A total hysterectomy 1 year on

This won’t be as long as last year’s post I promise but I didn’t want to let the year anniversary of possibly one of the most life changing decisions of my life pass by without saying something. You all know by now the story behind what lead me to the decision to have a full hysterectomy at the end of January last year so I won’t go into that here, I’d prefer instead to recap some of the highs and lows of the last year and whether there’s been any regrets.

Let’s talk lows first. Recovery took longer than expected. I fully believed I would be back to work after 2 months but ended up needing 3. Even then, I’m not convinced I was fully recovered when I did go back. My concentration was absolutely shot, I couldn’t keep a clear thought in my head and It almost felt like starting a brand new job as I struggled to remember anything I used to know. That’s a real worry when you have a job which required keeping lots of plates spinning in the air. To this day that’s something I find I still struggle with and I now have to add almost ever little tiny task to my to do list or else I’ll forget about it.

I lost a chunk of hair at the front of my head since my hormones were all over the place. That’s started to grow back now but its really fine baby hair, so anyone who has ever been through the trauma of having to grow out a fringe will understand what I’m currently going through with that regrowth.

I put on a lot of weight whilst I was recovering as I was unable to do much exercise, and it’s been a hard old slog trying to get that off again and feeling like myself body wise. It’s helped loads that there’s a new job close to where we live now so getting back into fitness has been logistically easy, getting the motivation together to go though is a different matter – but I was like that before the operation too!

In hindsight, I think I had some very minor PTSD from my stay in hospital. Certain members of the nursing staff weren’t particularly kind when I was at my most frightened. They barked orders at me, were extremely rude to Dave when he dropped me off so we weren’t able to say goodbye properly and they spoke about me like I was a nuisance when I had my eyes closed waiting for the operation and they thought I was asleep. For a very long time, to think about that time really upset me- perhaps I’m just being a bit wet, but it still raises my anxiety now to think but and I’ve had a couple of nightmares based on that experience in the past year.

The positives though? I could talk for days. Needless to say I don’t regret the decision one little bit. The improvement it’s made to my quality of life is indescribable. It’s highlighted exactly how poorly I was getting with my monthly periods; having them take over 2 weeks out of the month – literally half my life. My one remaining ovary has settled herself into place and is a one woman hormone machine, nobly picking up the slack of her fallen comrades. We’ve been on two holidays since the operation and neither I’ve had to worry about pumping myself full of Norethistorone to stop my periods for the week; which always gave me crippling migraines when I came off it. I confidently wore white shorts for the first time in years in Greece last June. A small yet big win at the same time.

My friends, family and my work have all been overwhelmingly amazing. The first two weeks after my surgery there wasn’t a day when by when a card, gift or visitor didn’t arrive. Never in my life have I felt so loved and cared for and it’s brought me closer to a lot of people, particularly some work colleagues who I now consider friends. The support they’ve given me on my return is insurmountable.

By and large I think it’s given me new lease of life. A cornerstone in my life which things will be benchmarked against and referred to, if only in my own head as ‘pre surgery’ or ‘post surgery’. In 2023 I spent the best part of three months lying on the sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy, so in 2024 we’re doing all the things. As you read this, all things being well, I should be hiking up Chichen Itza to watch the sun rise – I’ll spare you self indulgent Instagram post of the tears of relief that will be shed when I make it to the top – but belief they will be present. We also have a year of gigs to looks forward to; Bowling for Soup, Lemar, Girls Aloud, Bryan Adams (in an actual forest!) and The Lightning Seeds so far and in Early April Dave and I will be celebrating 20 years together. And the most exciting thing about all of those plans is that I know that none of the will be ruined by being on my f-ing period.

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