Don’t get me wrong, the physical recovery from my hysterectomy was rough but at almost 3 months out I can say that I am in absolutely no pain for the first time in years. Unfortunately, the emotional and hormonal rollercoaster is far from over.
Everywhere I look it seems like someone else is pregnant. For the most part, I am very happy for these women, but there are a few who make me cringe as they complain about the impending arrival of their baby. I imagine I may have done the same thing when I was pregnant. It’s just that I do not want to hear about it right now. Selfish? Maybe.
I feel better knowing I am not the only one feeling this way. One of my friends who had her hysterectomy before me mentioned feeling like she was robbed of the family that she wanted to have. I definitely have those days as well. I always wanted to have more children but felt forced to make a decision based on the amount of pain I was in on a day to day basis. I don’t even know if we would have ended up having any more children but the fact that my body made the decision for me is beyond frustrating. Frustration that is second only to dealing with infertility.
A lot of people mentioned feeling less like a woman once they had a hysterectomy. I certainly don’t feel like that. Maybe it is because I am so grateful to be out of pain or maybe it is just because my boobs are bigger now due to hormone replacement and a little weight gain. In case you were wondering you do have to wait a full six weeks to resume sexual activity. After a lecture from my doctor, which sited a patient who had to have a re-operation after not following the six week rule, I heeded his advice.
I will say that the weight gain and adjusting of hormones has been very challenging. After trying my second HRT option I feel as if it is actually leveled out. No more hormonal mood swings or tears at the first sappy commercial I see. My doctor seems convinced that the weight will come off as soon as the hormones are in balance. I certainly hope so.
While I may be “recovered” from the surgery I can’t even begin to tell you when I will be “recovered” from the emotional aspects of my choice. Do I believe today that I made the right choice? Yes I have three girls who now have their mommy back from the shell of a woman created by endometriosis and adenomyosis pain.
Is it easy? Not always. Some days are better than others. I take it one day at a time and pray for grace on the days I feel overwhelmed with grief over all of the “what ifs”. None of us are promised another day and I know now that I am not wasting the ones I have with my girls dealing with pain. Our kids grow up way too fast and I don’t want to miss a minute! So for that reason this is a choice I would make again and again.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.