Just Write: Gutted

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It’s how I feel in a papery hospital gown. I can’t stop thinking about how it’s been worn by hundreds (thousands?) of other naked people.


It’s how I feel when my braless breasts go sagging out to the sides as I lie down on the gurney.


It’s how I feel as the nurse tap tap taps on my hand to get the vein after she ties the tourniquet.


The needle shoves past my freckled skin. The prick of pain and the breath I yank in and the tears that gather.


It’s freezing in the OR and although I can feel some medicine starting to work, I’m hyper aware that someone is tying each of my ankles to something hard and cold at the foot of my narrow bed.


The medicine makes me feel wonky and swirly but my brain and body are strong and fighting it. I’m acutely aware that now my ankles are being being cranked up by pulleys, drawn to the top of each of two skinny poles.


Everyone knows there is nothing on underneath a hospital gown.

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I start to cry. The anesthesiologist peers over me with his blue mask and tells me it’s going to be okay. But how is it okay when strangers can now see my most private parts?


My body is on display. They’re used to it, they see all kinds of naked bodies day in and day out.

But I’m not used to it.

I don’t remember what else the anesthesiologist says to me, but I remember getting hysterical. The embarrassment of the surgery I was about to have rivaled the level of pain my fissure was causing. I cried hard. I wanted to disappear. I didn’t want people looking at my lady bits, my flabby white cellulite-ridden ass.

All I know is that the medicine is working, but it’s not enough because I’m still awake and conscious enough to feel the cold air hitting my bare body. I’m conscious enough to feel gross and ugly and inexcusably human. All my parts.

So it has come to this.

I sob as the room spins so much I feel like retching.

And then from somewhere above my head comes a mask and I’m told to inhale deeply and count.

At long last, everything goes black.

When I wake up, there’s scalding, searing pain like an iron. Sharp like the tip of a knife.

There’s no one there with me, and I try to call out for someone, but I can’t even make my mouth move.

I roll to my side and pull my knees up, fetal position.

I’ve been gutted.

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  • http://masalachica.blogspot.com/ Masala Chica

    Gutted. Exposed. Extremely vulnerable. You my friend, know that I too suffered from the same kind of pain you went through after child birth. God that was so excruciating. And humiliating. In seeking help you might have felt vulnerable and weak, but you were actually strong and brave. As you are in writing this post now. XO

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you. Yes, I felt vulnerable and weak… in so many ways. Thanks for being my friend, for sticking by me. Love you.

  • http://thedudedean.wordpress.com/ TheDudeDean

    Erin, real boobs are supposed to go to the side like that.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      LOL, Dean!

  • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

    Love you friend.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Love you, Amanda. Thanks for reading & being my friend. xo

      • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

        Thank *you*

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    Erin, I’m so sorry for your experience. I do hope that post-surgery, you feel better from having had it. xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Yes, fortunately I’m much better. Thank you so much for reading and leaving me some love. You’re an angel. love you. xo

  • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

    HOLY CRAP, Erin. Oh. I should mention that I just went and read your original post about the surgery. That may be coloring my reaction here…!!! Actually, it definitely is because both posts are so incredibly descriptive and evoke such strong emotions, but in completely different ways. How can you write so well in two different ways? :) You are a gifted writer, lady. Also? HOLY CRAP I am sorry you had to go through all this!!!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you so much, Mary. The surgery was in 2006 and I’m glad it’s behind me (pun intended). Yes, it is funny to read about it both ways…my first post about it was waaaaayyyyy old, from my old blogger blog when I had no idea what I was doing. Anyway, the feelings that have been bubbling up lately feel like this, so I figured it was a good writing exercise. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments!

  • alexandra

    Feel better, and soon, dear friend. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Alexandra! 😉

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    My friend . . . I felt like that when I had a hysteroscopy. It’s really really hard. Hugging you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I haven’t had a hysteroscopy, or maybe I did and just didn’t remember that’s what it was. I have a feeling I might have had one during IVF prep…. I’m sorry you had some unpleasant stuff, too. It is SO hard. Thanks for the hugs. Love you. Can’t wait to see you NEXT MONTH!!! xoxo

  • http://auerfreelance.com/ Kerstin Auer

    Erin, I hope that in the long run you’re feeling better after the surgery. Your writing is so touching an real, my heart aches for you. xoxox

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Kerstin. Yes, I’m a lot better, that surgery was in 2006. So I have a lot to be grateful for. Thank you for reading my writing and commenting. Your support means more than you know. xo

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    oh Erin. My friend, I want to find you, hold you, smooth your hair back and tell you over and over that it is going to be okay. Because it is.
    Your writing and words gutted me, as they always do. I hope you feel much better soon. Remember when we used to say “I’ll take my pants off for anyone in a white coat” and how we did.

    you are stronger than you know, you are more talented than I can explain, you are loved so very much.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Kir.
      Fortunately this surgery was in 2006. And fortunately I got my babies. But the memories remain, and the feelings are symbolic of so many things right now that I cannot write about. Love you & so lucky to have you in my life. xo

  • Julie Gardner

    I kind of want to look the universe in the eye right now on your behalf and say, “Okay now. Enough. ENOUGH.”

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are sweet. This surgery was… um, in 2006. But the memory and the feelings are still very fresh and they parallel other things. Thank you for reading & supporting me, as always. xo

  • Julie Gardner

    And then I also want to kick the universe in the ass. On your behalf.

  • C. Cole

    You gut me. In a good way.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Christopher. Thinking of you today and feeling grateful for your friendship even though I’ve been MIA.

  • http://www.mommy-miracles.com Laura

    This is an awful feeling, and I’m so sorry that you’ve been through it – that you’re going through it now.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Erin in the raw.
    Such a gift with words.
    Keep it coming, let it all flow from your heart and from the hurting … let it run from your soul like a salve that will heal xxxx

  • Kim Steele

    The uncertainty that comes with procedures is the worst. And you know they do it all the time – but, like you said, we don’t. I hope that the after makes up for the before and the during. Sending hugs to you, my friend.

  • Greta

    Ahhh. I can feel the cold and the pain and the vulnerability. All for motherhood, huh? Worth it but so very difficult at the same time.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Greta. Yes… we moms… we go through so much. But it is worth it. xo

  • Katie

    i love you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Love you more, Katie. Thank you for reading. xo

  • http://unintentionallybrilliant.blogspot.com Roxanne Piskel

    I have no words. Only love for you my dear. XO

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Rox. I have tons of love for you, too!

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    love you, sweetie. That’s all I know to say right now. xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Elaine. And that’s all you need to say. Please don’t ever feel like you have to say anything at all. Just be my friend. xo Hope you and Tim are having a good time right now, despite everything. Thinking of you all. xo

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    Medical procedures can be so traumatic, and no amount of “sucking it up” can change that. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      So true. Thank you for reading and supporting me, sweet friend. xo

  • http://www.aussalorens.com/ HackerNinjaHookerSpy

    Ugh, so awful. Medical professionals need to read things like this so they can retain a bit of mindfulness.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for reading & commenting. I agree, many docs need lessons in what it’s like to be a patient! LOL!

  • anneflournoy

    Oh my goodness, Erin. What a powerful,painful piece of writing! Thank you for posting it.