Give me a T… Give Me an M… Give me an I!

Disclaimer: This post is graphic and most likely not for people of the male persuasion. Unless they’re the overly-curious type. But I recommend they close this window and run screaming like a boy.

Secondary Husband Disclaimer: I let Rachel blog about my vasectomy, and this post is sort of similar, but girly. Seriously, this blog is chock full of uncensored period talk, blood and everything. Its just biology, but YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


If God had hired me as a creation consultant, (which He did not, for the record,) I would have highly recommended – insisted upon even – a Lady Switch.

Ladies can turn the switch on at, say, 25 years old, or whenever they’re ready to have children. And they can turn the switch off at, say, 36 years old when they’re totally DONE with producing progeny.

It’d be even better if the switch could be used more than once. Switch it on at 25, off at 27, turn it back on at 29, and off for good at 32. Let a woman suffer through an average of 20 periods in her life. I promise, God, Sir, 20 of those things is plenty enough to Keep The Curse Alive.

But maybe that’s asking too much.

Since God did not ask me for my opinions regarding such matters, we all must work with what we were given. And what we have been given is entirely too much of our life spent bleeding like an executed swine hung up to drain.

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My particular situation is made more perilous, as Dysautonomia makes periods worse, and periods make Dysautonomia worse. One of the main problems with my particular stupid illness is low blood volume, and any change to that can cause dehydration and sudden onset faintness (I had to offer up two vials of blood at the doctor the other day and felt light-headed and nauseous until I was able to speed to Chick-Fil-A and buy a biscuit.) Also, a side effect of Dysautonomia can be extreme periods – in all the ways.

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2017 began a downward spiral in my well-being due to every month being worse than the last, and not recovering from last month before this month arrived. It was getting dire. I was spending 1-2 days in bed a month. And everything was suffering because of it.

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A couple of years ago, my doctor had offered to give me an ablation. At the time, though, he gave a pretty awful sales pitch for it. “It only works about 90% of the time, and even for those it does work for, it may not be complete.”

I turned him down. Since then, ablations have become The Thing, and many of my friends have partaken, followed by glowing reports of the easy procedure and its magical results.

So after yet another crushingly awful month, I called and made an appointment. I chided my Gynecologist for being such a horrid salesman the first go ‘round, and signed up right away to give this life-changing activity a try.

So. What is an ablation?

Well, in my gynecologist’s literary description, it’s the process of “turning your garden into a desert.”

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In more technical terms, they stick a magic wand up there, and the wand spits out a mesh net. The net expands to the size of your uterus, then “emits a radio frequency”, which is code for “it burns the freakin’ house down.” Or at least it toasts the inside of the house into a nice char-broil.

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The procedure, which I had at the beginning of October, seemed to go well.

The recovery room was a bit dicey, because my blood pressure dropped out and, according to the squealing nurses, I was turning green, whatever that means. And because of my unusual color, they wouldn’t give me any pain meds.

Pretty sure that was discriminatory.

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But after I shed my green patina and they drugged me up, I was fine, and had zero pain once I got home. I was rewarded with a day to lie around the house and read while Chris carefully watched over me, and then immediately got back to normal life.

However.

This supposedly blessed procedure that promised to be the simple access to The Lady Switch that I so desired…turned out to have opposite-worked.

Now, instead of just having bad periods, I was bleeding every day AND continuing to have bad periods.

For the first couple weeks, I chalked it up to recovery.

At my two week post-op visit, my doctor, upon sticking his telescope up into things, proclaimed excitedly “I see the end of your bleeding!!”

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He assured me things were almost done, that yes I’d bled longer than most (you’re only supposed to bleed for a couple days), but he definitely saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

(Wait what?? There’s not supposed to be a light up there!! Did you leave something behind, doc?)

Then things really ramped up.

Whatever light he’d seen up there most definitely got drowned out. My uterus was now eternally going to be a Stephen King sewer system in which Pennywise was inhabiting and killing his victims inside it. There was no other reasonable explanation.

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What followed was me calling in,
The nurse checking with my doctor,
Then reporting back that he said “You need to go on the birth control pill.”,
Me taking a deep breath and using that overly-calm voice to let the nurse know that I had surgery to avoid such torture and WOULD NOT be doing any such thing,

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The nurse quickly finding me an appointment,

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The doctor examining me,

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And surmising “This is super unusual and I have absolutely no idea why you’re bleeding, but it could be one of these two things, so let’s take both these pills here and see if one of ‘em will plug the leak.”

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Shockingly, neither worked.

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After 60 days of my Lady Switch being completely jammed, my doctor announced that it was time to move to plan C: Goodbye, Uterus.

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After all she’s put me through lately, I know it seems like it should be more of one of these goodbyes,

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But we also created humans together. So I won’t deny a bit of sentimental attachment.

