This is a topic I have thought about talking to you all about for a long time, but never really knew how, or knew the right way to say it, but here goes- I had a hysterectomy at 24. I have no children.
I was married when I was twenty years old to my husband, who is my rock, and soulmate. I had had problems with an irregular period for years but was too much of a chicken to go to the gynecologist. I’m a baby- what can I say. I dealt with a period for pretty much seven years straight. It only stopped for a few days at a time if it would stop at all. I dealt with it, but it was awful. Honestly, looking back I have no idea how I dealt with it for so long.
Skip forward to January of 2017, and I finally made an appointment with a gynecologist. I got to the point where I was so exhausted and tired all the time. I was in pain and angry 99 percent of the time. I had had enough!
My First Appointment
I walked into this appointment scared out of my mind. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very blessed with a doctor who was not only personable but also gave me the news straight up. We went through a normal exam, I explained my symptoms and she was kind of stumped. She, of course, ordered a few tests- the first of which was a uterine biopsy which she did right in the exam room that day.
Let me just tell you, that was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I was not prepared for the intense cramping that the biopsy caused. But I got through it because I knew I had to tough it out to get to the bottom of the issue.
She also ordered a test for a transvaginal Ultrasound, which was just about as wonderful as it sounds *Cue massive sarcasm*. It sucked. I didn’t super love the feeling of someone shoving a giant stick coated in the coldest lube ever all up in my hoo haa, but I dealt with that too. Thank God I never have to have one of those again.
My doctor called me within a few days of getting the results of both of these tests. She got me right into the office to talk to me about the findings. She informed me that not only did I have PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome), but I also had something called Complex Endometrial Hyperplasia.
There are four different stages of Hyperplasia, and I was in the second one. She offered me a couple of options, one of them being Progestin Therapy, which could have side effects, and might not work. The other was an IUD, which I was not interested in at all, because of the side effects and horror stories I have heard.
I remember specifically asking her if the Therapy would work, and she said it wasn’t guaranteed. I looked at my husband and he looked back at me, and I said out loud, “I want a hysterectomy”.
I didn’t come to that decision lightly. My husband and I talked in depth about what my best option would be, and since neither of us has any interest at all in having kids, the best option for us was the Hysterectomy. Once my mind was made up on that, I never looked back. I never had a second thought.
Hyperplasia could potentially evolve into cancerous cells, and I wasn’t about to deal with cancer. Several of my aunts and my grandmother had uterine cancer, and it was not something I wanted to experience. I wasn’t going to fight for parts of my body that I knew I would never use.
Obviously, this is my story, and everyone decision will be different. In no way am I saying that my decision is the right decision because for many people it will not be the right decision.
Anyhow, my doctor looked at me like my head had just spun all the way around. She obviously said that I was young and that that is a permanent treatment. I would never be able to have children of my own. I told her I knew that and had no interest in bringing children into the world while there were children without homes already. Never once did she try to talk me out of my decision, but rather respected my choice.
She scheduled the surgery.
Photo Below shows me sitting in my not so fashionable hospital gown before heading into surgery. I drew on my eyebrows that morning. I couldn’t go into surgery without having my eyebrows on.
I was scared literally completely shitless when I walked into that hospital the day of the surgery. It was an easy procedure they said, but I was not prepared. I had never had any sort of surgery besides having my tonsils taken out.
They started an IV, gave me calm down meds and I went to sleep. I remember nothing except for waking up afterward.
I only had three little incisions. but my insides were all sorts of in pain. Of course, you have to pee before you can leave, and getting up out of that bed afterward was like getting hit by a truck. But honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to walk, without much issue. I mean, of course, it hurt, but those couple weeks of pain were worth it.
I had suffered through years of a continuous period, I wasn’t going to let a little pain get me down.
Recovery was easy and rough at the same time. I slept a lot the first week. My body doesn’t react very well to medicine, most of it makes me completely sleepy.
After about 10 days, I thought I would be able to do some of my normal things like vacuum, and dust. WRONG. So wrong. When they say take it easy for 4 weeks, they freaking mean it. I ended up ripping a couple stitches all up in there and ended up spotting blood. I called the doctor and the said absolutely no moving anything heavier than a bag of flour and to listen to my body when it says to slow down. I learned my lesson. I took it easy after that.
Photo below shows broken capillaries on my face from the surgery. It is a common occurrence from the gas they use to inflate your abdominal cavity apparently. It looked terrible for about ten days.
The Phone Call that Changed Everything
A couple weeks after my surgery I got a call from a strange number. I answered because obviously I was stuck at home and bored and thought someone wanted to chat with me. It was my doctor. She told me that they had sent my uterus to pathology after they removed it and they had found something extremely peculiar.
In the two months between the biopsy and the surgery, my hyperplasia had progressed two stages. Which is a big deal. Progestin Therapy wouldn’t have worked on that final stage, and basically one of the only actual cures for that is a hysterectomy. She told me she called one of her old professors from Med school to ask about why it had progressed so far in so little time. He said that I must have been in a transitional stage when the biopsy was done.
She also told me that whatever in the universe told me to have a hysterectomy without trying the other options first, was right. Having the Hysterectomy was the right call. I had never been so relieved after a phone call in my life. I knew that I had made the right decision, and I was never looking back.
Today, even as I am writing this and looking back at all the decisions I made, I have to say- I don’t regret any of them. My husband and I still do not want to have kids, and we are both much more at ease now that I am happy and healthy. I don’t regret anything.