Was It Worth It?

I’ve started cleaning the house. I’m returning to my workouts now and life is generally back to normal. My biggest question left is: Was it worth it?

A hysterectomy is major surgery and not to be taken lightly. It’s not a first choice of treatment for endometriosis, fibroids, or migraines. And it might not even help endometriosis or migraines long term. You must find a surgeon who is qualified to even deal with endometriosis. Many times endometriosis can return if your surgeon does not get it all during your surgery. Do your research!

hysterectomyI discovered before and after surgery that some people are just plain insensitive or judgmental of my choices and my healthcare. The people closest to me were so supportive and offered me great advice leading up to my surgery. Random acquaintances were very quick to tell me surgical horror stories, migraine “cures”, and how I was way too young to have a hysterectomy because I really needed more children. I have never in my life had so many people concerned with my ability to have more children without them even realizing we made that permanent decision years ago… But they sure felt the need to insert their opinions.

It has been a very interesting few weeks. My recovery has actually been pretty good. I had a hysterectomy to remove my uterus, fallopian tubes, one ovary, and cervix on September 21st. The doctor also diagnosed me with Stage IV endometriosis during my surgery and discovered that it had spread. The endometriosis was removed during my DaVinci robotic surgery and I was left with five small abdominal incisions. When my labs returned, I also had one fibroid that was removed. I was a big mess of crazy.

The first week of recovery was my loopy week. I spent lots of time sleeping, being cared for by family and friends, and watching TV. I don’t remember a ton of details, but I do remember a lot of people loved on me that week. I know the gas pains from surgery were probably the worst, but moving helped a lot. I only took pain meds for four days and I was over that.

Week two was my sad week. I knew my body had been through major surgery and I knew to expect my emotions to be all over the place. I went back to work on day 5 and spent time with my work people. They brought me stuff and watched over me. It helped me feel more like myself. When I got worn out, I went home and rested. I cried a lot during the second week. It started sinking in that I was tired of hurting, I wanted to feel more like myself, I wanted to feel independent, and I really missed my friends. Luckily I have some fabulous friends who recognized that I was not handling things well, so they came over and started walking with me. It was exhausting, but it felt so much better to start moving in the right direction.

Week three was the frustrating week. It was one step forward and two steps back. I’d start feeling better and then it would slam me back into the dirt. By the end of week three, my son and I pulled off the 5K that I was determined to walk. I felt my energy returning and that is when I finally turned the corner.

Week four was the glorious week that I finally felt like I hadn’t had surgery. My abdominal pain was gone, my incisions looked great, and I started having energy that lasted pretty much throughout the day. I woke up in the middle of the night and caught myself asleep on my stomach. I started getting agitated because I wanted to workout and clean the house. I was ready to be cleared from surgery and tired of waiting.

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I’ve had one migraine since surgery and I was able to shut it down quickly. I feel fantastic!!! I feel like I’m happier and on the right track to becoming healthier. I don’t look and feel as worn down and tired. I never realized how much abdominal pain I was in until it was gone. I lived with constant pain and just dismissed it because the migraine pain was so much greater. I never imagined I would have Stage IV endometriosis or a fibroid. I never imagined these would cause the majority of my chronic migraines for the past two years. I’m just so excited to live pain free!

I wanted to share my journey to bring hope to others. I researched hysterectomies before my surgery, but a lot was very negative. There’s another site devoted to hysterectomy recovery, but I feel like it also was not for me either. There are some ladies who take months to recovery from a DaVinci robotic surgery while mine wasn’t nearly as bad. I don’t know their physical conditions prior to surgery, but my doctor told me I had a quicker recovery due to my physical fitness prior to surgery. This website had me pretty scared at times. I used it during my recovery and it had me terrified to lift a coffee cup.

After week two, I decided I was done with their advice and listened to my own body and my own nurses. If I felt worn out or sore, I rested. If I felt okay, I did my thing. I did not lift over 10 pounds and I did not jump around, squat, run, or shake my booty in Zumba® fitness. A heating pad on my sore stomach when needed was fabulous and that’s pretty much all I needed in the last two weeks of recovery.

Every woman is different and each surgery is going to be its own struggle. I lived with a lot of pain before surgery and I feel like a hysterectomy was almost a cake walk compared to the life I lived before it. I don’t regret doing it and I am so thrilled with the results so far. My doctor explained that my left ovary could fail in the coming weeks or months after surgery. Sometimes it just doesn’t handle the surgery and I will experience menopause symptoms. We are just going to remain hopeful. It takes a lot of triggers combining to bring on a migraine now. I know I’m not completely migraine free, but I can manage them without it wrecking my life. I still take a daily preventative migraine medicine and see my neurologist. The most fabulous part is I can wear white all year, go swimming any time I choose, and wear yoga pants every day without fear… because I will never deal with another period. And at 32 years old, that is quite fabulous!

 

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7 thoughts on “Was It Worth It?

  1. Chrissy says:

    Just wanted to leave a comment and say I appreciate you sharing your story. I had a full hysterectomy last year at the age of 34 due to endometriosis as well. It is hard to find information to relate too being younger than most. It is a very big decision to be made and you have to do what is right for you, your health and your family. I am glad you are feeling well and that it all turned out for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Chrissy says:

        Well 🙂 It has been a tough road. We did want to have more children ( we have a 10 year old son). I had severe endo and had three surgeries over the last five years to remove it before the last one where my Doctor took everything, ovaries included, so I went into surgical menopause. Since the endo had spread so much we did not have much for options. I am glad to be relieved from the pain I went through before. The pain that endo caused was unbearable and I am grateful not to have to go through that anymore . I do have some menopause symptoms- fatigue, weight gain, stress, etc. So it is all something that I am working on and trying to find healthy holistic ways to cope and heal.

        Like

  2. Laurie says:

    I to have been researching the pros and cons and have read lots on it affecting intimacy, did your dr address that? That is the big thing stopping me.

    Like

    • thecountrydivablog says:

      Laurie, I had those same concerns. I did a lot of research and found that it depends on whether or not you keep your ovaries. My doctor was able to salvage one of mine and I do not have to take hormones. For women who do not keep their ovaries, you must be committed to working with your doctor after surgery to find the right combination to work for you. It can take some time, but it is possible. It takes patience. After I was cleared from surgery, we took things very carefully and slowly. The first time was not fabulous because I was so nervous about something going wrong. I tensed up and it made everything painful. Once I got over my initial fears, everything went right back to normal and we found intimacy was the exact same.

      I think some women can mentally deal themselves out of intimacy. I do know that it can happen easily and I know our first time after surgery was easily sidelined because of my fears. A hysterectomy can cause a woman to have many emotions and if you are prepared for those going into it, it may help post-op. A lot of women have a great sex life after a hysterectomy! Share your concerns with your doctor and have a plan before you have surgery. If you do not feel comfortable with their treatment options, seek a second opinion.

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