Warning: If you are uncomfortable reading about people's medical issues, if you are squeamish about the thought of blood and hospitals, if too much information is too much for you, or if you are male, you should just not even bother to read this post. You will not love it.
I can't even figure out how to make this story interesting and appropriate for a blog (even with a warning.) So I'm just going to jump right in and say it, okay? I'm having a hysterectomy tomorrow. Apparently girl issues run in my family and I'm approaching that age when they start to become annoying. Although I can't really remember a time when they weren't annoying. Earlier this year, I started feeling crappy and not myself, and in an effort to figure out what was happening, I started with my OB/GYN. She is not the most delightful woman I've ever met and her answers are not always helpful. But I tossed out my laundry list of ailments and she diagnosed that what I was feeling was pretty common for a 40+ woman. She prescribed a number of things over the course of the next 6 months or so to relieve the symptoms and make life a little more comfortable, but none of them really did anything. In fact, they mostly just added to the problem. By June, not only was I totally uncomfortable 75% of the time, but I had also gained about 25 pounds. blah…
I wasn't convinced that my problems were common or that I should just have to live with them so I went to another doctor who ordered and MRI and CT scan. (also blah…) I hoped that someone would find something that would explain why I was feeling so crappy, but honestly I was a little nervous about what they were going to find. A nurse called two days later with the results that I had some small fibroids in my uterus and some other inconsequential things, but that everything looked fairly normal. I can't even tell you how completely discouraging that was. How could there not be anything significantly wrong with me if I felt so crappy?
I wandered around for another month or so before talking to a friend in October about an entirely different subject. She casually referred me to her doctor who happened to be in the same office as the MRI/CT scan doctor that I had already seen. I decided to try a second opinion and see if she could help me feel better. Guess what she said when I walked in? "So, you've received the results from your MRI, right?" And I said, "Yep. Inconsequential fibroid tumors. Common for my age. Blah, blah, blah…" She said, "Well, I wouldn't call them inconsequential. There is one that is about the size of a grapefruit."
Well, a grapefruit sized foreign something inside my body would account for some discomfort wouldn't it? Yep!
In 20 minutes, I had answers to questions that had been swimming around in my head for months. Hallelujah for casual conversations with friends who suggest things that you don't think are even going to make any difference at all.
I went back to the GYN (I'm honestly not even sure why…probably because I thought it would make a difference if I had some PROOF that I had a legitimate reason to feel crappy.) She still is not my favorite person, but I did get her to agree to go with the more invasive, more effective method of getting rid of the pain by getting rid of my whole dang uterus! Why do I even need that thing anymore anyway?? I scheduled the surgery and then went to another GYN for a second opinion (and wished the entire time I was in her office that SHE was the one doing the surgery.) Dr. #2 assured me that I definitely needed a hysterectomy and that Dr. #1 was a competent surgeon. well that's a relief...
So here we are today…
I have finished all the Christmas shopping, wrapped almost all of the presents, stocked up on food for my family, and have nothing on my calendar in late December and most of January. I had my blood drawn this morning. I have a fancy little plastic bracelet on my arm identifying me as the patient for tomorrow. I have a 48 hour bag packed. And I think I have laid everything out perfectly so that I can just recover for the next however many weeks it's supposed to take. The doctor is very vague about what procedure she's actually going to use, how long I'll be in the hospital, and how long it will take to get back to normal afterward.
But even with all that stuff prepared, I'm totally scared to death about the whole thing. I know thousands of women have this done every year. Pretty much everyone of my friends has had a hysterectomy, and they were all just fine. In fact, they said it was the best thing they ever did! BUT…I'm still a wreck. I've only ever been to a hospital to have four uncomplicated deliveries of four little perfect babies. I'm scared about the anesthesia, about the IV, about feeling any incisions, and about being alone in the hospital overnight with no husband sleeping in the recliner next to me, and no new baby in a little bassinet beside my bed.
I have no idea how long it will be before I get back to church, to my routine, to playing the piano, to Zumba, or to this little blog. Hopefully SOON. And hopefully I'll be able to report that I didn't say anything ridiculous or embarrassing while under anesthesia, that there were no major complications, and that I have joined the ranks of all those great women before me who have happily retired their female organs. And hopefully this self-imposed slowing down of my schedule will be a good thing for me and for my little family. I'm looking forward to flannel sheets, dinners that I don't have to make, books I haven't had time to read yet, and snuggling with my family while we watch all those old Christmas movies.