For as long as I can remember, my cycles have been really bad. When I was young, I was diagnosed with severe dysmenorrhea. Which is basically the medical term for period from hell. Years of being on birth control helped to level out the pain. Around eight years ago, I took myself off birth control, because I wanted a break from putting synthetic hormones in my body. And as one might guess, my painful cycles returned with vengeance. All this time, I’ve thought painful periods, amongst other issues, were my lot in life. I just took a boatload of Advil, tried to schedule life around 5 days out of every month and not really chat about it to anyone.
I’m not sure how I got the gumption to finally start asking questions. Not long ago, it occurred to me, to wonder if I could possibly have endometriosis. I asked my female PCP how one might get diagnosed. She said we’d start with a pelvic ultra sound. I got one and it came back “normal”. After consulting a female Osteopathic OB/GYN in my extended family, she said it was worth pursuing further. She also said pelvic ultrasounds only detect large masses, and smaller tissue can go undetected. So I booked an appointment with a local female OB/GYN.
My sister-in-law had a hysterectomy and will shout from the roof tops, that it was the best thing for her. Most women I’ve heard say, it was the best decision for them. I’ve been very resistant to the idea of surgery, returning to the pill, or an IUD (my options). However, to get properly diagnosed with endometriosis, I’d need to have a Laparoscopy (a form of exploratory surgery). Why not just cut to the chase? A hysterectomy would end my cycles for good, and possibly solve other issues. Maybe I should have considered it sooner?
I didn’t make the choice to have major surgery, lightly. Of course my husband was part of the conversation, but in the end, it came down to me. I made the choice to have a hysterectomy during the final week of September 2022. It requires an overnight hospital stay (my first). It will be under general anesthesia and I will most likely have a catheter. Two more first for me. Fingers crossed, with no complications, it’s a 6 week recovery. I figure I couldn’t walk for 6 weeks after ankle surgery, 6 weeks of hysterectomy recovery should be a walk in the park (no pun intended). As a side note, I guess it’s important to mention that I’m cool with not having kids. Truth be told, I’m one of those rare female anomalies who has never wanted children (largely in part, due my childhood, I’d imagine).
NOTE: I made this decision only weeks before Roe v Wade was overturned. Make no mistake, this country has started down a dangerously slippery path. Could they eventually take away our “right” to a hysterectomy? I sincerely hope not, but I’m sure they’ve thought about it.