Category Archives: Hysterectomy

The tick-tick-ticking of the clock…

In two months it will have been a year since my hysterectomy.

I try so hard not to let January 6th, 2014 have any monumental significance.  I have read that it takes about a year to feel normal again, my doctor has told me it can take up to a year to heal.  When a year was seven, six, five months away it was a reassuring thing to tell myself.

You aren’t back to where you were, but it’s okay, they said it can take up to a year.

Now that a year is two months away I stare at my swelly belly and wonder;

What if I am not better after a year?

So much has happened this year that I haven’t had time to deal with my sense of grief, my anger, my loss.  I feel like the whole world has moved on and I am just now finally feeling it.

I am deeply sad.  I am ragingly angry.  Nothing about having a hysterectomy before I was ready to be done having children is ever going to be okay.  This will always be a pang I feel.  I feel as though so much of me was literally ripped out and tossed away and somehow I am supposed to go on as though I am normal.  Somehow I am supposed to reach a point where I have healed.

This was the hardest part of my life and it was overshadowed by marital strife and relationship drama.  It was the experience that cemented in my own mind that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you try to do about it, things will suck.  You can work as hard as you can, harder even, and the world will keep on moving while you fall apart.  I lost my home, my friend group, my intact family.  Those are the things people saw, commented on, dealt with.  But I lost so much more.  I lost my fertility.  I went to bed a 37 year old woman and woke up in menopause.  I can build a new home, I can make one with my family, I can work on my friendships.  I will never get that back.  It is gone forever.

Motherhood is the only thing that has ever come naturally to me.  It is the only thing I have ever felt truly amazing at.  I grow strong, intelligent, beautiful children and I am a wonderful mother.

Except now I can’t grow strong beautiful intelligent children.  And please don’t tell me I already have two so it’s okay.  It’s not. It never will be.  I can be a wonderful mother to the children I have, but that doesn’t take away the pain from not ever being able to even think of having more.

I have had my heart broken before.  I have had it torn out of me by death, divorce, anger, violence, and more.  It always healed.  Now I doubt it will.

The clock ticks away the minutes toward the end of my first year without a reproductive system.  It ticks away toward physical health.  It ticks away to a new period in my life, a time of health and happiness.  Each ticking second carries with it increasing expectations.  From my family, my friends, and from me.  Everyone, including me, is waiting for the healing to end.

The thing is, it won’t.  I am forever scarred by this, forever changed.  The year will roll around and my core muscles may be strong again, I may be able to run and box and chase my kids.  I may feel better than I have in years, but it won’t be me.  I have had to let go of the 37 year old woman who went into surgery on January 6, 2013.  For all intents and purposes, she died.  The person who emerged from that surgery has a lot of similarities to her, but she is not the same.

I don’t think I ever will be.

The last baby.

It’s a distinction he bears with pride.  It started when he told me he wanted a younger brother, so he could have a boy to play with.  My heart constricted in my chest and tears welled up in my eyes.

“I can’t have anymore babies my love, you are my last baby.”

“Your last baby? Why am I your last baby?” He asked, eyes widening as he tried to wrap his six year old mind around a very adult concept.

“Remember when mommy had the last surgery?”

“Yes. You couldn’t pick me up forever, and you cried.”

“Yes” I managed to whisper over the lump in my throat. “When I had that surgery, they took out the parts that let me have another baby. So that is why you are my last.”

He was silent as he absorbed this.  Maybe it was something in my tone of voice or the look on my face but he sat with my statement for a long time, treating it with more seriousness than I thought he could.

“That’s really sad mommy, that you can’t have another baby.” He threw his arm around my neck and snuggled into me, giving me a chance to breathe in the unique smell of his sweat and shampoo. “But I am a little glad I got to be your last  baby.” He kissed me on the cheek and snuggled in close, pulling me towards him with both of his little boy arms.

“I am glad too sweetheart” I murmured as I rested my chin upon his head and closed my eyes.

“And Mommy? Don’t worry, I will always be your baby.”

The wall.

It’s been nine months since the final surgery that removed my uterus and remaining ovary.  I have been getting more active, more energetic, better.  Sometimes better enough to forget that it’s only been nine months.  Often, better enough to forget that my doctor told me it would be, at minimum, a year before I felt completely better.

So I get busy. I work, I work out, I play with the kids, I see people, and the whole time I am thinking “Woo hoo! I am getting better!” I feel energetic and great!  Even with migraines I feel miles above where I used to be.

Then I run smack into the wall.  BAM!

Yesterday I hit the wall after I saw the doc for a nerve block for my migraines.  I got home, blearily handled the kiddos while I waited for their dad, and then went to lie down because I could not keep my eyes open.  I am not exaggerating.  I could not stay awake any longer.  I hit the bed and I slept for three and a half hours.  Then I ate something, went back to bed, and slept ten.  I am exhausted and distracted today, unable to focus for very long on much of consequence.  My energy level is super low.

This has happened before.  It’s like I have used up all my spoons, and have to recharge before I get any more.  It’s not unusual, in fact I should expect it, but I never do.  I did when I was super sick, when I had to spend all my energy just not screaming at the kids or Lee or crying all the time because I hurt too much to be a human being much less a wife and parent.  Now that I am much better I forget how much farther I have to go.  I get greedy and impatient with myself, eager to return to the levels of energy I had before all this madness started.  Eager to leave behind the woman who watched the world rush around her while she lived in a quiet little room, too hurt to participate.

Unfortunately, the wall has no pity.  It is relentless.  I run into it and there is no running past it, no getting around it, no breaking through.  All there is are days of sleep, rest, and the feeling that I can’t do anything.   The feeling that I am right back in that room.  The wall will not let me by until I have taken the space and time I need to recover.

So I dial it back.  I spend less energy.  I try to regroup and build myself back up.  I hope this time I will have more energy than last, that I will be that much closer to healed.

That this time I will finally get completely out of that room.