Pathology and Progress

During the evening of April 13th, I started to come up from anesthesia.  My husband was at my side, holding my hand.  He said (paraphrasing from my foggy memory), “It was bad. Because it was bad they had to do a lot more.  They were not able to do a vaginal hysterectomy.  They had to cut you open.  And, they took one of your ovaries.”  I remember being filled with anger and sadness and (maybe in my own head) yelling: “I told them for a fucking year that there was something wrong.  And no one listened.  No one listened.”  And back into the darkness I slipped, pain meds taking me down to make me not feel the pain of fresh wounds.

When I came home from the hospital on the second morning post-op I immediately took a shower.  Before I stepped into the shower I had my husband help me to the scale.  I weighed 189.8 pounds.  My heart sunk.  During the first two weeks of recovery I would sometimes find myself alone and staring out the sunroom window to the world outside.  I thought about my health and shed a few tears over what seemed oppressive odds against ever getting back to “where I used to be”.  On my birthday in 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, was physically active and happy with my appearance. In a short two and a half years, thirty pounds creeped up on me.  I would buy a larger size pants for comfort (thinking “I will just wear these until I take off a few pounds”) only to find myself comfortable in those pants and never losing those few pounds.  I convinced myself I lived a healthy lifestyle.  After all, I ran two half marathons during that time.  However, I was not consistent with my training and attempts at healthy eating always gave way to something I wanted to eat “just this once”.  Two weeks before I was scheduled to return to work I began walking more and getting outside in the yard.  I would take coffee on the front porch and watch the world roll by.  I decided then that I wanted to get back to running, get back to a healthier weight and get back to eating foods that didn’t make me feel like crap afterward.

When people (who do not know me very well or for very long) ask questions about the procedure it is inevitably followed with “well, you are older, you will never be able to get back to what you used to be”.  First of all, if I have known you for less than a couple of years or you cannot tell me the name of my first-born child, you obviously have no flipping clue as to what I “used to be”.  Secondly, take your defeatist attitude and shove it up your ass.  Will it be hard work to get myself to my version of acceptable physicality?  Yes, yes it will.  Will I want to quit, die or kill people in the process?  Oh, I am pretty sure that’s a yes too.  But please do not pretend to know my mettle. Do not condescend me with that look you are giving me while dismissing my goals because it is something you might not be working towards for yourself.  It has happened more than once, the “oh, get used to it” crap.  Prime example:  I had someone tell me I need to just get used to the weight because after a hysterectomy it only goes up.  That was her experience and apparently everyone she has spoken to who has ever had a hysterectomy.  Blow me.  Today, exactly eight weeks since my surgery, I weigh 172.4 pounds.  If you do the math, that is 17.4 pounds down.  As I type this I am wearing a pair of jeans that I have not been able to button since like November (and I have room in them)  And, to the naysayers who think I am looking to achieve a flat stomach and be 135 pounds – those are not my goals.  I have always had curves, I am fine with curves.  I never had a flat stomach but now that I have a scar that is the same as a c-section, I want to work on my upper stomach to reduce the band around my waist above my incision scar.  I am not delusional (or wealthy).  I know “flat” is out of the question.  I firmly believe I can hit the 157-161 pound marker and be able to maintain that weight with moderate effort.  I love to run.  Never said I was great at it but I am a hell of a fighter when it comes to finishing a race, no matter how poorly I feel at the end.  I am setting doable goals for myself.

I have been cleared to return to work.  I welcomed that because I like having structure in my days.  Yeah, I loved the days off but in retrospect: I didn’t read a single book that I wanted to read nor did I binge watch a single show that I planned to binge.  I now get up at 4:45, do a little yoga stretch and prepare my salad for lunch. I get in 10k-12k steps every day and, as of last night, I have started to run again. I have worked to reduce my sugar/carb intake which had grown to epic proportions.  It took a little getting used to but the shift in my diet is not horible or life altering.  I have cheated a couple of times on the regimen (both the red velvet cake and the chocolate ice cream from DQ were worth it). I have registered for one 5k a month July to October and I hope to rerun the Marshall Half Marathon in November.  I am still battling sudden exhaustion with no warning (big surgeries I hear do that to people).  I am still weirded out by the novicaine-feel above my incision scar where the nerves were severed (I hear that comes back after some months of healing).  I am still mad that I was not listened to by doctors I trusted when I told them that something was wrong (as far back as Nov 2014).  On the upside:  I no longer “hate the world”.  Last night I was hit with the realization that I am no longer in constant pain or excessively bleeding.  Above all else, that is the biggest relief of all.

Because I live to over-analyze things, I requested my pathology report from my surgery. The numbers gave merit (in my mind) to the times that I tried to tell people that I was in pain, tired, unable to understand all of my issues.  Not that I needed justification. I was just told numerous times that it was because of my age that I felt the way that I did.  They were wrong.  Period.

My advice to you if ever you are faced with “not feeling right” and being told to “get used to it”: No one knows your body as well as you do.  If it feels off, then odds are it is.  Keep after them until they listen to you.  Research, read, ask others.  Take care of you.

Uterus Size
Long (cm) Long (in) Side-Side (cm) Side-Side (in) Thick (cm) Thick (in) Grams Ounces
“Normal”: 7.60 2.99 4.50 1.77 3.00 1.18 60.00 2.12
Mine: 12.00 4.72 8.00 3.15 6.50 2.56 297.20 10.48
Largest Fibroid: 5.70 2.24 5.50 2.17 5.00 1.97
Fibroid in Cervix: 1.4
Ovary Size
Long (cm) Long (in) Side-Side (cm) Side-Side (in) Thick (cm) Thick (in) Grams Ounces
“Normal”: 3.50 1.38 2.10 0.83 2.80 1.10
Mine: 4.00 1.57 3.70 1.46 2.80 1.10
Fibroid on Ovary: 3.20 1.26

 

 

Sometimes the road may seem long but if you are lucky the sky is blue and the view is beautiful.

road

1 reply »

  1. Wow! You had a BIG ol’ uterus! A super uterus!

    And, no, no, no, no do NOT listen to those people with the defeatist attitudes. Telling someone that they are getting older and should just forget about trying to be better is a horrible message!

    You just keep getting healthy and taking care of YOU! ❤

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