Hysterectomy Haiku and Other Musings

By now you know the drill:  this is the unabashed version of my pre-surgery life, so if you don’t want to know about it, go away.  Now.

Final warning…..

Final preparations for surgery are beginning: I had to stop shaving yesterday—I decided to wax my legs right after Christmas so I wouldn’t have to deal with a hairy forest on my legs for days on end prior to surgery and then for who-knows-how-long after surgery, since there’s no way I’ll be able to bend over to shave in the days immediately following surgery.  The waxing thing was new to me—the first round, the day after Christmas, was less than pleasant.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the DIY kit, which seemed to leave a lot of patches of hair. I spent countless hours plucking stray hairs with tweezers and decided that shit was not worth my time, so a few days later I gritted my teeth for a second round of waxing.  Surprisingly, the second go-round wasn’t bad at all.  I think part of it was that my leg hair appears to be in multiple stages of growth, so the hair that was left was fairly short, and thankfully, fairly painless to remove.  The first experience I’d let my hair grow out for a few days and there was definitely some wincing (and maybe a little cursing under my breath) as I ripped out the hair.  If every waxing experience was like the second experience, I’d probably consider doing it more often if I thought I’d only have to deal with it once a month or so.  But I don’t think that would be the case, so I’ll probably just stick to the razor.

So now that I get to watch my armpit hair grow for the next few days, I’ve taken to writing hysterectomy haikus to get me through the next few days.  Why haiku?  This little (short-lived) tradition goes back to Halloween 2013 when some friends came over and we played Scattergories.  For whatever reason, I forget the exact stimulus for our poetic adventure that night, we took some of our answers and turned them into haiku.  And they turned out to be hilarious.  We giggled, laughed, guffawed, then had tears streaming down our faces from uncontrollable laughter.  So that night began a little tradition between my girlfriends and me to come up with silly haiku poems whenever we had some notable event happen that needed “just that little extra touch.”  Plus, we all like the challenge of creating short 5-7-5 syllable lines of poetry to capture the moment.  Here are a few I’ve written so far:

Hysterectomy / Nervous but also joyous / Soon I will be free

No more pain to fear / No more irrational blood / This endo be damned

Hope for the new year / Recovery will be slow / But I am so strong

Surgery prep sucks / Don’t shave, special cleansers / No drink after twelve…

…As in, twelve midnight before my surgery.  I can have no food or drink after midnight so that I will have an empty stomach on which to receive anesthesia.  Just in case there is a bad reaction, vomit during surgery is an unwanted side effect that is avoided by having nothing in the stomach to vomit up while unconscious with a tube down your throat.  Lovely!  And in addition to the no-shaving policy, 3 days before my surgery I have to begin a special anti-microbial cleansing regime to reduce the germs on my body so that I will, in turn, reduce my chances of coming down with a nasty post-surgery infection.  Because, according to the literature I got regarding my pre-surgery cleaning routine, most sources of patient infections come from germs on their own bodies.  Well, if that doesn’t make me feel like a dirty vagabond.  The active ingredient in the cleanser is chlorhexidine gluconate, which sounds just slightly frightening.  The nurse told me it will dry out the skin, so I’m not supposed to use it above the neck or in my nether regions.  And, the last night I use it, I cannot use any lotions (germs!), so maybe I’ll go into surgery looking like a reptile, but a clean reptile.

Rumor has it I’ll be up and walking around very quickly after surgery.  So I went to Goodwill a couple of weekends ago and bought 3 skirts with elastic waistlines and just enough flow to them that they won’t press against my sutures as I walk the hallways of the hospital.  I told my surgeon my plan and he said, “Wow, you’ve been doing your homework.”  Of course I’ve been doing my homework…  He said he could tell I was a planner.  Yes, I like to have a plan.  And even if the plan changes, that’s ok, but I like to try to eliminate as many unknowns as possible up front.  For some reason that seems to help me be more adaptable when plans change.  And I planned ahead when I bought these skirts—they are actually cute enough that I will wear them again:

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There is snow forecast for the next several days and we got a couple of inches already tonight.  So tomorrow Hubby and I are going to take our backcountry skis and go hit some fresh powder.  I bought backcountry skis in 2013, but I never got to use them as backcountry skis, just at the resort a couple of times.  We spent tonight molding the liners of my new backcountry ski boots and fitting them to my ski bindings.  I’m excited to finally put some skins on those babies and “earn my turns.”  The terrain is very mellow, which is good because I really don’t need anything extreme on my first outing or an injury just days prior to my surgery.  We’re planning to head to the ski hill on Sunday since the snow should be really nice by then.  I’ve got limited days left to play (4, in fact), so I’ve got to make the most of them.  Here’s where we’re going (we went cross-country skiing here with The Stinker on New Year’s Day):

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