Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Post opp & menopausal..

Many things were different as I went into this surgery date. Mainly, I wasn't at all nervous. Scared of what I might become emotionally, but not at all scared of the physical pain. Both of my doctors assured me that recovery would be 'a breeze,' so I was more than ready to wake up on the other side of this.

My last memory before surgery was waiting in the little holding area in the hospital bed. Once again embarrassed to be seen in my glasses, but moved by so many kind words from nurses and staff. I'm not sure if people were chatting about my medical situation or if they read it on my file, but it seemed as if everyone knew why I was there. People were coming up to me telling me what a brave thing I was doing, how smart I was, etc. I just kept telling them how happy I was to get rid of the expanders. Both of my doctors came in for our debrief, then they had 'words' outside of my curtain. Each of them wanted to operate first. My plastic surgeon wanted his part done first because the implants needed to be sterile and a variety of other reasons. My OBGYN wanted to go first because the hysterectomy was going to be done laparoscopically on the Davinci robot and I would need to be upside down.  She was concerned that would cause the implants to shift. (I could have lived the rest of my life without the knowledge of being upside down on a robot in front of other people..) I remember seeing them in a heated discussion about this, and then I woke up.

I don't remember being in much pain at all. I was required to stay over night (because of the hysterectomy), so I geared up for a somewhat relaxing evening and day away from my kiddos while being taken care of in the hospital. I know, not much of a vacation but it was a break, none the less. I was on some heavy pain meds that kept causing me to fall asleep, so I gradually asked to be taken off and switched to something less potent. I was up, walking around, chatting with the nurses and feeling much better than I anticpated. My chest was bandaged up, so I had not a clue what the new me would look like. I know it felt a lot better than my expanders, so I figured it was a success. I had five tiny incisions from my hysterectomy, none of which were painful.
My OBGYN thought it best to immediately start me on a bio-identical estrogen gel, Estrogel. It is a clear, natural, plant-based cream that I rub on my leg, arm or stomach daily. I had researched the heck out of post-hysterectomy HRT, and we both came to the conclusion that this was my best option. I didn't want to go without an estrogen supplement, as other serious health risks can come from that. We decided I should try this for awhile and see how it goes. Ideally, I will feel great, and eventually come off of the estrogen at a more 'menopausal' age. I started using this in the hospital the day after my surgery. (More than two years later I'm still using it.)
I went home the next day, feeling great and very hopeful that I would be back to normal quickly. I was able to check out my new chest a few days later and was pleased with the outcome. I opted for a high-profile silicon implant. It was my best option for a natural looking D cup. I put complete trust in my plastic surgeon, as I had decided anything would be better than the expanders. I couldn't have cared less how many CC's the implants were, just as long as it looked good. I thought they looked great!
I was feeling great emotionally as well. In fact, I was feeling more level-headed than I had in a long time..not sure what that said about me prior to hysterectomy, but I'd take it. I would have the occasional hot flash, but overall I couldn't (and wouldn't) complain. My crazy journey was over and I was more than ready to move on!

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