Today is my Rebirthday. No, I did not hear the calling and declared today my rebirth to spiritual enlightenment. Not at all. Today, I celebrate my rebirth as a woman, enjoying a life with no complications, or pain, or “accidents,” or fear that yet another pill will cause me to physically and mentally go awry.
Today, I celebrate my first year of enjoying life, without the discomfort. A year ago, today, I had a LAVH, or Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy if you dislike acronyms. I briefly wrote about it last year, about 10 days post surgeries (I will get to that) talking about feeling detached at the time. Kind if funny that I would day that, considering I detached parts of my body, internally.
Because I am my mother’s daughter, I inherited her genetics, including the fun part of every woman’s life. Since the first day, I woke up to “discover” I am a woman, to the week before I went in for the surgery, my menstrual cycle was something I was cursed to endure. Since a very young age, I knew that I did not want to have children of my own. I never had the calling, ever. I never changed my mind, I never had doubts. I had enough trouble dealing with my own mental state, trying not to let depression take complete control. I could not imagine having a child on top of that. I have a short temper. I love extended periods of quiet. I am exhausted by people who constantly need my attention.
But really, I do not need to justify my lack of desire to be a mom. I am just aware that I am not the mothering type. I am a great aunt, but that is it.
Now, imagine, you have this girl, who does not want children, is “lucky” enough to have the genes to enjoy the worst menstrual cycle each month. Even in the early years, it was heavy. I had several occasions where I feigned illness because I had accidents at school. One time, a classmate was nice enough to ask me if I had sat in grape juice. I am pretty sure that day was when I decided that I was wearing nothing buy black from that point further. Fortunately, I was also a goth, so it worked out well.
I use to be incapacitated with the cramps that went along with it as well. Also, some pretty intense headaches. It finally reached the point where my mom and I agreed that it was time to regulate it some, with birth control.
Birth control, for me, was a band-aid. It stopped the blood flow, sure, but every now and then, you need to change the band-aid out with a fresh one. In the 21 years I took birth control, I think I tried maybe 15 different types of birth control. So, I stopped taking birth control. When I did that, my old friend, the evil blood flow returned. Each month, it got worse and lasted longer.
When I started dating my now husband, we both agreed, to keep things safe, I would give birth control another chance.
It made things worse. Birth control failed me again.
Back off the birth control. And the nasty cycle continued, worsening each time. My flow lasted two weeks, cramp severity increased, headaches returned, there was ovary pain, and a new one, I was extremely lightheaded due to the excessive blood loss. We decided that it was time to look at other methods of birth control to handle the increasing chaos down there.
I went in to visit my new doctor (new part of the world means a new doctor), told her my troubles, as well as what I was looking for. She set up a bunch of tests for me, including ultrasounds, cultures, and the worst, a biopsy.
Just a brief side note here: the WORST pain I have ever felt was when the uterine biopsy was performed. And the discomfort lasts for days. FOR DAYS.
Okay, so, the various test results showed that I had a fibroid on my uterus, the uterine lining was thicker than it should, and I have the cells hanging around that, while they might never evolve into cancer, there is that chance they could. The best option, for me, was to remove the troublesome pieces and never again worry. Option two would have been more biopsies.
No thank you.
My ovaries were in good shape, so I kept those. But everything else was to be removed, even the tubes (which we learned afterwards were covered with cysts).
I cried. Of course I cried. Not because I had “the cells” but because finally, all the discomfort thru the years, about 25 of them, were about to end.
Fast forward to one year ago, today. I went in for my procedure. According to my doctor, the surgery went better than expected, with minimal blood loss (maybe the first time in my life?). As with any good horror movie plot, you know this is foreshadowing to future horrors.
My outpatient surgery turned into three days and two surgeries. The second surgery was to removed 1.5 liters of blood that decided to stick around (hooray for a hefty hematoma).
Recover was fun. Details do not matter too much about this part. The key is that yes, I was still bleeding, but it was the last “period” I would ever have. And that made me smile. It was two weeks later, when I realized that I would never have a period again, that I really understood that the decision I made was the right one.
Back to the present time, my quality of life has improved immensely. I still have my moments (I still have my ovaries which means I still have PMS symptoms, only not as severe as they once were), but they are far less frequent. Now, I get headaches from sinus pressure. The best part is when I have those moments in the restroom, and I realize that I will never have accidental bleeding ever again.
So yeah, Happy Rebirthday to me.