It scared me. I don't like how it made me feel. And I was like, I don't ever want this again. But then after that rush kind of went away, I was like, "OK, well, now I'm not in pain. And this makes me feel good. Not only that I'm not in pain, but it makes my head feel good. And I don't feel sad anymore." Not only about not being in pain. Don't feel sad about this or this or this, whatever that was going on in my life at that moment.

Jessica knows that she’s been in pain and that the pain meds are making her feel better, but she doesn’t know WHY she’s in pain. The cause is still unknown. So her mom schedules a doctor’s visit to try to figure it out.

Jessica: We went and saw an OBGYN. And she -- and we just told her all of my symptoms. And we were just so confused and didn't understand what was going on. When I started my period I was so young and... all of the symptoms I was having. You know, the extreme blood clots and just the extreme cramping and all of these other things lined up with the endometriosis diagnosis.

Endometriosis is really hard to understand. But look, I went on Mayo Clinic dot org, and we also talked to a gynecologist because I was like, I DON’T KNOW.

With this disease, tissue that is very similar to the lining of the uterus starts to grow in places that aren’t the uterus. It doesn’t belong there. But it thinks it does, so it acts like uterine tissue — each month, it gets thicker, breaks down and bleeds as you menstruate. But unlike your period, this stuff can’t exit your body! So it’s just stuck there! And that can really irritate (an actual medical term) the other healthy tissue in the body.

As time goes on, and this whole process repeats itself month after month, that irritation can cause scar tissue and adhesions. And that can cause the organs in your pelvic region to GET STUCK TO EACH OTHER. Which organs are NOT SUPPOSED TO DO. And it can also affect your fertility.

Jessica: I mean, it's just — it's... really, really painful.

That’s one of the key things about endometriosis… IT HURTS. IT HURTS SO BAD. Some of my friends have it. A person who works on this SHOW has it! And it can take a long, long time for people with endometriosis to get a diagnosis because it’s hard to understand, and it’s hard to confirm without doing a surgery. So when the OBGYN diagnoses Jessica, she’s actually saying, “Look, you have all the symptoms, so let’s treat you like you have it.”

The standard treatments for endometriosis include the following:

First, there’s pain medications like Advil, which can be helpful for any painful period. But if a doctor actually thinks the cause of the pain is endometriosis, they usually start with birth control pills, which for most people are safe and can help painful and heavy periods. But if that doesn’t work, then you move to surgery: either ablation, which is burning the endometriosis out, or excision, which is cutting it out. Most experts recommend excision over ablation -- either way, that’s a lot for a kid. Jessica’s doctors start her on continuous birth control, because she’s already tried Advil, and it hasn’t worked. They’re hoping that it will prevent her from getting her period. That rogue tissue we mentioned earlier? It bleeds when a person has their period, so if they don’t get a period, that stuff can’t bleed, which then decreases inflammation and pain. Taking birth control pills this way can actually inhibit the growth of the disease.

Are you overwhelmed yet?

Jessica: I had breakthrough bleeding and I would be on... my -- on my period for however long, months or weeks at a time. And so these birth controls just never really worked.

So, that doesn’t work. Jessica starts another version of self-medication. She starts taking painkillers -- opioids. Again, I’m a person who did not do drugs in high school, so I asked Jessica how she even got drugs. Like, who do you get drugs from?

Jessica: Just friends... And then I started stealing them from my mom. My mom has an autoimmune disease. She got really sick after my dad died. they... started giving her pain pills and then I realized they started giving her pain pills and then I started stealing them from her cause it was just easier that way until she found out that I was stealing them from her. But I would find other ways. I would just buy them from people that had them... Everybody had them.

Nora: And what were you taking?

Jessica: Anything I could get, honestly, I mean, I would take... I would take hydrocodone I would take oxycodone, I would take... roxy, I mean, it didn't matter. As long as it was a pain pill, I would take it.

Nora: Are they expensive?

Jessica: No, they weren't. I mean, when I was in high school, they weren't. And I would just really... all my friends had them, so I'd just get them for free.

Those drugs give her the same rush that she got in that IV during her first trip to the ER. The problem is, she needs to KEEP taking them to feel better. The drugs don’t cure her endometriosis. They don’t do anything about the scar tissue growing outside of her uterus. They numb the pain, but they don’t solve the problem. Which is a very heavy-handed metaphor for addiction, and I apologize.

But eventually the pills aren’t that easy to get. She’s not in high school anymore -- she’s 20 years old. Her mom gets wise to her tricks.

Jessica: It got harder and harder to try and find pills. After that, I felt like everybody had heroin.

EVERYONE has heroin?! I don’t know anyone with heroin! I can’t even find an Advil PM. But heroin is a part of Jessica’s world. And in Jessica’s world, it’s something to avoid. It’s a line she doesn’t want to cross. Sure, she knows people who have done it. But she herself? SHE WOULD NEVER.

