bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘hysterectomy’

It’s All Good

Just a quick update:  I am feeling much better now.  I think hormones had a lot to do with the unusual roller coaster ride of the last several days.  Yes, even after the hysterectomy, there are still times of the month that I am affected.  And, the second week of the month is about that time.  I haven’t had that for a couple of months, though, so I didn’t think about it at first.

So, it was probably a combo of the bipolar/hormone thing.  But, I can feel myself climbing out of the hole, and quite rapidly.  (Having brunch with my wonderful parents helped immensely!)

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!  They worked!

Happy Anniversary!

Nope.  Not a wedding anniversary.  (That is Saturday, if you are keeping track.  17 years.)

It’s the anniversary of my hysterectomy.  Actually, it was yesterday, I guess.  I didn’t even think about it until my dear friend, Liz sent me a happy anniversary message on Facebook.  I had to laugh.

What a great choice that surgery was, though.  My life has changed so much and all for the better!  I didn’t realize how much that part of me was wreaking havoc in my life until it was no longer a factor. 

Since I tend to post when things aren’t going well physically, I thought I’d treat us all to a happy moment in the life of Zuzu!  🙂

I’m Baaaaack!

Other than an occasional pain, I am now back to normal after the hysterectomy.  Should I tell Tom, since he’s expecting this to last for another week and a half?  Of course, I should.  He’s been awesome.

I know I’m back to normal when I started crabbing at everyone to pick up their stuff in the kitchen and family room.  Their was just stuff everywhere.  Biggest pet peeve:  when they put stuff on top of the dishwasher and don’t go that extra step to open the door and put it inside.  Oooh.  Yeah, that’s tough. 

Anyway, I was really irked.  I discussed it with Tom, and then got all teary, (which wasn’t fair) so I said, “You know.  Today is just not the day for this.”  And, then I started picking up all my stuff in the two rooms.  Still a pig sty, though.  Karen noticed that things were not going well, so she started picking up her stuff.  (She’s really been good at picking up on my moods and how to help.)

I was starting to get emotional again, so  just went up in my room with my coffee, and rocked in my rocking chair.  (I love rocking chairs.  I calm down much faster when a’rockin’.)  While rocking, I prayed.  I told God how irritated I was, but wanted Him to help soften my heart and remember how much help Tom has been in the past month.  And that this is NOT a big deal!

And, lo and behold, it worked!  I calmly went in and asked Mark to go pick up his stuff.  He did, and then I asked the two kids to come down with me and evaluate the cleanliness of the rooms.  They both had left stuff that wasn’t “their” stuff, but was stuff that they had used, but not put away.  Now, Tom had come down as well, which I hadn’t asked him to do.

I told all three of them that the reason we need to keep these areas clean is because they belong to all of us.  And, if we all just left everything lying around, then the place would look horrible, and we would all be embarrassed.  I asked the kids who they thought was going to put away the dishes that they left on top of the dishwasher.  Karen pointed at me.   Mark poined at Karen because her job is to load the dishwasher after it has been emptied.  Then, they both laughed nervously, and realized my point.

After all things had been put in their places, Tom and the kids went on a bike ride.  I was able to wipe the counters, shine the sink, sweep and mop the floor before I felt uncomfortable.  It felt so good!

Who knew that getting back to housework would be so gratifying?

Three to Six Weeks


my doctor told me it would take three to six weeks to recover from this hysterectomy, I truly thought I would take the full six weeks.  I’m not in the best shape (gasp!), I went into surgery after feeling like crap for ten days, and I don’t endure pain very well.

But, after the surgery, I started feeling really good, really fast.  Even when I got my staples removed, the doctor and nurses commented on how well I was doing.  As I climbed the stairs without a lot of pain last week, Tom praised me and said, “Hey only 5 more weeks to go!”  I laughed and told him I doubted it would take that long.

Then, yesterday happened, which bled into today.  I was feeling really good yesterday and tried sitting different places throughout the house and avoided the recliner.  I straightened up the kitchen a bit, cleaned off my stamping desk, and actually started making some cards.  When i would get tired, I’d just get up, and lie on the couch.

However, at 5 o’clock, I was wiped out, so I laid down for a nap.  I woke up just before 7, and was completely confused.  Was it 7 am or 7 pm?  I turned over and saw Tom was not in bed, so I knew it must be 7 pm, because that man does not get up before 9 unless he has to!  Then, it hit me.  We were supposed to go to my mom’s for dinner at 6:30 in honor of our birthdays!

