You’re probably wondering what the table in this photo has to do with a hysterectomy. We’ll get to that in a minute (or two).
After having my surgery I was told it would take several months to feel somewhat normal again and up to a year to heal – everyone is different.
The types of hysterectomy and surgery you have is a factor in healing. I had an abdominal incision (similar to a c-section) and everything removed (uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes). Healing is definitely a process and takes time.
There’s a helpful website called HysterSisters with information for pre, during and post surgery. They also have a website called MisterHysterSisters for the men in your life that are effected. They put you in a “group” or chat room for other people having a hysterectomy the same week as you so everyone can communicate throughout the process. There’s a little more information about the websites in my previous post here.
I was placed on hormone patches for estrogen and prescribed Progesterone (it helps with sleeping and can be beneficial for other things as well). Overall my hormones evened out, my moods were fine, no hot flashes, etc. But I found that I would fatigue easily. On Saturday if I had a good day of energy I would do as much as I could running errands or chores around the house. But I knew on Sunday I would need to rest because as a result of Saturday’s burst of energy I would be exhausted and unable to do much (a few loads of laundry if I was lucky).
After ten months of fatigue I quit saying, “Oh, it might take up to a year for me to get my energy back.” I ran into a friend who recommended that I see a menopause specialist. I had been a patient with my doctor for about 15 years so I felt like I would be cheating and felt guilty for even thinking about it, but I also knew I couldn’t continue with my lack of energy.
I went to my family physician who ran tests and everything came back good. Next I went to my doctor who performed the surgery and no changes were made with my prescriptions. I asked whether I should be on Progesterone as I read where some doctors don’t recommend it for women who have had their uterus removed. My doctor explained some of the benefits of being on the Progesterone and so I asked about having my overall hormone levels checked. My doctor obliged and sent me home with a kit that I would do on my own and send off to a lab who would send the results to the doctor’s office. When I called my insurance company to see how much would be covered the person asked if I would like to be seen by another physician. I wasn’t expecting that question so after a brief moment of silence the person explained there are doctors who will do the test in the office. At that point I realized it was time for a second opinion.
A month later I saw my new doctor. A test was not done to check my hormone levels but the doctor reassured me that my responses to questions were a good indicator of what needed to be done. I was taken off of Progesterone in December 2016 as the doctor suspected that may be the culprit. It takes a couple of months for the hormones to completely level out (everyone is different so some people notice a difference faster than others). By the end of March 2017 my energy level was back and I could finally exercise or have several days in a row where I was productive.
Now the reason for the photo: I carried this table upstairs by myself in April 2017 which represents an accomplishment. Up until about mid March my husband lifted everything. At the end of April I was able to help move our couch a few feet.
It’s easy to just trust your doctor and go with their recommendation.
Do your research about everything, including medications you’ll need right after surgery and what symptoms to keep an eye out for that might indicate you should consider hormones or alternatives (please consult with your doctor and, again, do your research).
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