Thanks to the folks at HysterSisters, I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to prepare for the upcoming surgery. Note: that site is lovely, but very gendered and heteronormative. There are boards for LGBTQ folks, but just prepare yourself.
I’ve prepared ahead of time
- Ledcat took off several days from work so she’ll be with me for six full days.
- Our petsitter, Raylene, is handling critter care the day of the surgery.
- I wrapped up, rescheduled or postponed all professional commitments.
- I’ve read up on the medical concerns around sutures, stitches, etc. I’m pretty sure I’ll have 4 or 5 laprascopic incisions in my abdomen and a small incision in my vagina.
- I’m no longer FB friends with women who flip out about using the word vagina (thank God.)
- I have plenty of pillows and bedding and comforts.
- I’m getting a cortisone injection on Thursday to manage my shoulder tendinitis until I heal enough to resume PT.
- I’m even getting my hair cut and colored thanks to the lovely Leese so I won’t have to even think about it during the full recovery period.
The major concern for me is that I won’t be able to drive for a bit so Ledcat will have to walk to and from the T during bitter weather. I tried to convince her to use Lyft or Uber at least on awful days, but she insists she’ll be fine. Because of my shoulder, I’ll probably need to not drive a bit longer than usual. I’d rather be all kinds of inconvenienced than drive too soon. HysterSisters has a series of articles to help return to driving.
I have a pile of reading on the nightstand. My tablet is charged and ready to go with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu while I’m in bed. I’m making a shopping list of all of the things I’d like to have nearby on the days when Laura is at work and I’m stuck at home unable to lift or carry. It is going to be exasperating to have everything on the counter at all times.
I’m searching for someone local to shovel snow just in case and I need to find a housecleaner to do some tasks that have gone undone.
The procedure is fairly routine. i know there are potential complications, but I think that the biggest hurdle is giving myself enough time to rest. It seems folks experience problems when they lift, drive, or resume life activities too soon. I can see myself being that person because prioritizing my own recovery will be a challenge against needing to be in control of day-to-day life. Combine that with the tendency to downplay any sort of reproductive health need (sshhhh – don’t say vagina on Facebook!) greatly increases the potential to push ourselves a bit and end up setting ourselves back in the long-term.
The problem is that I’m aware that Laura has to pick up the slack. She has to put in her 8 hours plus her self-commute in the coldest months of the year, then come home to do all the housework and litter scooping and cat lifting. She doesn’t mind because that’s what partners do, but *I* will mind.
According to a report in the Post-Gazette, January 10 is fixing to be the most miserable winter day of the year. Great. I’ll be unconscious or sedated for most of it so I suppose that’s good. I suppose the bright side is when I wake up on January 11 in my own bed, I will finally be free of the source of 35+ years worth of pain and misery. A new life will be ahead no longer defined by an organ that defined weakness and vulnerability for me.
So my goal is to start freezing some meals and get the various tasks accomplished this weekend that are necessary. I’m going to stay off Amazon and keep my mind sharp.
I’ll probably launch a tampon and pad drive though because doing something, a project or cause, gives me a sense of purpose and belonging, of earning my keep. It is hard to turn that off along with everything else I have to slow down.
If you have a uterus or even used to have a uterus, I strongly urge you to check out these resources
HysterSisters (see caution above)
Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause
And if you have a young person who menstruates in your life, talk with them. If they are experiencing pain or discomfort, encourage them to get medical care. We have to stop this cycle of condemning young people to years of pain because we are afraid to talk about vaginas or vulvas.
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