want to know about my impending hysterectomy?

No garments to share today. I just wanted to share some life news: my hysterectomy is scheduled for Valentine’s Day. I have less than 48 hours left with my uterus. What a bizarre feeling.

I did a little last-minute anxiety sewing, to knock out some Monthly Stitch challenges & generate some comfy garments to wear during my recovery. In fact, I am wearing one of my newest makes right this second. I’m just not really on the ball about taking photos. Both garments really could have gone better. I made a pair of “joggers” (I mean, they’re sweatpants with tight ankle cuffs, let’s be real) & a raglan tee. The issues with both were almost entirely user error. I haven’t been sewing much in the last few months (understandably, I think), & as it turns out, you kind of need to keep doing it regularly in order to maintain your skill set. The raglan tee in particular was an absolute SHITSHOW. I could have turned Ramona loose on the project & it would have turned out better. I did manage to cobble together a wearable garment that was pretty close to my original vision, but I made every mistake possible, up to & including starting with THE WRONG FUCKING PATTERN! I really can’t wait to write that one up.

I’m just not sure when I will get the chance to write those posts. I’m going to try to get photos taken before my surgery, but I’m not sure what to expect from recovery. Maybe I’ll be chilling in bed with all the time & energy in the world for writing. Maybe I’ll be posting everyday! Or maybe I will just sleep for the next six weeks. Hard to say.

In case anyone is interested, I will be have a laparascopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (I think–to be honest, the terminology is a little bit confusing). Uterus & cervix will be going for sure, along with a touch of the vagina. I mean, sorry if that’s too much information, but not that sorry, because it’s not your vagina, you know? The tissue will be rushed to pathology while I am still in surgery, & depending on the results, my oncologist (who is also my surgeon) may dissect a few lymph nodes. There’s also the possibility that the whole laparascopic surgery could turn into abdominal surgery is she doesn’t have room to maneuver her tools due to unanticipated masses or adhesions. I won’t know the details about how the surgery was conducted or what exactly was removed until I wake up in my hospital room.

That’s another fun piece of the puzzle. Apparently, I can request a private room, but the anesthesiology nurse was straight with me. She said, “You can always request a private room, & nine times out of ten, the nurse will say, ‘I’ll do what I can,’ & then she will snicker behind your back because there’s no way we will have any private rooms open.” So I’m steeling myself for the likelihood of a hospital roommate. I told Jared that I’ll just have to lay down the law with them. I will announce, “Listen up, pal, & listen good. I’M the annoying roommate around here. Now gimme that remote, we’re watching ‘Frasier’.”

Haha, not really. I’m just crossing my fingers that my roommate isn’t too loud, because I plan to sleep a lot.

Assuming all goes according to plan, I will only have to spend one night in the hospital. I’ve been spending the weekend preparing my space for recovery. I’ve set up my lap desk next to my bed, along with a small bin full of magazines, logic puzzles, & fun library books. I’m making sure that all my comfiest pajamas & favorite socks are freshly laundered. I’ve made a list of TV shows I want to binge on Netflix & Hulu. Hulu is especially helping me out by streaming all seven seasons of “The Golden Girls” starting tomorrow! It’s like they knew I was going to be spending a few weeks in bed!

I have a nice big heating pad & a prescription for Percocet. I have laid in an ample supply of Girl Scout cookies (twelve boxes, delivered this morning). I have Jared handling all offers of meals & child care.

There was some sturm und drang over whether or not this surgery was really going to happen. I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago with an ingrown toenail. Again, sorry if this is too much information. But it’s not your toenail, right? & it fucking hurt! The nurse practitioner was like, “Okay, here’s your billionth prescription for antibiotics in the last year” (seriously, when we get to the antibiotic tipping point where they don’t work anymore & people start dying of paper cuts, it will be at least 5% my fault) “& you need to see a podiatrist for that toe.” I was like, “Okay, cool. By the way, I’ve been having a bit of chest pain, maybe from anxiety or something?” & she was like, “OMG YOU’RE GONNA DIE.”

