• Mon, Nov 5 2012

I Have To Go Get A Hysterectomy, BRB

When you are reading this, I will be in an operating room having my lady box removed by a robot. For the last year or so, I have been dealing with the inevitable reality of having a hysterectomy. Severe menorrhagia that has left me so anemic I have needed blood transfusions, an ovary that has a very large cyst which causes searing pain in my side, and the fact that I’m done having children, has led me and my doctor to this operation. Other less invasive procedures haven’t worked for me, D&Cs, ablations, all gave me a few days of no bleeding before I resumed my role as an unwilling star of my very own menses horror movie, unable to leave my house because of the severity of my bleeding.

My life for the past year has been hundreds of dollars spent on tampons and pads, never-ending laundry and trips to the doctor and emergency room. I look like shit. I’m unusually pale. I’m always cold. I have no energy and I get dizzy walking to my mailbox, taking the dog out. Leaving my house require a purse full of feminine supplies and careful planning about where the bathrooms are located where I am going. I don’t go to the mall, to grocery stores. I’m always tired. I’m sick of taking iron supplements, the endless amounts of red meat I’ve eaten to try and compensate for the amount of blood I lose daily.

I’m sick of my children being witness to my blood. It’s everywhere. No matter how careful I am, how much “personal feminine protection” I use at once, there are always accidents, the puddles of blood on the bathroom floor or the stray drops after I get out of the shower. The one time I stood up to greet my teenager as he entered the kitchen after school, a surge of blood gushing from my uterus and soaking my jeans as I steadied myself against the counter and my husband rushed home to take me to the hospital.The blood clots the size of small kittens.

Lots of women have had hysterectomies. One third of all women before they turn 60. But no one talks about it. It’s a terribly unglamorous procedure. It’s viewed as a loss of womanhood, fertility, youth. There isn’t much sexy about it, unless you factor in the points you will no longer need birth control and you won’t be bleeding so much that having intercourse requires hurricane levels of mattress protection. If 20 million American woman have undergone a hysterectomy, why isn’t anyone talking about it? The only famous people who have talked openly about their hysterectomies are Fran Drescher, Beverly Johnson and Chaz Bono. Twenty million women and the only famous people admitting to it are two who haven’t been terribly famous for over 20 years and the offspring of a very famous person who had a hysterectomy for endometriosis.

We talk about everything in this country. We talk openly and bravely about our rapes, about our abortions, about everything having to do with our bodies, ourselves. Except the loss of our reproductive organs.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Lloyd/826469442 Shelly Lloyd

    ((((HUGS)))) I hope your surgery goes smoothly and your recovery is fast and painless. And THANK YOU for writing this. I’m in tears right now because you are the first person who has written about something that has just now started happening to me, Menorrhagia. I have been bleeding for 6 weeks now non-stop and it is freaking me out. I have spoken to my doctor on the phone and she has assured me that I am not going to bleed to death, but damn, it feels like it. And I can attest to the kitten size blood clots. I swear when I first saw those I thought I had a miscarriage–even though I didn’t think I was pregnant and had rushed to the hospital where I found out about menorrhagia.
    Anyways I will see my doctor tomorrow and hopefully my case will not be as extreme. But you will be in my thoughts and prayers and I wish the best for you.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Best of luck to you, and I wish you a speedy recovery!

  • http://twitter.com/MamaHasSnacks Carinn Jade

    You are awesome Eve! I am thinking of you – big hugs!

  • meteor_echo

    Aaaaugh, menorrhagia is such a horror. I’m glad that you won’t have to deal with it anymore after the operation. Good luck to you, and take care! :>

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583969085 Audrey Fine

    beautifully written! i had one two weeks ago and had the same EXACT thoughts — especially the ones about never waking up again and having my kids’ lives tank as a result. Hang in there, it’s not as bad as you fear. You will wake up and you will be fine. Let people take care of you. I still have good days and then some iffy ones but that’s to be expected – the anesthesia really knocked me for a loop. Here’s to a blood-less happily ever after!

  • LiteBrite

    I wish you nothing but the best for a speedy and healthy recovery. My only advice is LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Take it easy, let the family take over the household duties for awhile, and don’t try to be a hero.

  • C.J.

    Wishing you a smooth surgery and a speedy recovery!

