Bethenny Frankel‘s impending surgery for uterine fibroids left her shaking and in tears on Wednesday night’s Real Housewives of New York City – a far cry from the unflappable figure she usually cuts across the series.
“I don’t know why I feel like this, it just brought up so much stuff,” Frankel said following a pre-op consultation with her doctor, while talking on the phone to her friend Teri.
She was crying as she spoke: “It’s like, I don’t have parents, I don’t have brothers and sisters.”
“I don’t want to be dealing with this stuff right now,” she said.
(“I’m not good at this stuff,” she said.)
But what seemed to tip her over was the doctor’s suggestion that Frankel prepare a living will and figure out who her medical proxy is, in the case something with the surgery went wrong.
That meant one thing to her: What would happen to her daughter, Bryn?
“God forbid something happened to me, imagine if she had to be with them always, that’s my worst nightmare,” Frankel said – a possibly oblique reference to ex-husband Jason Hoppy and their protracted divorce, including a custody battle.
In the car heading home from her doctor’s appointment, Frankel said she felt “a little lonely,” facing all of this herself: “It’s like I don’t have anybody.”
“I don’t have a mother to call about this,” she said to the camera.
Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this month, Frankel said the surgery to remove the fibroids, some as large as softballs, took place in late May. It left her drained and in the hospital for three days.
“It was extremely painful,” she said. “I slept in bed for like a week. And I focused on getting healthy, drinking green juices and eating a lot of bright-colored foods so I could help myself heal as fast as possible.”
And heal she has – a journey from then to now that will also be captured on RHONYC.
“I’m in a really happy place right now,” Frankel told PEOPLE. “It was, overall, a very enlightening experience.”