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Standing in the doorway wearing required instructors’ attire, a white oxford shirt and light-colored khakis, I greeted each student as they entered the classroom. There were roughly twelve that evening, ranging from college students to CEOs. Since most attended word processing and database design classes I taught at the computer store, I sensed their excitement in taking a more creative one this time around.

Approximately ten minutes prior to starting the class, an eager student asked that I show her how to insert an image into a presentation she created on her own. Although I had planned to cover the topic toward the tail end of the four-hour session, her enthusiasm prompted me to assist.

As I leaned toward her monitor to explain the steps, pain which felt like fiery logs of flesh exploding inside my uterus struck. Radiating throughout my lower abdomen and back, I crouched onto her desk. Suddenly, blood began charging out of me at what felt like fire hydrant speed. Piercing through the sides of my panties and streaming down my legs, within seconds bright red bloodstains saturated my khakis.

Startled by sounds of shuffling chairs and students dashing toward me, I lifted myself off the desk, hobbled down the aisle, and hid behind the instructor’s podium. Sitting cross-legged on the stool, a student in her early-60s rushed over and whispered, "What’s wrong?" Too flabbergasted to speak, I uncrossed my legs and pointed toward the seat of my pants.


Straightaway, she announced I had "fallen ill" and ended the class.

– Excerpt of Author’s Note 

five pounds of fibroids: a memoir

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