I considered not saying anything about my upcoming surgery then realized that I absolutely would if it were for any other area of the body. Why should I be so cruel to part of my body just because many others are? Nonsense! I’m having a laparoscopic hysterectomy (uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix) three days hence, and I’m thrilled. I’ve had horrible dysmenorrhea since the whole thing began (and it’s only gotten worse over the years), a very heavy flow that is… disruptive, and several clots a month. I’d been fighting for years for a hysterectomy, but past doctors said I was too young and that they didn’t like doing it for childless women. I’ve never wanted children to begin with, so that always frustrated me. I did all the other suggested options over the years to improve my symptoms (pills, the ring, other procedures, lifestyle changes, etc.), but nothing has worked. Finally, in my mid-thirties, I got a yes. And not a day too soon. I went to my doctor with a page of questions and added a few about horror stories I’d read. She really put me at ease. I even made her promise to squeeze me out (to get out as much gas from the surgery as possible). I’m thankful she was so patient with all my questions and not dismissive of any of my concerns. Unless something goes wrong, I should be moving around fine in two weeks and back at the gym in six. Ideally. Fingers crossed.
My husband and best friend are 4,000 miles away, but I still wanted to throw myself a party of sorts. Girls are starting to throw parties for their first periods, which is a beautiful way to embrace their bodies’ development. I’m in the unique position of knowing when my last period will be, so why not celebrate that final milestone with my own twist on the rite of passage? It was on a stormy full moon day. After a breakfast of pink pumpkin yogurt topped with light cherry pie filling and fresh strawberries, I indulged in some self-care. Put on a face mask while I washed my bedding. Read some moving literature while classical music played (Chillin Station is my current jam) and a candle burned (Twisted Peppermint* ftw). My lunch consisted of a red salad: tinned beets cut into cubes, halved grape tomatoes, splashes of red wine vinegar and pomegranate juice, and topped with crumbled feta cheese. Dessert was an indulgent slice of red velvet cake with a couple scoops of red velvet Halo Top* ice cream. A storm darkened the day long enough for me to venture into the garden for a beautiful red flower and two angry red thorny rose branches. I placed them in a bowl of water on my dresser. I gathered any stray tampons I had stashed and brought them into the communal stash in the bathroom. There are a number of sisters and friends who will make use of them in time. By evening, I was ready for an indulgent bath with candles and music and more reading. I washed my hair and used all my best smelling bath products, including a Ylang-Ylang Myrrh essential oil blend that once belonged to my grandmother. That scent in sacred to me now. I journaled and reflected on my feelings and my dreams for the future. Once this surgery is behind me, I will feel I can more safely inhabit my body without the looming monthly promise of agony and mess and the ever-present threat of parasites and cancer. Yes, it will be mine alone. And I will take it on adventures with my husband. I can’t wait.
Because I will be in recovery from major surgery, my next few posts may be a bit off. I will try to stick to my enrichment format, but no promises.
Here are this week’s suggestions for fun and enriching activities:
- Relaxing Music: The Interstellar theme. You can listen to it on YouTube or find the album on Amazon* or streaming.
- Soothing Sounds: “Sorting and Tearing Papers II” by Moonlight Cottage ASMR.
- Puzzle: Mahjongg. You can find the game here along with everything you need to know about how to play.
- Movie: Lilo & Stitch (2002). You can find it on Amazon* or on a streaming service.
- Creative Prompt (write, draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or collage something based on this subject): child
- Mythology Lesson: Hestia. Read about her here, and do a little further research if the mood takes you!
- Short Reading: “The Master Cat; Or, Puss in Boots.” You can read it here, or you can listen to it here.
Try one per day or everything every day, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more vibrant daily round.
*These are Amazon Affiliate links.
Have you ever had any major surgery? How did you prepare?