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I never wanted to have a Hysterectomy. I’ve been pretty against the idea for, like, forever. I’ve let go of a lot of body parts (a foot bone, a gall bladder, both tonsils, and two parasites now known as children), and was open to the idea of dismissing my appendix if it ever went rogue.

But my uterus – I really planned on us going out together.

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But after three days of being confined to bed due to the havoc my not-so-Cuterus was playing on my Dysautonomia, I was finally ready to break up the band. And resign myself to being a hollow shell of a human with nothing left but a lonely appendix.

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And so my doctor explained to me what would go down.

He would enter my body through my belly button (I guess my Dad was right after all – belly buttons do unbutton if you’re not careful,)

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(But my Dad’s horror stories about what would happen if you unbuttoned your belly button pale in comparison to reality…)

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Because he (the doctor, not Dad) would then use a very special tool with a very special name – A Morcellator – to grind up my uterus into hamburger steak,

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To make it easily removable through aforementioned belly button.

…Which brings me to wonder: does ground Uterus fry up as well as Placenta? And would you use ketchup or ranch to bring out its natural flavorings? Also, is mine a tastier variety since it’s no longer utero sashimi, but a nice medium-rare, compliments of my prior ablation?

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After removing all my newly formed uterine morsels, he promised that I would be a new woman, finally healed of all that ails me.

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And so I’ll be taking part in this groundbreaking Uterine Rave on Thursday. And it’s guaranteed to be the trendiest way to spend Early December.

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There will be a night in the hospital, two weeks of recovery, Uterus Sloppy Joes for everyone, and then I will hopefully never feel anything in my Uterus ever, ever again.

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Now Accepting: Book, Netflix, and Amazon Prime recommendations, Sarcastic wishes of “Merry Christmas to YOU!”, gifs and Memes, chocolate, and tacos.

No Longer Accepting: Secondhand Hysterectomy Horror Stories, Firsthand Hysterectomy Horror Stories, preventative Essential Oil recommendations, and raw ground beef anonymously mailed to my doorstep.

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    No horror stories here–having a hysterectomy was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (Although not much of a decision on my part, because the doctors thought I had cancer and it was an everybody-out-of-the-pool situation.) I had endometriosis and fibroids and went through seven days of 24-Advil-a-day misery each month, for years before my surgery. In fact, I didn’t even realize how miserable I was, until I wasn’t anymore. My surgery was open, rather than laparoscopic, because they were looking for cancer, but the recovery was super-easy, I’ve had no menopause symptoms, I don’t take (or need) any kind of hormone replacement, and I feel SO MUCH better. Hopefully you will, too. :)

    • Sorry to barge in on your conversation, but I just wanted to say that is encouraging to hear. I have a 26-year-old cousin who has similar issues and is very apprehensive about surgery. So glad things turned out well for you and that there was no cancer. I’m praying the same will be true for my cousin, and that she won’t have menopause symptoms either. Hugs from Brazil!

      • Stephanie says:

        No worries! I was apprehensive, too, but a very dear friend gave me good advice: 1) get up and move around as much as possible; 2) follow the lifting restrictions; 3) go up the stairs backwards the first few times after the surgery; and 4) take the pain pills on schedule for at least the first couple of weeks to stay ahead of pain. I was dreading recovery from major abdominal surgery but it really was incredibly easy. Best wishes for your cousin!

  2. Kristine Toone says:

    Ug, this sounds terrible!!! I hope that the surgery and recovery go smoothly and that this is ultimately the right solution!

  3. You obviously have had a really tough go and I’m so sorry, ugh. I do want to put in a plug for IUDs, they’re not for everyone (and obviously no longer an option for you) but they can be more or less a temporary off switch — good for 3-5 years, fertility is restored when they’re removed, periods often dramatically slow or stop. I haven’t had one in four years!

    Good luck with your surgery, I wish you fast healing and no more horrid periods!

  4. Well, I read through all your blog archives during my recovery. :) Also I found audio books better than reading for the first week or so. Also, having the nurse at my pre-op visit teach me how to get out of bed without using my abdominal muscles was a game changer.

  5. I really hope this is the answer! I feel like we should have a goodbye party for your uterus. :) I have seriously heard no horror stories of hysterectomies gone awry, but one of the moms at my kids’ school swears by hers. In fact, she thinks all women should have one! LOL.

    For anyone else, I 100% agree with Renita that the IUD works magic. I had super heavy periods that lasted for a week, and after my 2nd child, I had my gyno throw a Mirena IUD up in there, and I haven’t had a period since. I kept it in there 5 years, and then had her take it out and put another one in there. I told her I will keep those until I am safely in menopause. BLISS!

