As most of the world knows by now I had an abdominal hysterectomy on April 12th.
My uterus, aka the Fruit Bowl, was removed along with my cervix, and according to my surgeon, the whole kit and kaboodle was even bigger than she expected.
The 8-inch incision that spans my lower abs continues to remind me of my physical limitations.
I am into my third week post-op and I am Recovering...in more ways than one.
Before my surgery I was actually looking forward to being forced to rest. I welcomed the opportunity to have to stay in bed and be waited on by my family. What mom wouldn't?
I knew I'd have pain and I knew I'd be sore, but wow, I never quite realized how much we use our abs for ABSOLUTELYEVERYTHING.
Sneezing? Forget it. Even clearing my throat was unbearable. And I will spare you the details of my oxycodone/constipation affair. Not pretty.
I quickly went from being an independent, Type A do-it-yourselfer to a completely dependent, almost martyr-like, woe-is-me pathetic patient.
These past 2 weeks have clearly shown me that I can not expect people, meaning my husband and family, to read my mind. I needed to start asking for help, something I have always had a hard time doing.
"Would you bring me my purse? Would you bring me my phone? Would you please pick up my phone cord off of the floor and hand it to me? Would you refill my water? Would you hand me that pillow? Would you this? Would you that? Would you also this and this and that and that?"
It's been REALLY hard. But I am asking. And they are responding. And they don't have to read my mind. And I don't have to be Mrs. Mad Martyr.
I am Recovering.
Last week I went downstairs, looked around my house, shook my head and immediately came back upstairs.
The foyer was littered with backpacks and papers. The sink was overflowing with dishes. The floors were covered in dog hair.
When we had more time, I asked the kids to help. Nadia cleaned the bathroom. Natasha dusted. Anatoly did dishes and Elya swept the floor.
Was there still dog hair on the floor? Yep. But they all did a good job and I hope I let them know.
And guess what? The world did not end because our house was messy. My friends who brought dinners did not judge me and are still my friends. Imagine that.
I am learning to let go.
I am Recovering.
Unexpectedly, having this hysterectomy has also sent me on an emotional roller coaster.
I have never been able to get pregnant.
No amount of wine and relaxation did the trick. No amout of fertility treatments worked either.
I was always considered a "hostile host" but not having a uterus makes me officially 100% sterile.
I will never have an "oops" baby.
Ken's and my genes will never be passed on. We will never hear "she has your eyes, he has Ken's nose, she has your smile."
I found myself completely and utterly and downright sad.
I've had many moms say to me that they know what I'm going through. They had C-sections, they have the same incision, and they've had to don the stretchy-hold-your-abs-in-tight band, too.
I smile and agree, and listen to their advice.
Yet all the while I want to scream. That it's not the same. That this is much worse. That I didn't get a baby out of the deal. And that it's not fair.
Very much so, I am Grieving.
Today is the 18th day after my surgery. I no longer wince at the slightest cough, but it still hurst to twist and turn, to bend over and to straighten.
I can see why I'm not supposed to drive for another week and a half.
And although I am learning that asking for help is okay, I worry that I am taxing my friends. They have driven my children around, they have driven me around, they have cooked for us and given us monumental support. I am eternally grateful.
My mother-in-law spent the first week with us. She was a joy and was an amazing help.
My husband has really stepped up to the plate and my four beautiful children have really seemed to enjoy helping out and serving me.
It may be weeks before my body is physically back to full speed. My grief? Who knows. Could take a bit longer.
But that's okay.
I am easily counting my blessings.
I am Recovering.