  • rebecca eckler

    You ARE awesome! Thinking of you and wishing you the best! xo r

  • Andrea

    First of all, best of luck with your procedure and I add my wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

    Second of all, is it wrong that I am a little jealous? I don’t have OMG I’M GONNA DIE periods but they are heavy, they are painful and they are a week long. I hate the pill and since my husband has a vasectomy, I can’t really justify it. I have considered a hysterectomy, but my doctor won’t do it because I am in my mid-30s and there really isn’t anything wrong with me to justify such a thing. But still… The thought of never having to deal with tampons ever again is pretty appealing to me.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Have you looked into Depo Provera (“The Shot”)?

    • Andrea

      What is it? Is it hormonal?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Yes, it’s hormonal. It’s injected every 13 weeks, and one of the common side effects is a complete lack of bleeding. I, for one, love it.

    • Janine

      Andrea, that’s not the best idea at your age because the uterus does much more than just make babies. It produces hormones important to a woman’s well-being. My mother had a hysterectomy at about 30 (cancer) and she aged so quickly afterward that most people assumed she was my grandmother. She was covered in wrinkles, lost all her teeth so she had to use dentures, and got such bad mood disorders that I remember waking up sometimes in the middle of the night to grab a glass of water and finding her crying for no reason in the living room.

      Don’t get a hysterectomy unless you need one or are close to the age where your uterus is about to be dead weight anyway.

    • Andrea

      Thank you. I never thought about that. I have a friend my age that had to get one (medical reasons) and she hasn’t aged or gone through menopause though. I know you are right, but…you know..

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Eurgh. Best of luck with the surgery, and — as others have said: LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Also, listen to your body; if it hurts to move a certain way, or if you feel like you’re not up to doing something, don’t force it. Grab some good books, enjoy the pain pills, and let your body heal.

  • MommyK

    Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery! You are awesome, and nothing will change that! And try to take advantage of the recovery time to get lots of rest and rejuvenation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alicia.a.avila Alicia Avila

    Best wishes to you and your family. Your article is so inspiring, and opens up this topic for all women, because I do think there is a negative association that women have with having a hysterectomy. I hope you retain your humor and positive outlook during your recovery! Best, Alicia

  • mvista

    Thank you for writing about this. Hysterectomies are rarely talked about and there are many women for whom it is a necessity, either for treatment of a condition or prevention. Most of the women in my family have had prophylactic hysterectomies due to the incredibly high incidence of reproductive cancers in our family tree. My mom, aunts, and cousins rarely talk about going through the process before, during, or after. I’m a good 15-20 years away from one myself, but I wish more women would talk about them so those of us who may face them someday, or have family members who have had (or will need) the procedure, don’t feel like we are entering the unknown. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pandora114 Monique Boulanger

    thank you for writing this. I think part of the stigma is losing the “Feminine”. Guess what, there’s more to being a woman than being a baby making machine and bleeding out once a month. Womanhood is more than your uterus. Remember that. ;) I’m actually wanting a hysto sometime soon.

  • Travelingirl68

    Having had my own hysterectomy 6 summers ago, I had a flashback to my own ‘crime scenes’ and the serious consideration I gave to buying stock in O.B. While I was 38 at the time and engaged to my wonderful husband, I had not had any children and the decision was a little more heart wrenching… It was my only option, really, if I wanted anything that resembled a normal life, and am grateful for modern medicine! All those years of swimming in blood are but a hazy memory now! For all the joy it has brought, there have been other aspects that I struggle with, and which may not apply to all women. For one a loss of libido has been jarring… I kept my ovaries and did not experience the shock of instant menopause, but at times wonder if a particular state of mind is connected to that possibility. I don’t know if it is menopause or the after effects of anesthesia, but my ability to concentrate and focus deeply is lessened. I still would take these things over the inability to ‘safely’ leave my house, or the bathroom much less!

  • Sean Carter

    I hope everything went well! My wife recently had a laparoscopic hysterectomy and it was a very scary time but it went great and she really pulled through

    • Cyrusmiley

      Those are tough. I hope you had a nice Van to take her home.Honda has plenty of quality cars for sale and vans too. That’s what I used. I rented one

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  • Sonja Randall

    I had 20 years of female issues to include 3 miscarriages. You r medical history and reading your story was like reading my own, except I don’t have kids or a husband. I DID have a hysterectomy 8 yrs ago. It was a quality of life decision that I”ve NEVER regretted and have no problem telling folks!! Best of luck….it was BEYOND my expectations and knock wood have not had a single issue yet!!

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