It’s been a long time since I blogged here. Actually, it’s been a long time since I blogged anywhere, outside of a professional capacity. I left because my life as a lawyer and a mom took all my time. I left because I no longer had the need to reach out into the internet and share feelings, thoughts, and experiences with everyone and no one.
I came back because the need arose in me strongly today. Nine weeks ago today I had a full laproscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy. A LAVH as the cool kids call it. Nine weeks ago today a beautiful and brilliant surgeon went into my body and removed my uterus and remaining ovary. They are gone, poof.
I had the surgery because I had serious recurring ovarian cysts. Those painful suckers popped up on my ovaries and inside my fallopian tubes again and again. I had one ovary and tube removed hoping it was the culprit, but a new cyst arrived two months after that surgery, so we yanked it all.
I am supposed to be happy about it. I guess. I was in less pain the day after surgery than I had been in for years. I should be relieved, ecstatic, excited. Instead I feel loss. I feel empty. I feel irrevocably changed.
I don’t get periods anymore, I don’t get that slight contraction of the muscles I used to get when I saw brand new babies. I get my hormones from a bottle. I read articles about “dryness” and “bone loss”. A huge part of my life experience as a woman has traveled through time and stopped about twenty years in the future. I feel old.
I look in the mirror and I swear I look different. I see someone else. This new me can’t have babies. This new me waits for my mood to change around the full moon and stares up at the sky painfully aware there is no wave of hormones coursing through me. I have lost my connection to the moon.
Initially, as the hormones disappeared and before the HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was balanced out, I felt crazy. I had hot flashes and chills, I had no idea what temperature it was anywhere and I cried at the drop of a hat. Now, months later, my hormones are stable, the hot flashes are gone, and my tears are less “out of nowhere” then before.
Now when I cry it is because I am reading an article on intimacy after hysterectomy and get angry that at 37 I this is my reading material. I see an ad for a baby stroller online and cry because I went from fertile to barren overnight. I see myself in the mirror and cry because I look hesitant, uncertain, less sexy than before.
I am sad. I grieve for the person I was before all these painful cysts and invasive surgeries. I am angry, I am furious at the toll this has taken on my family, my work, my self. I am at a loss.
I feel a bit like Tokyo after a Godzilla film. There is much to clear out, there is much to rebuild. I have to figure out what this sudden and unnatural change means to me, I have to incorporate it, become used to it.
I think most of all, I have to let go. I have to say goodbye to those annoying, painful, messy, expensive monthly visits I have had for the past 25 years. I have to say goodbye to worrying about wearing white during certain times of the month. I no longer belong to that club.
I will have to find another.