My Hysterectomy story: part i

Being grown up means life will throw you curve balls…a story about my medical surprise…Part 1 (A Journal). Warning: this contains adult content and I will be sharing information based on my own experiences.

I have been missing lately on social media and posting blog posts for a variety of reasons this summer. One is that summer is just so damned busy. If you don’t already know, I am a nanny and during the school year this past year, the little ones were in school at least half of the day so I had a little extra time to kill and work on things now and then. Of course, summer vacation means that my priority is, always, with the little ones, for a summer full of fun. On the home front, my daughter who lives with me, got a job, meaning that I have been babysitting my granddaughter as often as possible during my free time. When she is at her dad’s house, I finally feel like I have some free time…full of cleaning and other things that just need to get done, leaving me little time to create and write.

Another thing that kept me busy is my two week long work trip with my nanny family to the beach. There was no way I was going to lug around my laptop and work on anything other than playing with the kids and enjoying time with good friends. Two weeks is a long time away from home and I was well intentioned with coming home and getting back into my routines. Unfortunately, I was really tired and just needed some down time…for several weeks.

This brings me to the third reason that I have been putting off writing. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have already heard my thoughts on this, but let me fill you in. In July, I went to my regularly appointed gynecology visit (read about the importance of going to the doctors in my post SELF CARE: WHAT IT MEANS TO ME). I had a list of concerns with me, knowing that I only have one chance each year to address anything that is bothering me. I had some intimacy concerns along with a lot more ovulation pain in my left side, so much so that it was causing me to feel tired, nauseous, and I had to lie down and wait for the pain to dissipate. This was happening on a more and more regular basis. The physicians assistant ordered me an internal ultrasound and said that if there was nothing going on, they may be able to use birth control hormones to help with the pain.

A little back story at this point: about 5 years ago, I had a uterine ablation, which is a fancy way of saying that they burned the shit out of my uterine lining. I had this process to avoid the need for a hysterectomy due to my heavy periods and very thick lining. If you don’t understand how your body works in terms of your reproductive cycle, it is really worthwhile to learn early on how hormones and your period affect EVERY DAMN THING in your life! ( I learned this from Menopause Taylor on YouTube and am ashamed to admit how much I didn’t really know about my own body!).

Last year, during the pandemic, I realized I was going through perimenopause. I thought I was going crazy. I was depressed and moody, my body seemed to be changing in a way that I didn’t understand, with weight gain in unattractive areas and pain in my joints, breasts, and ovaries. Because I couldn’t go to the doctor at my scheduled time, I figured it out for myself and started taking supplements to help with some of my symptoms. Because of this, I started learning more and more about menopause and what I could be expecting in several years. I was okay with all of this happening, I told myself, because I was going to be completely prepared and full of knowledge. I had a plan.

You know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

So, after my ultrasound in July, the physicians assistant called me and told me the that there was a mass on my left ovary and several fibroids on my uterus. She quickly told me that I would need a hysterectomy and was I okay with that? I was at work at the time and the little ones were being their normal playful selves, so I was highly distracted and didn’t know what to say, so I just said, “Yeah, if that is what needs done.” So she said someone would call me to schedule a pre op consultation and that was that.

A little while later, I called back because I was a little confused. After all, my ablation was meant to be my way of not needing a hysterectomy later on. She informed me that a hysterectomy was really all they could offer to alleviate the pain, birth control would not help in this instance, and then I was distracted by my job, once again, and just told her that I would talk to the Doctor when I had my pre op consultation, thinking it would be sooner rather than later.

Instead, the next available appointment was going to be almost 2 months later. Do you know how much can run through your mind in 2 months?

What did she mean by a mass? A cyst? Cancer? What exactly are they going to remove? When I spoke with her she sounded unsure and mentioned, “You might be able to keep one of your ovaries.” What does this mean? Will I be going into surgical menopause? I wasn’t prepared for that. Will they be putting me on hormones since I am only a few years shy of going into menopause? How long is the surgery going to be? Will I have anyone home to help me? I can’t ask for anyone to stop what they are doing to help me. What about work? My job is not one that I can take paid leave off, so can we afford for me to take time off for surgery? A few weeks, maybe, but not 6, if it is anything like a c-section.

As you can see, this is is what has been going on in my head for the last two months. I have had a hard time shutting down that part of my brain. I know rationally that this is a very common procedure and my doctor probably does several of them a month, but that doesn’t make me feel better. I am not worried about the procedure itself. I am worried about stupid little things.

Being grown up will throw you curveballs and it is completely fine to spin out of control in your mind and take a break from what you are trying hard to accomplish: for example, blogging. I feel guilty that I haven’t channeled some of this into blogging and helping people more consistently, but I also am telling myself that it is okay to take time for myself.

Check back for PART II as soon as I get some more information for you! In the meantime, follow my on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and check out my old posts in podcast form on Anchor.fm/kim-stamler or look for Being Grown Up on your favorite podcast subscriber. Make sure you join my email list…I have some exciting things planned that I hope I get a chance to finish up soon. Thanks as always for your support. XOXO

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