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Tag: Body Issues

So I Did A Thing…

So it seems like we’re back to updating this thing once a year or so. I don’t seem to have the need to write things out that I once did, or maybe it is just that I don’t have the time and focus to actually sit and type it out. I’m not sure how it felt like I had more time when the kids were babies than I do now, but somehow that’s where we are. Nevertheless, I still do feel the need to document now and then.

A week ago today, something monumental (monumental for me anyway) happened. I finally went in for surgery and had a total hysterectomy. This surgery has been a long time coming…and when I say long time, I mean it has been the inevitable conclusion to about 25 years of pain and suffering. That may sound a bit dramatic, but my first abdominal surgery to remove two large ovarian cysts (one larger than the surgeon’s outstretched hand) happened my freshman year of college. Since then I have had several more surgeries to remove ovarian cysts, an ovary, and to clean out endometriosis. Following the birth of my youngest, I also had my (remaining) tube tied to prevent any further surprises.

It has been 10 years since my last surgery, and while there have still been some uncomfortable issues over that time, the last year or so I have had a lot of health issues that seem to point all in one direction….my uterus and the surrounding area.

My general doc finally decided that we weren’t getting anywhere and referred me to an OB/GYN. My doctor that I went to through all of my pregnancies (and absolutely loved) had retired, so I ended up seeing another doc in her practice. After going over my previous records and some lengthy discussion about my options, we decided together that a hysterectomy was probably the best choice.

I was hoping to have surgery before the end of last year, but the earliest they could schedule it was the middle of January. Covid has affected everything these days, including how surgeries are scheduled. Non-essential surgeries have to be scheduled months in advance to get an operating room reserved. And then of course, prior to surgery, a Covid test is required.

As luck would have it, I ended up getting sick at the beginning of January. It came on with an excruciating sore throat so after a day or two I took myself to Urgent Care and got some antibiotics for Strep Throat. I got them in time to have that all cleared up before surgery. I was feeling much better a few days in and assumed the meds were working. I went to take my pre-surgery Covid test the Monday before surgery and then waited to get my results.

Over the weekend, Caleb had started getting sick, with the same symptoms I had. I took him in to the doctor to get checked and they did both a Strep and a Covid test. Within an hour I had his results back and he was positive for Covid. By that time Brian was also showing symptoms and by later that night Evie wasn’t feeling well. The oldest had been down and pretty much sleeping for 2 days at that point, so we assumed was probably sick as well.

Thursday morning I still had not received my Covid test results, so I was assuming surgery was still on. They said they would only call if it was positive. I took my antibacterial soap shower and had my bag all packed and ready when my phone rang. It was the hospital saying they had just received my Covid results and it was positive. Surgery was cancelled. I cannot even describe the disappointment I felt that day. Later that day we got Covid test results for Brian and Evie that were also positive.

Surgery was rescheduled, but the earliest they could re-schedule was April 21st. The thought of waiting another 3 months was depressing. I was ready to get the surgery done and start feeling better. A few days later, the nurse called me back and asked if I could be available on January 27th because they had another Covid cancellation. I was so happy and excited to be able to get in earlier than April that I would have done anything to re-arrange my schedule at that point.

The week before my re-scheduled surgery date, I got another call. With the surge of Covid cases, all surgeries had been cancelled for the next week. The hospital was short on staffing and beds because of so many Covid cases. My heart sank as we re-scheduled for the third time – back to April but a week later on the 28th.

The time between January and the end of April seemed to drag out forever. Fortunately, the kids managed to keep me plenty busy. The week before my surgery was scheduled, we had another Covid outbreak at church (which is also my workplace) and I had a slight panic. Determined not to get sick, I masked up at work and kept my office door closed as much as possible when I had to be at the office. I even sat in my office during church services and streamed it online to keep myself away from people.

The Monday before surgery, I found out that the Covid testing requirements had changed and I was no longer required to test before surgery. It was a bit of a relief, not only because it saved me time, but also because I was not in danger of getting cancelled again. When Thursday morning came and I still hadn’t received a cancellation call, it felt too good to be true. This was actually going to happen!

With every step closer to surgery I got, I was still waiting for the ball to drop. I don’t think I truly relaxed until they wheeled me into the operating room and were about to put me to sleep for surgery.

