This post is not intended for all audiences. If you are male, squeamish, or my offspring, exercise extreme caution.
Okay, my friends, bear with me while I recap my recent (June 2nd) surgery, a Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy.
My recovery was smooth. While I wouldn’t describe the experience as fun, I will say it was less painful than I anticipated. Chuck was home the first ten days which meant I had plenty of time to nap, take drugs, and watch bad movies on my laptop. Six weeks after my surgery I went in for my check-up fully confident I would get the all-clear. Because really, I was feeling fine.
But, as we all know, pride comes before the fall…
Alone Time for Busy Moms
So, have you ever wondered what it’s like to have so many kids you have enough to constitute two large families? I’ll tell you one thing, time alone is at a premium. And nearly impossible to find.
Here is what it’s like to try to get an afternoon hour to yourself. In this particular case, my “alone time” includes a visit to the OB/GYN who did my surgery. Ah, an hour alone. At last.
So, there I am, lying on my back, legs up high and akimbo while the OB does her check. The small talk is over and it’s time to get down to business. My phone is across the room, lying on my pile of neatly folded clothing, turned on silent mode, out of respect for the doctor. Besides, now hardly seems like the time to be posting on Instagram. I close my eyes and decide to relish the peaceful child-free moment…until my wrist starts vibrating. It’s my Fitbit letting me know that I am receiving a call. From home. I ignore it, obviously.
Now that the mood is broken, the OB/GYN decides it’s time to let me know that she has found some granulation tissue in my nether-regions and she will be using “a really long q-tip” to remove it and oh, just let me grab a nurse to help. And this would all be fine and dandy if I didn’t know the truth.
We are all familiar with granulation tissue in our house. Apollo battled it for 4 1/2 years and finally had to get it surgically removed.
Here is the truth. I know what that “really long Q-tip” really is. It’s a really long Q-tip with silver nitrate on it designed to burn the granulation tissue away. Or, as Wound Source puts it, “The silver nitrate stick is activated by contact with moisture. When applied to wounds, silver nitrate sticks deliver free silver ions to the tissue that form an eschar as they bind to tissue and obstruct vessels.” In other words, it burns the heck out of them and vaporizes them. Apollo battled granulation tissue the entire 4 1/2 years he had a g-tube. On multiple occasions I watched silver nitrate be applied with “a really long Q-tip” as I held my squirming, crying son down while medical professionals assured me it doesn’t hurt.
So, not only am I lying there getting my hoo-ha burned with a Giant Flaming Q-Tip, but my phone begins to ring. Again. I missed not one, not two phone calls, but FIVE phone calls from home. Each time my wrist vibrated violently, as a reminder of my little lambs at home (as if the disintegrator ray to the crotch wasn’t enough of a reminder).
The moral of the story? Even getting a flamethrower tossed up your secret garden isn’t enough to warrant a few minutes of peace if you’re the mother of a large family.
Now, on to the side effect of hysterectomies, no one talks about (spoiler, it isn’t the granulation tissue…though, to be fair, no one warned me about that either.)
The Real Side Effect No One Ever Mentions
Here’s the deal. Laparoscopic surgery means you have incisions in your belly. In my case, a total of four, including my belly button. They also blow your abdomen up like a balloon in order to have room to work, so you awaken with a bloated belly covered in incisions. In order to be prepared, I bought several pairs of leggings and sweatpants to wear during recovery.
So, I spent weeks lounging around in leggings. I don’t think I have ever even owned a pair of leggings prior to this surgery. And the reality is, after swapping jeans for leggings it seems impossible to go back. I have always stood firmly in the Leggings Are Not Pants camp…but now? Forget burning bras, I am ready to burn jeans and every other Lower Half Clothing That Isn’t Leggings.
So the Secret Side Effect No One Talks About…it is that afterward you will have tasted the Forbidden Fruit and realized that jeans are for 20-year-olds who have never given birth. Not for moms of 14 who work from home and do newborn and birth photography that often require yoga-like poses and skill.
I am sorry my friends, but there is just no coming back from this. A hysterectomy is permanent.
And so are the leggings.