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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 months

Guess what today is? My six month "hysterversary!"

Yes, the hysterectomy support forums do use twee and vaguely nauseating terminology like that. But, hugs! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, do I *seem* like the support group type to you? Let's be cereal here.)

Anyway. Yes. Six months ago at this time I was unconscious while my gyn and her husband** used a magical tiny camera and cauteries and, I dunno, other stuff to remove those girl parts that were trying their best to kill me. Along with their neighbors***. I thought I'd take this opportunity to bore you with reflect on the changes in my body since the big day.

First of all, I'm pretty sure I am now almost 100% healed internally. I have read that it can take up to a full year for all the nerve connections to grow back and so forth, but over the past month or so I can honestly say that I don't feel anything different on my insides any more. Even back in February when I felt mostly totally healed, a few days of physical labor or being on my feet most of the day and I'd feel a little swollen and sore in the cuff where my internal stitches had been. Ten days ago I spent seven hours doing hard physical work and when I was done--exhausted and starving but none of that internal ouchiness. Yeah, baby.  Similarly, it took a long LONG time after surgery for my intestinal function to feel like it had regulated and there weren't weird painful nerve twinges every time it was almost time for a morning meeting****.  Apparently the intestines get really pissed***** about being pushed and shoved aside during surgery and are in a snit about it for quite a while.

Secondly, I am no longer vaguely terrified about the whole works failing and my intestines making a break for it out my hooha while I'm squatting 160 or having sexshul intercourse.  According to the internet it could still happen but I have ceased to worry about and instead choose to believe that a.) my doc did an awesome job stitching me up in there and b.) my body heals super, especially since I took care during recovery to eat ALL THE FOODZ and c.) since I was a really, really good girl and abstained from sexshul intercourse for the 3 months prescribed by my physician (and, okay, even a little longer [see: vaguely terrified]) Jesus/Buddha/the laws of physics are gonna reward me with a fully functioning vagina for the rest of my life.

And now that I have, once again, overshared, let's move on to more blog-topic-related matters.  I lost a lot of muscle mass during recovery. People swore to me that I wouldn't, but they lied. No, actually, they just didn't realize how incredibly restricted I was going to be for the first almost-6 weeks after surgery.  When you're not even allowed to lift your own (admittedly obese) cats or, strictly speaking, your own handbag with its normal contents, and your body is putting forth all its energy towards healing up all the tissue that's been cut and restitched together and regrowing nerves and blood vessels and such, it wisely (from a long term evolutionary standpoint) decides that it doesn't need to expend the metabolic resources to keep all that expensive muscle that ain't being used and ::poof:: GONE.  A month after surgery I was down to 108 lbs. I'm pretty sure the last time I weighed 108 pounds I was eleven or twelve years old, kids.  It did not make me happy. And this with my postop diet of mac n' cheese, calzones, and whatever the hell new cookie recipe I found on the interwebs while I was bored and semi-housebound. So when I was released back to the gym I went on the bulk of all bulks. A fulk, actually. (Fulk=fat bulk.)  Since my birthday and Christmas came in the midst of this there was the added bonus of my friends gifting me with things like bottles of Baileys and the giant Costco gourmet chocolate assortment. And taking me out for drinks and Mexican food and and and. Operation Fatten Up Andrea: successful.

By the end of February I weighed...wait for it...wait for it...121. On the plus side, I no longer needed a belt to keep up every pair of pants I own and I was pretty sure I'd grown all my lost muscle back. I even, in my usual douchebaggery, took pictures and posted them up for my friends, all of whom agreed my muscles were back, baby. So time to "cut", i.e. diet.

It's been one month and one day. NOT THAT I'M COUNTING. I'm back down to 114. I can fit into all my pants (in varying degrees of comfort, ahem) and some of them are back to needing to be belted to stay up. And the saddest fact is, with a lot of the fulk fat off I can see that no, not all my muscle did come back. The extra fat was making me look a lot bigger and fuller than I really was. Right now I'm definitely squishier and softer and smaller than I was at 114 or 112 last summer.

I suppose it's a small price to pay for having my treacherous reproductive organs out of my body, yeah?

Present plan: stay on this muthafuking diet for two more weeks or till I hit 112 (whichever I crack at first), then back to a slow bulk in hopes of regaining more muscle mass. Wish me luck. I'm pretty sure with my ovaries removed I am not in the optimal hormonal condition for muscle growth (ha!) but as I recently remarked elsewhere, thank you functioning adrenal glands! Someone's gotta pump out the measly amount of testosterone my old woman body is producing.


**oh, don't worry...he's a gyn too, not a plumber or tax accountant.

***I like to anthropomorphize my organs

****that's my favorite new euphemism for pooping

*****see "***"


  1. So glad to hear you're feeling nearly all mended! I have a couple of friends who are experiencing major health problems right now, and when I was reading back through your blog last week and got to the time where you were diagnosed and having surgery, I had this sense of "oh crap, not another one!" Such is the power of your prose. And now, a week later, you're better. Such is the magic of the interwebz.

    They say it's never too late, but coming to strength training at a more mature age does feel like a race against time and entropy. I first entered the weight room at 30, lifted on an on-and-off basis for way too long, and spent too much time on bodybuilding-style programs - way too many isolations. Finally accepted the gospel of barbell training within the last couple of years, and now I feel like I need to hurry and get those PRs up before I start disintegrating for real. OTOH, it's kinda kick-ass to be doing this as a middle-aged lady.

  2. I like to think of it this way: if supposedly you lose 1% of your LBM every year after 35, and I now manage to put on a measly 2 pounds of muscle in a year or something, I've really put on 3lbs because of the -1. I'm sure the math checks out! ;-)