10 things having a hysterectomy taught me

16 February 2016

Dear friend,

It is a month since my hysterectomy.  Last night I read though the whole of my H Days diary. It is strange how your brain quickly forgets about the pain and discomfort of those early few hours and brushes away the fears and doubts of the days before. In a way it feels like it all happened to someone else and I am glad I took the time to record my feelings. 

Life is slowly returning to normal. It may sound like fun, being banned from house work but it is really annoying. Imagine watching your favourite plate slipping off a table in slow motion and knowing, you can stop it shattering but you aren't allowed to move. This experience has been hard for everyone but mostly my hubby who has worked full time and looked after us all. It has been a trying time and we are so glad it is almost over and we can start planning for the spring.

There are of course massive positives; ultimately that my medical problems will be over. No more days wasted because mummy has tummy pain. No more searing pain!  No more periods. Looking back there have been some surprising lessons learned through this journey too.

10 thing having a hysterectomy taught me

1) I can't be in control of everything.
There are some things we can't control like our health and our emotions. I needed to accept that I cannot control my body. Yes I can do things to try and keep healthy like eat well and exercise but ultimately I can not help it if get sick. 
2) I can rely on other people.
I have a really bad habit of thinking I'm the woman for the job and trying to do everything myself, in my way. Having a hysterectomy has shown me that not only can I rely on other people to do things but that sometimes their way is better. I need to let people help.
3) Put down the duster!
I am rather compulsive when it comes to tidiness in my house and this experience has taught me to relax and let go a little. I like everything to be tidy and in its right place. In the beginning I hid out upstairs so I couldn't see the chaos. This is still difficult but when there are other priorities like getting to a Dr appointment or taking a kid to swimming lessons then the vacuuming has to wait. 
4) I need time for myself. 
I also needed to learn when to play monopoly with my kids or read that article instead of cleaning the loo, or ironing those pants. I often feel guilty for doing things just for me but I will do that more now. I realise that having me time is important to my general well being too.
5) I don't need to do everything for everyone. I just need to be there.
My eldest thrived on being given responsibility for a few small everyday jobs. This will continue. My boys can tidy away dirty dishes and put their own clothes in the washing basket. Sometimes I did things for 'quickness' but really it is quicker and better in the long run to share the responsibility. I won't be martyr mum. I realised that doing things for others is my way of being there for them but when I couldn't physically do things I found the importance of being there emotionally for them instead. 
6) Don't see illness as weakness.
You are not weak. You are ill and need help. Fact!
7) Stop apologising and say thank you!
People appreciate words of appreciation so much more than self depreciating behaviour. You are not a nuisance or a bother so don't act that way. People are here to help you because they want to be, they love you. Say thank you, say I really appreciate you doing this. Don't apologise.
8) I am not indispensable.
Life goes on even when you don't! Your health is everything. 
9) Listen to your body.
Take the time you need not the time you think you will need. You can not prepare for the tiredness you will feel. Take time and rest as much as possible.
10) I'm stronger than I thought.

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent kind words of encouragement to me over the last month. I really appreciate all of your support. 

Read more of my Hysterectomy diary...

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