What not to say to a someone post hysterectomy

*NEWSFLASH* WORDS HURT!! 

Last post I wrote was all about the emotions I have felt as a result of my hysterectomy. Some people don’t think about how their words may hurt someone else. Here is a list of things not to say to someone after their hysterectomy.

Well, you can always adopt.

Adoption is extremely expensive and emotional journey. It may not be the right choice for everyone. Also, they probably don’t want the reminder that they can’t carry their own children.

You can still have your own kids. Surrogacy is an option.

My only reaction to this comment is “are you gonna foot that bill?” Surrogacy is more expensive than adoption and is really not an option for me. Please don’t try and argue me into having biological children through surrogacy. The even worse version of this one is when people offer to be your surrogate.

You’re so lucky that you don’t have a period anymore.

Excuse me? I am lucky that my periods were so bad and that I was in so much pain that I had to have a hysterectomy? I am lucky to never get to carry and/or bear my own children? This one is just wrong on so many different levels.

Maybe you can have a uterine transplant.

A uterine transplant would require yet another surgery. It would require lots of healing time and may be totally unsuccessful. I don’t want to risk that. I don’t want to get my hopes up for nothing. Please respect that. Please don’t try and argue me into this.

 

The Emotional Effects of my Hysterectomy

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that 5 months ago I had a hysterectomy. I lost everything except my ovaries. This surgery has provided endless amounts of pain relief from Endo and Adeno, but as with any surgery, there are other effects as well. I wouldn’t change the relief I have received for anything, but I do wish I could still carry my own children.

I knew losing my uterus would be emotional, but I wasn’t prepared for the little things that would hit me. I knew that being around little ones would be rough. I also knew that being around pregnant people would be rough, but I was so unprepared for some other things. I never thought that a pregnancy test could make me cry. Last week I was walking through Walgreen’s and saw a pregnancy test and I just lost it. I realized I would never need one. I would never get to surprise my future husband with a positive pregnancy test.

Walking through Target or Walmart and seeing baby clothes is enough to make me tear up sometimes. I start thinking about all the things I won’t get to do. I’ll never get to be the pregnant lady walking through the baby section picking out clothes and being asked when I am due. It makes my heart ache sometimes.

The emotions post-hysterectomy in my case are weird. Sometimes something hits me and I breakdown. Other times, I am totally fine with the exact same situation. It is a healing and grieving process. I am learning to be easy and gentle with myself. I can’t be hard on myself for grieving my loss. I have had to learn to extract myself from some situations to protect my heart. If people want to talk about getting pregnant and having kids, I may need to walk away for my own sake. Walking away isn’t due to weakness, it is protecting my heart and my relationships with others.

Things that people say can also cause upset. I know little ones don’t know any better, but man sometimes their words cut deep. Back before the summer session at the gym I was coaching at ended, I had a four-year-old ask me if I was a mom. Talk about hitting a nerve. I kept it all together and told her no and laughed it off in the moment, but it was really hard. I have kids who call me mom, and it is just enough of a reminder that I can’t carry my own kids to get under my skin.

Overall, the most important thing you can do for your emotional health post-hysterectomy is accept it. Don’t try to bottle up all your feelings and act like you are fine. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be angry at your situation. Writing here and in a prayer journal have both been very helpful for me. I have found a support system of people who I can talk to. People who understand that this isn’t something you get over in two days, weeks, or months. The raw emotions and pain will last for a long time and that is okay.

My surgery and scars are just a part of my story. Right now the emotions may feel overwhelming, but that is okay. They won’t always be overwhelming. Time heals all wounds, these included.

Post-op Update

My 2.5 week update after my Da Vinci hysterectomy and excision of Endo.

I am 2.5 weeks post-op today. I feel AMAZING!!! Dr. Furr went in and removed my uterus, fallopian tubes, and multiple adhesions and lesions due to Endometriosis. My left ovary was adhered to my side. I had lesions on my bladder, ureter, uterus, and pelvic wall. Pathology confirmed adenomyosis.

The first night in the hospital was the roughest. I really did not want to take dilaudid, but the percocet had me wired. Eventually I caved and took the dilaudid and actually got another dose before leaving Chattanooga for the 2 hour drive home. Throughout the first week, I had a whole lot of help. My parents had to help me get up and sit down. All my food had to be made by other people. I couldn’t even open the freezer to get ice for my water by myself. Thank goodness for my family and friends.

Week two was so much easier. I went to church and hung out with lots of friends. I might have pushed myself a little too far at times. I played with puppies one night. I did a lot of sitting down and standing up and sitting back down. By the end of the night I was starting to hurt. All throughout week two, I was off all pain medicines including over-the-counter stuff.

The beginning of week three was Friday. That night, I went to my boyfriend’s wrestling banquet at his high school. Saturday I went to Nashville and stood outside the Mercy Lounge for almost 3 hours to get tickets to see Panic! At the Disco later that night. I ended up being up on my feet for another almost 5 hours straight before and during the concert.

My restrictions really were not that rough. The first two weeks I wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 10lbs and week 3-6 I am on a 20lb restriction. I am not supposed to be bending down much at all. I was told to walk as much as I can as soon as I can. My ice pack was my best friend for  the first week and a half when it came to walking. My dietary restrictions are non-existent as long as I am having normal bowel movements. The biggest thing Dr. Furr told me was to listen to my body. If it hurts, slow down. If I feel fine, keep it up.

I pray that anyone looking at having a hysterectomy who reads this understands that everyone’s body is different. I have had an extremely easy recovery compared to most. I have also been covered in prayer and am very young.