Monday, May 21, 2007

Menopause is good

It has been two weeks now since surgery. I feel really good! It helps that I felt really really horrible leading into surgery. I was ready to move on to the next chapter.

Now in New Zealand before surgery, they ask you if you want to keep the organs that they remove. It's a Maori thing - they bury their parts in a traditional ceremony. I thought about it... I loved Science class when they dissected things... but instead I told the doctor that I wanted to see the organs afterward. I thought that it might help to give me closure. This surgery was a big deal and I needed to know that I made the right decision. I wouldn't know that unless I saw just why I needed to have those things cut out of me. Now if you are queasy about this kind of stuff, you may want to skip the next paragraph.

They brought them to me in the recovery room. I was still really groggy and my vision was blurry but I saw my ovary and uterus. The Ovary had a tennis ball sized tumour attached to it which was twice the size of the ovary. The tumour was smooth and shiny which means that it was harmless. Cancerous growths are jagged with tentacles. The uterus was enlarged due to the fibroids and stuff. There was a large patch of endometriosis on the top of it and the surgeon told me that I had patches of endometriosis throughout my abdominal cavity, mainly on the left side that she cauterized. That would have caused me a lot of pain. Plus when the biopsy results came back, they found that I had another rare thing going on with the muscle in my uterus... which causes pain as well. Clearly I made the right decision to have this surgery. These things were poisoning me for years.

When I woke up properly from surgery about 12 hours later, I felt lighter. Maybe it was the morphine... but I instantly felt better. Of course I had pain from surgery but internally I felt cleaner. In the first two days I hardly used any of my morphine pump so they took it out. I knew I was a fast healer with a high pain tolerance. I'm tough. My greatest cause of discomfort was actually wind pain. You see, when they operated, they had to move my intestines. When they put them back, there were kinks (like a hose that hasn't been wound up properly) so I couldn't eat solid food until I passed gas. I was like a colicky baby.

I convinced them to let me go home early. I was going crazy in the hospital and I wanted to be at home for the weekend. My friend Sharyn had been staying at the house with the girls while I was away. Brian was coming home for the weekend so he'd be home to take care of me. I wanted to wait until my symptoms of menopause started before taking HRT. I was warned that surgical menopause hits like a tonne of bricks. It's not like normal menopause which happens gradually. It hit Saturday night... hot sweats, crazy dreams, insomnia, goose bumps that felt like razor blades coming out of my skin, headache. Sunday morning Brian did a mercy dash to get my HRT prescription filled. It seems to be working. I still get occasional night sweats but it could be worse.

Technically I'm not supposed to do any lifting or reaching... but I didn't really think that meant that I couldn't put my empty suitcase away in the closet. Boy! Did I get into trouble! I was very naughty in general. Brian was good about it. I hate being fussed over and I don't like being told that I can't do something. When I told Brian that I wanted to go for a walk down the street to check out the new Saturday market - he told me I was mad and that I should be resting - but he let me take his arm and he walked with me. He said, "Come on Nanna. This is how it's going to be when we're 70."

I've taken this time to try to find old friends on facebook. It has consumed me. I've decided that since a large number of old friends from Elementary school are online, we might as well plan a reunion this summer. I was class Valedictorian so I feel it's my duty to take it on. I dragged out my huge box of memories (I got in trouble for dragging it out by myself) and I pulled out all of my old diaries, notes, class assignments, artwork, yearbooks and photos. It was overwhelming and I went for a long stroll down memory lane. Some of the things I found were hilarious (my journals - I was very open and honest about life and everyone I knew in it), some were really profound. There were also some painful memories in there but I was able to go through them all piece by piece. I've gone through that box from time to time but never with so much gusto. One note I came across was absolutely gut wrenchingly hilarious... it was a memo to myself when I have a teenage kid... I wrote it when I was 12.

It's nice that I've had this time to focus on these things. Memory lane is a nice place to be. I'm reminded of just how magical my childhood was. I grew up in the best neighbourhood at the best possible time. I went to an amazing Elementary School - St. Anne's. It was a Catholic School and we were raised with some really good morals and values. We didn't have popular kids at our school. We all hung out together. It wasn't until I went to highschool that I got a dose of hard reality. I'll never forget my first week at highschool - I befriended a girl in my home room named Dawn. She was hilarious and we got along great. I was confronted by some girls who thought they were popular to tell me that I was hanging around with the wrong people. If I wanted to be cool, I needed new friends. Sadly I was insecure and felt pressured to conform. Poor Dawn. But the following year I decided that I didn't like "cliques" so I became a "floater" and went from group to group. I never made any solid friendships in highschool because I floated so much. I had lots of friends... just none who I spent a lot of time with.

That's why facebook is so exciting. I'm getting a second chance with some friends I had the potential of becoming good friends with if I hadn't moved so much. I moved a lot because I was looking for a place where I could just be myself. It's taken me 20 years to find that place. It's called New Zealand. It's also called being in one's 30's. I'm in a great place and time. I feel internal peace for the first time in my life. Menopause is good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the "note to self"! Hillarious that when we are kids we say we won't do all the stuff our parents did to us and then we become parents and we think to ourselves ok we had it