I chose to have my mom come to the hospital with me for surgery. I felt like it would be easier on the kids to have dad at home with them, especially since I was going to be there overnight. As it turned out, that was a good choice because my surgery ended up going super long – like several extra hours long. My mom was the last person in the waiting room and was pacing the floor when the doctor finally came out to talk to her.

Apparently the surgery had gone as expected, but as they were finishing up the final stitches, the tip of the needle broke off and was somewhere inside my body. It was a laparoscopic surgery, so they were working with tiny tools and tiny needles. So, while I was doing just fine, they had to use X-rays to find the tiny needle inside me so they could get it out before they could stitch me up the rest of the way. As it turned out, they had to actually undo some of the stitches and then re-stitch once they found the needle.

When I woke up in recovery, I was confused because people were talking to me and it seemed like they were in a rush to get me up to my hospital room. I was barely alert when they moved me up to my room. My mom got to the room a few minutes after I got up there and explained everything that had happened. They said that the doctor came in and talked to me in recovery, but I don’t remember it at all.

I was finally awake enough to glance at the clock and realized that it was already after 8:00 pm. My surgery was scheduled at 1:00 pm and started right on time. I was worried because I had promised Caleb I would call and talk to him before he went to bed (at 8:30) so I told my mom I needed to call home. Caleb had been a bit stressed about mom having surgery (and not being home) so I didn’t want him to go to bed without knowing that I was ok. I must not have been quite out of my drug-induced drowsiness because my kids thought I was pretty funny on FaceTime.

I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the night, but after I was able to get up and walk and prove that I could keep liquids down ok, I finally got my hands on a plain turkey sandwich. After over 24 hours without food, that turkey sandwich tasted pretty darn good! I slept pretty good through the night, even with nurses coming in to check vitals and all the other things they do every hour or so.

By morning, I was feeling pretty good. Pain was at a manageable level (with meds of course) and I was more than ready to get home. Fortunately, the hospital staff was in agreement and I got released and was home by about 11:00 am.

Since then I’ve spent a lot of time watching TV, crocheting, and doing a lot of nothing. I was feeling a bit restless by Sunday and spent probably a little too much time up on my feet. So I compensated the next day by doing absolutely nothing but sitting on the couch. Honestly the hardest part has been not doing anything and giving my body time to heal.

The entire week I’ve been waiting for the crash of emotions to happen. Although my doctor did give me a hormone supplement, putting your body into instant surgical menopause typically has some repercussions. Heck, any surgery can put your body in enough distress to cause an emotional crash even without messing around with hormones.

I was doing pretty great until Wednesday. I had to make a couple of phone calls to deal with some difficult kid stuff. Making phone calls in itself is a difficult task for me (IYKYK) but when I’m dreading the outcome, it is even more difficult. I managed to make it through that without breaking, but a little later I was watching a TV show with a bit of an emotional moment in it and before I knew it I was bawling like a baby. I also may have dropped a piece of pizza, yelled at my dog, and then sat and felt sorry for myself for a few minutes.

Other than that little incident, I’ve been fine so far. I’m feeling more tired today than I have the last few days, so I went back to bed after getting the kids off to school. I enjoyed a few more hours of sleep and didn’t wake up until almost noon, so apparently I needed it. Sleeping is definitely getting more comfortable. The first few nights I was only able to sleep on my back comfortably, but now I can shift around a bit. I’m mostly off of pain meds, only needing 1 dose of Ibuprofen about mid-day the last couple of days. I actually prefer to feel some pain so that I know when I may be over doing it and need to stop and rest.

It feels strange to be sitting around not working, though I have snuck in a few minutes here and there. I have another week off to go, but will probably try to do a little bit of work from home so I don’t get too far behind. The bonus is that I’m getting a lot of crochet time in because I can’t stand to just sit and do nothing.

I have five more weeks to go to return to my regular activity level. I’m anxious to get everything healed and feeling better. My incisions are itching like crazy, so I know they are healing. I’m just hoping that I do truly feel better once everything is healed and that the issues I was having are a thing of the past.

I guess there is at least one sure thing now that I no longer have a uterus – I can definitely never be pregnant again. 😉

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Unanswered Questions

Yesterday I had another fun day of sitting around waiting at my OB/GYN’s office.  I had a 10:30 appointment for a follow-up sono to check on my latest round of PCOS related ovarian cysts and then an appointment to see my doc.  Per usual, if I don’t schedule a 9:00 a.m. appointment, the doc got called out to the hospital for an emergency procedure and I ended up sitting around there for over three hours.  I know these things can’t be helped, but when you are sitting there waiting to find out if you have to have yet another surgery you tend to get a bit impatient.