I start yelling, “Hey!  Hey!” as I am kicking my shoes across the room.  (I couldn’t put them on because of the incision.  I bend in the wrong place.)  Karen jumps on the phone to call my folks to tell them that I was napping, and we lost track of time.  My mom told her that they had already eaten, but to come on anyway. 

The dam broke.  I started bawling.  We all four discuss whether or not we should go anyway, and Tom, the amazing man he is, said, “Yes, we are going.  We could call and say, ‘We aren’t going to come since you’ve already eaten.’  And then they’ll say, ‘Yes, come on.’  Honey, they know you’ve been tired, are on pain medication, and had surgery.  They understand.”

So we piled into the car, and it was a silent ride there.  Everyone felt badly for forgetting.  We came in and my folks were all smiles.  We sat right down to eat, and my dad asked me to pass him the roast.  I said, “Oh, are you going to eat again?”  He looked at me funny and said, “I haven’t eaten.”  I looked at my mom and she said, “Honey, that was a joke!”  Open the flood gates.  I excused myself and went into the other room to cry.

Last night was not an easy night’s sleep.  I woke up at 2:30 and had to take two Percocet because I was in such pain.

When I woke up this morning, I felt like Charlie Brown.  A dark cloud followed me.  And several little crying jags hit while the rest of the family went out shopping.  I called my mom and she came over to keep me company.

I obviously over did it yesterday.  Which seems a little unfair since you don’t know when to quit doing something because the effect comes later.

This really is a roller coaster ride of recovery.  I’m not sure if I’m so emotional because I’m bipolar or because I just over did myself and that’s how everyone feels.  This next week will be hard because I am going to have to sit here to heal faster or get up an move around because I feel like it, and pay for it the next day.  There must be some happy medium.  Right?

General Hospital

Before I give you a run-down of my surgical experience, I thought you might like a little trivia test.  Can you name the shows that featured these hospitals?   Some may still be on the air.  And, I’ll admit I had to look up a couple.

  1. Seattle Grace
  2. County General
  3. Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital
  4. St. Eligius
  5. Rampart General
  6. Sacred Heart

Answers at the bottom of the post.

Yep.  I made it out the other side, friends.  I’m home after my hysterectomy which was exactly one week ago.  Fifteen staples will be removed tomorrow, and I will be feeling a whole lot better.  I’m already feeling better than two weeks ago, so the recovery is looking very promising.

There were highlights and lowlights, as you would expect with most hospital stays.  The staff was very kind, and I would choose Mo Bap again any time.  Hopefully not too soon. 

I promise not to gross you out with any of the stories.  Which leaves me exactly one story to tell.

I was expected to walk the day after surgery, which was not a problem because I was on Percocet and still had morphine left in me, so I was not feeling much pain.  I was on the maternity floor, so Tom and I walked to the nursery.  There weren’t any babies in there.  Aww.  But, as we walked we saw several moms and dads wheeling their babies in the hallways.  I told Tom, “I’ll consider this a good walk if no one asks if I had a boy or a girl or how many centimeters I’m dilated.”  We were literally two doors away from making it back to my room, when a woman in a business suit came out of an office and said, “Good for you!”  Obviously she thought I was working through contractions.  DOH!  So close! 

I didn’t let it bother me too much.  Tom and I just went back into the room, closed the door, and scarfed down cookies from the cookie bouquet my friends sent me.

Once I got home, the kids were glad to be back home too, since they had spent the past few days at my parents’ house.  What they didn’t know was that they were going to spend two more nights there so that I could really get some rest.  This was a major disappointment and you would have thought we were sending them to Git-Mo.  I told them I was going to be a fun-sucker for awhile, and that I was sorry, but they were just going to have to deal with it.  With pouty faces, they left.

When they came back for good, they did their best not to just say “hi” and run out the door.  Which was fine with me, it was a nice day, and I wanted them to play with their friends.  But, before they went, I had something to show them.  I said, “Okay, kiddos, I want to show you what Mom went through and why you are going to have to cut me some slack.”  I lifted up my shirt and showed them my Frankenstein belly.  There were gasps.  There were grossed-out faces.  Faces were turning white.

I know Tom didn’t exactly agree with my showing them the incision and stitches, but as I explained to him later, they couldn’t see anything wrong with me, so it was hard for them to understand why I couldn’t get out of the chair without help or make them dinner.  Now they know.  They did a 180.  They are more than happy to help with anything.  Sometimes a little dose of reality is all you need.

