I got a call a few days ago from someone heading in for the same procedure I endured back in October. She had one question: “Do you have any advice?” I stammered for a moment because I realized that I hadn’t thought about it in quite some time. It’s been a good 5 or 6 months since the effects of my abdominal hysterectomy have been keenly felt and I had to think hard about what I should tell her. Mostly I just kept stammering, but now that I’ve had some time to reflect, I’ve decided to share my pearls of wisdom with the lot of you. Here goes.
* When people ask what surgery you had, be sure to specify “abdominal hysterectomy” and not just “hysterectomy”. They need to know you were sliced open, that you would rather crawl naked over broken glass than try to get up and walk, and that you are deathly afraid of sneezing.
* When I say, “just a hysterectomy” I mean no disrespect. Regular hysterectomies are people too, but abdominal ones are harder. Kind of like I’m sure it was hard for Sandra Bullock to play Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, but I bet it’s even harder to be in your 30’s and still known best for your role in Punky Brewster.
* Percocet causes constipation. Take it anyway.
* Metamucil tastes like someone used a PedEgg on their heel, dumped their shavings into your drink and flavored it with a Vitamin C. Drink it anyway.
* Memorize this chant for your hospital stay: “This happens all the time, they’ve seen this before. This happens all the time, they’ve seen this before.” Repeat silently in your head for 4 days.
* When you find yourself back in the ER in the middle of the night due to complications, and the nurse is patting your knee, trying to comfort you while the doctor prepares to treat you and says, “Of all the ER doctors to be here right now, you got the best one to do this – he’s done this at least 9 times,” it’s okay if that doesn’t make you feel better.
* Get my Dad to make you guacamole and my mom to find you the best tapioca pudding.
* One day, when you least expect it, someone will ask you how you’re doing and you’ll be like, “What are you talking about?” and they’ll say, “Remember that one time? When a guy put a mask over your face, told you to count backward from 10, and by the time you got to 9 you were knocked out cold like Lindsay Lohan on a Friday night and then woke up with 18 staples in your stomach and hot flashes?” and you’ll be all, “Riiiiight.”
That’s all folks. I hope you took good notes, because they won’t give you this info during your consult.