What I Wish I’d Known Before My Hysterectomy
The potato image makes sense by the end of this story.
The menstrual cramps got very bad in my late 30s. My doctor put me on birth control pills and they got much better. Unfortunately, in my late 40s I decided to get really healthy by getting off the birth control and not messing with my hormones anymore. I wish very much that I had stayed on them.
Off the pills, the cramps became horrific. I’d spend an entire day taking ibuprofen, pacing and doing EFT tapping, going for walks, rocking on the floor, weeping like a little kid. I couldn’t get any relief no matter what I did to distract myself or move my body. When I wasn’t menstruating, I lived in fear of when my period would come back. I felt terrorized by my menstrual cramps.
A functional medicine doctor gave me a strict diet to follow and that finally caused the pain to recede. I felt the pain lessen a bit each month until my cramps once again became typical. But the diet was unsustainable: no dairy, no grains, no sugar or sweeteners (including alcohol), no processed foods, no caffeine (I lost a lot of weight and looked great while I did it). I was only able to keep it up about 10 months, until the cramping was better, and then I gradually returned to eating the way I used to. Of course the monstrual cramps came back. I ended up in the emergency room of my nearest hospital on a gurney screaming in pain and fear and anger. They almost sent me to a psychiatric ward.
In desperation I decided to get a hysterectomy and I felt a lot of relief about that decision. I hadn’t wanted kids and at the age of 50 my uterus felt like a useless organ that had never done anything but cause me misery. They cut the thing up and pulled it out of my body in pieces (laproscopic surgery). The four weeks I spent recovering were some of the happiest of my life. (It was only four weeks because I had a partial hysterectomy. A partial for me meant they took only my uterus, but left my ovaries and cervix. A partial can be any combination of those things, but not all of them. Removing uterus, ovaries and cervix is a full hysterectomy.)
For the most part I was happy with my decision. The menstrual pain obviously stopped and I loved not hassling with menstruation anymore (I look with pity at…