Nora: What does it represent to you?

Jessica: Like the bottom... of the barrel, really. Like... a big black hole that you just can't dig yourself out of. And like... just complete... hopelessness and helplessness and just.... Really just giving up on life and giving up on yourself.

Jessica has not given up on herself. So Jessica sticks to the pills she can scrounge up from friends and dealers. And one day, when she’s out on the search for pills, she sees someone she hasn’t seen in awhile.

Jessica: And I knew that he usually had some type of pills. I went up to him because I didn't have any. And I said, "Hey, do you have any pills? I just ran out and I don't really feel that good. do you have anything or do you know where I can get anything?" He said, "No. But I have something better. Come outside." And by this bar... there is an alleyway in between where everybody goes out and smokes. And we went out in that alleyway... and... we just sat down, he said "Here." And I was like, "You know, I'm not really into that. I don't--"

Nora: So what did he-- when he says "Here," what is he handing you?

Jessica: He just pulls out foil and it had heroin on it…

Jessica: It's... like a little... It's just black and it's sticky. And it's just like a little... Like if you imagine rolling up a tiny piece of gum... that's what it's like, but... harder, I guess. It's a little bit harder, but as sticky as that.

To Jessica, that black sticky Heroin is helplessness. Hopelessness. Giving up on yourself. The thing is, Jessica needs SOMETHING.

Jessica: Not only was I starting to go through... like... withdrawals and like detoxing from the pain meds that I was taking... I was starting... to... be in pain. And... I just felt like I had no choice, even though obviously I did. But I just felt like at the time that was my only option...

So, sitting in a doorway in an alley, stuck between the pain of withdrawal and the pain of endometriosis, she does it. She SMOKES HEROIN. And she feels...

Jessica: GROSS. And I feel... I just feel like... You know it made me feel... good. And it took everything that I was worrying about away. But it also just felt like... just such... like a piece of shit.

Sometimes, when we talk about addiction, we talk about it like it’s the ONLY thing happening in someone’s life.

But Jessica had a life outside of drugs and alcohol and pain. It’s just that drugs and alcohol and pain were at the forefront of everything she did.

She had a boyfriend, while in immense pain and addiction.

She bought her first house, while in immense pain and addiction.

She and that boyfriend moved in together and adopted a dog, all while Jessica was in immense pain and in addiction.

And she went to work every day. And talked to her mom and stepdad and Grandma. And saw her friends. And she decorated her new house with the kind of design decisions that only a 20 year old would think are okay to make.

Jessica: I was really into zebra print at that time so I hung up... zebra print all over and it almost made my mom and my boyfriend the time paint the house zebra print. And they were like, no, we're not fucking doing that.

All this regular life stuff is happening while Jessica is falling deeper into her heroin use.

Jessica: You know, it didn't take very long for me to go from just smoking it to... shooting it up. And... once I started shooting it up, then that was kind of the... end all for me... was like, there's no going back and I'm probably going to live this way forever because... nothing has ever felt this good in my life or taken away my pain as much as this has.

Jessica’s boyfriend leaves.

Her parents are upset with her. Worried about her, yeah, but also pissed at her. Because she hasn’t been making her mortgage payments. And that house is tied to her Grandmother’s name, too, so those missed payments are affecting more than just Jessica and her credit score.

Jessica: And I didn't care. I was just getting high all the time. And then my mom ended up taking my dog to her house and they were like, "You have no right to own a dog right now and you can't take care of it. So we're finding her a new home." And I think that was like the hardest part.

In less than a year from starting heroin, Jessica loses both her home and her dog. Jessica’s mom says that if Jessica wants to come live at home, she needs to commit to drug testing. And Jessica says NO WAY. Instead, she moves in with her drug dealer. They make a deal. Jessica cleans the house, and she gets drugs and a place to stay.

She’d traded the invisible pain of grief and endometriosis for the invisible pain of addiction, which is a pain that spreads to her family, too. Because all of the threats from her mother haven’t helped. Jessica keeps using.

And it keeps getting worse, even when she tries to get better. Jessica overdoses. She eventually starts going to a recovery program, but she doesn’t really stop using. And one night, right before the meeting, she shoots heroin in her car, and it goes really, really wrong.

Jessica: And a bunch of people found me outside in my car. I don't know how I woke up, but I woke up with a needle in my arm. That still wasn't enough for me to stop. My mom telling me that she was planning my funeral wasn't enough for me to stop.

We are gonna stop. And take a commercial break right here.

So, Jessica shot heroin outside of a recovery meeting and overdosed. She was found in her car with the needle in her arm. And she realized she wanted to live. She wanted to live without drugs and alcohol.

