Pardon the tongue in cheek title. But it seems that dark humor has been what’s gotten me through the last 7 months since my hysterectomy. Which got me to thinking; my friends and readers hadn’t been tortured with my story in a while and would probably appreciate an update. Or maybe I’m just using this blog post as a poor way to measure where I’ve come from. Either way, here we are, so let’s chat.
So. 7 months. What has happened, you ask? Well, I’ve been working like mad. I bought a crock pot, which I love. I have met fabulous people via Twitter in real life and have lived to tell about it. I have been eating Korean food. I’ve been trying to not go crazy.
[Insert obligatory ‘haha Carrie, you’re crazy anyway what is different’ joke here]
Ahem. There were many things I was anticipating going into my hysterectomy. Not dying was at the top of my list. I was also hopped up on a mixture of A-positive blood and happy pills so life was going to be one of all the things life should be made of: sunshine, an occasional rainbow, friends, ponies, etc. Because things happened so fast, I didn’t think to ask any forward-thinking questions.
I wish I had.
However, I don’t have the luxury of turning back time like Cher. So the weeks after my surgery were a different battle than I was anticipating. Turns out when you hop a woman up on drugs to suppress her hormones, coming out of that fog is not fun. And her body will take time to adjust to the fact that it just had an organ taken out of it. Physically, I felt like a brand new woman. Emotionally and mentally were a different story.
:::Interactive break::: Stretch out your hand, left or right, doesn’t matter, palm down, finger tips stretched outward, like your reaching toward something you desperately want, but can’t have. Do you see that spot just beyond where your fingers are? That point where just a millimeter of space separates you and your object of desire?
That is how I have felt mentally and emotionally for the last 2 years. (You can put your hand down now.) It kicked into intense gear after my surgery. Any control I felt I had on my inner being felt totally out of my reach. I never knew when ‘it’ would hit. Rage, irritation, uncontrollable crying jags, exhaustion, an aching body… Any one of those symptoms would snap at any given time and with ferocity. As quickly as they appeared, they would go.
I thought having this surgery would make me ok. That all of the problems I had faced for so many years would be gone with the slice of a knife and it would be blessed relief. I would finally be in the best years of my life, a semi-functional female. But that hasn’t been true. I’ve tried to make it real by telling everyone that I’m ok. I’ve pushed myself to be ‘fine’ because that’s how I thought I was supposed to be.
But there is freedom in facing reality.
Here is where I am: I cry. All the time. More than I ever thought I could (and for those who know me well… be scared). I’ve gained weight since my surgery. All the research tells me this is normal. But coupled with imbalanced hormones and a naturally neurotic mind, this has caused me some anxiety. I could probably rival the Hulk for angry mood swings – the intensity of the frustration that envelops me is indescribable. And only lasts for a few seconds before it goes. I’m an exhausted insomniac.
Yet, in the grace and faithfulness of Jesus, again, I’ve been led to a place where I can recognize that how I feel inside isn’t something I just have to live with. But there are actually things out there to help women like me. I’m going to try some of that stuff and see if they help. And if they don’t, I’ll try something else. This experience reminds me that I need to be diligent about stripping away a facade and living life with honesty, bravely facing up to what I’m dealing with rather than running from it. However, the biggest lesson is that there is power in sharing. And as there are a multitude of people who shared their struggles, pains, joys and victories with me, I want to do the same.
So, friends, how are you?
Read #8 in the series: I’m Ovary It