And, now for your trivia answers:

  1. Seattle Grace – Grey’s Anatomy
  2. County General – ER
  3. Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital – House (I had to look this one up to get the exact name.  I just remembered Princeton and Teaching Hospital.)
  4. St. Eligius – St. Elsewhere  (Remember how the hospital turned out to be a snow globe?  Wild.)
  5. Rampart General – Emergency!  (I can still hear Dixie:  “Rampart 451, go ahead.”  Or something like that.  Loved that show.)
  6. Sacred Heart – Scrubs (This one I didn’t know because I haven’t seen more than 2 episodes, but I figured there might be a Scrubs fan out there that would be upset if it wasn’t included)

Forty Hours and Counting Down

I’ve never been so excited about having surgery in my life!  Oh, yeah.  I’ve never had surgery.  Oh well.  I’m still excited.

I haven’t been feeling so hot the last week or so, and that just cements my belief that this hysterectomy is the right thing to do.  I feel like I’m really on top of the whole situation, so BRING IT ON!  My doctor said to me this morning, “I’m excited!  I’ll see you Wednesday!”  That made me laugh.  He doesn’t usually make jokes.

I was supposed to attend the Hearts at Home conference in Normal, IL next weekend, but obviously, that ain’t gonna happen.  I missed the cancellation deadline, so I started checking around to see if anyone wanted to go in my place.  I have two friends that are going (and I’m really bummed about missing out time with them), and I was afraid that if no one took my place, then I would be stuck with a tote bag that cost $90.  (I paid $90 for the conference, and my friends would have picked up my tote bag for me.)  Well, anyway, I called the Hearts at Home office expecting to at least change my reservation to a non-attendee packet which would include the tote bag and audio of the keynote speaker and 4 workshops of my choice.  Well, let me tell you, once you say the word “hysterectomy,” people immediately try to help you out.  The lovely ladies from Hearts at Home gave me my money back, minus the $20 registration fee.  This was even without asking!  And, I am several days past the deadline.  How nice is that?

I’ve come to the conclusion that “hysterectomy” is second only to “cancer” when playing sympathy/empathy cards.  Cancer will always win that one.

It feels really strange to have meals being brought in from yesterday through the 24th.  I keep saying to myself, “It’s not like I have cancer!”  But, I know people want to help.  And, from what I’ve heard, I won’t be feeling much like cooking or bending over and putting stuff in the oven for awhile.

In the book 90 Minutes in Heaven, the author writes about his reluctance to accept help.  This was due, in part, to his being a pastor and, therefore, used to helping others, not being helped.  I’m no pastor, but I prefer to help than be helped.  I’ve really been working on it, though.  My family is trying so hard to help.  They want to do something.  And, according to the book, I should not rob them of that.  So, I ask for some envelopes or a refill on my water.  It shocked me how happy they were to do it! 

I mentioned to Tom yesterday that I would like to be able to use my laptop after surgery, but had heard that I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than my purse.  (I’m guessing this is an average weight.  My mom’s purse is usually quite heavy.  She’s like Mary Poppins.  Everything is in that bag.  And, at the low end of the scale, are the TV actresses’ purses.  See previous blog.)  Well, a laptop is pretty heavy when you think about it.  So, I mentioned possibly putting felt on the legs of a TV tray so that I could pull it close to the chair or push it away easily on the hardwood floor.  Tom jumped right up and did it.  Right then!  Wow.  That was unusual. 

What I have already realized is that it is easy to be the patient.  You just deal with it.  Whatever “it” is.  But, your loved ones?  They watch from the outside wanting to help you, but feeling helpless.  Wanting to do something, but not know what you want or need.  I’ve now been on both sides, and that’s what I’ve observed. 

So, the next time you are the one who is “down and out” as it were, please get over yourself and accept help.  It may be the nicest thing you can do for your friends and loved ones.

Single-Digit Midget

When Tom was in the Army, and you had less than 100 days left of your enlistment, you were called a Double-Digit Midget.  So, I’m a Single-Digit Midget.  Nine days until surgery.  Can’t come fast enough.  I’m having discomfort and ready to start to feel better.

We told the kids yesterday.  Karen was so busy listening to the music playing that I was surprised she even heard me.  She did keep eye contact, though.  And made fun of my hand gestures, which were implying it was “no big deal.”  We had planned on telling the kids yesterday afternoon.  One of the men at church asked Karen if she was going to go get a nurse’s uniform.  She gave him a funny look.  He said, “You know, so you can take care of your mom after her surgery.”  Oops.  So when we got in the car, she asked, “So what’s this surgery thing?” 

