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  #1  
Unread 02-27-2002, 04:02 PM
identity crisis

Hi Ladies

long time lurker, first time poster - I know this subject's been raised before but please one more time! I'm 37 no kids yet (Ha!) as I was busy working on a career, and to be honest kids were not a priority. Still, I'm having a TAH May 3, (heavy bleeding, anemia, and fast growing fibroids). question 1 - does anybody know how big is too big for fibroids i.e. when do you really need a hyst. My uterus is at 20.8 cm and growing about 3 cm a month. question 2 - why am I so confused / anxious / depressed about losing a uterus that I might not have used anyway? Its just surgery (I had major reconstructive surgery on esophagus / diaphragm / stomach in November) - how much worse can it be? Could it really be possible that I've defined my identity by sex organs and not career? And why is this distracting me to the point that its throwing my career off track? Has anybody else discovered their 'hidden feminine identity' through saying goodbye to a troubled and troubling organ?

Cheers
Andi
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  #2  
Unread 02-27-2002, 04:22 PM
you are having very normal emotions right now

i can only speak for myself. for me its releasing my uterus from its job. it has served me very well! it has been part of me all my life,when i began to have my period it did its part. when i wanted to have a baby, it held him for 9 months neccessary for his safe entry into the world and my arms. he is 24 years old!!! i am 45. for me its time to let it go because its not healthy any longer. maybe i'm silly, but that's how i feel. my surgery is tomorrow, i've given this quite a bit of thought as i knew this was coming for 11/2 years, so that has helped me come to this peace about the hysterectomy. i would encourage you to just "be" with your spirit and let God talk to you. He will help you. best wishes, pam!
  #3  
Unread 02-27-2002, 04:42 PM
identity crisis

I sat at the kitchen table to explain to my kids (13yo neice and 13 yo son) that I would have to have a SAH. My son proudly responded, "So, that means you won't have a period any more and you can't have any more babies." I responded, "That's exactly right." My neice asked, with every fiber of seriousness, "Can I have one too?"

MissPennyUSA
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  #4  
Unread 02-27-2002, 04:49 PM
identity crisis

Hi Andy ,

I'm glad that you decided to introduce yourself. Welcome to Hystersisters!!

I don't have any answers to your questions, but wondered if you have visited the Aching Hearts Forum? I think there may be many sisters there who have had similar experiences, and can offer you support and hugs.

's

Karen
  #5  
Unread 02-27-2002, 05:28 PM
identity crisis

I think that saying goodbye to organs that are uniquely ours as females is different for each female. So much of it is probably about how we were raised and what we internalized from our environment. Some women who have had children feel like they are saying goodbye to an organ that nurtured their babies in the womb, while others are thankful they had a uterus for such but do not hold an emotionally attachment to the actual organ. For you, although you said that children were not a priority and that you may have never have had children anyway, the fact is that you knew that with a uterus you had the CHOICE to have children if you so chose. Having choices in life is a powerful thing. Could losing your uterus possibly have you feeling a loss of control and powerless in some way? With a stomach and esophagas surgery, you didn't lose the ability to bare another human life. Even if you chose never to "use" your uterus you had options with it still there, and without it your options are different.

I must say that there are still options even when one loses a "uterus," such as the beautiful option of adoption, etc. I think that having to have a hysterectomy brings up many emotions and things that we didn't realize we had lurking in our subconscious about being a "girl" or female. I know there is probably a lot more too it, and different for everyone. I hope that you will be feeling better about your decision and what has happened with your health and your need for a hysterectomy. I suppose for all of us "hystersisters" it is a time for us to regroup and redefine what these organs mean to us and go about living with a redefined perspective of who we are as woman. Whether we have a uterus or not, we are beautiful human beings with the ability to nurture and love and receive love. Best wishes to you and prayers for everything to go well with your upcoming surgery and all that it brings up for you.
  #6  
Unread 02-27-2002, 05:54 PM
identity crisis cont.

Jerianne - gee, do you really think a self-defined career woman could have issues of loss of control and powerlessness re: losing her uterus? I think you've hit the nail on the head with that one. Thanks soooooo much for that insight.

And all the best to you
Andi
  #7  
Unread 02-27-2002, 05:56 PM
identity crisis

This is a really interesting thread!

I think that this surgery is very different from any other, because it's extremely charged with all sorts of emotional issues. Yes, we should know better than to define ourselves by our physicality OR by our jobs. But we're human, and we live in a culture that encourages both.

Losing an organ is unlike reconstructive surgery or repair work, There is loss...and there is grief along with all the other emotions. This particular organ is a very central part of our biology...and when it ain't working, all other aspects of our lives are impacted.

My uterus tried its best (forgive the anthropomorphism) but it never did much for me, reproductively or any other way. It made me pretty sick for most of my adult life. Was I sorry to see it go? Yes and no!

I think you just have to accept that this is the way it is...and not overanalyze it. You have it, it doesn't work right and it's making you sick...so it has to go now. It's a major fork in the road, no doubt about it, but we just have to keep on going and see where we end up.

