Life after a Hysterectomy 

It has been 6 months since my hysterectomy. It has been a very interesting 6 months. 

First I have no more pain. That is awesome! Plus my energy went up. Hot flashes are down. Iron levels back to normal. Cost of female products are way down. 

Bladder issues…well they are not super bad. But I have more issues with the sneezing or coughing. If I get sick I must wear a panty liner. 

Now down to what a lot of you are wondering…

Sex…

Well it was very uncomfortable the first time. When the doctor says to use lots of lubricant…they mean it. You need to use it. But try to make sure it isn’t the heated kind the first time back at it. Burns like hell! Lol 

My concern at first was (besides the burning of the heated lube) I felt nothing. No pain of any kind. Which is very unusual. (At least for me) So when there was no pain I wondered if I would ever enjoy it without concern for ripping any stitches or disconnecting and places that were tacked into place. 

It took a little time for me to feel comfortable enough to relax enough to enjoy it but it happened. Sex is now ok and very enjoyable again. I am very grateful for a loving and patient husband. He was very supportive through everything!

The never ending menstrual cycle…

So I am peri menopausal and life has thrown me some curve balls. Not sure where to begin. It has been a while since I posted.

Last fall I realized I was going into the peri menopausal stage in my life and I was excited. I was so ready to not have my period for months at a time if not ever again. 

Mother Nature had other plans for me. I am not sure why except for me to share my story with others. 

May 20th started alike any other cycle I have ever had. Some spotting and then the next day the Flo began. But this time it didn’t stop at day 4-7. It just continued on like I had not had one in years. But because I was going through peri menopause I did not freak out. But at about day 30 I put a call into my Dr in hopes to have a brief conversation with her. This to me is very personal and I didn’t want a tag team call after call going on and I did relay that when I left the message for her to call me back. But I got a call back from someone I did not know. I again strongly expressed my need to talk directly to my doctor. I was told that was not possible and I hung up and cried. 

So I just figured I have an appointment at the end of July I would just struggle through it until then.

On day 55 I called back and talked to a nurse that I knew and told her that I wanted the doctor to add a couple of tests to the bloodwork I was already having don’t the week before my appointment. All of my hormone levels and my iron level. I was an emotional wreck having had some form of bleeding wether it was spotting or a going through an extra absorbant pad every hour with only 1 day off now in days shy of 2 months. 

She granted the iron test (which came back as me being anemic-shocker)  but not the hormones and referred me to a specialist. This is where it gets more interesting. Now that appointment isn’t until August 9th. But I did get a 2 week reprieve at day 60. But then it started all over again. 

I was not just anemic but on the verge of needing a blood transfusion anemic. That shocked me. What has shocked everyone is what I do and how many hours I worked during these times. I am a manager at a dry cleaners  and it was a very long hot summer. We had people that got other jobs and some that had no choice but to leave us to take care of loved ones. But in between hiring new people and training them I was working positions for those on vacations. Temps in the pressing areas can get and were for most of the summer upwards of 100 to 115 degrees. We have fans at every station and we supply cold bottled water for everyone. Plus I work on average 12-14 hours a day Monday through Friday. And I never passed out. I felt like it a bunch of times but somehow I just kept telling myself that I am the manager I cannot lol weak to my employees or my boss no matter what. So I would smile and keep moving.

Then I finally made it to the specialist appointment. I was ready and I had researched this and had my plan all set out. Or so I thought…

There are so many options out there for people that have a mentrual cycle that lasts for a long time especially if you are no longer planning to have children. That increases your options. But these options not for everyone.

The IUD is great if you no longer wish to have a period. With this option you could have the IUD removed if you do wish to have children again. For me this was not an option. My mother has had breast cancer and people with close family members that have had breast cancer or cervical cancer or ovarian cancer are not good candidates for this option. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or any options that include hormones increases your odds of getting cancer as well. So this was ruled out very quickly for me.

Ablagation … This option is where the inside lining of the uterus is burned. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.  This option was ruled out for me because my uterus was too large from my 3 previous births. 

