Happy Wednesday, friends!
I don’t know about you, but this week seems to be flying by for me. In fact, the whole month seems to be flying by. We’re going to blink and it will be July!
Today’s post is a little update on how I’m doing post-hysterectomy. I have had several emails/comments/DMs asking for more info about how life is going post-op as well as how I’m doing with hormone replacement therapy now that I no longer have girly parts, so today, I’m answering all of that.
Many of the questions I received on Stories for me can be answered in my original posts. If you want to know why I had a hysterectomy, what symptoms lead up to it, what the actual process was like, make sure you read THIS POST HERE.
If you want to learn all about my road to hormone replacement therapy (I’ve been doing it for years and years even before my hysterectomy!) you can read the most recent HRT post RIGHT HERE.
And then following both of those posts, I did a combined Q&A post that you can read HERE.
Basically, I’ve probably over-shared, ha! There is lots of info about all of it because I didn’t take it lightly, but now that I’m on this side, I want to be as transparent as possible regarding the process as I know SO MANY OF YOU are considering it.
Let’s get started!
On December 6, I had my hysterectomy, so these are my answers about 6 months post-op…
Hmmmm…I really didn’t think it was bad at all, but I said it many times in my original post, I made sure I went to a doctor who had a reputation for doing amazing hysterectomies with little recovery after. I had heard from many friends that they had a hard time post-op and so when talking to OBGYNs about this surgery, I made the decision to leave my own doctor (who I loved!) as I really loved someone else’s method/strategy and heard from multiple sources that they made recovery easier. I was sore after but didn’t lie around nearly as long as I thought I would. I even walked a lot immediately after the surgery. I had it on a Friday afternoon and by Saturday afternoon, I could walk a mile with Andrew outside. The very worst part was lying down and then standing back up. Once I was down or up, I felt really great.
No, I did not.
That’s in THIS POST HERE.
Yes! I had already been doing HRT for six years because my body wasn’t producing the right amount of several different hormones. Now, I do it because I no longer have a uterus or ovaries but still want my body to function with the correct amount of hormones.
Gosh, no! I really think (and this is only my experience) but that my reproductive organs were slowing me down. My HRT doctor told me that was the case before my surgery and geez, I totally believe him now post-op! I think not having them removed a lot of stress from my body and freed it from having to work so darn hard. I feel much more energetic on this side!
I’ve never experienced a hysterectomy without HRT, so I’m not sure what that would look like, but my hormones have stayed so stable that it hasn’t negatively affected my sex drive one bit.
I was up and walking the morning after my surgery and then continued to walk as part of my recovery. I would say that I was walking pain-free after five or six days. For me, the pain always came when I tried to lie down and then get back up. That pain probably lasted closer to three weeks. I would think I was completely back to normal and then it would be time for bed, and that would remind me that I wasn’t.
I wish I would have had it done in January when things weren’t so busy, but that didn’t work for us and I ended up having it literally during the busiest time of the year…so that was hard because despite me trying to scale back, it’s nearly impossible when your calendar is filled with so much.
I had hot flashes before I started HRT but now, I never do. I am post-menopausal now and haven’t had a single one since my surgery. I give all of the credit to HRT.
Yes, yes, YES! This was the worst part! I don’t think people talked about it enough before my surgery, so this really caught me off guard. When you have a surgery like this, they pump your tummy full of gas to make room for what they’re doing and it took a solid five or six days for that to go away. It was kind of maddening because I wasn’t used to feeling so bloated and full, but my stomach was visibly extended and I was uncomfortable (more so than the incisions!). I only called my doctor one time post-op and it was because of that. All of a sudden though, one morning, it was gone.
Yes! It’s a running joke now with all of my friends. Here’s the deal…my friends who have had a hysterectomy say that it happens to all of them too (bladder leakage, etc), but my friends who haven’t had one BUT have had vaginal deliveries, say it also happens to them and that I just wasn’t used to it since I’d only had c-sections. So, I don’t know? I’ve never had any issues AT ALL with bladder leakage until my hysterectomy, but my funny friends tell me that they’ve all suffered since childbirth and it’s about time I join the club. It’s not a super big deal, but it’s the only thing that ever reminds me I’ve had a hysterectomy. I had zero side effects except for that one.
