Hysterectomy – Fire in the Hole

Prelude to a Hysterectomy

female reproduction

Hi friends,

You might be wondering where I have been these last few weeks.  I did kinda drop off the face of the planet, as I am home, recovering from a hysterectomy.

What happened was, I received a call from my doctor’s office, asking for me to come in.  “Hmmm” says I, starting to worry, as the doctor is so busy, you usually have to wait weeks to even get an appointment, and I hadn’t had any routine testing done lately. What could be behind this urgent request to see her?

So, over I go to the clinic at the appointed date and time and nervously wait for my name to be called.  I’m ushered into an examination room and shortly, the doctor appears with my six-inch-thick file in her hands. (Yes, I do have some health issues!)  She starts by yammering on about my cholesterol levels, explaining that we had been so long working on getting my arthritis under control, that her concerns with my tri-glyceride levels had to be put on the back burner.  Oh, fine, I inwardly groan, kissing my toast and tea habit good-bye.  This, along with the restrictions on my diet caused by type II diabetes, meant that I was going to be down to consuming  sticks and berries from here on in.  “Any other concerns?” the doctor asked, ready to clue up our visit while filling out a requisition for blood work.  “Oh, yeah, I thought that Aunt Flo had hit the road years ago, but it seems she has been making a reappearance the last couple of months.  What’s up with that?”

Well, I didn’t expect the firestorm that little admission would cause!  Suddenly all the concerns over tri-glycerides were thrown back on the back burner, as I faced a barrage of questions about my menstrual experiences.  I was to come back in two days time to undergo a PAP test (something I had been avoiding for years….stupid, I know) and we would see where to go from there.  I went home expecting to have to wait a week for the results of the test.

Two days after the PAP test, the phone rings and I am told that the test results were back and that I was scheduled to see a gynecologist at the end of the week.  Uh oh, something must have shown up.

I walked into the ob/gyn’s office on Friday.  The waiting room was lined off with pictures of pregnant women and healthy-looking babies, something I hadn’t thought about in years.  Shortly I was ushered into an examination room and a few minutes later, a young woman entered, introducing herself as Dr. Brown.  She seemed to be quite familiar with my file as she explained that abnormal cells had shown up in the PAP test, and a biopsy was needed to  shed some more light on what was causing the irregular bleeding.  “So when will that be scheduled for?”  I ask, unnerved by the word “biopsy.”  “I can do it right now.” Dr.Brown replied, making my head spin with how fast this investigation was going down, and the implications that had for their level of concern.

About a week later, Dr. Brown’s office called me with a return appointment time.  By now I was dreading her news, so I sat in the waiting room, bravely trying to envision the doctor telling me that it was all a false alarm, take a bottle of pills and I would be right as rain.

But she wasn’t finished yet.

“Your biopsy results are back, and there seems to be something going on with your endometrium (lining of the uterus).  We will need to do a D&C (dilation and  curretage)  procedure in the hospital to see what needs to be done.”  Having undergone this before, I had some idea what was involved, although the doctor informed me that years ago they did this under general anaesthetic, but now they did it with a light anaesthetic and local freezing.  Wonderful!  I thought.  I really wasn’t interested in being present during the procedure, pain or no pain, but I guess there were fewer complications in not being put completely out of consciousness.

On the day of the procedure, I presented myself to the Women’s Health Center at the Janeway Hospital, handed over my C-PAP machine, (Yes, I have sleep apnea, too) and was escorted forthwith to the surgical prep area. I was interrogated as to my medical history, even though they had a file on me a mile high, and was issued two stylish Johnny coats, booties, and a cap, and invited to change, then be seated in a comfy vinyl recliner to await the insertion of an IV and drugs for relaxation.  Okay  I thought, I can go for that.  Pretty soon Dr. Brown shows up, with a pack of residents, all dressed up in their greens.  She goes over the procedure and the after-care and asks if there was anyone staying with me during the surgery. Whut? I think. I hadn’t thought it necessary for Paul to take time off just to wait around while I had this minor procedure done.  “Nope, I’m flying solo,”  I reply, trying not to feel like a neglected house frau.