So I was left with hysterectomy. Where they remove the uterus and Fallopian tubes. Sometimes the cervix is removed as well. I had all but the ovaries removed. There is the surgical where the give you a pretty good scar opening you wide up to do the work. Takes a long time to recover from this. Laparoscopic which reduces the healing time and the scar. This is where they inflate your abdominal cavity with a gas to make the visibility better for the doctor. A few small incisions for the tools and a camera. I had this but was robotic assisted. Called davinci hysterectomy.

I must say that my recovery was much quicker and easier than I ever imagined. It was outpatient surgery. Within 2 days I was no longer taking my pain medications. Within a week I felt awesome. Although the hard part is…you feel great but you still have limitations. You cannot be doing any heavy lifting and for the recovery to fully take you have to abide by this rule. If you don’t it could spell trouble for you now or maybe even later down the road. This part has been very hard for me. But I have been obeying this rule because I cannot afford any setbacks…I am a workaholic you see. 

Life happens…

So my intentions were  to do this blog and I will finish the peri menopause list because I am actually living it. But to be completely honest I work between 60 and 70 hours a week Monday through Friday. I do have my weekends off but I need to let my husband know that I exist. Lol

Right now a day in my life is like a roller coaster for me. I do not know what is coming next. (Don’t get me wrong I love roller coasters and no one knows what is coming next)  What I am talking about is how I might react today to something will not be the way I act to the same thing tomorrow.  

Today I was out of my mind…I mean it was like watching someone I didn’t know. Then I think to myself is this what I have become? This angry emotional crazy person??? 

This transition has been very rough. I have been doing my research and have come up with a plan for myself. After I finish the symptoms I will let you know what my plan is. 

I wrote this a little over 7 months ago and here it sat in my draft section. 

And it has not gotten much easier the past 7 months. I will explain on next post.

Peri Menopause Hell!

Did you know there were 35 symptoms of peri menopause?  Let’s go through them shall we…this will take several blogs but we can go through this together…

Hot Flashes… Or hot flushes, night sweats or cold flashes with clammy feeling. Can’t really win either way here. I work in a dry cleaners so to avoid hot places would be impossible. I have recently been asked regularly “are you ok your cheeks are quite red”. Sad thing is I didn’t realize that my menopause was showing. Didn’t even realize I was heading into Peri menopause. 

Irregular heart beat… I had my hypo thyroid medicine increased recently so when my heart beat was off I just attributed it to the medicine and moved on. Nice to know it could have been more than that. 

Irritability…well now that could have been due to when my regular cycle was supposed to happen but when it continued myself as well as my employees was wondering what my major malfunction was. I was truly baffled as to why everything was irritating the heck out of me. I am usually a happy go lucky type of person.

Mood swings, sudden tears… I have been crying without a reason. That really irritates me. Admittedly I do cry when I  sad and I cry when I get super mad but to cry for no reason…UGH! So frustrating. When I am at work I go and hide in the bathroom until I am done and have not cried long enough for my eyes not to look puffy. I cry a lot when I take a shower and I have no idea why. 

Trouble sleeping through the night…I really didn’t much of this one until I really thought about it. I used to sleep through the night with no issues. I now wake up around 3-4 am. I have been doing this for a few months. Very frustrating because it does take me a bit to get back to sleep just to have to wake right back up.

Irregular periods… Now this gives it all away. I keep a calendar of my menstrual cycles. It was steady 21-23 days for many years. Then I was 9 days late and regular for a while. Then haywire late then early then way late…never knowing is awful!

Loss of Libido…not sure if this is effecting me or not. My libido has always been all over the place. I enjoy it after it really gets going just not always up for the getting it going part. So that really hasn’t changed a whole lot. I have always wished I could have a higher libido for my husbands sake! 

Now this is the first 7 of the 35 signs. This will be taking a few blogs to go over them all.  There is a lot to cover.

I am researching what I/women can do naturally to help with the symptoms and see if any of them actually works… for me anyways. Every woman is different.

Do you know your Dry Cleaners?

When you drop off your clothes at a cleaners do you know the people handling your clothes? 

You might be new to an area and you are looking for a dry cleaners to take care of your clothes. So you research them. You look at the reviews in the Internet. Problem with that is are the bad reviews planted by competitors and are the good reviews planted by the cleaners themselves. 

So how do you know? 

Ask you neighbors. Ask your coworkers. They should know the best Dry Cleaners in your area. Then take some clothes into the top 2-3 and ask questions when dropping them off. 

