I survived the hysterectomy!

Hey! I’m still alive! I haven’t posted in over two months, since right before my hysterectomy. I have been sewing a bit since then, & have some new garments to share in future posts, as well as the handful of things I never blogged from 2016. But this will just be a general life update, so feel free to skip if you’re only here for the sewing.

The hysterectomy went well & I am slowly healing. I expected recovery to be long & hard, but it’s been considerably longer & harder than I expected. Even though I just have four small incisions, recovery has been a lot harder than recovery from my Cesarean was. I spent literally weeks in bed almost full-time. It got to the point that I was so BORED with watching TV & reading. It took a long time to heal & build up enough strength to get back behind a sewing machine, & I’m still not even recovered to the point I was at before the hysterectomy, which was still considerably worse than how I was feeling, say, a year ago.

I spent one night in the hospital after the hysterectomy, which is standard. I had hoped for a private room, but it didn’t pan out. I had a really difficult time shaking off the anesthetic. While I was in the recovery room, I kept hearing people come by & say, “A private room just opened, if she’s ready,” & I would try to wake up & say, “Yes! I’m ready!” but then I would instantly fall asleep again. I have a vague memory of being wheeled down a hallway on a gurney & Jared being pulled aside to sign some kind of visitor paperwork, & me trying to say, “He already did that,” but then I fell asleep again. Jared reports that they kept him in a visitor waiting room for like two hours after that. They just forgot he was there. Which sucks for him, because even after all that time, I still couldn’t really wake up. So he kind of stayed for no reason. I slept for a solid 24 hours after the surgery.

So, here’s a pro-tip if any of my readers ever end up having hysterectomies of their own: the big thing you have to do before they discharge you is that you have to pee, in order to prove that everything is working as it should in that area & there hasn’t been any damage to the bladder or ureters. This is easier said than done if you have crippling pee anxiety, like I do. I drank like three gallons of water (not even exaggerating) & spent hours the morning after surgery pacing around the ward, trying to make it happen. Even though I felt like I was going to explode, it just would. Not. Happen. I made many tearful trips to the nurses’ station to inquire after private bathrooms. They actually let me to use their staff bathroom, to no avail. I was preparing myself to have to stay an extra night, because I still wasn’t meeting their pee expectations even six hours after I should have been discharged, but they finally got a new attending physician on shift. She took pity on me & set me free, & it’s been smooth sailing in that area ever since.

Aren’t you glad we can have these little talks?

Another bummer thing is that my body is expending so many resources healing from the surgery that it just has nothing left over to fight off illness. & illness is rampant when you have a four-year-old who attends preschool. I got sick again this past weekend, making three separate bouts of respiratory infection in the last month & a half. Jared is truly at the end of his tether with taking on the extra child care & housework while I’m sick. I mean, he’s been flying nearly solo on it all since October. He was also offered a teaching position at KU the week after my hysterectomy, so he’s been trying to balance it all with grading, lecture-writing, etc, for the last two months.

Ramona also got very sick a couple of weeks ago. Her doctor was really torn on whether to treat at home or admit her to the hospital. She had bronchiolitis, which is an infection of the upper airways, caused by RSV & fairly uncommon in kids as old as Ramona. It mostly affects kids under the age of 2. & she had an incredibly severe case. Her oxygen sats were hovering in the mid-80s & she was falling asleep simply from the exhaustion of trying to breathe. Her lips & fingernails were purple & her skin was gray. It was pretty scary. But her pediatrician prescribed a nebulizer & that helped A LOT. She turned the corner the day after he first treatment, & although she missed a solid week & a half of school & still has a lingering cough, she’s doing a lot better.

We also signed a lease on a new house for August, so I guess we’ve committed to at least one more year in Lawrence. I am REALLY excited about the new house. It’s a house I have noticed before while driving around town, & I’ve always thought it was so cool & wondered about the people living there. I assumed it was some rich, old couple who had been there for thirty years, judging by the posh neighborhood & general awesomeness of the property. I was gobsmacked to learn that it was a rental property. There’s a living room, dining room, kitchen, full bathroom, & two bedrooms downstairs. The upstairs is a big open loft, with a room at one end that can be closed off with French doors. The house is set into a hill with the basement dug into it. The basement is also the garage. There’s a nice yard with big evergreens, a wraparound porch, a huge deep barn sink, original wallpaper (circa the 1920s), & a fireplace. It’s a giant step up from where we are now. Jared has agreed to let me use the loft as a sewing space, & there is SO MUCH room up there for my cutting table, pressing station, sewing table, & all of my fabric stash. Ramona is going to use the room with the French doors as a playroom. That space has deeply sloped ceilings & two windows set in close to the floor, so it feels like a walk-in dollhouse: really, a perfect playroom for a child.

So, that’s that! I’ll try to post some sewing soon!

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.

17 thoughts on “I survived the hysterectomy!

  1. I’m glad you’re better now and hopefully this is the last time you have to be in the hospital. Your new sewing space sounds awesome!

    1. I am definitely feeling a lot better hysterectomy-wise. I still need to build my strength back up from living like veal for the last six months, but that will happen with time. I was just at the ER again yesterday though because my doctor thought I maybe had an infection of the mastoid bone (behind the ear). I feel a bit better today though, so…Hopefully one day soon I will be able to get through a whole day without having to go back to bed!

    1. It’s really just a challenging surgery as far as recovery goes. You really need to take your time with the healing. But I’m definitely feeling MUCH better than I was, say, a month ago!

  2. I knew you’d survived (yay!) from social media… but I’m glad to see that you’re feeling well enough again to blog. 😀

    I hope the rest of your recovery is quick and painless! Hopefully the end of cough and cold season will help.

    1. Cough & cold season seems to be seguing seamlessly into allergy season. I really don’t know if I have allergies or if it’s just the lingering after-effects of having had a bronchial infection for like six months, but I am still feeling kind of crummy on that front. Oh well. I’ll get there eventually.

  3. I’m so glad things are getting better, even though it’s been a slow recovery. I had surgery in that same region about three years ago (but not a hysterectomy) and I also had to pee before leaving the hospital, but for some reason they had to OBSERVE ME doing it, which is literally a recurring nightmare I have. I was so irrationally committed to getting out of the hospital and going home, like to the point of sobbing uncontrollably, that I was able to do it, but sheesh.

    Yikes, that’s so scary about Ramona! I’m glad she’s on the mend, too. Our good friends have a three-year-old who’s in preschool, and I swear she’s constantly sick. Toddlers should have to scrub in and out of school like surgeons because they are such little carriers of disease!

    1. Ugh! They had to OBSERVE you? That is nightmare fuel.

      In my case, I had to collect the pee in one of those little bowl things & they measured the output & decided whether or not it was “enough”. & it kept on not being enough. So after four hours, they would “straight cath” me & restart the clock. After about twelve hours of this, a new doctor came on duty. She came straight to my room & was like, “I’m discharging you. I’m so sorry about what they’ve put you through for the last twelve hours.” Apparently the only thing they really cared about was that I could produce any pee whatsoever, hence proving that there was no damage to the bladder or ureters.

      So yeah. Good talk!

      Preschools are definitely major germ factories. Ramona actually hasn’t gotten sick nearly as many times as I expected. She had a perfect attendance record until this major bronchial infection. But with my immune system being all jacked up, I’ve gotten sick so many times just from being around her.

      I really like the idea of making them scrub in & out! Maybe that would also help mitigate that preschool smell they bring home. Ramona’s preschool uses a lot of essential oils in the cleaning supplies to mask bleach smells, but I’d take bleach over tea tree oil anytime. Ugh.

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