Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Tag: Hormones

Five Weeks Later: After the Hysterectomy

As I’ve shared before, I had a hysterectomy at the end of September because I suffered from endometriosis. I thought I would give an update on how things are going and some thoughts about the hysterectomy for those of you who happen upon this page because you had one or are planning to have one.

What was the worst?

Hands down, the worst part of the hysterectomy was the first 12 hours after it was over because of the gas pains. When having a robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, gas may be pumped into your belly to inflate it and give your surgeon a better view and more room to work. This happened to me. Turns out, although there was some pain with the actual removal of my female parts, most of the unbearable pain, which pain medicine did not help, was from  this gas being in my body. Since I also had a catheter, I couldn’t get up and walk around. Finally, a nurse explained to me what was going on (the next morning!) and gave me some GasX, and I walked around the hospital once the catheter was removed–then, it was so much better. So, if you are having this same procedure, talk to your doctor about the gas and the nursing staff about GasX.

Did I need a week to recover before going back to work?

Yes. I also feel like if I didn’t work from home, I might have needed 10 days off or to go back to work half days. You will be tired. You will still have some pain. You had major surgery. And in today’s world, we seem to not give ourselves enough time to heal from anything.

qtq80-fnKjgOHow do I feel now?

So, it’s been 5 weeks. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday for my final checkup before I am supposed to resume normal activity. In the last couple days, I have felt more like myself. But in general, I can’t imagine I am going to resume “normal activity” by Friday. I am still so tired. If I overdo it, I still have a bit of pain or discomfort. I think this is perfectly normal and will discuss it with my doctor at my visit, of course. Someone just said to me today, “It may take you 6 weeks on the outside, but just remember it can take up to 6 months on the inside.” I have some smart, smart friends. I have had  a lot of trouble with my appetite, which I’m told is also normal because well, I HAD MAJOR SURGERY!

What about my hormones?

Since I had a full hysterectomy, I am doing hormone replacement therapy. Currently, I have an estrogen patch I wear and change every 3-4 days. I think I’m still adjusting. I think I need some clarification on if there are better places to place it than others. I have a lot of stress in my life; one week during this recovery, I felt a bit like I did when I was suffering from endometriosis and my hormones were all out of whack. But this past week, I’ve felt much more in control and stable–so I’ll talk to the doctor about this, too.

To sum up, I’m glad, so glad, I had this surgery. Once everything gets back to “normal”, I have high hopes that I will feel better. I will be more like myself. I will have survived this patch in my life and come out stronger.

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Emotions Out of Control? Blame the Hormones?

It’s a joke all over the Internet, TV, movies, and books that a woman loses her mind during PMS, menopause, pregnancy, etc. I’ve laughed at the jokes, mostly because I’ve been there and understand exactly how the woman feels/felt. I’ve also giggled at the truth of the joke–hormones out of whack can make you angry or sad, even if there’s nothing to be angry or sad about. There’s a Modern Family episode, where Phil Dunphy freaks out because all 3 of the women in his house (his wife and 2 daughters) are having their periods on the same day–for the first time ever, the women’s periods have synced. It’s also LEAP DAY, which he loves to celebrate, and he is devastated that the females in his life are having female issues on his special day. It’s funny. I’ve laughed out loud at it:

Phil Dunphy: “It happened! Satan’s trifecta! The day I most dreaded falling on the day I most loved.”

Claire Dunphy: “Phil, is this what you’ve been teaching our son, that women are some sort of unclean lepers that should be hidden under sheets for a week? Do you have any idea how offensive that is?”
Phil Dunphy: “I do, honey, and from the bottom of my heart I am so… scared.”

You are laughing, right? Or at least smiling. Many critics didn’t like this episode for the reasons I’m writing about here; but when I first watched it, I didn’t mind it. Claire eventually speaks up and states that she just wants a little sympathy from Phil. After all, does he really think she wants to be acting crazy?

The thing is: these feelings are not funny.

For a good part of 2016,I’ve felt my hormones and emotions were out of control 5 out of 7 days a week. I’ve said things and behaved ways that make me feel embarrassed. I’ve thought about my behavior the next day and felt mortified. Whether I was a total bitch because someone was too slow at a checkout line, cried during a meeting because someone didn’t agree with me, or freaked out on my friends for doing something that was not that big of a deal (saying something I didn’t 100 percent agree with or being late or canceling plans for a valid reason)–it sucks. It sucks when the tears start to fall down my face (I cry when I’m sad, frustrated, angry, misunderstood–you see where this is going), and I can not stop them. I also can’t exercise much without pain from the cysts, bloating, enlarged uterus and endometriosis–except walking–so the endorphins that usually help from exercise are not helping other.

I’m extremely lucky to have forgiving and understanding people in my life. I’ve been straightforward about what is going on, so that hopefully they excuse some of this behavior. I try to get enough sleep and schedule time to relax, as this also helps, and I try to limit myself from going out and drinking with my friends, although sometimes I fail at all of these.

I’m sharing this with you today because I’m sure I am not alone. As a woman, if you have gone off birth control pills after being on them for a long time, you may feel like I described here. If you are going through menopause, you can feel like this. Hell, if you are 14 and have bad PMS, you can feel like this once a month for a couple days for 40 years. I tell men how I feel and again, I’m lucky to have understanding ones in my life because they nod and say: that must suck. When I tell a woman about my hormones and PMS symptoms that I deal with a majority of the month, she always says something like, “Oh God,” which means HOLY SHIT! That must be the most awful thing in the world. It’s not. I can think of many more awful things, but it is really hard to deal with and exhausting.

Again, I’m happy I found a doctor who believed me when I said: I need help, and she is operating on me this week. I have friends and family who are helping me with the recovery from the hysterectomy since I am a single mom. I trust this doctor to help me get my hormones right, and I am ready to take charge of my life.

If you need some resources or someone to talk to about this, please leave a comment below OR message me on the form to the right, which says: CONTACT ME, because that is completely private.

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Cartoon photo above found on Flickr.com by  Shaheen Laken (brainblogger.com)

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