A lot of you may not know this, but when you have a hysterectomy there are a few different versions to choose from. Mine was a total hysterectomy, which means they took my uterus and cervix, but left my ovaries. At only 37 years old when I had it, had they taken my ovaries, that would have plunged me into menopause, which to say the least would have sucked. However, the odd thing that comes with leaving the ovaries is I still experience all of the hormonal changes a woman goes through monthly since the ovaries are, in fact, what produce a woman's hormones.
So, although I am sans a uterus, I still get PMS. I get the cravings, the mood swings, the bloating and the sore breasts, just no period. I'm grateful for the last part, obviously, and also grateful to not have gone through menopause at only 37, but I do get tired of still dealing with all of the annoying side effects of being a woman without the ability to at least have more children if I choose. Not that I would have any at my age and in my current condition, but it's nice to have the option.
I decided to write this today because I am having one of those days. A day in which I feel fat and bloated but all I want to do is eat. Sick of being cooped up inside, but don't want to leave the house. Enjoying the sun shining, but also kind of wishing the inclement weather that is on its way would get here sooner so I can hole up and be a bum all day without feeling guilty. I need to clean my apartment, so much so that it's driving me crazy each time I look at it, but I have no motivation to do so. And, add to all of that, I didn't get any sleep last night as my legs decided they weren't going to let me. The pain, the spasms, the tightness -- it all makes a recipe for zero sleep. Imagine if both of your inner thighs were in a charlie horse spasm, but also were contracting in real, and very painful spasms over and over again every few seconds non stop all night long no matter what you did, unless you sat up. That's what I am dealing with. So exhausted I can't keep my eyes open, but forced to sit up on the side of the bed until they feel a little better for at least thirty minutes or so, and then I can lay down and pray for sleep for about an hour before the entire process starts all over again. The contracting spasms themselves wouldn't be a huge deal. I've been dealing with those for 18 years, and they always came on worse when I laid down to rest. It's the new symptoms I can't handle. The tightness and lack of motion. My legs won't go straight, and also won't really bend, they are just kind of stuck in one position. I'm quite literally crippled up from the waist down with everything just kind of contracting and contorting whichever way it wants to go, none of which is comfortable. The pain is a burning kind of pain like everything is on fire. That's a hard pain to treat with even the strongest of pain killers.
I miss being able to stand and walk short distances. That was what gave me that added freedom I hadn't had for many, many years. Rather than being stuck in the chair - like I am once again - I had the ability to climb a few steps or walk enough to go where the chair couldn't go. That is once again all gone and I miss that little bit of freedom. My daughter and grandson are moving in to a new apartment today, and I can't go see it or be with them because there are concrete steps out front. I would love nothing more than to be there with them, helping her unpack and get organized. I wish I could enjoy her happiness and her new found freedom, too. She has sent me pictures and is telling me all about it via text, but I'd give anything to be there with her watching the joy on her face as she begins this new chapter of her life.
With limited abilities and illness also comes the loss of communication with people in my life. It's unavoidable no matter how good friends are, or how much they may love you. People don't want to be around someone who is in constant pain. They may feel bad for you, and may say they will do anything for you, but in reality (and I know this from lots of experience) most people will fade away during really tough times. I understand the process, but it doesn't make it any less difficult. It's just another thing that gets lost during tough times like these. I don't have the energy or the ability to do much of anything, anyway, so I guess it's for the best.
So, that brings me back to today. During all of this pain and suffering, the one thing I can embrace is my ability to rest and do as I please and everyone just has to understand, including me. I am physically simply unable to do much else, so I might as well embrace it. Lots of people would love to stay in their jammies all day and do nothing but watch mindless TV and take naps, so I will appreciate the ability to do that. With the loss of other abilities comes new ones.