    • Stephanie Skinner says:

      I’m on my third IUD and while I agree it’s been a great lady switch, I would caution against believing this particular switch works until menopause. I’m 43 and while I am still happily not pregnant, the other amazing side effects I’ve come to know and love about my Mirena are starting to subside. I am subject to many of the awful PMS symptoms I suffered from prior to any hormonal BC. And what’s worse is I can’t predict it because there aren’t really ‘cycles’ to your fertility with an IUD. So while it’s doing it’s primary job, my OB warned that as you creep toward peri-menopause, it can’t do such a great job regulating hormones any more. And it’s common I guess.

    • definitely need a Uterus party! :-D

  6. Wendy Clark (aka MamaHen) says:

    I know it is a little sentimental, but girl, if that GIRL is causing you that much trouble get HER out!

  7. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a hard time, Rachel. I had an ablation a few months ago and although it helped a lot, I’ve been disappointed that it didn’t eliminate my period entirely like it has with my friends. My BFF and my SIL have had hysterectomies, though and they both say that the recovery wasn’t as bad as they expected and the results are amazing. They also love to brag about how they NEVER get periods anymore, which is kind of obnoxious, but I’d probably do the same thing, too. As should you! Start thinking now about all the obnoxious ways to can rub it into your friends that you no longer menstruate. Like, “Here, take this half empty box of tampons because, unlike you, I have NO USE EVER AGAIN FOR THEM!”

  8. I have never wanted to have a hysterectomy either, but I do hope that this works out for you and you

  9. I had a hysterectomy last November and it was been LIFE CHANGING. I’m very surprised at the whole grinding up of the uterus thing….I had 4 TINY incisions on my abdomen and my doctor used the Da Vinci machine to do the surgery. No ground uterus! ;)

    The first two days post surgery were pretty painful, but after that it was fairly good recovery. I brag to everyone I know that I no longer have PMS, cramps, annoying bleeding (I was an extremely heavy bleeder). If ANYONE is considering having it done I am their cheerleader!

    Good luck. I know it’s not what you wanted, but I hope in a couple months you will also consider in LIFE CHANGING!! :)

  10. YAY for you!!!!!! You’re going to LOVE being free of that thing!!!

  11. Such a timely post for me! My own hysterectomy is scheduled for December 21. I’ve suffered for years! You’ve got me all worried about this meat grinding aspect, but Bethany up there says she had the Da Vinci robot (which is what I’m having) and no meat grinding, so maybe I don’t need to be thinking about hamburger meat. ;)

    I hope you have a quick, easy recovery. And, I hope we both can say in a few months that our hysterectomies were LIFE CHANGING with amazing results!

    • I hope yours is great too!! You’re putting yours super close to Christmas…which, I guess, means everyone gets to wait on you hand and foot during the holidays. Cheers!

      • I’m putting mine on the first day of Christmas break from school. I’m a middle school teacher. It was either that or wait until summer break, and I’m done with this!

  12. Every woman in my family has had a hysterectomy before 40 so I’m prepared and so looking forward to a life free of horrible periods! I would like to have at least one more baby first though. They tried to morcerlate (sp?) my fibroid but it was so calcified it wouldn’t grind up so they had to slit me open further to get it out. But my recovery wasn’t bad at all past the first few days. I’m sure you will LOVE being period free!

  13. Dianne Norton says:

    I had mine long before the robotic process was developed, and I was ever so grateful to be done with the bleeding! I will be praying for you that the surgery and recovery will go smoothly. Robotic should definitely be the way to go!

  14. Praying for today, Rachel! Hope everything goes smoothly and you have a quick recovery! :)

  15. I don’t know what to say but good luck and keep a humorous attitude!

  16. Like birth stories, everyone who has a hysterectomy has something to share. Merry Christmas to ME when I had mine on my son’s birthday, 13 days before Christmas! Best thing ever – The Dr. used 4 tiny incisions to ‘delivery’ it whole through the normal path. It was an emergency that had its moments…. seeing a vacuum in the hospital supply closet prompted a request to ‘just suck the damn thing out already.’ And hubby taking me xmas shopping basically 5 days post surgery. Even in a wheelchair that was traumatic. That dude walks FAST!
    Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

  17. What a story! Also, where do you find those gifs?! lol I”ll be praying for an easy procedure and quick recovery for you. And that you’ll feel sooooo much better when it’s all over! Looking forward to post-op posts! Hugs from Brazil! <3

  18. I’m that 1% that had complications. Even with the (horrible) complications I had, almost 2 years later, it was totally worth it.

    I had an IUD. I even took the pill with the IUD. I bled non stop for years. And now I’m free and it’s the best EVER.

  19. Hope that this is the solution to your issues! Love that you are tackling it with you usual sense of humor. Hilarious post about a not hilarious experience.

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