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So Long Lady Parts

I am very grateful hysterectomies have changed over the last few years. I do not have to undergo the invasive surgical procedures many women before me have endured, including longer recovery times. Now it is faster, safer, and easier to recover.

Since I am always getting poked and prodded, it is comforting to think it will be easier and less painful. At this point, I have decided to get off my cancer medications, because I will have to get on a different kind after the hysterectomy, as I will be post-menopausal. I figure, I might as well get a few good weeks before having to take them again.

What's a Robotic Hysterectomy (& Oophorectomy - ovaries removed)?

During a robotic hysterectomy, your surgeon makes five small incisions in your abdomen to provide access for surgical tools. Through these incisions, your surgeon detaches your uterus, and for me, ovaries and fallopian tubes from surrounding tissues.

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If you ever get a chance to watch one of these, it is pretty wicked and kinda gross. Seriously, it is a combination of sci-fi robotic arms handling the surgery and a bodily contortionist. Your head is literally down towards the ground and you abdomen elevated. You look like you're bent backwards. It is crazy (and kinda cool). Heck, I should be sore just from the way they moved my body.

I have actually put this surgery off for a while. I had considered it multiple times due to my cancer medication, Tamoxifin, side effects, but did not want to endure another surgery. I just had enough of being someone's pin-cushion. Now it was necessary, so it made it easier to go through what I figured would be painful... or just another medical surgery.

My surgery went great, my doctor is amazing. Now, I was going to have to spend the night. Of course, I can't do anything normally. I forgot how to breathe. Seriously, after the procedure, I was just happy to stay asleep... and in the low oxygen sleepy-land. I honestly forgot how to breathe... for real. They kept putting oxygen on me and telling me to take deep breaths.

I did not realize that I was continually slowing down. I remember thinking how calm and restful I felt... I thought I was cooperating, while I was really not cooperating.

Throughout the night and morning, I was slightly better. However, they were not willing to release me until I did those ball breathing things. By the way, I looked it up... it's called an incentive spirometer. I had no idea... I just know it was like exercise to get me breathing correctly. I kept holding that ball at a certain point every so often... which by the way sucked. I was like this is harder than it appears (and I am obviously a weakling). I am still not sure I did it enough or correctly, but eventually I got to go home.

The recovery time at home was really not too bad. It is only days before you can get back to all your regular activities. I was up and walking just days after. Little walks, leading to slightly longer little walks. However, the complete recovery takes from six to eight weeks. Meaning I will spend my summer outside of my pool... which is really stinks. I will get to watch everyone else use the pool, or I will avoid the temptation. I will miss my water exercise, as it is my main source of exercised during the summer and something I love doing.

What I am really dreading is getting re-acclimated to the menopausal symptoms...

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