Other than bladder leakage? Not one!
That can be answered HERE in my most recent HRT post!
I mean, I guess maybe they could be? I’m not sure. Mine wasn’t. It wasn’t an emergency…but my doctors and my insurance company thought it was a medical necessity.
I haven’t! I do know that HRT can help with that though too.
I know I sound like a broken record, but because I didn’t do this without HRT, I don’t know what it would have been like otherwise. HRT is amazing for many reasons, but number one is probable that it keeps your hormones level so that you don’t experience the highs and lows that affect your life including your sex drive.
You guys know me, I like to be Miss Independent. I had my surgery on Friday and Andrew brought me home Saturday around noon. Kensington had a volleyball tournament that I wanted him to attend, so my dad came over and took care of the other three kids (they went to a movie, dinner, etc) and my mom stayed with me that afternoon/early evening until Andrew was home. On Sunday, Andrew took the girls back to volleyball and Smith stayed with me while his SUPER SWEET AND AMAZING violin teacher (she’s basically family now!) came over and checked on me too. I could get up and down by myself, eat, go to the bathroom, walk…I was doing really well. On Monday morning, the kids all went to school, Andrew went to work and then popped in a few times throughout the day to check on me but I was fine. I was really doing okay. My two worst days were Tuesday and Thursday that week. On both days, I just felt exhausted. So very tired. On Friday that week (just one week post-op), Erika drove me to the mall to see our kids sing at their choir concert and I was able to walk around pretty fine (in leggings, I wasn’t buttoning my pants). On Saturday, the girls had their dance recital and we had the McKinney Light Parade in one day…
…and I was feeling great!
Other than the fact that I NEVER EVER AGAIN HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT PERIODS AND/OR FIBROIDS (WHOOP! WHOOP!)?! Nothing. I feel so good!
Well, you all know that I love Dr. Riegel (oh my gosh, I love him!), so he did a great job changing up my HRT prior to surgery to make sure that when my parts were out, I wouldn’t have to adjust to much. I take one shot a week and that’s it. One shot is all the hormones I need to live a really healthy life without a uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
…I took this pic just now for you! I have four little incisions. Three on my stomach and one inside my belly button…
My stomach has stretch marks and hysterectomy scars…I know so many women would give anything to get pregnant so I don’t take any of it for granted.
Nope, I feel good! I don’t have any pains, any empty feeling, I can’t tell that it’s gone…in fact, I don’t think about it at all.
I did not.
No, I wouldn’t have done this if I couldn’t do HRT. I don’t know why it’s not an option for you, but I would ask Dr. Riegel about it. He’s brilliant. Even if you can’t do HRT, I would ask him for options.
I feel very stable. During the month, I don’t get any highs or lows like I would when I had a cycle. There isn’t any PMS or really sad days due to hormones…all very stable.
With my new self injection method (that I’ve been doing since September), I would say I felt really energetic, stable and great after the first two months. I was already feeling good (since I had been doing HRT for years), but I would say after two months of this cocktail of things, I felt really fantastic by the beginning of November.
I had restricted workouts until the six week post-op mark, but after that, nothing!
I wasn’t expecting the bloating. It was very short lived, but very unexpected.
I think there are probably a lot of them if you don’t have a good HRT regimen, a great doctor, etc, but for me, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I have zero regrets.
Whew! That was a lot of info!
Okay, don’t forget, you can catch all of my other posts here:
If you want to know why I had a hysterectomy, what symptoms lead up to it, what the actual process was like, make sure you read THIS POST HERE.
If you want to learn all about my road to hormone replacement therapy you can read the most recent HRT post RIGHT HERE.
If you have specific questions about HRT, you can reach my doctor (who sees patients all over the world virtually) HERE.
I hope this helped some of you out there today! xo