My recent surgery to remove a large barnacle and two malfunctioning organs (details in the link below) gave me cause to seek out some advise, and there was a lot of it.

I asked those who had this procedure what I should expect. There was advise on medication, recovery, and the highly debatable – estrogen. Some said it was too risky, others said it was the best thing I could do, yet others said not to have the surgery at all.

I did my best to be a good patient and took all the meds prescribed. But one by one my body made it clear it wasn’t happy with any of them. So I heard the words, “You better stop taking it,” several times. And to my surprise, I didn’t really need any of them. The intelligence of our bodies is amazing if we shut up long enough to listen.

When it came to hormones, I had come to the decision that I would take estrogen from the beginning to avoid any shock the removal of such organs might have. BUT I wanted an exit plan, I would get off of it as soon as possible. I made it through four doses of that little blue pill before I decided the tingling hands and my brain feeling like a rubix cube might not be worth it.

When the words, “Stop taking it,” were heard once again, I wanted to do cartwheels.

I’m not afraid of all the terrible things they said I would experience,” I said. “I got to go through it sometime.”

“There are some hidden benefits to taking estrogen,” my doctor assured, “but there are alternatives that we will discuss on Thursday.”

So all day Monday I waited…they said I would go plunging into menopause right away. I was ready. I would take it on, full force, head on, I was ready!

They said I would winkle up like a prune. So I googled skin care oils and was amazed at all the health benefits found in Olive Oil and wondered why we don’t bath in the stuff.

They said the hot flashes could be an inferno and the night sweats would not be sweet.

They also said the I would loose all my desire to crochet (or sex, which ever you prefer).

“Please God, don’t take that away,” I said.

“OK,” I heard HIM say. “Don’t worry.”

I didn’t worry, but I did wait for the title wave of menopausal symptoms to consume me.

Day four, I was the same old me.

Day five, I waited…after all, they all said it would happen!

Day six, “Hey, I still think you’re cute!” I told my husband. “I’m glad,” he said.

Day seven came and so did the one week check up. My doctor and I sat in his office as he asked questions and answered mine. Finally I had to ask, “So… when are all those terrible side effects they said I would experience happen?”

He tilted his head a bit and shifted in his chair, “You’ve not had any?” he asked.

“No, not since I stopped taking the Estrogen.”

He looked at his clipboard and then back at me, “Well then, I guess it won’t be an issue for you…”

I know he kept talking, but I don’t know what he said because all I could hear was all they said and once again I wanted to do cartwheels.

We finished the exam and I met Jeff in the lobby. Once outside, I leaned up against the railing, looking at the beautiful clear blue sky and listening to the birds. The trees were in bloom and the parking lot was shadowed by pink flowers. Jeff thought I was tired, but I was exploding inside.

“You know all the things they said I would go through?” I said.

“Yeah?” he said pretending he knew what I was talking about.

“The Doctor asked me if I’ve had any symptoms, you know, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia. I said no. He said I most likely won’t!”

“Really?”

“I can’t believe it, everything they said, everything I was prepared to tackle, he said won’t happen.” I began it giggle and I’ve been giggling ever since; we’re now two and a half weeks later and yes, I still giggle.

What they said was important, because it came from their experience. These things really happened to real people. But what I’ve learned is that someone else’s experience does not have to be mine.

Looking back…I think something happened when I said, “I’m not afraid.”  And I can’t help but wonder if it’s one of the reasons HE said, “OK. Don’t worry.”

 

Related blogs:

Barnacles, Ovaries and Miracles:  http://wp.me/pEozB-s0

Crocheting (or sex, which ever you prefer): http://wp.me/pEozB-s9

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