So where to start?
Perhaps the fact that this is the first time I’ve managed to sit down and write something and usually I love writing, is an illustration in itself of how the last 10 weeks have been. An ‘uphill with lead boots on’ type of monumental struggle. A physical, emotional and psychological adventure playground of highs and lows.
The operation itself is a biggy, key hole surgery or no key hole surgery. I WOEFULLY underestimated this. To state the bleedin’ obvious here – it hurts. Loads. But then there are so many other symptoms too. Strange anatomical eruptions, leakages and disruptions to normal bodily functions that one really wouldn’t anticipate. Or at least I hadn’t.
The hardest thing by far however has been the hormonal tsunami that has ripped through my body rendering my mind a mulchy slush of tears, bad tempered crossness and volatile irritability. Not great – not least for the nearest and dearest who have tried their very best to care for me.
I had naively assumed that because I was keeping my ovaries, the soundtrack to my new uterus free life would be a glorious aria of birds tweeting , children laughing and unicorns playing harpsichords as they frolicked across bright azure skies. Well b*****cks to that quite frankly. Think 24/7 jackhammer like moods. Think death metal so loud it would burst the stupid bird’s ear drums. Think crying for no reason other than I bloody well want to alright??
I am assured however that this is normal. Normal? Really? Normal for how long? When will my poor pissed off ovaries, suddenly wrenched from their uterine reproductive sister decide to forgive the enforced separation and start working properly again? Dear God make it soon please. For the sake of humanity, not just for me.
There’s also the small matter of now no longer being able to bear children. That’s ok though isn’t it because I didn’t want any more? I really really really didn’t you know. Absolutely not. Shudder at the thought. So how come I feel bitter and twisted when I see a pregnant woman on the street, so happy and content in her reproductive peek of life?. How come I spit emotional bile when I see maternity clothes hanging gaily in clothes shops with all their promise of smugness and new life woven in to their annoyingly over-sized tent like fibres? Bitter? Moi?
Not wishing to sound like a complete Moaning Minni here, I do know I’ll get over it. Of course I will. I’m just being petulant because I no longer have the option to have another child regardless of whether I actually wanted one or not. I already have two perfect offspring for whom I am truly grateful for and they are more than enough. I do feel physically better too. My ‘lady bits’ had caused me nothing but trouble, pain and misery over the last few years (I had adenomyosis) so it was undoubtedly the right thing to do. I just hadn’t anticipated the emotional and psychological roller coaster having them removed would send me on. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I wouldn’t have done it if I had.
As my consultant said to me AFTER the operation, it’s still very unclear how the uterus and its removal effects the female psyche. We are after all programmed to reproduce. ‘Woman’ and ‘uterus’ are inextricably linked in ways we do not even begin to understand. One (the woman) goes with the other (the uterus) like baked beans and toast (my analogy not hers) So what happens then when the beans are suddenly served on their own? Do we decide we didn’t really need the toast anyway? Do we find something else to serve them with? Do we think ‘well I needed to cut down on the carbs’? Who the hell knows. Clearly the medical professionals still don’t.
So whilst I’m glad I had it done. It was the right thing to do and I don’t regret my decision at all, I still have a way to go. My lovely long suffering GP thinks 6 months before it will all settle down and that maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. It‘s a major operation after all and if I’d had any other organ removed I’m sure I’d be cutting myself a bit more slack. But guess what, I’m a woman (still), and us women are complicated. Now who the hell would have thought that!
Now available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.
Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.