Later this month, I’m having a hysterectomy (ovaries too). When I tell people, there are many reactions: but mostly, they want to know: How do you feel about this? Are you okay with it? I look at them and think: I’m 45. I’m not married. I have a beautiful child (and was a part of my stepson’s life for years), and my periods and hormones are through the roof.
Yes, I’m okay with it.
But to be honest, sometimes it freaks me out.
I guess most women have trouble saying: I am done having kids (or even: I don’t want to have any children of my own). Is it because of our maternal instincts? Is it because of the nosy people who say: Are you sure? or Is it the disapproving look from another woman, even if it’s brief and she didn’t mean to do it? I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. But even though I’m 45, not married, and done having children, if I think too much about this hysterectomy, it overwhelms me.
My uterus and ovaries do not make me a woman. A breast cancer survivor who has a double mastectomy is not less of a woman–she’s probably stronger than anyone knows or gives her credit for. It’s so psychological–removing the “female parts” for health reasons–and hard to explain.
But in my case, a hysterectomy is the way to go. I’m suffering from endometriosis (cysts) and adenomyosis. Neither one of these are controlled with birth control pills with high levels of estrogen I’m currently taking. I wound up in the hospital in late April from the pain of a ruptured cyst and had endometriosis and cysts removed. It’s all back. In August, I was in so much pain, I had to go to my GP to get pain medication and a pelvic ultrasound. This disease makes me exhausted and causes my hormones to go crazy. On a daily basis, I’m not sure of my feelings or even my real personality. I am a single mother with a full time job, elderly parents, and a part time writing/editing/teaching job, plus friends and family to pay attention to. I don’t want to feel how I feel any longer.
So I’m choosing to have a hysterectomy and go through hormone replacement therapy because that is the only choice I feel I have at this time and what is best for everyone in my life, including me.
If you landed on this page because you suffer from endometriosis, please know you are not alone. Because I was so tired (also had anemia due to heavy bleeding several days a month) and felt like I was losing my mind some days, I decided to Google: “How endometriosis affects your emotions.” You wouldn’t believe the amount of information there is on this. That’s why I’m writing this post: whether you are in child bearing years and going through infertility worries or older and having pain with your endometriosis, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Go find a doctor you trust, tell your friends and family what is going on, and figure out how to get some help.
You deserve it.