Life as Lou

That Other Thing They Don’t Mention Much About Hysterectomies

  • March 20, 2012 1:47 pm

Did you know that when you have a hysterectomy, even one where you leave the ovaries so you don’t get thrown into instant menopause, you still turn into a big hormonal wreck?

It’s true.

And it sucks.

I have been so off the past few weeks. I can’t sleep. I have hot flashes and cold sweats. I have at least ten new pimples. I laid in bed and sobbed for an hour straight at midnight the other night, because I’m just that tired, and that over this whole one-problem-after-another-life I’ve been leading. Add that to feeling totally alone and a little sucker punched by the Universe, and some of this hysterical, snot producing, ugly cry makes sense. Then I wake up in the morning, shaking my head in exasperation, wondering where that strong, sensible, faithful, hopeful person I used to know went, wondering who this new person with her eyes swollen half shut is, and when she’ll leave.

I have seriously considered doing things that are crazy. Maybe I’ll leave my religion. Maybe I’ll get a divorce. Maybe I just don’t care about my family. Maybe I’ll run away. Maybe I’ll go get totally drunk and just see what happens. Maybe I’ll take all those pills at once. Maybe I’ll just give up. We’re talking dark, wild impulses and suggestions that are so fundamentally opposite of who I am and have always been that it is at once terrifying, and yet, thankfully, insane enough for me to spot the hormones at play. What an odd thing to be grateful for. At least I’m ridiculous enough to realize it, eh?

I spent days wrapped up in my brain, fixated on what ifs and changes, afraid by how empowered these hormones made me feel to do all the wrong things- make all the wrong choices.

So I temporarily rescinded my life-altering decision making privileges.

And I shut my mouth to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

Apparently, your ovaries can go into shock and just forget to work for awhile or go to work overtime. Add that on top of a pregnancy and a miscarriage all in the space of a few months and well. . .I definitely need to be cut some slack.

The past few weeks have been really hard.  But people don’t mention the emotional side of this recovery. They say you might mourn your womb, your childbearing ability, or somehow feel less feminine. They forget to mention the fact that you may, and likely will, feel like you are losing your mind for awhile.

Well, it is true. And it is normal. And they say it passes.

I am feeling a lot more myself now, but the first two weeks were like a trip through the looking glass, into the bell jar all via an upside down roller coaster.

I’m mostly ok now. Happy again with a lot less dramatic swings.  But I wanted to put this out there in case someone else felt the same way and needed to know she was ok, and normal, and that it does pass.

(If you are new here, and want the whole story click here: my hysterectomy story).


  1. Gail Williams says:

    Bless you Leah for telling it like it is. A lot of women would not admit to those dark feelings. Those thought’s are not you. They are the aftermath of your surgery and the hormones going wild. Just as you said. As my Grandma and I assume lots of other Grandmother’s used to say, “this too shall pass”. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. NICOLE says:

    I can’t even imagine… I have those similar thoughts and I’m not hormonal… and I think they we all have a time in our life when we think, wth? But i’m insane enought as well, to recognize it so most of the time, i keep my mouth shut so I don’t hurt anybody’s feelings. Hugs for being so honest!

  3. Nina C says:

    I am glad to hear that you are starting to level out! I know you are tired… Hang in there. You must be very strong for God to know you could handle it. Love you lots! CALL if you ever need someone to talk to!

  4. Michelle says:

    Leah, I hope that each day you are feeling stronger and better. More back to yourself. Don’t overdo it though. It takes awhile to recover. Being that you have had more reconstructive surgery done, it is going to be longer for you, I am guessing. Been thinking of you…

    I have never experienced it, but my mother did when she was in her 30′s. It was a nightmare for her and also very mandatory. She also had some reconstructive surgery. They had to tack everything back in place (bowel, bladder). Back when I was born almost 44 years ago, my parents were stationed at Ft. McChord AFB in Tacoma. I was born at the army hospital nearby. I was too big for her (should have been a c-sect) and with me out came her bladder and bowel. She said they shoved it all back in and packed her full of gauze. She ended up very sick and came back to the Cities (MN) and saw a civilian Dr. She wasn’t supposed to of had any more kids, but had two more, then needing the hysterectomy by the time she was 35. It was a slow recovery for her. She kept having to be catheterized because her bladder kept locking up. I remember watching her go through all she went through. She was pretty young, 19, when I was born. Luckily for her, us kids were older and could help her out and fend for ourselves. As for the military, my father did his four years that was required and didn’t reenlist. He did one 18 mo. tour in Korea. Came back from that deployment and was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City. After that he was out. We moved right before the big flood in ’71.

    So, glad that both families are there to help you out!!! I am sure you do miss your munchkins. I am sure they miss you too. You are right though, it would be hard to keep up with Gabe. It is good that Chris is home and not out on a deployment so you can spend some time together. Take care of yourself!!! (((hugs)))

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