The time counts down, and I am escorted to the OR by a very nice nurse.  I silently gave thanks for the second Johnny coat so that I could walk around without my bare ass hanging out.  We enter the OR where a number of masked nurses and technicians are buzzing around.  The lights are bright enough to knock your retinas out and the whole sterile environment is rather intimidating.  The nurse introduces me to the anaesthesiologist, who explains his role in getting me “to sleep”.  He helps me onto the table, places a mask over my nose and mouth and I slip away into unconsciousness.

Dr. Brown and company must have arrived, as while I was floating around in that fluffy land between sleep and waking, I could feel a tugging “down below” and the sensation of instruments being used.  I don’t recall any conversation, which I was happy for, as it is bad enough lying on a table with your hoo ha exposed for the whole surgical team to see, let alone hearing about what they were doing!  Forty minutes later I was rolled back to recovery where I was reunited  with my C-PAP machine, and enjoyed an hour or two rest.

It wasn’t long before I got another summons to Dr. Brown’s office.  She somberly gave me the news.  The sample they sent to the lab from my D & C showed a number of irregular cells.  Not enough to call it cancer, but they weren’t ruling it out.  The endometrium was abnormally thick, another indicator that my time as a child-bearer was up. A hysterectomy was recommended, as soon as possible.

Now, I didn’t get all upset about the impending loss of my girlie bits.  I wasn’t using most of them anyway, and had already gone through the rigours of menopause. They could hopefully do the operation laparoscopically, which was a much better prospect than being cut open and gutted like a fish, so I resigned myself to an estimated six week recovery period, and went home to catch my office work up to date in case something unforeseen should crop up which would keep me in hospital past the one to two day expected recuperation period.

So, here I am, a week post-op,  resting comfortably at home.  I can’t say that I’m feeling too bad.  The nurses at the hospital were amazed that I refused pain medication.  I figure, if you can manage it without being too uncomfortable, why take medication?  Within a day or two, I was up and around and able to go to the bathroom.  The bandaging was minimal, only band aids.  Oh the marvels of modern laparoscopic surgery!  Moms, don’t discourage your kids from playing video games.  You never know when they will need that hand-eye co-ordination in their future careers!  Within two days, I was being sent home, and the extra day was just because they broke off a bowel retractor during my procedure, and wanted to be sure they hadn’t caused any injury to my soft and squishy internal organs with the sharp end of the instrument being exposed.  It was kinda off-putting thinking that it was possible, if they had nicked my bowel, to die from peritonitis, and it might not rear its ugly head for seven days, but the doctor was pretty confident that everything was intact and fine.  I was grateful to be informed about this incident, as I could be on the lookout for developing symptoms and would know who to sue, in the event of complications arising (just kidding!)  It must be terrifying to doctors the liability  issues they can face.  I’m sure that they have insurance to protect themselves financially, but the harm to one’s reputation can be enormous, not to mention the mental health implications, should a patient die from something that happened while under their care.  I’m kinda glad that we only deal with mechanical repairs!

Someone asked me how I feel, now that I no longer have the ability to bear offspring.  Do I feel less of a woman?  Stupid question, I thought.  Does a cat feel less of a cat when they are spayed?  Of course not.  The freedom from having to deal with the monthly periods, having to worry about birth control, and the lessened risk of endometrial, ovarian, uteran, or cervical cancers with those organs having been removed, is definitely worth the loss.  Luckily, I was post-menopausal when I went through this, so I am not expecting my life, post surgery, to be very different than before.  I hope that I don’t continue to experience pain “down there” as I do now, although according to some sources I have read, this is possible in a small percent of cases.  Hopefully my love life will be able to resume without any detrimental effects.

As a romance writer, I will continue to tell stories of the human experience, because, after all, doesn’t romance live in our hearts and imagination?  Love is such an interesting and fulfilling part of our lives that we want to hear about other’s relationships, in order to understand our own needs and heart’s desires.  I only hope that my readers continue to enjoy my work and that people enjoy and value the mental part of love as much as they do the physical.  To quote Paul, Love is patient, love is kind.  Love never ends.

love, norma













  1. Entertaining as always, Norma! 😀

Speak Your Mind


Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Social Profile Design Experts
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Pinterest