ADD Moment:  (Glenn Beck does this in his book, and I love it)  While talking with a 2nd grader the other day, she mentioned that she got a nurse’s uniform.  “And it came with its own testicles!”  If she hadn’t mimed putting the stethoscope in her ears, I’m not sure I would have figured it out!  When I told her mom, she laughed and laughed.  She asked me if I laughed out loud, and I was proud to say I did not.  We were having a very serious, adult conversation, so I just smiled really big and said, “Wow!  How cool is that?”

So, Karen truly was not affected by the news.  Good.  Kinda guessed that one.  Oh, but when she left this morning, she did want to know if she could tell her friends that she walks to school with.  Well, at least she was able to use it as a “wow!” moment.

Then, it was time for Mark.  I was prepared for a boy that would hug me, ask questions, and be genuinely worried.  Which is why I didn’t want to tell him earlier.  BUZZZ!  Wrong answer.  He just listened, said, “Oh.  Okay.”  And went on to ask Tom a question about plans for later in the day.  Good! 

The best part about them knowing is that now I can explain why I need them to do things now instead of two weeks from now.  Plus, if I have to sit down because of the pain or discomfort, they don’t need any explanation.

I think they are happy to hear that I’m going to feel better.  We did tell them that every person that has had the surgery (which, we made sure to stress, was very common), felt so much better and was glad they had it done.  Which could probably be said about liposuction as well, but I digress.

So, I’ve made a good dent in my “To Do Before I Go Under the Knife” list.  I’ve frozen a couple of dishes, bought some easy-to-prepare meals, printed and written down schedules, and started decluttering.  My mom also had me over for this fantastic, delicious, very rich dessert and I had two pieces.  “After all,” I said, “I’m going under the knife.  This could be the last of this dessert I have the rest of my life!”  I can see this surgery thing is going to work out just fine!

You’re a Damned Train-wreck

A year ago, that’s what my internist told me.  I had just gotten out of the loony bin, found out my thyroid was low, have sleep apnea, and who knows what else he was looking at.  Most people might find that insensitive, but I love this guy, and he meant it as a strange compliment.  In other words, “You’ve been through a lot.”  He also mentioned that he was impressed that I hadn’t started drinking in order to survive day to day.  🙂

Well, now, friends, we can add another malady to the list.  Gentlemen, you may now quit reading.  This gets female in the next paragraph.  Okay, you’ve been warned.

I am having a hysterectomy on March 4th.  I am 42 years old.  And, a damned train-wreck.  I have fibroids on my uterus that are really causing trouble, so after other conservative measures, a hysterectomy is the last choice.

I’m fine with it.  Which is probably surprising a lot of people.  The comment I get the most, including from my therapist, is “Ooh.  Major surgery.  That must be scary.”  No.  Not in the least.  I think this is where my faith in God kicks in with a vengeance.  There is truly nothing I can do in order to help or hurt this surgery.  I know it is the best thing for me.  If I come out of it on the other side, great.  If not, I spend eternity in heaven.  What’s to be worried or scared about?  I’m treating it the same way as getting a wisdom tooth pulled. 

I’m a little unsure as to what to expect during recovery, but Tom will be taking time off, my parents will be on-call and taking care of the kids while I am in the hospital, so that is all taken care of.

My biggest concern last week was how being thrusted into menopause was going to affect my bipolar disorder.  Was I going to be all over the place?  Would I sink into a deep depression?

Kent gave me the greatest news of my life (aside from the two times I took the EPT tests that told me I was pregnant).  He said that often hysterectomies affect mood disorders in a very very positive way!  WAHOOOOOO!  Because hormones have A LOT to do with mood disorders, the reduction of the hormones will most likely help stabilize my moods.  No more PMS!  WAHOOOOO x 2!

So, while I get to add this to my list of “issues,” I’m looking forward to coming out the other side of this feeling much better.  Both physically and mentally.  (Oh, but when I asked my psychiatrist about what to expect after the surgery as far as the bipolar disorder goes (and not telling him what Kent had said), his response was a hesitant, “I’m optimistic.”  What the heck?!  He also asked me what I felt about the economy.  What was I supposed to say?  “Well, you know, Robert,  this week, the Commerce Department reported retail sales crept up 1 percent in January as stores slashed prices. It was a small rise after six straight months of declines, and economists cautioned that sales were likely to slip again as consumers curtail spending.”   Not one of my better sessions.) 

Well, Pollyanna here, is VERY optimistic.

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