Several months ago, on a visit to the gyno, I was told that the fibroid she had been watching had seemingly gotten bigger and sent me for an ultrasound. Well ultrasounds aren’t as fun when there isn’t a tiny human waving at you. But I love watching surgeries on YouTube and such so I laid there fascinated by the images on the screen. Yeah, there was a fibroid, but the bigger problem was the scar tissue assumed to have built up from endometriosis and the endometriomas in both ovaries. I love my doctor but the words hysterectomy, oopherectomy, and hormone replacement therapy were being thrown around fast and loose.
If they took all my girl parts, would I still feel like a girl?
Sure, I was done with them. They had dutifully served as my childrens’ first home. And unless one of my kids asked me to be one of those weird headlines in the grocery store check out line (Grandma Gives Birth to Own Grandkids), I didn’t need them anymore. I mean you can’t look at someone and know if they have all their insides in tact, but I would know. Would I feel different about myself? You know, between hot flashes and wild mood swings???
My husband is a wonderful caring man, who throws up or passes out at the thought of anything medical, particularly girl stuff. All he really needed or wanted to know was a) would I be ok, and b) when was the surgery. So of course I turned to my oldest daughter. It must be known before moving on that she and I have a very close mother-daughter thing going. But we are very sarcastic with each other. I am pretty sure we have raised some eyebrows on occasion with our banter. I felt extremely loved a couple years ago upon receiving a cookie cake that said “Hope you don’t suck at your new job” when I was hired as an academic coach. I knew what that meant was “you are the most fabulous woman I know and I am proud you are my mom”.
So when I was voicing my concerns about not being a real woman, her response that my name would no longer be Kimberly, but would be changed to Himberly, did not surprise me. But, Himberly? Really? I do understand that there are folks out there that are appalled at the lack of compassion. But don’t be! She loves me and that’s just our way. I was not at all offended.
So fast forward to today. I am ten days post-op from having everything from the cervix up taken out. My stomach is black and blue and swollen, my belly button looks like a slot machine, none of my clothes fit yet. My recently freed-from-scar-tissue bladder still quite angry. Me and pajama pants have never been closer. Friends and family are determined to enlarge my hind parts with all the fabulous lasagna, brownies, cake, homemade pot pies, blueberry cobbler, ice cream. All of these things that I love but are making it even harder to get back into presurgery clothes!
My husband has been so endearing and accommodating despite his aversion to all things medical. He took off for the whole first week from a very stressful job as principal to care for me. And that he did! Every morning, I would wake up to breakfast in bed. He did exactly the right amount of taking care AND leaving alone. He was there when I needed him. I have never loved him more. And, I am pretty sure that he thinks I still look like a girl. Or old lady. But either way, feminine.
I did manage to get outside and sit and watch my puppy playing in the creek today. I must admit that my landing and take off from the beach chair was less than graceful. It actually would be something that I would laugh at loudly if I was watching from afar. Like the kind of laughing that embarrasses my kids! But it felt soooo good to get out of this damn house.
I am not a superstitious kinda girl but I must preface this by saying I am knocking on everything made of wood around me when I say that I have felt no signs of menopause at all. I woke up from surgery with a patch on and will have one on for years to come. But hey, if it keeps me from wanting to throttle those closest to me and not having hot flashes, bring on the patches! I seriously can say that I just might be more hormonally balanced now than I was 10 days ago. I feel good, really good. I am actually looking forward to having to make myself presentable tomorrow, even if it is just to go to the consultation to have my youngest daughter’s wisdom teeth ripped from her head. I will walk into that oral surgeon’s office like I own the place, sassy and feminine. And to the naked eye, everything where its supposed to be.
So do I feel like Himberly? Nope. I am all woman.