Surgery Day and Recovery
I got a call a day before my surgery saying that the surgery would be canceled because they didn't have enough beds due to COVID, but they had an option that I could do a same-day surgery and not stay in the hospital... SO I went for it! Being that I was in so much pain and discomfort, I felt like I could handle it!
Surgery day was pretty simple, and I didn't have any issues. After surgery, I just wanted to go home and sleep!
During surgery, they did a total hysterectomy via laparoscopy. So I had two small incisions by my hips and one inside my belly button. A "total hysterectomy" is when they take out the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes.
My ovaries were left, which is beneficial because your ovaries are the things that produce hormones. So I will go into menopause as my body would normally. And if I want baby's in the future with a surrogate, I can do so.
The first two weeks after surgery were pretty extreme. My symptoms were nausea, hot and cold chills (no temperature), spotting, uncomfortable getting up, couldn't bend over, and I was super emotional. All of these symptoms were difficult to process. My surgeon let me know all were typical symptoms and to keep an eye on bleeding and fever.
The biggest concern after the second week was staying still. I wanted to clean, stretch my legs, get some fresh air, but I would feel it pretty bad after moving around. I was also in a pretty big low for those first few weeks and cried every day, and I was pretty weak physically and emotionally.
All in all, my surgery went well, my body bounced back normally, and at six weeks, I was cleared for lifting and sexual activity. But I wasn't emotionally stable at all.
After all the research I did on hysterectomy recovery, nothing could prepare me for my emotions. I felt empty and alone and that no one understood me. The best analogy would be that as soon as I came out of surgery, I was put in a small room, and I couldn't stand up (mentally), and when I could stand up, I would fall back down. And when I would use the walls in the room to help me get up, I kept sliding down the walls like a sinking feeling.
Talking to a girlfriend, she said this all sounded like when she had postpartum. And with a quick google search, low and behold, you can have postpartum after a hysterectomy!
So at my six-week appointment, my doctor had me do a bunch of blood work, but everything (hormones, thyroid, blood counts) all came back normal. He advised that I see my primary doctor to see about getting on medication for postpartum depression. I also spoke with my trauma therapist, and he suggested the same thing.
I worked with my primary doc and got on Prozac, and after a week, I started feeling a lot better!
So here I am now, seven weeks out, almost 20 pounds down, and starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Man what a ride!
If you are planning to have a hysterectomy; here are some helpful tips:
My goal in sharing my story is to help another woman in a similar situation. Because with women's health there are so little answers...
Remember to be kind to yourself,
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As a clinical sexuality coach, Katelyn works with individuals and couples to help them discover their best sex lives.