Saturday, June 9, 2012

A SLICE OF LIFE

Me: "Daddy's going to bring you to the hospital to see me after my surgery is over. Okay?"
Tuck (who was four-years-old): "Okay, Mama. They are gonna cut your belly like when I was 'borned'?"
Me: "Right. And they are going to take out the parts that don't work right anymore."
Tuck: "Will you feel it?"
Me: "Nope. I'll be asleep. The doctors will take good care of me."
Tuck: "And the new baby they pull out with your parts? The doctors will take care of him, too? I can't wait to see that new baby they pull out of your belly."
Me: "No, Tuck, I don't have a baby in here."
Tuck: *BLANK STARE*
Me: "Okay. Let's start over, Tuck. I missed something."

Two years ago in July I had to have a partial hysterectomy. After years of trying to control my pain, bleeding, cysts, adhesions, and endometriosis with little to no success, it was time.  I wrote about how we got to that point as a guest post on the Just.Be.Enough blog. Since I was 32 at the time, my GYN decided to leave my right ovary in. It was the best looking part of my damaged reproductive system and it would hopefully keep me out of menopause for about five to eight more years. The surgery was big. Bigger than I expected. I thought for sure I'd blow her 6-8 week recovery time out of the water. Silly me. That surgery was the boss of my body for that full time and I couldn't do a thing about it. Chris, being Chris, took it all in stride. Two kids under 4 all summer long. He did great! I had chocolate at my bedside at all times. Good man.

That right ovary wasn't happy being left all alone, though. For the past six months, I've noticed an increase in my pain level on that right side. The first time it happened, Chris and I joked it away by saying it was lonely and crying in there. The second time it happened, the pain was more pronounced, there was some swelling, and it lasted more than a few days. I decided to keep closer track of it. Every month got a little more intense and lasted a little bit longer until last month when the pain just settled in and wouldn't go away. The intensity of the pain ebbs and flows, but it is ever present...again. I hesitantly made an appointment. An exam, blood work, ultrasound, and a revealing of the "findings" later, it was decided the best course of action was to remove the remaining ovary.  My doctor also announced that she thought it would be best to have the general surgeon take out my appendix while she was in there. Two for the price of one.

So, on June 28th, the remaining parts causing havoc will get an eviction notice. I'm scared. I won't lie. It's not the surgery or the recovery that I'm scared of though. I know what to expect with those. I've been there before. It's what is going to happen to me after the surgery. Once she removes my ovary, I'll be in menopause. I'm a worry wart, a "catrastrophiser", and I have a fear of the unknown. I have no idea what to expect with this except the usual jokes you hear about women having hot flashes. 

The thing is, what I found most helpful before and after my hysterectomy was hearing other people's stories. Whether it was friends, friends of friends, my mom, my aunts, my second cousin twice removed, or reading a stranger's story online, it helped me be less wary of the road I was about to travel. This got me thinking about my blog. 

I wondered if any of my readers have been through this or know someone who has been through it. I would love to hear your experiences, tips, and tricks if you are willing to share. Feel free to send me an email, a PM if we're on FB together, a DM if we're on Twitter together, or leave it in the comments if you feel comfortable. I feel like I should buy a book on it, too. Do they make books called  "What To Expect When You're Menopausing"? 


Thanks in advance for your help!

Also, thanks to Chris and Michele from ODNT 
for helping me out with the post!


7 comments:

  1. I'm almost 50, and have not gone through "The Change" yet (Sounds like some sci-fi thing..). But I have peri-meno symptoms. But, this is different, I am thinking, cause I think your deal will be less gradual. So, really, it would be MOST helpful for you to hear from ppl who have had this surgery. That does not include me, but I am just here for moral support :D Hey, at least you have a fabulous husband, which is more than I can say for my divorced self, or a lot of women out there. That is such a blessing! I'm sure you will do fine...one day at a time!

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    1. Thanks so much for the support, Libby. I appreciate that.

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  2. Hey, Mel! I'm not in menopause yet either (meaning I still have the nasty visitor every month) but I do have the symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats and God help my family, moodiness. I take ICool for the hot flashes, it helps some. For a while I took One-A-Day menopause vitamins which really helped with the night sweats. I would definitely recommend those. I'm still working on finding the right thing for the hot flashes (nothing like getting one of those when it's 90 deg. outside and you have to stand out there). If I find something that really helps, I'll let you know immediately. I'm really big on natural remedies. In the meantime, I'll be praying for a speedy recovery for you.

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    1. Great ideas, S! Thanks so much for these!!

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  3. Every woman I talk to who was in menopause whether it came on naturally or was surgically induced has a different story/advice. My Mom had her hysterectomy in her late 40s and has taken Premarin which works for her.When she turned 60 they did a bone scan on her because long term estrogen use can cause bone loss in some women. that is what happened to my Mom so she stopped her Premarin. She started having symptoms, hot flashes and headaches, which werei unbearable for her so she isstopped back on PremarinThursday and addedt Fosamax to helpsee prevent bone loss.
    My sister-in-law had a hard time getting the hot flashes to stop. They tried her on several different types of estrogen replacement including vaginally which made them bearable. That was a very long way of telling you to make sure you have a good rapport with your MD and don't hesistate to call him/her up and tell them how you are feeling. Every women's body reacts differently and it make take some trial and error to find a hormone replacement regimine that works for you! Does this even make any sense? I think my brain got sunburned today at the pool! xo

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  4. OMG! I am just reading this now! Don't know how I missed it. Glad you are recovering ok. I have not gone through any of this, so I have no advice. Just hugs!!!

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