Sunday, December 16, 2018

Realizations about My Surgery

Trigger warning for mention of sexual assault, eating disorders, and medical procedures.
I am realizing that part of my issue with this surgery has to do with PTSD rather than the fact of having surgery itself. I must say that berating, belittling, and terrorizing a person in a vulnerable situation can have lifelong consequences.
I had my first surgery when I was eight years old. I had multiple ear infections as a child to the point where hearing loss was a real possibility if something wasn't done. They removed my tonsils and adenoids and put drainage tubes in my ears.
The protocol in those days was to send the family home, so I was this dumb 8-year-old kid left alone in a hospital with strangers. I wandered down to the playroom and was approached by a nurse. He told me to come back to my room so I followed him. He proceeded to bring out what looked to me like the biggest needle in the world and tried to draw my blood.
I had quite a needle phobia and I screamed and pulled my arm away and tried to hide. He called another nurse in and he held me down while she drew my blood. He said "Look at what you did. Now we have to do this again. Shame on you!"
I had this dreadful roommate who delighted in telling me how much the surgery was going to hurt. To this day, I think shared hospital rooms are an awful idea.
When I had to have a c-section, I knew that I was going to be poked with needles and have invasive exams so I was steeled for it, but this (rhymes with hunt) of a nurse added insult to injury by treating me with disdain, trying to force a catheter on me, and throwing the emesis basin at me in disgust when I felt nauseous after being given magnesium sulfate because I had toxemia. This bitch should not have been dealing with people in any capacity, let alone a medical setting.
I have a history of sexual trauma, and I did not even get one of "those" exams for close to 30 years. After my son was born, I said: "to hell with this, nobody is digging around down there anymore." 
The only reason that changed is that I finally found a doctor that I could trust not to shame me for my body type and who I felt comfortable talking about the plumbing with. I have quarterly visits with her because of my endocrine problems. During my April visit, I mentioned to her that I had my "annual period" and lamented that I thought I was done with this crap but every year for the past couple of years I had one very heavy period. She said that wasn't normal and referred me to a gynecologist.
Thus began the year of my life revolving around my plumbing.
I don't want my life revolving around my plumbing anymore. I no longer have a need for my plumbing. In truth, most of my life has revolved around my plumbing. I always had miserable, heavy periods. I started having issues with overactive bladder and urge incontinence (not the more common stress incontinence) when I was in my late thirties. Not the dainty "light bladder leaks when you sneeze or exercise" that the advertisements like to talk about in a sweet and discreet way. Full-on flooding. NOT FUCKING FUN! Highly embarrassing. But I figured it was something I'd just have to live with because I had no intention of letting anybody root around down there.
So, this past year I went through feeling like I was being raped by a robot for a half hour (that damn vaginal ultrasound) and feeling like someone had gone up in my business with a cheese grater (that damn D&C). I do not EVER want to feel either of those things again as long as I live.
While the risk of endometrial hyperplasia becoming cancer is low in my case because the cells are normal, there is a degree of increased risk. I also have fibroids and polyps. I have cystic ovaries, so there's no reason those shouldn't come out too. The tubes serve no function if both the ovaries and the uterus are gone, so there's no reason not to take them as well. The only thing I am going to ask about reconsidering leaving is the cervix because it presents as normal and, apparently, it provides the stuff that allows the plumbing access to be a self-cleaning environment and not become the great Southern desert of the anatomy. Then again, I don't want to have to risk having to have it taken out later, so...I don't know.
I had a person say to me that all women over 40 have fibroids and polyps, implying that I was being foolish for agreeing that this surgery is the correct option in my case. Maybe that is so, but not all of them have endometrial hyperplasia. That is actually the issue of concern, not the fibroids, although they have been causing me trouble for years.
I have honestly never known anyone who had a hysterectomy who regretted it. Everyone I know who has had one has either been neutral about it or said they felt a lot better after it was done. I'm hoping to be in one of these categories. I don't feel sad about losing my reproductive organs. I can't use them anymore and they are causing me trouble.
I'm sure my business really doesn't look that much different from anyone else's business. I don't know. I don't much make it my business to look at people's business. The people who will be doing the surgery see such business repeatedly. It's just business. But, as I said, I do have PTSD and I do have a lot of dislike for my own body because of being shamed for my physical appearance for as long as I can remember. I am also having to fight the disordered eating tendency which is telling me I should maintain my pre-surgery fast even after the surgery is done.
I am having a difficult time with this, and there are no resources.


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