How Total Hysterectomy Changed My Views On Womanhood
A total hysterectomy is a surgical procedure done to remove a woman's uterus and cervix. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a hysterectomy is usually done to resolve abnormal vaginal bleeding, severe endometriosis, increased pelvic pain, and cervical or uterine cancer among many others.
It seems like a very tedious and complex procedure involving several scientific terms I can't understand with words I can neither spell nor pronounce so naturally, when my mother was advised to get a total hysterectomy done, I got anxious and nervous.
Actually, now that she's nearly fully recovered, let me be honest, my mom was afraid and I was too.
My mother is in her mid-40s. She's still having her periods but not just like any other ordinary period. She was enduring so much pain that she literally cannot stand or even slightly move. Imagine having dysmenorrhea but like 12x more painful. Her periods get so heavy at times too that she needed a diaper to catch it all.
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She visited her OB-GYN for check-ups and ultrasounds and found that her uterus wall has grown so thick and heavy, it's like she was carrying a 3-month baby. A few more painful periods after, she decided to take the leap and go under the knife.
Mind you, mom was super anxious. It showed when she was preparing herself a few days having herself admitted and apparently showed too as she was taking on anesthesia after anesthesia before heading to the operating room.
I was anxious too, like I mentioned, but I kept the faith in mom enduring everything because she already had C-section with me and my brother so I figured, hey she can do this.
Mom has a reaaaalllly low pain tolerance. Without any knowledge as to what this procedure is and how it is done, I was afraid every time a nurse or a doctor comes in our room to either check on her or give her shots and meds.
But the ultimate time I didn't know what else to do was when she was already taken to the operating room. We all had no more control and had to leave the odds to the pros.
The Operation and Recovery
Mom spent 3 hours in operation and nearly 6 hours in the recovery room. I was surprised it went that quick cause honestly, my head was running much crazier scenarios cause I have no idea what this surgery is and I was too afraid to google it at that time.
Okay, so apparently, usually this procedure can be done by just the OB-GYN alone. But we were called 3 times in the OR cause I was asked to sign a consent to bring in a surgeon (cause mom's uterus grew so big and heavy, it stuck to a muscle on her lower abdomen), sign another consent to have her appendix removed (cause her uterus grew so big and heavy, it also managed to stick to the appendix causing it to bleed), and finally to see the uterus they removed.
And it was indeed big and heavy. I won't post a photo of it (yes, we took some) cause some might find it repulsive but it was so huge the doctor needed to hold it with two hands. It looked like a bloated red balloon with muscle inside. Needless to say though I've never seen any other uterus in my whole life including mine, the thing looked abnormal and I'm just relieved it's already out of my mom's system.
It difficult not to begin overthinking and analyzing stuff when you're in a hospital room waiting. I never really liked hospitals (who does though, amirite) cause it triggers my brain into wandering off. As soon as I knew that mom was going to be okay, I looked back and sifted through everything that happened as I finally managed to breathe.
Tell you what - total hysterectomy changed my views on womanhood a lot.
Total hysterectomy is an option.
Just like what my mom had done, she opted for it. She agreed to do the surgery because she can't handle the pain anymore. It was there, laid out for her.
However, total hysterectomy seems to be not much known.
To calm my mom and I's nerves, I asked around if anyone knew any women who underwent the procedure. And indeed some had. But perhaps I could claim that this procedure is not so well known. For one, it can be pretty expensive. Can you imagine other women going though similar pains that need total hysterectomy? What if they cannot afford to get it?
Women are innately strong... and fantastically complicated.
As I told you, my mother has a very low tolerance for pain. And as a woman, I can imagine how experiencing aches on your abdominal area can be really irritating and well, painful. Yet she handled it like a boss.
I was initially thinking that women are doomed for pain. Women could get cervical, breast, and ovarian cancer and go through a whole lotta procedure we could basically spend half our lives in a hospital.
At the same time though, women can endure all these. In the OR I saw that there was a 53-year-old woman who was having the same procedure as my mom a day after. Women are never too old or too young to handle pain in all possible forms. From the day we are born, we are genetically wired to be beautiful creatures complicatedly formed to our own sense of perfection.
Women are basically the silent superheroes that walk this earth.
See here's the thing: 95% of this whole experience was woman. The doctors, the nurses, the maintenance staff, the hospital staff, my mom, my aunt, my cousin, and me. Everywhere I look, woman is there. We are the building blocks of the earth creating a solid foundation of love, strength, and light.
Woman has brought life and maintained it.
Some women are woman-shamed for having their reproductive organs removed. People judge them saying these women are no longer women - a bit similar to those who choose not to bear babies. Well, it's the 21st century and women have gone far and long to fight for a voice of power.
Who What Wear
During mom's stay in the hospital, I found out that a lot of the close women in my life have also had their reproductive organs removed and I see them more nurturing and strong as ever - just as how a woman should and is meant to be.
I am simply proud of my strong mom for having 3 surgeries surpassed in her life. I am thankful for my aunt for tirelessly staying with us and assisting us throughout our stay. I am thankful for the hospital folks for choosing their vocation and helping lives.
I am proud and thankful for every woman who has brought life on this world and has been maintaining it.
If you want to know more about my personal experience and total hysterectomy, I'd be glad to share them with you. Feel free to comment below or send us a message.