My Hysterectomy Story: The Anxiety

After three visits to an OB/GYN (one, two, three) and one ER visit, I was certain I needed to move forward with a hysterectomy.  I was confident with this decision.


What I became anxious about was the details.


Oh the details!!!!  For a person like me where plans, calendars, and checklists make me happy, the details are necessary, important and require attention.  The more details I know and plan for, life tends to run more smoothly.  Therefore, details with this hysterectomy business were extremely important to me.


But the details of this surgery was making my throat ache.


Literally.


A few days after my third OB/GYN appointment where I scheduled my abdominal hysterectomy, I started having some throat issues.  It felt like I had a lump in the back of my throat that didn’t go away.  Shortly after, I started having swallowing issues, where every swallow I made, I could feel the food/saliva/drink move it’s way down my esophagus VEERRRRY slowly.  Then I started having terrible indigestion.  


I was getting concerned about my throat.  I literally thought I had some kind of horrible esophageal cancer because I had no respite from the issues.  I couldn’t escape this throat tightness and swallowing hypersensitivity.  So, I started googling again:


causes of lump feeling in the throat
what causes difficulty swallowing
symptoms of esophageal issues


And what I found in my reading and research is how anxiety and stress can lead to feelings of having a lump in the throat or issues with swallowing.  I found websites that outlined how stress can cause anxiety which leads to a multitude of health issues, including issues with the throat.  And here I made another self-diagnosis: my throat abnormalities were associated to anxiety (which made more sense than the other random disorders I came across).  


So, the cure for my esophagus issues?  The best advice was to not think about whatever was causing me anxiety.  


Yeah, right!!!  Easy to say, very hard to do!  


But, once I convinced myself that I didn’t have a rare, incurable disease, I decided to pinpoint the root of my anxiety and conquer it.


So, I did some self-reflection and more research about the details of my situation.  What I reflected on:
  1. I was going to have a hysterectomy.  I was OK with this decision.  We were already prepared to not have any more children (thanks to the Big V a few years ago).  I knew a hysterectomy was better than any other option for my Fibroid Condition.
  2. I was being treated as if I could have cancer.  Though I was not OK with this, I was fairly certain I do not have a cancerous fibroid, mainly because the risk of it being cancer was <1%.  But my doctor wanted me to have an MRI (which we would pay a huge chunk of) and wanted me to have the surgery with an Oncologist on call.  Both of these factors, I believed, were not necessary for my case, but my doctor insisted on them and I didn’t like that. I don’t think this was the root of my anxiety, but a portion of it.
  3. I was going to have an abdominal hysterectomy.  I was NOT OK with this.  The abdominal procedure was going to give me a 6-week recovery and I had no idea how I was going to handle a 6-week recovery with my 4 kids.  I would have to rely heavily on my family and Patrick for help (yes, I see the pride in that statement).  I needed to figure out the details logistically as to how I would have an another adult with me to care for the kids and help me with my recovery.  I was concerned about how my body would heal as well.  The abdominal hysterectomy is the MOST INVASIVE hysterectomy option and has the longest recovery period.  Dr. J did not think I was a candidate for laparoscopy and she did not give me a minimally invasive option.  I think THIS was the deepest root of my anxiety.  


To sum it up, I was OK with the hysterectomy thing.  I was not OK with the cancer thing and the abdominal thing.  Once I figured out my anxiety triggers, I set about trying to have some sort of mental resolution to my situation.

SEEING THE GOOD:

  • Google has helped me so much!!!!  I love Google!!!!
  • God helped me see past all the crazy diagnoses and allowed me to figure out my throat issues were merely anxiety related.
  • In the quiet self-reflection, I was able to determine what my anxiety triggers could be
  • God has given me a determined spirit

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