A hand placing the last rubber duck in a row of ducks.

Prepping for My Hysterectomy

It's been a few months since I've written a new post for this site. This is because I actually finally bit the bullet and went through with a hysterectomy and I needed a couple of months to recover- and then well, life and work got in the way. But I want to share my experience for those are may be making a similar decision.

Why I had a hysterectomy

First, I know a hysterectomy is not a cure for endo. However, it can help resolve pain and symptoms of adenomyosis, which I also have. I am in my early 40s and do not want biological children. I've exhausted other treatments and at this age have less worry about the potential impact of a hysterectomy on my hormones. So, I decided when I had my next lap for endo, I'd be combining that with a hysterectomy. I also decided to have my tubes removed, but I'd be keeping my ovaries.

Getting ready

I scheduled the date for the surgery for one week before Thanksgiving. This worked well because the school I teach for goes on hiatus from then until a couple of weeks after new year, so I could get a decent bit of time off of work without actually having to put in for it. I also felt that would also require my partner to take less time off of work since some of my immediate recovery would overlap with the holidays when he had off anyway.

The weekend before my surgery, I did a marathon of laundry so that I would have to be bothered for at least a couple of weeks after surgery with it. I also organized the apartment. And I did a bunch of grocery shopping and bought a lot of frozen and pre-made dinners so I wouldn't have to cook. I arranged with some friends and neighbors to bring me meals (actually they insisted, which was nice of them) as well. I made a few meals I could freeze and store, like a huge stockpile of a few of my favorite soups. About a week before the surgery, I had to stop taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen and a couple of supplements.

The day before

The day before my surgery, I actually had to teach most of it in the city, which was my last day working till after the new year. As I had to work, my surgeon allowed me to have a light breakfast (which for me, was oatmeal and a banana) in the morning so I wasn't too lightheaded and had at least some fuel to run on while working. I also took my usual meds and a probiotic that morning. But the rest of the day, I was on a liquid fast diet. I had jell-o for lunch at work and later on that evening just some salted vegetable broth for dinner. I drank a lot of water and Gatorade throughout the day and into the early evening. When I returned home from teaching, I swept and mopped the floors in my apartment, so I wouldn't have to clean anytime too soon after surgery. Then I went out for a nice long walk around my neighborhood and stopped off at the lake nearby my home and spent some time taking in the view- since again, I knew I might be bed-bound for at least a few days, or a week so wanted to enjoy the outdoors and my mobility.

Surgical prep

When I got home for good, in the early evening, I had to do a light bowel prep (a Fleet enema; I feel lucky as some women have to do a much harsher bowel prep like what they do before colonoscopy for similar surgeries). That evening I showered, washed my hair, and shaved my legs and underarms - because again, I knew it might be awhile before I felt well enough to do those things. I managed to get okay sleep, but was nervous and expectant. I had to wake up really, really early, before dawn, to go to the hospital. I felt better knowing I was well-prepared. I basically rolled out of bed and just put on some leggings and a hoodie. I had already asked a neighbor friend to come in later in the morning to feed and check in on my cats.

As we drove in the dark, I found myself somewhat anxious, but also strangely excited to start a new chapter of my life, sans periods forever.

How about you? What are some things you have done to prep for your surgeries? Please feel free to share in the comments below!

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