Health

Recovery After Hysterectomy: My Journey

If you follow our blog, you may have noticed that all our recent content has been written by my hard-working husband. I have been MIA since November and I realized tonight that I just needed to make myself sit down and write about my recovery after hysterectomy, which is the reason I’ve been silent.

It isn’t that I don’t have things I’d love to share, I do. I have just had an emotionally draining few months and I was afraid that once I started writing all of that would pour out and honestly, who would want to read that? I am going to do my best to keep the emotions in check, but this post is going to just catch you up a bit on where I’ve been and how I’m progressing on my journey towards a healthier life.

Surgery and Recovery after Hysterectomy

On November 27, 2018, I had a total hysterectomy, leaving behind my ovaries. It was laparoscopic and assisted by the DaVinci robot. If you know me personally, you may know that I have a deep mistrust of robots, so I wasn’t at all thrilled, but he did a great job, as did my awesome surgeon. Props to the Women’s Specialists of New Mexico and Lovelace Women’s Hospital. It was honestly a smooth process, and everyone was very kind and did a great job.

My Health Background

We have 3 amazing kids that have filled my life with more love than I could have ever imagined. Two of them are from Bill’s first marriage and our almost-teenage son is adopted. I’ve never been able to have biological children and I had 5 miscarriages along the path to realizing that it wasn’t in the cards for me.

I now know, since my stroke in 2013, that I have anti-phospholipid syndrome and combined with my PCOS, and internal scarring from childhood sexual abuse I was never meant to bear children. That was a heartbreaking and traumatic part of my life, so I was hopeful that the hysterectomy would at long last bring me some closure. Because, no matter how sure I was that I could not possibly ever be pregnant and carry to term, there was always this faint hope that it would happen.  

That’s not quite what happened, or at least I’m not there yet. Instead, an unexpected wave of grief hit me so hard I found myself fighting deep and dark depression. Something that I haven’t even really talked to my husband about because for some reason I felt ashamed of it. I have known for many years that a baby wasn’t in the cards for me, so it felt weak to now be grieving something I felt like I should have gotten over so long ago.

Complications in Recovery

I also had a slight complication from the hysterectomy that threw me off a bit. I was sent home the next day having had the catheter put back in because my bladder wouldn’t “wake up” and do its job. I got a raging UTI and 5 days later ended up in an urgent care clinic to have it removed. Thankfully, my bladder started working and I didn’t have to have it replaced.

I took 3 complete weeks off from pretty much everything to recover after hysterectomy and Bill stayed home from work and took care of our son, who goes to an online public school so is at home every day. It was then 5 more weeks before I could resume exercise and it was difficult.

I started having a harder time controlling my emotions and I felt so angry and started to lash out a bit at my family, that made me feel guilty which led to a further deterioration of my emotional health status. My Dr. and a great support group I found on Facebook assured me that my hormones should level out in a few months and I resolved myself to get through it.

Recovery Difficulties

Thankfully, the restriction on exercise was lifted at 8 weeks post-surgery and getting back to movement and yoga has been very helpful and my mood and general outlook have started to improve. Recovery after hysterectomy can be greatly assisted if you are able to be active once restrictions are lifted.

The last month or so, I have been feeling better, I haven’t really had any pain, and I am sorting through the complicated emotions facing the finality of my infertility brought on.

However, while doing a particularly core-heavy yoga workout I pulled something internally. This resulted in incontinence that happens shortly after I urinate. My Dr. advises that I probably tore something a bit and it hasn’t healed correctly. I’m supposed to give it one more week and if I am still having incontinence I will be referred to a Urogynecologist for what will most likely be corrective surgery.

Getting Back on Track After Hysterectomy

Bill has been my constant support and I have been so grateful to have him with me in this recovery after hysterectomy. He’s working harder on his own physical health and fitness recently and it’s been wonderful to share that together.

As far as my keto journey goes, I’ve gained a few pounds and have had a difficult time with that. I had lost 82 but I gained 5 back.  I’m still eating a keto diet, but I have slacked off and had some days of emotional eating. That is something that I have worked so hard to curb, but the recovery after hysterectomy is making it really hard.

It’s easy to get down on myself and to start seeing my faults and failures but I have consciously decided that I am not going to allow myself to do that. Instead, I am reminding myself of my success and that my journey to be healthy is a lifelong one and a couple of difficult weeks and a few pounds aren’t going to determine my future.

I have done an amazing thing, I have been healing my body from the inside out and, in the process, becoming stronger and healthier mentally and emotionally as well. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be hard times and times of struggle and chocolate. It does mean that those times won’t define me or my journey, they are a part of it and not a part that I have to dwell in.

My Recovery After Hysterectomy

My body and I have gone through a whole lot over the last several years. PCOS, infertility, my stroke, 2 years of fighting Lyme disease, and a myriad of emotional and mental struggles that stemmed from those and from past abuse. Without all those things I wouldn’t be who I am. I am choosing to move forward, never forgetting what I have been through but acknowledging it and loving myself and the strength that I had to make it to the other side. This will be a successful recovery after hysterectomy!

I’m going to do a better job of staying focused on my goals for this blog as well and get back in the swing of writing and participating online more consistently. Thank you to everyone who has shared their support, love, and inspiration with me.

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I am the managing editor and co-owner of OthFit.com. My goal is to motivate and inspire people to get healthy. I love to connect and make new friends online so feel free to say hi anytime.

3 Comments

  • Tammy

    Wow ! What a good read.. …thank you for sharing. I am sorry you have had to go through all of that through out your life. Stay strong and keep your chin up ! Hugs …

  • Nora W Coffey

    Hi Summer,

    Thank you for sharing your personal journey with infertility and the sliver of hope dashed by hysterectomy.

    The Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation has counseled 1,875,000 women since it was founded in 1982. Each woman’s experience is unique with many common threads. Women who felt they had made their peace with infertility are often surprised at their feelings of loss after hysterectomy. The absolute irreversible loss is a reality most women did not expect. They, too, most often did not discuss their feelings with family or friends, particularly if they had adopted children or they had a relationship with partner’s children.

    Kudos for opening the door for other women by talking frankly about your personal journey. You have opened the door for many women to realize they are not alone.

    Nora

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