The counter staff is not always very knowledgeable about the process… But a good counter staff will get you talking to the person that does. If that person is not in ask for them to call you when they are. If a company cared about the customer they will care about the items you drop off.

Get to know the people at the counter that handle you clothes. I always like a personal connection with my customers. I want my customers to feel comfortable leaving their clothes in my hands. I know their children and when they get married. The personal touch is always important when turning over your personal items.

When you pick up your items look them over. Make sure before you leave that they are in the condition you expect. I say this for 2 reasons. 1) they might possibly be able to fix an error right there 2) you don’t want to get home just to find it …makes it feel like a wasted trip or that you have to go all the way back to say something. 

No Dry Cleaners is perfect and can make mistakes and sometimes customers do not communicate with them when they do…they just don’t come back. It is hard fix a problem when you don’t know there is one.

When you find that one that just feels right make sure you get to know the manager and their name. That is the person that will be able to fix any problem that may possibly arise in the future. 

Dry cleaning…how it works.

Dry cleaners… 

What are they? A business designed to take care of your clothing and household items.

How does it work? It is not a simple process. But I will explain in full detail at another time. The short version… They take your items check for spots, rips, holes and color loss. Attempt to pre spot then clean. Afterwards the items are pressed. 

How are prices created? Well now that is very tricky. But these are items that the company must pay for in order for your item to be done. 

Personnel: 

counter person: that took in your items, 

check in person: that looks your items over and puts them into the system and sends them on, 

dry cleaner: this person double checks the items for any additional spots, prespots any stains,  sorts the items by carelabel and color, put the items through the cleaning process, checks the items after to see if any additional work need done, the item is then sent to be pressed.

Prefinisher: this person steams out or tops the items for the presser to finish. Sport coats for example have formers put into the sleeves and clamps are out on vents if any and then steam and hot air are pushed through the items gently.

Presser/finisher: this person looks over the garment for any touch ups needed for the upper body of the item. Looks for pleats and Ruffles and steams and/or presses them back into place.

Inspector: this person inspects the items to make sure that there are not spots or missing buttons or seams that need repairs, and make sure they are pressed up to that companies standards, assembles the item on the correct order, when the order is completed the order is sent on to the bagging station.

Bagger: this person looks over the order to insure that the customers preferences are done (I.e. creases or no creases in pants, bag or no bag for the order). Puts the items in proper order and tries to insure all items are there and accounted for, items are connected together by whatever means that cleaners uses (string or twisty ties).

Hanger: this person attaches the tag onto the item and puts the order on the line or conveyor by whatever order that company uses (numerical or alphabetical).

Pickup: the person that gets the order/orders for you when you pick up and takes your payment.

Management: person or persons helping in all areas and overseeing the entire process helping to ensure the quality you are expecting. 

Then there are the other items involved in processing your item/items. 

Utilities, rent or building payment, cost of equipment, hangers, plastic for bagging, computer software or paper products used for the tagging process, phones for communications, And the chemicals used for the spotting and cleaning process. I am sure I am missing some of the smaller items involved in the process. 

Trying to come up with pricing is a very very tricky process because the cost of supplies and utilities is constantly going up and down. And as expecting wages goes up that doesn’t make it any easier.

What is the most important thing to a dry cleaners? Making their customers happy and return customers. 

Admittedly dry cleaners cannot please every customer every time. They try to do the best they can but they are human like the rest of us.

Too much research???

Is there such a thing as too much research? From my point of view YES would be the answer. At some point you need to make a decision. 

Let’s say your researching a car. You research all the companies. Then you research all of the makes you like. Then about the time you are close to making a decision…another line of cars come out. And the cycle keeps happening because you just can’t make a final decision . That is a lot of money and a huge decision you don’t want to make the wrong one…so you research and research and even when your car breaks down (again). And you keep pouring money into the old heap because you are worried about making the wrong decision. If you keep this up you will end up with a completely broken down car and then you make a more rash decision because you just need transportation. 

Ok another sample…

Say your looking to buy a house. Another big ticket item. You look and look. You find the one that is perfect… But you start overthinking it. What if you lose your job? What if you family grows too big too fast? What if your mother in law comes to stay? About the time you decide to go ahead someone else buys the house. And you have to start all over again.

