Disclaimer: Just as fair warning, this post is about my upcoming hysterectomy, so if you don’t want to read about it, this is your out!
However, later this week I will post a recipe for a delicious vegetarian stew that I made in my crock pot over the weekend. So don’t worry, it’s not all guts and no glory around here these days.
Okay, on with the show…
So this past weekend I had my last period. Ever. I’m still not sure it has really sunk in that, in just over 2 weeks, I will no longer have to deal with monthly bloating, cramping, sore breasts, and horrendous heavy bleeding. The more I ponder this fact, though, the more liberated I feel. And relief! I feel relieved knowing there will be no more surprise start dates, no more bleed throughs where I have to go home from work to change clothes, no more scrounging for tampons when I forgot to restock my purse, no more changing tampons in the field when there is no pit toilet, just me squatting in the sagebrush trying not to bleed all over the little wildflowers that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The more I think about some of my menstrual experiences over the past few years, I just have to laugh out loud at how ridiculous being a woman is sometimes. I WILL BE FREE OF THIS BULLSHIT SOON!
I’m not trying to rub it in, but I feel very happy about my future. Especially after my pre-op visit with my doctor this morning. Even though I have felt more at peace since making the decision to have the hysterectomy in the hopes that I will gain my life back, I have still felt nervous about the procedure. In particular, I have been a little worried about removing the endometriosis, especially since it’s attached to my rectum. My family (mother and aunt, in particular) has been worried as well, and made me promise to ask how the endometriosis would be removed. There is the potential, if lasers are used, to perforate the intestines, which would be very bad news for me (basically, I’d be shitting inside my body cavity and end up with a life-threatening infection…uh, no thank you). So I’ve been curious how that was all going to play out. When I asked my doctor today, he said that in many cases, he can simply pull out the endometriosis with his hands, and no lasers or scalpels are needed at all. Well, Halleluiah and color me crazy! That totally put my mind at ease. I realize, however, that my case might not be so simple, but in talking me through the procedure, my doctor was just so relaxed and matter-of-fact about it, that I really feel like I am in good hands. Other good news that came out of today’s meeting: he won’t have to cut any of my abdominal muscles—he’ll simply push them apart to get to the goods to be extracted. This means a better recovery for me! Also, he may be able to salvage an ovary (if it looks okay and not completely destroyed by the endometriosis), which means I wouldn’t go through menopause or have to take hormones after the surgery. He even pointed out which ovary he thinks might be a candidate for keeping when we looked at my laparoscopic surgery images from February.
Towards the end of our meeting I mentioned that I was still a little bit nervous about the whole procedure, and he looked at me and said sincerely, “I’m not.” I don’t really know why, but that COMPLETELY set my mind at ease about everything. It seems a little silly that those two words put me at total peace, but I guess if instead his reply had been, “Yeah, I’m really nervous about this too,” I’d probably be searching for another surgeon right now. But he said he does 2-4 of these surgeries a month, which, given the size of the town we live in, seems like a hell of a lot. I know I’m in capable hands and for that I am grateful. And I will just say this: my perspective on this guy has changed 180 degrees since I first met him back in January. When I first met him I felt like his bedside manner was a little coarse and that he seemed to like Hubby more than me. But now that I’ve gotten to know him a little better, I really like him. So that, too, helps calm my nerves. I’m feeling very much at peace tonight. It is a nice feeling, one I haven’t had in a long time.
I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about endometriosis and I thought I would share a couple of really good resources I stumbled across. If you are looking for a general overview of endometriosis and potential treatments, the University of Maryland Medical Center has a thorough article here:
And if you are considering a hysterectomy as a treatment option for endometriosis, the website HysterSisters (www.hystersisters.com) has information about pre-op preparations, post-op do’s and don’ts, information for husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, etc. (Mister HysterSisters), and forums where there is no question unasked or unanswered about any topic related to a hysterectomy, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may seem. Plus, I just really like the clever name.
For my endo sisters who are trying to find the best way to manage the symptoms of this horrible disorder, you have my support, my sympathy, and my ear, should you need it.