Jessica’s story of getting sober is kind of like other sobriety stories you’ve heard. She did the things she had to do to STOP doing the thing that was going to kill her.

But sobriety isn’t just about what you don’t do. It’s about what you do. With the time you’re given. With the changes you make.

It’s about figuring out how to live with the pain.

But in Jessica’s case, the pain is layered. It’s not just being raised by a father with a substance abuse issue and losing him traumatically at a young age. It’s not just about the pain of addiction. It’s not just about the debilitating pain of a reproductive disease that nobody understands.

And that pain, that physical pain of endometriosis, that does not go away. In fact, without heroin to numb it, it’s even more intense

And Jessica’s addiction and her reproductive illness puts her at the intersection of two big issues in the U.S. medical system: the opioid crisis and women’s health. There are huge disparities in how women’s pain is treated. It’s hard for women to have their pain be treated seriously.

Women are much more likely to receive prescriptions for sedatives instead of painkillers for their pain. And they’re seven times as likely as men to be misdiagnosed and sent home when they’re having a heart attack!

And it’s even worse for women of color, who in America die of cervical cancer at a rate that is twice as high as white women.

Even famous women like Lena Dunham struggle to have this kind of pain acknowledged and verified. She wrote a beautiful essay for Vogue in 2018 about her decision to have a complete hysterectomy -- the removal of her uterus -- just to stop the pain it was causing her. And it was a controversial decision, and there have been a lot of think pieces written about it. But it was beautiful, and it moved me. And that, a hysterectomy, is not just a very extreme step that Jessica isn’t ready to make yet… it’s one that might not even work. Because endometriosis is not technically a uterine disease. It’s the presence of tissue that is similar to, but not identical to, the cells that line the uterus.

That might sound like we’re getting too specific, but those differences are important, because many experts agree that a hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis unless there are other uterine conditions involved.

The point is, it’s exhausting. And Jessica is still in a lot of pain. And she can’t get a prescription for the drugs that would probably stop this pain because she has a known and documented addiction to them.

Jessica: And I can understand a doctor like, you know, a professional's point of view, how do you... Different-- like differentiate those two, right? How do you pull those two apart-- those two pieces apart? But... I also... Like, I need help...

It's just been a really like... a struggle and I've just felt so helpless. And my mom and my boyfriend have just felt so helpless in this situation as well. Because nobody knows what.... to do for me. Because I have been to the ER so many times, this-- just this year alone. I have so many medical bills... I mean, I'm here... right now in Portland... to have surgery tomorrow... But insurance isn't even going to help pay for that.

When we talk to Jessica, she’s out in Portland for a surgery. It’s the last of the standard treatment options she has — where the specialist will attempt to cut that rogue tissue out of her.

Jessica’s adult life has been an unpeeling of layers of pain: the grief over her father, the pain of addiction, the struggle to get sober and maintain sobriety, all while dealing with this quiet and misunderstood reproductive disease.

And Jessica is -- and this word is as subjective as “pain,” by the way -- a lucky one. She has a supportive boyfriend. She lives about five minutes away from her mom, who helps her out when the pain is too much. She has a job at a company run by people who are really understanding, who are flexible with her schedule and who encourage her to prioritize her health. And financially, she has some settlement money from her dad’s accident sitting in a trust for her.

She has a financial safety next. But at some point, you get sick of falling. You get sick of needing to be caught. To be picked up and dusted off.

This surgery is not a 100% guaranteed cure. It’s another effort -- like getting sober -- she’s making to claw her way towards the life she wants to live.

Jessica: Because, you know, there's a possibility that it, that it could not work and that I could do all of this and end up still in as much pain as I am in now. And we'll go back to the drawing board, you know, back to a blank page.

The other day, one of my children had a sore throat and I offered them some cough medicine. “Does this actually FIX my throat?” they asked, “or does it just cover up the hurt?”

  1. I don’t know, kid.

  2. I Googled it and spent a good part of Sunday afternoon trying to solve the mystery and does it matter? Just swallow the damn cough syrup!

So much of being an adult is realizing that you really don’t know the answers to very simple questions. But that’s such a good one to ask ourselves: Is this going to fix it? Or is it going to cover up the hurt?

Jessica emailed us with an update to the surgery. They got in there and took out the endometriosis, and found some sitting on her pelvic nerves, which explains a lot of the pelvic pain. They ended up removing some nerves. After surgery, she was in extreme pain and was put on oxycodone, dilaudid and morphine — not all at once, but a mix. The recovery has been hard. She’s gone through opiate withdrawals but waited them out.

She says that doctors told her it could take up to a year to fully heal.

She is still hurting, but she’s not trying to cover it up any more. She just wants to find a way to fix it.