I went along for my follow-up to my follow-up. Helios came with me. I asked all my questions. I got answers. In particular, I said, in no uncertain terms, that I was afraid that I would lose the ability to have an orgasm if I had everything removed. The consultant asked me if I have orgasms now. I laughed and said yes. She said, “well if you didn’t have them before the operation you won’t have them after – I’m not a miracle worker! But I’ve never been told that a woman loses her ability to orgasm after a hysterectomy.”
I also mentioned all the other maladies I endure – the endometriosis, the polycystic ovaries, the insulin resistance. She said I had “The full whammy!” and I said I was indeed a very lucky girl! Because these other issues won’t go away with the hysterectomy, I mentioned wanting to stay on my birth control pills in order to maintain my current hormone levels. She said I should try life without them first and concentrate on feeling better. I reluctantly agreed.
As certain as she was that the hysterectomy would be a great thing for me, I’m still apprehensive but satisfied that a hysterectomy is my best of all my options. I suppose I’m still apprehensive because I’m still not entirely sure that this change in my body won’t effect how I feel when I’m physical with my husband. However, I feel I don’t have much choice – the pain I have with my Fiona the Fibroid is too much for me.
The consultant asked Helios how he felt about me having more surgery and he said that he was concerned about me and would support any decision I make. Only I could decide how much pain I could endure.
I now know what they’ll do to me when I’m under: they’re opening me up at the belly button again and moving my ovaries to the sides of my abdomen before pulling everything else out my vagina. They will take the cervix, my uterus, and fallopian tubes. Normally they don’t bother taking the cervix but I’ve had a number of instances over the past few years where precancerous cells were found on my cervix. I was told that they could leave the cervix but if it needed to be removed at a later date, it would be a very difficult operation to undergo. It is better to have it out now and I reluctantly agreed.
As this surgery is more involved than all the others I’ve had, I’ve been told that I need to start Pilates classes again: a strong pelvis is important for a quick recovery. I’ve also been warned about other post-op issues like constipation and what to eat when in order to keep my strength up. I was a little concerned that the consultant was a little surprised that the surgeon’s confidence that the hysterectomy could be performed vaginally (Fiona the fibroid is a big girl!) but, because it’s being done this way, my recovery time should be between 3 and 4 weeks. If I had a more physically demanding job it would be more, and less if less. Helios has enough holiday to stay with me during my first week. The waiting list is about 3 months so I’m looking at August for the surgery and recovery.
I’ve told my work recovery will be four weeks, just to be on the safe side. They have suggested, if I need to ease myself back into a 5 day week, I could build up to it over a period of weeks. I do feel very lucky to be in such a supportive environment!
I’m still feeling down about it. I’ve been telling myself that losing my uterus and other accoutrements wouldn’t make me feel less like a woman but I’ve associated physical love with being a woman for so long. I’m afraid that if I lose my libido or my ability to have an orgasm that I won’t feel like a woman.
I need to focus on the positive: with Fiona gone, I’ll never have another period and, potentially, never have pain again. It could be that my endometriosis comes back in a few years but I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.