Lilly and Grandfather

Lilly looked up at the vast expanse above her head in wonder. Her wandering five year old mind never stopped taking in the world around her. So many questions, always. At her young age, she didn’t know much about the world—but she was always curious, always hoping to discover more.

“The way the world works is very strange,” her grandfather told her once. She was sitting on his lap, quietly taking in words, in his low, gentle voice. A voice that exuded tired determination. He had been in Vietnam and had seen more of humanity in a matter of years than most people wished to see in a lifetime; he was a Vietnam veteran who wondered every day how he had survived while his buddy, his best friend, was blown to pieces right next to him in the Vietnamese rainforest. Yet, despite that daily question, his aging mind was filled with those nuggets of wisdom he had picked up not just because he had survived, but because he had willed Continue reading “Lilly and Grandfather”

Dear Doc…Or, a Birth Control Story

I was put on “the pill,” as they call it, in October of 2009.

Early one fall morning–the morning that my third attempt to earn my driver’s license was scheduled, in fact–a nasty, gut wrenching ovarian cyst erupted within me. Oh man, was it painful. I don’t think I’ve ever been in as much pain in my life. I remember writhing around on the couch, clutching the right side of my abdomen, wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

Well, needless to say, my license would end up taking one more month to obtain because that nasty, gut wrenching ovarian cyst, which I was worried might be appendicitis at the time, landed me in the Emergency Room.

Fast forward a week or two to my first ever trip to a gynecologist. A lady doctor. At 16, I felt so adult to be visiting such a doctor. At 16, I listened as my brand new gynecologist explained to me the benefits that birth control could have on my body–not just that it would help prevent further ovarian cysts erupting, but that it could help with acne, it would make my periods lighter, and of course, the obvious–it would keep me from pregnancy.

At 16, I was three years away from my first sexual experience and I sure as hell had no plans for sex in the immediate future…but lighter, regulated periods sure sounded nice and I couldn’t deny the fact that another ovarian cyst eruption was not at the top of my “to have happen again” list. So, I went and filled Continue reading “Dear Doc…Or, a Birth Control Story”