Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Starfish



I swore to myself that I would not be one of those bloggers who abandons her site, particularly and most monstrously with a cliff-hanger. And yet here, dear reader, I have been gone for well over half the year without a word. To the few but obviously caring people who read this blog before, and who left me kind encouragements regarding my impending surgery, I apologize for leaving you in the dark.



As my last post mentioned, I was scheduled for a hysterectomy in the beginning of 2005, and I'm pleased to say that it went off without a hitch. I have been relieved of my troublesome uterus, and all the burdens that came with it. (Well, not all, but I'll get to that.) I was mildly apprehensive about the surgery, but more so about the time at home afterward, and how uncomfortable I might be, and for how long. But it could not have gone better, the doctors and hospital staff could not have been any more helpful and professional, and I am told that I healed remarkably quickly. I am lucky, and very grateful, that this episode is mostly behind me.



J, my boyfriend, was supportive and wonderful throughout, as was my brother and his wife, and my closest friends, including my friend/immediate supervisor at work. Everyone was so lovely and helpful, that it makes me tear up a little thinking about it.



It will certainly sound strange to some, and it may be nauseating to those who dislike or even hate their jobs, but it meant the world to me that I was able to do the most important part of my job from home during my convalescence, via some improvements made to my home computer courtesy of work. Everyone was so helpful and generous during the time I was out of work, and especially so during the time I was still shakily first back at my desk. It was incredibly humbling and touching to see tangible proof that I was appreciated and liked by my supervisors and co-workers. It's difficult to put into words how grateful I am for that. Anyone who has worked at a crappy job, and believe me I have, knows what a treasure it is to be happy with where you work, and even on the days that I am aggravated by something or other, I am aware of the gift that fell into my lap when I got this job.



Since the surgery and the healing time, I have slowly but steadily gotten most of my energy back, and if I can coax that remaining bit of lead out of my pants, I will be good as new. Slight fatigue and a small tugging sensation on the "anchor" side of my surgery scar notwithstanding, I am feeling as if I never had surgery at all. Oh, but of course, the pain and discomforting side effects of the fibroids are gone, so in that respect, I feel better than I did before, far better. There is only one strange and head-stratching aspect to any of this: I have continued to get my period, even though I no longer have a uterus.



"Um, what?" you ask. How is that even possible, you wonder? Well, welcome to my bizarre world! The first month after surgery, nothing. The second month, I had a slight and short period, but definitely a period. I called the doctor's office, only a little panicked, and asked what was going on with the bleeding? He saw me, and said that he couldn't say for sure, but it may have been a pocket of fluid that was finding its way out of my body (er, where's it been hiding all this time?), or that I may have some remaining cells that are still cycling. It would remain to be seen in the coming months.



I was flabbergasted. Kinda pissed, even. How the holy hell could I be having a period when the factory has been shut down for good? Quick analogy for the men: How the hell is my car leaking transmission fluid, when you dropped the trans out of it over a month ago?? You see my dilemma.



I was doing the happy dance before surgery, gloating even - I admit it - that I would NEVER have a period again, and what a lucky mutt was I, ladies? You hated me for it, you can cop to that now. Well, you have your sweet, sweet revenge now, as the fates have decided to play a wicked trick on me. I had given away my tampons with the gleeful knowledge that I would never need one again. Never!



NEVER say "Never".



For the next few months, I had a perfectly-timed visitor every 28 or 29 days. It was very light and short, but nothing that can be mistaken as anything else but the seemingly impossible. "I don't have a uterus anymore", I joked with my gynocologist during our last phone call (yes, he called me to see how I was doing, he's a good egg), "so how is this happening? Am I like a freakin' starfish, and it's growing back? Did you notice if I had a spare uterus tucked up in there somewhere? Where the HELL is this coming from?"



I go see him again later this month for another post-operative check-up, and we will re-visit this mystery again then. In the meantime, I am preparing to be famous in the medical journals or something. It's not the worst thing that could happen, not by a long shot, but damn, I was really looking forward to being period-free. I mean, I kept my ovaries, and thanks to some crazy flucuations there I have recently been breaking out like nobody's business. I wanted to keep the estrogen flowing for health reasons, so I can't help it if they act up. But if I had to have surgery, geez, I thought that at least got a pardon from the Monthly Visitor.



Zits, small periods - apparently, my body thinks I'm 12 years old again. That would be great, if I was only that jean size again, I had my whole life in front of me, my Dad was still alive , and I know everything I know now. Wow, that would be something. But the truth is that I'm at an age when the tabloids pick out specimens my age who look preternaturally well-preserved, and announce that they are "Fabulous at..." [my age]. Give me a break, Mother Nature. This hormonal crap is no longer appropriate or particularly welcome.



Well, now that the bitching and moaning has been covered, I will once again say how I am very happy to be healthy and out of pain, and that life is pretty good. And I will not let this much time go between post again.

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