She instantly ordered an EKG, which was normal. So she ramped up the hysteria & ordered a nuclear stress test. In case you are not a senior citizen & don’t know what this is: you are given an injection of some kind of radioactive medication & then you go chill for an hour so it can saturate your entire bloodstream. Then you are scanned to see if the radioactive blood is pumping through your heart properly. Then your heart is “stressed,” with either exercise or exercise-mimicking medication, & you’re scanned again. Then you are released to go eat something, because you haven’t been allowed to eat for like 12 hours, & then you’re scanned one more time.

It SUCKED. I was already developing a food- & caffeine-withdrawal headache when the test started, & I had to wait three hours before I could eat. My doctor ordered me the exercise-mimicking medication, which was so much worse than being on a treadmill. Imagine running a mile in under five seconds. That’s what it felt like (I imagine). Then I got to eat, so I ordered a grilled turkey & Provolone sandwich from the hospital cafeteria. I know it’s just because I was so hungry, but it was THE MOST DELICIOUS THING I’VE EVER TASTED. I keep scheming about how to sneak away to the hospital & get another one. I also got the drink coffee, ie, the elixir of the gods. Then I went back for the last scan.

If any abnormalities had turned up, surgery would have been canceled & I would have started treatment with a cardiologist. But, just as I anticipated, I went through all this nonsense for nothing. My heart is great. Which is good to know, I suppose, but it was a lot of stress & hunger for no reason. Anyway, with that final hurdle cleared, I am all good for surgery.

Wish me luck!

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

28 thoughts on “want to know about my impending hysterectomy?

  1. Best of luck to you! That has to be stressful, not knowing what your recovery will be like because you don’t know how extensive your surgery will be. You sound well-prepared for whatever comes; I hope recovery goes as easily as possible for you.

    1. Thanks! The hysterectomy was almost three weeks ago now & it went according to plan. All laparascopic, just the cervix, uterus, & a sliver of vagina taken out. Recovery has been long & hard though. I am still in bed full-time, but hoping to be able to spend some time sitting in chairs this week. What a fantastical goal!

    1. Thanks! I’m still in bed full-time at this point (almost three weeks post-hysterectomy), but I’m getting better bit by bit. I hope to be well enough to do some sewing soon!

  2. Hope all goes well, I have looked after women post-op from vaginal hysterectomies and you need to be really gentle with yourself, I’m glad you are taking a good wad of time off to take it easy. Hopefully there will be no lymph node involvement and all is straightforward. As far as the stress test, did it burn up the same amount of calories as if you’d done the treadmill? Horrible test but no calories burned..that sucks!

    1. No lymph node involvement & surgery went according to plan! I was prepared to have to “take it easy,” but the reality of it was still more than I expected. For the first several days after I was released from the hospital, the pain was getting a little worse everyday. I finally called my oncologist & she clarified that I really shouldn’t be doing ANYTHING myself. I’d been adjusting my own blankets & pillows & trying to rest while propped up on pillows a lot. I spent the next week laying down & having Jared help with the pillows & blankets & I felt a lot better. I’m back to sitting propped on pillows now, but still in bed. One of these days I will wear real pants & go outside again!

  3. Best wishes and good luck thoughts for tomorrow. You have a lot going on and I admire your courage and your honestly, because, yes, this really does suck for you. Selfishly, I hope you’re able to post again soon for an update but seriously, take it easy, take it slow, take all the time you need. Cry, sleep, scream, pout, say yes to all the painkillers, say hi to Lorelei and Rory, and let your family and nearby friends do for you. See you on the flip side!!

    1. Thanks so much! Surgery was almost three weeks ago, but I am still recovering & spending most of my time in bed. I’ll try to write an update post soon.

  4. Hope your home and feel well enough to enjoy your tv binge. And those peanut butter scotchies.
    All the best, Merry

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