Life: Change or Die

It probably took a year of intermittent pain before I could see a doctor about it. In my early twenties that would’ve been due to being an uninsured broke-ass but that wasn’t the case this time. (I mean, I’m still a broke-ass college student, but for once) I have insurance. It just took that long for this sharp, yet sporadic pain to become consistent enough to actually show a doctor. By the time I did, I was sure I had one of two ailments: a tumor or an alien.

My doctor is great, she talks through her thought process which I find really comforting. Swallowing the fear that’d pooled in my throat, I croaked out the most logical of my two hypotheses. Unfortunately, my scary moment coping mechanism delivered this question in full on Schwarzenegger, “is it a too-muh? I asked her as though she would’ve been able to answer right then with any sort of definitive answer. What is she, psychic with X-ray vision?

“Mmm, this resonates more with a hernia than a tumor.” What a great response. And more tests confirmed the theory. Because it took a year to even diagnose, I couldn’t remember what it was that had caused it. The earliest irritants I can remember are jogging and -ahem- romance.  Bow chicka ow-ow! Yet, even after my pain had a name, I found more times when I was exerting more energy than I should.

Case in point, my Honeybee walks in the room and I hug him as tight as I can, but it’s not enough. I then lift up my fully grown man of a husband off of the ground. This is a semi-regular occurrence. Why is this a semi-regular occurrence?!

Another case in point, this time last year I helped our friends Jared and Scott move out of this killer lighthouse house into a cute house in West Seattle. I knew it was going to be a very frustrating day for the both of them, so I was a madwoman at lifting and Tetris-ing everything into the truck. Can’t do that anymore.

My mom says I’ve always been a dramatic child. When another kid would be mean to me I would say, “you hurt my feelings.” That said, going under the knife for the first time is scary. I’ve been crazy blessed to have such a relatively pain-free life and strong body and while I’m sure I’ll be fine I’m also facing the reality here:

Anytime you’re put under and sliced up things can go wrong and you can hella die. But even if everything goes according to plan, I’ll be strutting around the rest of my days with a piece of mesh in my body holding my intestines in place. Maybe two. That means I’ll likely need to make changes in the way I exercise and possibly more. How do you mentally prepare for that?

My plan is to make lists and from there make change. Lists, man. They have untapped potential to make big changes in one’s lifestyle and I’m about to tap up a whale!

And if I get really scared I’ll just stare into the gleaming chest of Goldblum.


My surgery will be laparoscopic, so it’s the most painless and least invasive option. That said, the recovery time is about two weeks, but no lifting or walking at a moderate clip for three months. Three months! The whole summer. Of course it could be worse and of course, hopefully, I’ll end up stronger in the end, but staring down the barrel of even routine surgery is like…


Surgery’s tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Love and light,


Author: Brianna Wray

I'm an artist in Seattle just living the dream.

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