Tag Archives: menopause
So, from my earliest recollection of hearing the word menopause it seemed to always be associated with “hot flash”. Well, I now know that menopause is one HELL of a lot more then that, but we will cover that at another time. Back the hot flashes.
So I knew that having a complete hysterectomy would be result in surgical menopause – so I immediately started preparing for the resulting hot flash catastrophe that would ensue immediately after my girlie bits were removed. I can not be positive since I was fairly mediated at the beginning, but I believe that I did not have my first hot flash until about 5 weeks into my recovery – and it was SO not what I was expecting.
It was shortly after my Four Little Words (when are you due) incident and I was out shopping at the Mall. It had been a great morning. I was out and feeling pretty good though still obviously healing. I had a coffee and a long over due visit to one my favorite stores (Yankee Candle – one of my little addictions). I shouldn’t push it – it was time to get out of the mall and back to being horizontal.
I had planned my parking to be the closet to the stores I wanted to visit and my escape route was directly through a large department store. I had just entered the store and realized they were getting their Christmas merchandise out (keep in mind this is early October). Let me warn you now, I really LOVE Christmas – it just instills visions of baked goods, joy and happiness into my little Grinch heart. So, I obviously need to find the strength to wander through what they have out for 5 minutes.
I quickly found this sweet little goat stuffed animal that sings “The Lonely Goatherd”… and it was 25% off. I had to have him. This stuffed animal was making me smile and laugh – two things I had not done in a very long time. I made my selection of the absolute best little goat and made my was through the holiday glitter to the check out stand. As the kind, older lady was ringing up my new little fella, I had the weirdest, most uncomfortable sensation start to swept through me. All of the sudden, I was freezing cold and had goose bumps all over – but – at the same time there was a smoldering inferno inside my chest and brain that burned so completely it make me cold.
I didn’t know what to do!
My internal monologue = Am I having heart attack or a stroke? Did I get some kind of Merca like infection I picked up at the hospital that is raging through my body? Did all my organs just suddenly flip out and change places?
As you can imagine, this entire internal monologue was running across my face. I realized that the kind, older lady was asking if I was ok – and I hadn’t answered. Finally I found some words and got out that I had just had a hysterectomy the month before and I thought something was wrong because I was freezing cold (I showed her my goose bumps) but I had this fire in my chest. By this point, she has walked around the stand and was slowly steering me to a little bench to sit down. Once she had me settled, she knelt in front of mewithher hand on my knee and said “You are just going through the change – and that is a hot flash”. Of course I knew she was wrong – I was supposed to be just really, really hot and sweating, right? Right? I voiced as much and she just calmly said:
“Your hormones don’t know what to do and now you just can’t regulate our temperature. Sometimes you are hot – sometimes you are cold. You had the cold one just now.”
Me internally = HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS! Me out loud to the kind older lady = “Thank you, that wasn’t in any of my research”
She smiled and shook her head witha half laugh. She was on her way back to the cash register. I silently followed her and we finished up my silly goat purchase. Instead of the “Thank you and come back” – she said “It gets better honey”.
This was the beginning of realizing that there are a lot of things They don’t tell you.
Over the course of the last 11 months since my hysterectomy I have noticed changes almost daily – in my body and in my psyche. Every morning I wake up and take a deep breathe wondering what the day will bring. It is almost like waiting to see what the new features are going to be at the amusement park’s side show. Most noticeable to those around me are my extra 30 lbs (they all swear looks good on me) and my new found ability to cry at the drop of a hat.
It is hard to admit but I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. But since my hysterectomy it feels like I am wearing a “Susan’s on the edge” dress for all to see. This was never more evident to me then when I took an aptitude test before an interview for a new position at my office. I went through all the “pick a word” – this is that – map this graph – to figure out “what I was”. I really wasn’t thinking much about it as I went through it all as I had taken this test a few years ago and I was a something like “perfectionist with a side of analytical thinker”. As I continued to decipher the hidden meaning from the words I had chosen, it started to become clear things had changed. At one point I had to reveal a word that described me next to a number that correlated with some of the findings. This word was “emotional” – so – I immediately got upset and said out loud “No I Am NOT”. Of course this is the just one of several words, but obviously, things had changed.
This is just one of the many changes that have made me different. The shear experience makes me look at life differently. The things that upset people around me just seem so trivial. They just don’t seem to get it – there is so much for them to be thankful for and they seem to ignore it. I had always taken my health for granted. I had kidney stones and broken bones – I figured that would be the worst of it. I currently long for those days. I have had things done to my body in a doctor’s office that I would have thought would have to be done in an operating room. My body has become someone else’s at this point.
Menopause – I have said enough.
Every day seems to bring something new for me to notice; my hair is breaking, my skin has dry patches, I forget words when I am speaking, I have WAY more grey then I did a year ago and I have a HUGE wrinkle between my eyebrows. The one think that never changes – the pain, the pain is always there. I am thankful that the endometriosis is no longer strangling my large intestines and was pulled for me kidneys. I was just hoping for relief, just some. Maybe my personal side show would be easier to take then.