When the doc finally got in there, she looked at my sono pics, pushed around on my tummy a bit, asked me some questions, and decided that the best course of action is surgery.  This time around, the surgery is not to remove an excessively large cyst though, but to remove my right ovary.   Well, most likely removal of the ovary.  She basically said that she needs to get in there and look around to find the source of the pain, but that most likely the ovary will need to come out.  She suggested there might be some endometriosis or even scar tissue that is causing it, but she can’t be sure until she gets in there.  The good news is that I only have normal-sized cysts this time and she doesn’t think that is the cause of the pain.

She also gave me the option of Lupron injections, which would maybe help.  Even with that, there was still a high chance that surgery would be needed.  We both agreed that just going ahead with the surgery seemed like the best option.

When you talk about removing an ovary, the inevitable question comes up, “Do you plan to have any more kids?”  Granted, pregnancy can still happen with just one functioning ovary, but I’m sure what she was wanting to know is if it would be better to just take it all out.  The problem is, I’m not ready to answer that question yet.  I am beyond blessed with the two children I have.  At one time I didn’t think I would be able to have any, so to have two beautiful, healthy children without any pregnancy-related complications is a pretty amazing feat.  I have the perfect family – one boy, one girl – the way I always dreamed it would be.  Yet, there is a little part of me that just doesn’t feel quite finished.

When I weigh out the pros and cons, everything points to stopping at two.  Financially, we really don’t have room for another baby.  We need to buy a new car.  We would like to someday actually buy a house.  We have debt up to our eyeballs and are not making much progress on it right now.  Plus, thinking about swallowing another five years of day care/preschool costs makes me sick to my stomach.

Then, of course, there is the Hubby to consider.  He says he’s done.  He’s happy with our two and doesn’t want to rock the boat.  I get that.  Maybe it is wrong of me to even consider wanting another child when he feels that way.  Yet, I just can’t commit to saying I’m done.  I’m leaning that direction, but it seems so final.

Evie wants a little sister.  She brings it up frequently.  When she plays with her dolls she feeds them, burps them, changes their diapers, snuggles and sings to them, then tucks them into bed.  She is a natural care taker.  A real baby brother or sister would blow her mind.  I know that is not a reason to have another child, but how amazing would it be to give her another sibling to bond with?  And there is Zach too.  Even though he thinks his little sister is the coolest ever, he would really like to have a brother.

All these things swirl around in my head.  Even though I don’t have to make a decision now, making the ultimate decision that I am done would make things much easier on me in the future.  Taking both ovaries out would relieve a lot of stress, pain, and future surgeries.  It’s just the finality of it that I can’t handle.  What if I change my mind?

I could potentially just go for a full hysterectomy, which I have always planned on doing after I was done having kids, due to PCOS and my high risk of breast/ovarian cancer.  I’m a little scared of what that would do to my body hormonally, but it really would lessen a lot of health risks for me.  Being that it’s not medically necessary right now to go that extreme, would I regret it later?  I don’t know.

I have a lot of questions right now, and not a lot of answers (what else is new?).  It seems to make the most sense to just take out the one ovary now, and deal with the rest later which is pretty much what I have decided to do.  Things could be fine after that, or they may not.  While I do have cysts on the left side as well, they don’t seem to cause me pain.  That doesn’t mean that they won’t though.  And the not knowing, that is the problem.

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Friday Is The New Monday

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All day yesterday I could have sworn it was Friday.  But it wasn’t.  It was Thursday and deep down I knew that.  I just wanted it to be Friday.

Today it is finally Friday and it feels like Monday.  I totally got gipped.  Fridays are supposed to be happy days.  Mondays are sucky days.  They should not be reversed for any reason.

Sigh.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat.  It’s all my fault too.  I’ve been seeing so many people complaining about being sick on Twitter this week.  I was happy because I have avoided it so far.  So much for avoidance.  Maybe I’ll just blame it on Hubby since he seems to have it too.

Then, on top of having a sore throat and head full of snot, I slipped on the ice and fell while I was carrying Evie this morning.  Fortunately I reacted instinctively and kept her from hitting the ground but it sure did scare her.  Her head was about an inch from the concrete driveway.  My knee was not so fortunate.  I’m sure it will look real pretty tomorrow when the bruising sets in.

