The TRUTH About a Hysterectomy
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
I recently joined a somewhat secretive and not so small club of bad ass women. We all have one thing in common, and it's a commonality that isn't talked about as much as it should be. The secret- we had our lady parts taken out - aka hysterectomies.
In fact, I hate saying lady parts, because in all honesty women are made up of so much more than their uteruses and 'lady parts'. Is that yet another reason why women are often quiet about their hysterectomies?
There is one area of having a hysterectomy that is not talked about enough. For me- this aspect of a hysterectomy kicked my ass, and resulted in some serious tears and anxiety. It's the emotional side of saying goodbye to your reproductive organs.
Before my surgery day I was scared and extremely emotional. I don't know about anyone else, but here is what I experienced with past trauma and emotions. They ALL bubbled to the surface.
Due to the fact that I had sexual trauma in my past - boom - all of that old damage resurfaced. There is a saying that your issues are in your tissues. Surgery of my female organs meant that the pain of that trauma bubbled up. Again. I thought I was done with it. Nope. Still had some healing to do.
Also, my former dreams of wanting a second baby resurfaced. I may be 50, but I relived that old pain of not being able to have a second child. I felt the loss all over again in my heart, head and body. It was a powerful feeling of sadness and loss.
Truth be told, it was also a long overdue healing. All of the feelings coming up were probably therapeutic. At the time I said screw the feelings- they hurt. I would never have picked to feel them, but I did and I was able to move through them.
Second, besides the emotional healing, is the physical.
Here is my lesson: STOP comparing yourself to anyone else's surgery and recovery.
This has been my biggest current struggle. Everyone knows the woman who bounced back in one week and everyone knows the other woman who took the full 6-8 weeks to recover. You- Me- we are somewhere in between. And that's totally normal. Our bodies heal at their own speeds. Stop comparing.
After hearing from well meaning friends about their recoveries - good and bad- I was comparing my healing. I wasn't healing fast enough. I shouldn't need any pain meds at this point (that was at 2 weeks). I should be taking more pain meds and then I'd heal faster. I'm obviously failing at recovery. Bullshit.
Why as women do we constantly compare ourselves to our sister counterparts? We compare our sizes, weight, fertility struggles, pregnancy, post pregnancy bodies- the list is endless. Stop. Comparison is the stealer of joy. It's also the thief of peace.
Here is my journey: Week 1 sucked, because I was very sore from the surgery. I hurt, ached and was exhausted. Week 2 sucked even more. My exterior surgery wounds were healing, but I had seriously painful cramps, lots of gross stuff and was still exhausted.
I went to one store. Walgreens and I was there a whopping 10 minutes = I was exhausted and needed a nap. I just hit week 3 and I have no idea what to expect - but I am hopeful.
What's next in my recovery? I honestly don't know. I am not healing at a fast pace, but I am healing and getting stronger every day.
Emotionally, I have worked through some serious shit and have come out of it stronger and more peaceful. Old wounds have finally closed up and my body is on a path to wellness.
Today, I noticed the Fall colors like never before. I have also slowed down. I am listening to my body. I am healing. Albeit slower than I would have chosen. Must be why I'm not in charge.