*crossposted at

My uterus and colon are totally awesome and you should want to GAWK at photos of them.

Let's play doctor

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 …

Hey look! My insides !

Alright: 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?

My disgusting belly button. Healing slowly

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


  1. thank you for continuing to be open and honest with your life. i am so amazed with the way you are walking through this recovery and look towards you as a beacon of hope.
    .-= Nathan Eckenrode´s last blog ..Proofs =-.

  2. If it helps you cope, makes you feel better…share away, Erin!
    .-= Diane Cordell´s last blog ..365 Project: May =-.

  3. I never understood complaints about over-sharing. It’s up to us to decide what to share. If anyone doesn’t want to read something, it’s not like you’re forcing them?

  4. I don’t get grossed out. Oversharing? Nonsense! This is therapy! Get well soon, Erin.

    BTW, nice guts.
    .-= cartoongoddess´s last blog ..Doe on the Greenway =-.

  5. I understand this more than you’ll know. To stay in your own head, in your own pain, to listen to people tell you that you’re fine, that you’re dramatic- it’s too much. You HAVE to talk about it or the emotions will eat you up faster than any bacteria or virus ever could.

    If you ever need an ear, I’m always willing to listen. And I’ll understand.

  6. I don’t have a gall bladder either. We should start a rad bitches who don’t have some of their organs club.

  7. Not grossed out at all. I go under the knife in 2 weeks to get my gall bladder out as well. I don’t need the other stuff taken out though. I totally get the needing to share part of this, as well as needing to know what is going on. I’ve googled this shit a bazillion times 🙂

  8. I’m a mom. I’m a doula. I have 3 older brothers. It takes a lot to gross me out!

    I am a new reader so I don’t know all the backstory to your medical challenges but I hope that you are on the road to good health!!!
    .-= Karen S.´s last blog ..Potty Training Regression =-.

  9. I posted pics of my guts while my c-section was going on. Uterus out on the belly and all. I say go for it.
    .-= Gidge´s last blog ..1003 Posts and Still Going =-.

  10. Hey Erin – I totally get the need to over share. But for me it about being a mom of a heart baby and a mom whose baby in addition to his heart has several other medical complications. My over sharing is talking about how it feels to let your five and a half month go into heart surgery, it is about talking about letting your 15 month old go into urethra and bladder surgery, it is about talking about carrying your 19 month old into yet another surgery, knowing it is still not his last. It is about talking about 21 days in the hospital before he was 8 months old. For me it is finding support to get through those days.

    It breaks my heart when family members let their eyes glaze over as I share another nightmare/horror/sadness for my baby. I so get the need to share and the need for support.

    Keep writing and posting photos. Best of luck with the next surgery!!!

  11. txvoodoo says:

    I went thru the oversharing dilemma during my hysterectomy, then during my colon resection. (BTW? You should stop trying to match me, surgery for surgery, NOW. I know I’m cool and stuff but…no. I want you happy and healthy!! :))

    Of course, now I wish I’d kept my 9 lb fibroid so I could REALLY overshare!

    Q: are they doing the colon surgery laproscopically, or full abdominal? If the latter, hit me up for some stuff doctors never tell you will happen post-op. Like “do not watch comedies”. Laughing HURTS.

  12. Well, at least the pictures out to make the Beck lovers in your last comment thread scamper quickly off of your blog…

    Almost makes me wish I was a doctor so I could understand what the heck the pictures say. Its worse than looking at an ultrasound other than your own and trying to see where the actual baby is.
    .-= Barnmaven´s last blog ..A graduation, of sorts =-.

  13. I have never seen guts before. Fascinating in a train wreck kind of way. When I was 36 my uterus decided it had had enough and proceeded to attempt to fall out. Had it removed. Kept the ovaries. One of the best decisions I ever made.

    Hope your recovery is swift.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Actual Conversation =-.

  14. Nice guts!

    When I had my gall bladder out I begged for pictures and a souvenir stone. But for some reason the doctor thought I was kidding. So I’m thinking, “lucky you”, for being able to record the memory of your surgery.

  15. Keep posting the photos! Living with a serious genetic disorder and having had several surgeries myself, I totally get it. Keep sharing to help the healing.
    .-= MarfMom´s last blog ..Friday Favorites =-.

  16. here’s the thing: it’s YOUR blog. It’s not like you are going to THEIR blog and posting pictures and stuff. It’s your friggin’ space, to do what you please with. And if they are not interested or they are just wusses, then they can stop reading anytime.

    I think so many people who know you personally, or semi-personally from the blogosphere and Twitter and BlogHer etc, will want to know what’s going on with you, will want to know that you are getting better and so on. It’s good to share these things. So keep posting, and congrats on the awesome internal organs 😉
    .-= Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels´s last blog ..Ah, sunshine, how I have missed you. =-.

  17. THANK YOU!! You are amazingly brave to be sharing this! Tell all those folks who think you are ‘over-sharing’ to just suck it!
    I hope you are doing well!! Sending good thoughts your way!

  18. You must keep sharing, not only for yourself, but for everybody who will be wildly searching Google one day for his/her condition and someone who has “been there.” You have had an extraordinary run of illness in the past couple of years, and I worry about you. I actually read your blog to find out how you feel, as I already know how you think:-)

  19. When we become ill enough to require intensive medical interventions as you have, we can be left feeling violated, no longer trusting our bodies to work well. If we’ve struggled with illness for a long time and haven’t been adequately heard or blown off by others as whiners or constant complainers, I think it’s important to be able to talk about our illness. And yes, I feel it’s appropriate usage of your blog to discuss this stuff.

  20. Frankly, I can’t imagine why people think they can “demand” particular content – or lack thereof – on someone’s personal website. When being plagued with something I ALWAYS over share. However – I always give a disclaimer (blood and guts coming, you’ve been warned) and that’s all that’s necessary in my opinion. It’s wonderful, though, when people share. I have a reproductive genetic defect. I wrote 1 article a few years ago over on associated content, and to this day it still gets comments. All from people thanking me, or have questions, because they too have this defect and there are just no layman’s guides out there for us. One women even tracked down my home phone number to discuss it (ok stalker FTW, but she was sincere about her concern for her daughter and never crossed any other lines.) It’s GOOD to share. For you – and for anyone else suffering from the same thing. And frankly – if you’re a journaler/blogger/diarist/writer, I feel it’s detrimental not to when it’s a health issue. There are so many issues to worry about, and symptoms to live life around and through… Not expressing it would (maybe literally) eat me up inside. Now I just wish I’d thought of scanning my endoscopy results.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..A Request =-.

  21. It takes guts to show your guts. (See what I did there?)

    Hang in there, and thanks for the ample spoiler text to give folks a chance to steel themselves or to run 😉

    I have high hopes that Friday will be the start of happier sunnier times for your health
    .-= Leslie Poston´s last blog ..leslie: Reading: WP users: here are all the social plugins for Facebook in one wordpress plugin – awesome! via @vocalgeekery =-.

  22. I came here after taking part in your poop pool over at Suebob’s.

    Oh, I totally get oversharing. It is part of the healing process, it is part of the dealing process. In December, I had an emergency laparotomy for a 10-cm unknown abscess near the tubo-ovarian region. And then in April, a follow-up to remove my appendix and right fallopian tube (both damaged from the abscess, but unrecognizable at the time of first surgery) and an unrelated yet troublesome cyst on my left ovary. Oh yes, there is a ton of oversharing about trying to poop and incisions and so much more on my blog. It had to happen, though. Laughter is the best medicine…or is oversharing?
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Days of Grace- 255-365 =-.

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