Mid Autumn weather has arrived here. While I love the beginning of Fall, the sweater weather and changing leaves and long walks with hot coffee; mid Autumn becomes a bit depressing. Bringing more gloomy rainy days than not, and colder weather that makes you dig out the warmer jackets and are sure to remind you of the bitter cold to come. (I am not a fan of the cold.)
* What’s to follow is rather personal. I’m discussing mental health and well being and briefly touching on surgeries, hormones and some other topics that may make some uncomfortable. Just to give a bit of a warning. *
A rainy day look into the backyard from my office window.
Gloomy rainy days always suck the energy and drive right out of me, I want nothing more than to cuddle the cats with a nice cup of coffee or tea and a good book or movie. I always have to try so hard to drag myself around and get something, anything accomplished.
But this year has been a bit different. A bit more difficult, a bit more gloomy.
It’s been just over six months since my hysterectomy (TAH) and just over a month since my oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries) and starting estrogen replacement therapy [an earlier post has all of the whys of things if you’re curious]; and it’s been one hell of a roller coaster that I hadn’t quite expected… although I should have.
I should have anticipated the deep depression that has always come with any change in my hormones (never mind the complete removal and replacement), and the rise in anxiety that is always sure to follow. I should have anticipated how low things could get as we worked to find the right dose of estrogen for me. I should have anticipated even having to go through finding a correct dosage!
It has felt like there was so much I hadn’t anticipated. I got myself so worked up in worry before my hysterectomy that I (and some family) completely banned myself from any such research before the oophorectomy – and I’ve been regretting that.
There’s so much they don’t tell you before such things. Sure, you’re filled in on the general procedure of your surgery, what’s to be removed, the what-to’s and not-to’s of your recovery and medication – but they rarely mention the side effects of surgery (or the medications).
I didn’t prepare for anything other than surgery and recovery. I don’t know what I was thinking.
I didn’t prepare for the months(?) of sleepless nights and early mornings, the night sweats and stronger hot flashes. The horrible headaches or random outbursts of tears (where do those even come from?). The head fog, forgetfulness or difficulty staying focused and concentrating on even the simplest of things at times. The loss of appetite most days, until the one day you just want to eat all of the things. Or the exhaustion – how can you be so tired constantly and not be able to sleep at night? How does that even work?
I was so unprepared and uninformed for all of this. And I surely wasn’t ready.
Some days I find myself in the midst of a crying spell or a panic attack or curled in a ball on the bed and I can’t help but to wonder if I haven’t made another horrible mistake. If maybe I should have just dealt with the ovarian pains for a few more years (or as long as they would hold up) and have avoided all of this for now. All of this that, now, in these moments, seems so much worse.
Then a phantom pain in an organ I no longer even have (because apparently that is a thing) will happen, reminding me of what I lived with for years and of the very real risks and other concerns I would have also had to live with if we hadn’t done the last surgery; and those uncertain thoughts pass.
Just as I know that all of this too shall pass.
There’s no doubt that eventually we will find the right hormone replacement for me, that there will come a time when things finally settle into… whatever the new normal is for me. When that finally happens my depression too should settle back to nearly nonexistent and the anxiety back to a more manageable level. Although I’d be lying if I said I don’t still worry about what side effects are going to stick around and what this is all is going to do to me and my mind and body regardless of medication; now and into the future.
For now though, I just need to work on not beating myself up over how long this all may take; finding a good balance between going with the flow of my body and working as hard as I can where I can to get myself back to me.
So, here’s to this new journey!
Thank you so much for taking the time to join me on such a personal post about such a very personal journey. ♡
As always, until next time, the best of thoughts, hopes and wishes with lots of love! xoxo