The Hysterectomy: Or, How I Had An Internal Organ Removed and Learned To Pick Things Up Off The Floor With My Monkey Toes.

Good Monday morning, everyone.

As you may already know (we KNOW!!!), I had my hysterectomy on June 12. I started week 2 of being off work, but it feels like all this happened 11 months ago, not 11 days ago. I think that’s mainly because of the pain medication I was on. I’d take it and feel like the world had slowed down. I would talk and it seemed like it took my brain an agonizing amount of time to make my mouth spill the words. I also slept. A lot. Two pills and I’d be out for hours, which I’m sure my mom appreciated. I’m staying with her to recover, and if she wasn’t already an amazing mother, she climbed to extra super amazing dealing with me.

I’m not a difficult or demanding patient; I have these silly little meltdowns where I’d just start crying, though. I guess they aren’t “silly”…the first few were pain-related. Shifting in the recliner to get more comfortable hurt, but going from sitting to standing and back to sitting was extremely difficult and sometimes excruciating at first. I have this area in particular on my left side that feels like I’m being stabbed with a burning knife when I move and that would make me lose it. The others have been more emotional. Last Sunday, for example, I meant to send my dad a simple “Happy Father’s Day!” text, but ended up having an emotional crisis about how now I’d never be able to make him a grandfather now and oh, Jesus, here it comes again. I had the same meltdown with my mom later that day, too. Both parents reassured me it’s okay, my health comes first, all that stuff, but it’s still a pretty hard pill to swallow, even given my pre-hysterectomy stance that I didn’t want kids. This is just a more very definitely permanent affirmation I won’t be having any.

My favorite meltdown was last Thursday morning because it was the funniest–well, now it’s funny. It was very real and very distressing then. I woke up sweaty. Strike one. I woke up with a headache. Strike two. I waddled into the living room and didn’t want to sit down on the couch (too low to the ground) or in the recliner (I’ve sat in it for days), so I just burst out bawling. I think that one kind of scared my mom because it came out of nowhere; just her 32-year-old daughter sobbing in the middle of her living room. Good times.

The pain in general is better, just this pesky area on my left side that’s a constant reminder something is amiss. At least I don’t feel like I’m being ripped open when I cough. Laughing still kind of hurts, and sneezing really hurts, but not nearly as bad as it did a few days ago. My belly still gets swollen after I eat or drink, and my appetite really hasn’t returned, which I guess isn’t such a terrible thing because ever since this crap started after I had my colposcopy nearly a month ago, I’ve lost like, 17 pounds. “Hey ladies! Want to lose weight? Have a shitty uterus and get a hysterectomy! I lost nearly 20 pounds in 3 weeks!”

Since my belly hurts when I try to bend over too far, I have called upon my simian ancestors and am using my freaky long toes to pick up objects from the floor when reaching down to do so isn’t an option just yet. Believe me, I’ve tried and am instantly greeted by the pesky left side stabby/burny pain going “LOL! NOPE!” It’s really rather handy to have monkey toes, and my most impressive pick-up so far has been my telephone. “Big deal,” right? Well, in transferring my phone to my hand, my big toe unlocked the screen and opened up my Facebook app, so yeah, it was kind of a big deal. How did my toes know I was going to check FB? Eerie.

The only thing I’ve really noticed that’s changed body-wise is…pooping. It takes forever to poop. I know part of this is taking narcotics because those cause constipation, but I’ve been proactive in keeping myself from getting too blocked up, but seriously, it takes me twenty minutes to poop. I think it’s having my guts somewhat rearranged and shifted around. Whatever it is, it’s kind of annoying. I also think my bladder is acting up a bit, but in reality, it’s probably back to normal-ish. The fibroid I had was pretty g.d. massive, so when I’d drink anything, my bladder would get squished by the fibroid and I’d have to pee now and often. But now I don’t have this thing pressing into me and my bladder is probably all “whee! I have room now!” You’re welcome, bladder.

I go back to the doctor for my post-op appointment this Friday and see how things are going, how I’m healing (fine, I think…the strips covering my incisions are falling off), and see if I’m good to start driving and if I’m okay to go back to work. If so, I’ll be on light duty for the next four weeks, which makes me anxious because that means I’ll be stuck sitting at my desk during that time and I’ll probably go crazy. What fun! I also need to discuss hormones with her. I kept my ovaries, but one is not in the best shape, and the doctor was going to remove it, but decided against it because of the extend of damage my uterus/fibroid had caused, she kept it out of sympathy, I guess. She did say this thing is shot to hell and it will most likely need removed some time down the road, but for now, it stays. Anyway, hormones. I want to see if there’s a way to get them more leveled out or whatever. I’m suspicious that crying over not wanting to sit down is exactly normal behavior for an almost 33-year-old woman.

The most annoying thing about recovery, aside from pain, crying fits, and everything else, is that it’ll be a few weeks until I can ride a bicycle again and this is really frustrating to me. My bike, Ruby, has been sidelined because she is a cruising machine, meant for short rides on level ground, when I’m interested in longer rides with varying topography, but she’s just too big and lunky to deal with it. However, my gentleman friend has most graciously and kindly fixed up an old bike of his for me and is loaning it to me until I can get a different bike. We spent time working on it together–well, he did all I work. I was there for moral support and to hold the frame steady. I’m a good helper! But anyway, so this bike is polished and ready for me to ride and I can’t just yet. It’s really frustrating, so I hope these next weeks go by quickly and I heal up all proper-like so I can ride this thing. Until then, I whine.

There you have it. Here’s my boring post-surgery life.

I don’t regret having this done (at least not yet today. Give me a few hours). Once everything heals up and I’m able to resume my life again, I’m hopeful I’ll feel 100% better and not have to worry about this crap anymore. That’ll be nice.

As always, thanks for reading.


One comment

  1. Hugh Hunter · July 25, 2014

    Hi Erin, i had no idea about your health woes and only found out this afternoon when i had the sudden inclination to check your Twitter account to see how you were doing.
    I hope your recuperation is progressing and the meltdowns are diminishing. All the hugs from Scotland. Hugh xoxo

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