I went into my surgery confident and comfortable that I knew what to expect and that I was making the right choice for myself, my body, and my family.
I know that I annoyed the anesthesiologist because I asked to be positioned while awake. I know that this is not SOP. I have been in the OR, and it's typical to get drugs in pre-op that help you relax and also have the added "benefit" of being an amnesiac effect. He resisted my request, but ultimately I prevailed. (You see I have a torn meniscus in my right knee that I am choosing not to have surgery on. It's been that way for years, and if moved in a certain way it will mechanically lock.) My last conscious memory after getting into the stirrups and lying back on the OR table was the searing heat of the anesthesia making its way up my left arm and into my chest. I remember swearing loudly as I lost consciousness.
My next experience was waking up, if you can call it that, in post-op saying, "I am going to throw up!" My body wanting to rid itself of the toxic experience of this anesthesia. My second thought was, "I have a thousand bees in my vagina." I just wanted to turn on my side and pull my knees to my chest. I ask my nurse if I can do this and she says that I have to remain on my back. I am receiving shots in my IV to stop the vomiting and they just want me to stay where I am. Now, I have had 3 laparoscopies to deal with endometriosis over the years, so I thought I had a good idea of what I would feel like afterward. I was so completely unprepared for the experience.
My third thought was, "I feel a huge void in my pelvis." I have plenty of friends who have had hysterectomies, gone through the grief process, and a shift in perspective over the years. I have struggled to learn and accept myself through 5 years of Peri-menopause. I am not certain if it was ego or busyness, but I was unprepared for the grief surrounding the void. It hit me like a ton of bricks. A part of my body that had defined my existence and informed not only my personal but professional life for so long was gone. Taking with it the energy that it generated so willingly and lovingly for all of my life. I hadn't realized how much that gentle feminine energy was sourced directly from the cellular makeup of the organ itself.
I was sad, and in a morphine haze. I don't like morphine by the way, it never makes the pain better or different, it just makes me itchy and groggy but I can't fall asleep. I was feeling a ton of pressure in my vagina (BTW, I have said the word vagina more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 10 years, and I am a sex educator! LOL) So much pressure, contrasted with this huge emptiness just above it. The void alone made me want to throw up and cry at the same time.
I came home the following day and climbed into my own bed grateful for the privacy. I was exhausted and grateful to be in my sacred space of rest and solitude. Maybe I could find peace there.