It’s been six months now since I had my left-hand ovary and fallopian tube removed, along with a shit-ton of endometriosis, and there’s one final, very short update that I wanted to do for any other women who are going through this process. Though, as usual, I must note that this is just my experience and not medical advice.
I had my op on 3 June and rather naively assumed it would be like the cystectomy that I had in August 2012 and that after a couple of weeks it would be like nothing had ever happened. Well, not quite. After eight weeks, I was feeling mostly back to normal, but there was an ongoing ache that was not quite enough to complain about, but enough to be really annoying. I was starting to get a bit concerned as I came up to my three month final check-up. My wounds had all healed, but I could still feel this dull ache.
I had a bit of a look online to see what the average healing time is for this kind of surgery, but it’s not the sort of information that seems to be out there. There’s a lot of basic medical information, and there are fora where you can talk to other women who’ve experienced cysts or had oophorectomies*, but little useful experiential info. Anyway, I decided to bring up the continual ache at my final consultation with the endometriosis nurse and find out what was going on.
About a week before my final appointment, however, after a relatively relaxed session at the gym, I noticed that the ache had dissipated, and it has never come back. I asked the endometriosis nurse about it anyway, just to see if it was normal, and it absolutely is. Apparently, after that amount of surgery it’s common for it to takes three months for all the little dull aches you get to heal up and go away, although often she said that too often women are referred to her for their final check-up after only two months, and that they are frequently in the same boat I was in.
Now, six months later, I’m completely back to normal. It’s almost as if I’d never had surgery. My remaining ovary has mostly picked up the slack, although my periods are a little erratic and still really rather painful – I did have to get more of the good painkillers from my GP – but they are getting better as time goes on. All the spotting before and after that I was having prior to the op has stopped, so I’m back to a relatively compact monthly experience marred only by the searing agony. Heh, I jest. It’s merely agony.
After my final check-up, I was discharged from hospital care. I have to say that the staff at Ashford Hospital in Middlesex were absolutely lovely. I received incredibly good care there, and they were all fantastic at communicating what was going on. I really couldn’t have asked for better, and I appreciate the hard work of all the staff there. Happily, I was called and asked for my opinions on my experience, so was able to give them the excellent feedback they deserved.
* I do feel the need to say that there was a fair bit of content on the ovarian cyst/oophorectomy fora that I found deeply disturbing, not least of which were posts from women who felt that they were worthless now that they had lost one or both ovaries. It is so, so sad that women feel that their value is defined by their organ count, rather than who they are and what they do. That really broke my heart. I can understand women who’ve lost both ovaries being upset about not being able to have a family, but to devalue oneself because of even just losing one ovary is a far greater tragedy.