Pulling up to the hospital. Waiting for the registration nurse to call my number. Hunger pangs from my empty stomach. More waiting in another waiting room. Staring at my overnight bag and running through its contents in my mind. Changing into the hospital gown and grateful for the surgery socks. Amazed I still don’t feel the IV needles. The animal photos. Quick comforting yet nerve-wracking conversations with my surgeon and his residents. Walking down the hall with my nurse. More and more introductions on entering the operating room. Laughing with my surgery team after I mumbled ‘see you in hell uterus’. Then they told me to take deep breaths. These are the memory fragments I have from before waking up four and a half hours after my hysterectomy.
I ran through a gamut of emotions the day prior to my surgery — from tired to sadness to rage-blackout to happiness back to tired then to excitement and nerves. I don’t really know what I was expecting to feel, to be completely honest. It had been a moment I’ve been waiting for since I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I know that may sound odd. I mean what woman at the young-tender-child-bearing-age of twenty-six would actually want a hysterectomy? Well, me.
Now, here I was, nine years later; my endometriosis had become the leach in my life. Through pain, endometriosis had literally sucked the life out of me. I was forced to leave positions, put my career on hold as promotions passed by due to the chronic pain. I became unable to attend events like my Dad’s sixty-fifth birthday. The pain became too intense and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the five-hour flight home to Toronto. Even on my wedding day, I was bowled over by the end of the evening. I had grown tired of my endo-pain forcing me into isolation only to observe life from afar. It made the decision easy to I chose to live my life over a fictitious fetus.
The night before surgery I went to bed feeling uneasy, so it was no surprise to me when I awoke tired and a touch agitated. I was shocked the nerves were multiplying as fast as they were even though I was confident in my decision. This was going to be my sixth surgery overall, my second this year, so it wasn’t fear of going under the knife. I narrowed the nerves down to fear of the hysterectomy not being enough to stop the pain. If organ removal was not enough, it would place me in the twenty-five percent of women who still experience pain after their hysterectomy. I was assured most of this pain is treatable, by my counsellor at the Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis. I tend to fall on the wrong side of statistics so I clung to this statistic like a rock-climber to the side of the mountain.
I tried to clear my mind as much as I could before we left for the hospital. My grumbling belly, husband and mom helped when I needed a distraction from the nerves. It also could have been the mixture of ridiculously cute animal pictures in the pre-op room and the combination of medications being pumped into my veins, but the nerves started to melt away. I stopped worrying about what I may or may not feel at my six-week post-op appointment and focused on the possibility of living my life again.
The bitchen pin you see in the photo is available from Sparkley Ass Bitch found here on Etsy! Perfect for your Farewell Uterus Party!