Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gypsy 24-hour Design Challenge Project by Susan Edwards

Please vote for my very talented friend Susan's project so she can win a trip to NYC. She is an amazing scrapbooker and paper crafter, among her many other talents. Voting ends tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28 at 11:59 p.m.

The Gypsy 24-hour Design Challenge Project by Susan Edwards

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Weepy Day

Everything is going on and nothing is going on. There is, of course, my aforementioned surgery, from which I am still recovering. This appears to be "weepy day" in the recovery process. As I also mentioned before, I have a bag of hormone patches, but whenever I have been tempted to use them, I start to wonder whether my issue is a result of the surgery itself, which is a pretty big trauma to one's body, or the new issues created by the surgery, for which the patches are intended.

Complicating that, I just collected a batch of early birthday cards from the mailbox. This will be my 50th birthday, so most of the cards mention that. I am fine with turning 50, but before this surgery came up, I had grand ideas about how I might spend this milestone. One idea was a special trip, maybe to Germany. However, before this surgery came up, I knew I would be enrolled in the scary tech class, so a trip was out. I had a variety of other ideas, but now just getting something like "dressed" is kind of a victory (stretchy high-waisted exercise pants and tops that cover my hips). So now I guess I will be doing next to nothing to mark this milestone.

It's not that I am being ignored. I have been receiving cards. Earlier this week my new phone arrived, a nice new phone I've been asking for. My husband also got a phone. We have been sharing one relatively basic cell phone for years, so this will be nice, especially when I can figure out our plan and how to use the various features on my phone without unintentionally running up a huge bill.

As I started writing this, my husband was in the basement trying to finish a scrapbook cabinet he has been making for me, so that's certainly nice. Then he came up and saw I was upset, and I explained the cards and said, "This is going to be a sucky birthday." To his credit, he said, "Yes, it is."

But then he said he had been thinking it's also kind of an opportunity. Because I will be taking the next session of work off (my recommended recovery period goes well into the session, so I just decided to ask to take it off and make myself available to sub when I feel better), we might be able to take a mini-vacation when I'm feeling up to it.

I feel a lot better now.

(By the way, the other upside is I had an excuse to postpone the scary tech class again, even though I am still doing my practicum. This will delay my graduation one semester, but, hey, i've waited this long to get that degree.)

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I debated with myself about writing about this, but since this blog is ostensibly about my mid-life victories and trials, it seems appropriate.

A few days ago, I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy/Bilateral Salpingo Oopherectomy (TAH/BSO), which basically means that entire diagram/illustration you saw in your high school biology book is gone. (Well, not that diagram/illustration; just my stuff.) Apparently this sends me into surgical menopause. I have a handy-dandy little bag of patches I can use should this start to give me any trouble.

This did not come as a total surprise. (Somewhat) less invasive means of dealing with my issues had been tried. I don't want to go into big details right now, but mostly I agreed with this to make sure I did not have ovarian cancer (I did not, for which I am so thankful.) If you don't know, ovarian cancer remains a difficult cancer to diagnose in its early stages, so even though the possible markers were slight and subtle, I did not want to wait on this. There were other issues (the ones we tried to deal with before) that were increasingly interfering with my life as well, although they never got to the point they have with some other women, who are made quite miserable with these problems.

I feel very positive about having done this. I am aware of the statistics surrounding this surgery...a very high number of American women have this surgery and some people feel too often. However, every woman I talked to felt positive about having done this (some to the point of glee, I think.)

It helps that I'm almost 50, so this was not traumatic in a way it might be for some younger women. When I found out I would be having this surgery, I Googled and found a wonderful Web site called HysterSisters. It gives information and offers an online support group. It is enlightening to see the varieties of hysterectomy and the reasons women have them.

My surgery had to be the old-fashioned kind, with a vertical incision. (I already have a "bikini" scar [yeah, right] from my Cesarean section when my son was born.) However, nowadays there are a lot more options for hysterectomy surgery if you are able to use them.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be. I was kept as pain-free as possible, and my nurses and docs were very attentive. (Everyone appeared to be about 12 years old, though,
especially the med student who had been at my surgery and came in to talk to me.) I had a semi-private room which was a tad claustrophobic, but I liked my roomie. She had surgery the day before me, but she was having some issues. The biggest discomfort, then and now, was trying to get in a comfortable position, both because of the surgery and because there are staples in me.

I got to stay in the hospital for two nights, which is just about right. After that, it becomes intolerably noisy and depressing. I got to order my meals from a "room service" menu. My roommate, who was having trouble with food, was always asking me to tell her what I had enjoyed. (Bad: Scrambled eggs; Good: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. The apple spice muffin was not too bad. The salad was mediocre.)

Now my husband is taking amazing care of me, and I am getting very spoiled. I get meals in bed, propped pillows, and pretty much anything I ask for. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to being comfortable (without the aid of medicine) again.