Posted on Monday, May 28 2007
It’s been seven weeks and I am feeling great. There are left over aches and pains and a persistent headache, but we will do some hormone magic and that should take care of it. I would talk more about feeling good and how nice it is to be back to my normal self in body and spirit, but that’s not nearly as interesting as the fact that I have a new bee in my bonnet..so here ya go.
“Nope” That’s the answer I give when anyone offers up these very boring but somehow infuriating words, “I bet you are anxious to get back to work.”
What I want to say is, “are you crazy?” I get to be home all day with my husband, do the things I want to do, enjoy the minutes, hours, days, and weeks of my life just the way I want without schedules or rules or bitching or office politics. Why in the hell would I WANT to go back to work? I understand, my job pays my bills. Yea, I’m not an idiot. I get it. So, why do I have to want to get dressed, get in the car, drive to a building that’s about as comfortable as, well, a big uncomfortable office building, deal with personalities I don’t care anything about, be away from my husband, my home, my toys, projects, and creature comforts? Why would I want to rejoin the word of complaints and restraints, dress codes and group emails? Why would I want to listen to the gossip, drink from a water fountain, go to a semi-public toilet, touch keyboards and mice that are shared by a couple dozen people, use a phone that’s breathed on by those same people. Why would I be looking forward to listening to the constant overwhelming hum and mrrrrrr of servers, pc’s, printers, and other machines, breath in paper dust and other stale reused air?
Believe it or not, I like my job. Yea, hard to believe. I just think that when people put on that strange smile and tip their head slightly with a certain sympathetic but almost jealous tone and say stuff like, “Oh, you must be sooo bored laying around the house all the time, it would drive me crazy, I just HAVE to be up moving around..” Or “I just don’t feel right if I’m stuck at home all the time. You must be so glad to be getting back to the real world.” Followed by the smirky smile that says clearly they are bitter that I have been able to take off work for any period of time and now they are more than happy to see me have to get back to the daily grind because by-God they have to do it and so should I.
I personally don’t give a crap what people think about the recovery after a surgery like this, but let’s just paint the pretty picture of “laying around the house” after a full Hysterectomy, shall we?
First there’s the fun and excitement of finding out you are close to having cancer. That starts the whole thing off with a thrill. Once you get past the biopsy and consultation, followed by having another human being use a sharp object to cut a whole in your belly about 8 inches long, then it’s time to get the party started. Recovery begins with relentless pain after having some of your organs, things you have grown attached to in more ways than one through the course of your life, have been removed. The tube down your throat, the tube up your pee hole, the tube in your arm, they all just get the party started after any surgery, so no surprises there. Nazi nurses who try to get you to friggin’ walk around the same stinking day you get your innards removed take the celebration to the next level for sure.
Over the next few weeks comes the occasionally awkward but often captivatingly painful problems with crapping, peeing, sleeping, standing, sitting, leaning, lifting, bending, squatting, breathing, laughing, coughing, eating, and the inevitable hell that breaks loose if you should be so unlucky as to sneeze. Let’s not forget the charm of the oh-so-popular vaginal bleeding, the stinky leaking, the gas build up, and the ever-glamorous torture of serious constipation.
Let’s not forget there are side effects like, can’t drive, can’t get up on your own, can’t lay down on your own, can’t get your own food, can’t carry anything, can’t put on your shoes, or socks, or pick up anything off the floor.
And just for more laying around the house fun mixed in with all that time looking forward to going back to work, comes the added bonus of not being able to sleep anywhere but in the recliner, don’t dare lay flat on the bed, which leads to don’t bother trying to cuddle your groovy husband, which is followed by NO SEX with that same groovy husband for as long as it takes to not feel like a train covered with metal spikes, covered with hammers, covered with broken glass has just collided with your general groin area.
For past 6 weeks I have encountered all of this and more that I either can’t think of, it’s blocked by emotional trauma, or disappeared through the miracle of prescription pain killers. I didn’t “lay around being bored.” I was healing, recovering, sometimes suffering, but always taking time to enjoy a time in my life when I didn’t have to answer to someone for every hour of my day, or wear a certain pair of shoes for no good reason, or send a problem report about something petty, deal with boring daily tasks and the monotony of being one of millions who sell the time of their life to pay the mortgage.
No, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to work. No it doesn’t make me feel better. No it doesn’t make me feel useful or important or like I’m accomplishing more than if I were at home hugging my husband every five minutes and getting frustrated because he barks at me for carrying up a bag of groceries from the car when I’m supposed to let him do it for me. No I don’t miss being out and about away from my house. No I don’t need to be running around town all the time to feel like I’m making good use of my time.
I feel great, happy to be alive, thrilled not to have to go through cancer, excited to get back to being myself, looking forward to normal “relations” with my husband, tickled to feel creative again, etc. I’m just not “anxious to get back to work.”
I will not feel bad about being perfectly happy to sit at my dinning room table, looking out at the bird feeders and flowers, working on my laptop, watching the Food Network, drinking coffee, and dealing with the aches and pains and unpleasantness of the post Hysterectomy aftermath. Take away the hyster thing and isn’t that what life should be about, living the way you want and not being a slave to the clock?
If you are a post-hysterectomy chick, never think you have to apologize or explain the time you need to take for this surgery. Whether it’s the Laparoscopic type or the full belly slice, don’t let people tip their head with their smarmy smile and give you their opinion on how you should deal with it. If you take 10 days or 10 weeks to feel ok, go for it. Don’t say sorry. Don’t make excuses. If any women tell you they had it done and it was great or no big deal, or try to convince you that they recovered in 2 days and were back to living their “I’m a busy girl” life, and happy to go back to work just to get out of the house”, while they try to make you feel like you are failing some kind of womanly test…tell them you are sincerely pleased to know they have recovered so well and you are thrilled that they are feeling well enough to bend over and kiss your…um…shoe 🙂