It doesn’t matter the day – I wake up and just lay and bed and wait – what new thing would come to light at my (un)amusement park today?
Having major surgery is scary. I tried to put on a “happy face” but I was scared, worried and maybe a smidge panicky by the time I was ready to go to my pre-op appointment at my surgeon’s office. I had a long list of questions for him and I was just ready to pounce the second he finished his due diligence discussion (or more aptly – just sign this in case I kill you). SO, I had my chance and I took it. I rattled off 3 weeks of research off in a flowing stream of questions that lasted about 5 full minutes. I am also pretty sure I did not take a breath.
After all my questions concerning what exactly would be taken out of me (and if I could keep it), bone loss, hormone therapy, endo resurgence, length of surgery, length of incision, length of hospital stays, pre-op meds, post op meds, tummy support, lifting restrictions and basic living restrictions were all taken care of I was told something I hadn’t ever crossed my mind:
“You may have some vaginal bleeding for up to 6 months but after that – you will no longer have a period”
Two words ran through my mind but did not pass my lips because I was sitting in the middle of a doctor’s office – HOT DAMN! This is the best news ever! I will not have to suffer every month like clock work.
I was so excited! Why hadn’t I ripped this stuff out of me sooner???? This is going to be the life – no cramps, cravings, headaches, bloating, backaches or the icky part we shall not discuss in mixed company. I could wear light colored pants/skirts without fear! Now I had something really great to look forward to after all this crap. No more monthly visits from Mother Nature!!! HOT DAMN!
Cut to almost a year later…. Next month I will be having my one year anniversary of my hysterectomy (currently, I do not have a party planned – yet). I may not have my period as I remember it – but what I have now is only cramps, cravings, headaches, bloating, backaches PLUS hot flashes. That is right – I GOT SCREWED! You’re right – I don’t have a period anymore – I have a faux period.
The doctor promises this will get better over time, and because of my younger age, and hormone balances and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… I should eventually get throughwithall of this.
Screw you Mother Nature – you may have the last laugh now – but I am not spending any money on your expensive feminine products! TAKE THAT!
A year ago next month I had my complete abdominal hysterectomy. Not only have I enjoyed all the fun aspects of having surgical menopause, healing from major surgery and the wonders of healing a herniated scar BUT I have also had one added joy…
The joy of not having one single pair of underwear that fit – at all!
We are not talking, well you are healing – or – your body is changing and you will have to buy another size – not fitting. I am talking about not finding NEW OR OLD panties that fit comfortably. It has gotten so serious I was considering going commando – and in the words of my mother; “A lady does not do that…”. PLUS it would drive me insane because I would always worry my dress or skirt would blow up and I will be there – with all my goods in plain sight for the entire viewing public to mock.
The major issues facing me:
- Massive horizontal scar on tummy from surgery that is totally hideous and painful and right in the “elastic zone”
- Panties that gradually slip down my hips throughout the day that I fear will end up at my ankles (see fear realised below in photo).
- Panties that go directly up my bum and make me think about them all day long and how it is not “lady like” to go “on a dig” in the middle of the office.
- GRANNY PANTIES! I just can not do it. I know they would solve all the problems but I already feel ugly, fat and undesirable.
So, once I was healed and able to head out on my own I was shopping for panties – A LOT. I swear, I have purchased no less than 15 different styles of underwear trying to find something that would work. It had gotten so bad I was actually considering getting thongs. Just the thought scars me – it is the whole wind blowing my skirt/dress nightmare all over again! I would just be throwing some lace over some parts….
My obstacles to overcome:
- I had to think outside the box – the Victoria’s Secret box that is. They do not have anything that coves the ample back region I now own
- I am 40 – I need to shop were more grown ups shop. The VS models are 14 and have bigger boobs than me because of all the hormones in meat and milk these days.
- Try something new – go for a pair that may have a higher price tag… they just may work…. Right?
Wrong! I FINALLY found panties that work! I could shout it from the roof tops: My Undies Are Not Going Up My Bum OR Falling To My Ankles!
What are these fabulous, magical undergarments from the gods you ask??? Well, I will share this secret with you:
GapBody Low Rise Stretch Cotton Hipster – 5 for $25
These days, its the same victories.
#1 – My Husband He is for sure my #1 favorite of any “favorites” list. I honestly don’t know how his patience has not evaporated during this whole endometriosis/hysterectomy/mood swing/constant pain thing. I am lucky he found me!
#2 – Pain Free Moment Every so often, there will be a moment that I do not hurt. It may be that the tramadol just kicked in or that I am positioned a certain way to not anger what ever nerve/endo issues are going on. At first it is a weird sensation like I forgot something – or there is something wrong. You get accustomed to the pain that you feel the void of its absence. In that one moment I am so happy – and I am normal again. I wish I had a lot more of these moments.
#3 – Air Conditioning/De-humidifier Holy Crap has it been hot the last couple of days. And it isn’t just the heat but the humidity as well. When I walked out to my car this morning I thought I was in Cambodia. I don’t know if other surgery induced menopause ladies have it happen – but if I get too hot it will kick off a hot flash. So today air conditioners and de-humidifiers make the list!
What are your Favorites??