Oh, and did I mention that I started Weight Watchers again (how many times is this now?) this week?  I thought maybe the new Momentum plan would motivate me because I really need to drop the rest of this baby weight.  Then I had peanut M&M’s for breakfast today (stess related eating much?).  Pretty sure that isn’t going to fit well into my daily points allowance.

If it seems like I’m babbling a bit here, well, I am.  I’m trying to get myself back into regular posting both here and on my craft site.  I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and I’m trying to fight it by just making myself write.  I’ve got a couple of post I’m mulling over in my mind that I’ll hopefully have a chance to write soon, but in the meantime, you can go check out what I made with a couple of hours of free time and a hot glue gun.

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Does Milk Chocolate Count As A Serving of Milk?

So, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m back to counting point values for everything that I eat.  Weight Watchers Online is my new best friend – my new best friend that I just so happen to hate.  Maybe hate is too strong of a word.  It isn’t that I hate it.  Weight Watchers is the only diet I have ever been able to stick to in my life.  I just hate that I need it.  I hate that I can’t regulate what I eat without it.

Since I am breastfeeding, I get a lot of extra points but even with them, my first week didn’t go so well.  I did good for the first four days, then I caved.  I was SO hungry.  I ate a sensible dinner Thursday night, but we were at my mom’s house and I just couldn’t stop eating.  Then the weekend was so busy that I just didn’t have time to think about counting points and guessed at what I was eating.  Plus, I had to eat birthday cake and ice cream at Zach’s birthday party.

Despite my bad eating the second half of the week, I did still manage to lose 4 pounds.  I don’t feel it, but that’s what the scales say so I suppose I should be happy about it.  I think part of the problem is that I just have so far to go this time and I can’t seem to get the hunger under control.  It is hard to believe that I can stick to my new eating plan when I feel so hungry all of the time.

So far this week is going okay, but I’ve already dipped into my “extra” points for the week.  I’m trying really hard to get the cravings under control but it is still hard.  I don’t remember being as hungry when I was breastfeeding Zachary, but with Evie it seems like I can never eat enough.  I guess at the very least I know that I’m making (somewhat) healthier food choices.

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The Time Is Now

I’m FAT.

F-A-T

Yes, I know I just had a baby. That’s no excuse. The baby weight? It is gone. I dropped nearly 30 pounds within a week of giving birth. The rest of the weight that I’m now carrying around is just plain fat. It is all of the sugary drinks, peanut butter M&M’s, pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries, ice cream, and fried chicken sandwiches that I’ve been stuffing in my face for the last 11 months because hey, “I’m eating for two!”

Don’t you know eating for two doesn’t stop once you have the baby? Well, not if you’re breastfeeding anyway. I have this insatiable hunger that just will not go away. It started in the last month of my pregnancy and has not let up. I can think of three times since Evie was born that I’ve actually felt full (or slightly over-full). The amount of food that I consume on a daily basis is really quite disgusting.

I know it is time to cut back, but it is so hard when I am just so hungry all the time. Yet, every time I look in the mirror I feel shame because I worked so hard to lose all of the weight that I am now carrying again. I hate myself for every bite I take yet I just can’t stop. I tell myself it is for the baby, but is it really? Or is it just the one way I have of gratifying myself when it seems like everything else is so out of control?

It really hit me a couple weeks ago when I was complaining to a friend about my hair. She commented that she really likes my hair better when it is short. My reply was that I do too, just not when my face is so fat. In that moment I realized that every time I gain weight, I start growing my hair out – like somehow I can hide my fat body with the hair on my head. When I was younger I related to “Cousin Itt” because I could easily hide my entire face by simply pushing my hair forward a bit. If only it were that easy.

I’ve hidden behind my massive head of hair for the majority of my life. Only when I’ve felt confident in myself have I had the guts to cut it short and those times usually correspond to weight loss. I’m not saying I want to cut my hair off again. I just want to feel that freedom and confidence that I’ve felt during those times and I’ve suddenly realized that it has nothing at all to do with my hair and everything to do with my weight.

I’m getting tired of hiding, of feeling so self-conscious that I don’t want to go out or even change clothes in front of my husband. It is time to get off my butt and do something about it. It is time for Weight Watchers again and this time I really want to stick it out and hit my goal weight. It is going to take a lot of work but I know if I could do it once, I can do it again.

Oh, and if anybody wants to buy me a Wii Fit, that would help too.



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