If all this wasn't affecting you, I'd be worried about you, honestly. It's not just an inconvenience, it's a huge life altering event. It doesn't need any embellishing, but I think that facing it in all its implications is the healthiest way to go.

Dunno if that spiel added much, but it's a pretty complex issue for me still, and my feelings on it change as time goes on. Great question and great discussion!!!

Karen
  #8  
Unread 02-27-2002, 10:30 PM
identity crisis

  Quote:
Originally posted by KarenL
My uterus tried its best (forgive the anthropomorphism) but it never did much for me, reproductively or any other way. It made me pretty sick for most of my adult life. Was I sorry to see it go? Yes and no!

I think you just have to accept that this is the way it is...and not overanalyze it. You have it, it doesn't work right and it's making you sick...so it has to go now.
Karen, this is exactly how I feel! But I also feel guilty for telling my poor uterus that it's getting evicted. And I feel sad for removing it.

I don't know if it's physical or cultural, but the uterus, while not necessary for survival, feels like a very important and integral organ. Mine has given me nothing but grief for 20+ years. I have a love-hate relationship with it now. It's part of my body, and it's not trying to hurt me, but it's been broken since menarche and I have suffered hugely because of it.

I also think of it as being an energy center in the body (yeah, I'm into that alternative medicine stuff) -- or at least being near an energy center. I've been nervous about the metaphorical impact of removing the center of my creativity; I'm a fiction writer and don't want my Muse affected!

I have such mixed feelings. I'm thrilled that I get to end the pain, even though it only comes maybe 3-7 days a month. I'm amazed at the idea of freedom from my calendar. I'm nervous about how sex will feel afterwards -- sex after making the decision to have the hyst feels strangely different now, like I'm always aware that the topography in there is going to change soon, and that something will be lost permanently.

I think also, it's hard letting go of something familiar, even if it causes pain. The unknown is scary. For years I told myself, Better the devil you know.

For me, deciding to have the hyst is an act of deep self-love and empowerment. I am going to great lengths to bring a new freedom to my life, because I care about living comfortably and happily, and because I lose so much productive time to menstrual cramps that I don't feel I can really "be all that I can be" until they're permanently gone.

One of the wonderful things to come of all this is finding this site, and the lovely ladies herein. I am amazed and grateful daily at the inspiration and wisdom and humor here. And the unending support -- really deep support, coming from strangers who are willing to reach out with compassion to others in need.

Gosh, kind of a long post. I'm just starting my last period, and that Vicodin has kicked in. Who knew narcotics made me so wordy?

Melissa
  #9  
Unread 02-27-2002, 10:53 PM
melisssa

I wish I could take vicodin. I wish I'd known what I thought was normal mid=cycle wasn't that at all. Those feelings,that I thought were uniquiqely feminne weremy fibroids imppinging onmy uteres/// In other words, Iwas standing by my utereus.What I didn't realize is that this loyalty cost me so much in many ways, from my perception of sexuality to my ability toenjoy life . This is what you should focus on now. You have a lot of life and love to give. First,give to yourself. Recover from the surgery. Giveyourself time. You sound like you'd be awonderful mother-there's lots of older kids who are dreaming about a mother like you. Go for it.
  #10  
Unread 02-27-2002, 10:59 PM
IMHO

I have also had conflicting emotions about my Hyster. When I first found out that my doctor was going to go with my wishes to have it and, skip the alternatives, I was practically jumping up and down. I had three children, had my tubes tied, and every month the pain and bleeding got worse. I was great with my decision (except for the usual ?'s and fears), until the night before surgery. Then it was like the fact that I would never have a period again hit home! I sat here at my puter, reading the posts and princess stories, and having a serious heart to heart with myself. By about 2:00 am I decided that alot of what was bothering me was all the people who tried to talk me into trying all the other options first. My parents were included in this group. Many people told me I was too young(32), I'm sure that had an impact also. I slept on it that night and came to the conclusion that it was MY choice to make and that this was really what I wanted. I am one of those people who felt that my uterus had fulfilled its purpose and was in desperate need of being put out of MY misery. As cold as that statement sounds, I feel that once recovery takes place I can be a better mom, wife, and friend when I don't have periods over shadowing everything in my life. I aready have more energy than I had before, at only 12 days post op. My lower back pain and stress incontinance have also stopped! I haven't been without a back ache for about 10 years!
I also just realized today that my period was due 3 days ago. I didn't even miss it!!
Thank you to all who helped me and I hope someday I can be of as much help to someone else someday!
Kelkie(Kelly)

PS I also feel that we can't let a virtually man made society have such an impact on what we feel about our bodies. The way I see it is you have to make your own decisions about your health and healthcare. If we let that happen, it takes away all the progress women have made in being able to be independant and free of the "feminine" stigma that we have to be dependant on men and therefore it is ok for them to make all our decisions for us, about all aspects of our lives. I hope that made sense to someone!
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