Or say your looking into a new computer software for your company. It is business specific so there are like 5 top softwares. And you research each of them. You like one but the mostly cost is quite high. So you go on the road to see the software in action and ask other companies what software they like and why. You make a decision that you really like that software. Now your 18 months into looking into which software you want to switch to. You have gone back and forth for 12 of those 18 months. Now your back up to 2 softwares you might get. New updates show up…now what? You check out the top 5 to see which ones have upgraded their software and check their new prices to see if they are more competitive since more softwares are now offering what brought you to the final 2 decision you had made. And your back to square one.

You need to do a thorough research:

Check out the company… Is it solid? How long have they been in business? What other companies use their product? What do their consumers say about them and their product? Are the people reccomending them getting any sort of a kick back for reccomending them?

Check out their product… What features do you like about their product? What makes their product better than their competitors? Do they have the features you need for you or your business? Is there a lot of extra bells and whistles that you do not need? Do they have price drops for removing what you don’t need and leaving just the options you do need?

Check out their customer service department… Can you get through when you call? What is the wait times? Do they speak your language fluently or is there a communication barrier? What are their ratings with their customers? What is their response times? Do they charge extra? 

Politics….should not be a bad reference.

The political season is upon us and I for one am tired of being a pawn in their smear campaigns. I don’t even know what they stand for unless I go online and research it. Because all they do is bad mouth each other on the commercials. I DVR and rush through the commercials because I do not want to hear it. They waist millions of not more on tv!!! (No one wants to see that) You would think they would have gotten that by now. But sadly for all of us they have not.

Our country was built on honesty. The people we put into office should be trusted. But it has become so corrupt. We need to get rid of all of them. Start over and make a few more rules for those in office.

1) Term limit for all politicians. No more than 2 terms for any person in office. Too much time in office appears to make for complacent and lazy. And the longer in office seem to be more easily bought off and are less concerned for the people they represent.

2) No more lobbyist. That is very very corrupt. Politicians make so much side money that what we pay them means nothing. They are not voting the way we would want them to because they pay more. 

3) Bring to the people what you want to vote on in session. Advertise the issues and let us decide and then vote our way and if you don’t you get ousted immediately. Remember you are there to represent your people not yourself. We should actually think about popular vote on all items and reduce the amount of politicians on the payroll.

4) No more earmarks on any bill. The bill is only about one subject and nothing gets put in there about any other subject. That shit is rediculous!! Tricky and wrong on so many levels. I cannot believe you have gotten away with this shit for so long!!!

5) NO MORE NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNS! We are so sick and tired of hearing the bad things about your opponent. How about only clean campaign. Win it on what you stand for. Not what bad thing your opponent might have done 10 years a ago. I do not care. What do you stand for. Where do you stand on important issues. 

6)  When you leave office … You leave office. We do not continue to pay you for the rest of your life. Go back to work and become a part of the regular civilian population again. It is expected of our military that see ungodly things in order to protect all of us so why not the politicians as well. 

7) Your pay is to be based on your productivity while in office. How many votes did you attend? You only get paid for those you attend. How many days were you in your office working? You only get paid for those days you actually work. Maybe more work for the people will happen if this was in place now. The people would be amazed at how many politicians actually showed up for every vote on bills that takes place. 

8) No more divisions… In other words …no more democrats or republicans or independents. How about “you were hired by the people and you stand for the people that you represent of the United States. Not the divided states.”

We should be a united country with different opinions. Which we are all entitled to. And the most popular opinion wins on each item up for vote. 

These rules should apply to all offices from town to city to state to country. From mayors to representatives to senators to president. Every aspect of running this country. 

This would be my wish for this country to move forward for the people not the big companies that run it now. 

Oh and to run this country you should be born in this country and have served this country in some fashion. And serving in the military should trump all else with an honorable discharge of course.

Thank you to all who have served and are serving currently. You are all awesome and I for one appreciate what you have done and are doing to protect myself as well as everyone else in this country!!!! You are the heroes!!!!

What is my PURPOSE?

Well I have been trying to figure that out over the past few months. I have listened to several people’s podcasts. Chalene Johnson, Mariah Coz, Dr. McKayla…and more. Passion, purpose, hobby, job, career.  I am still confused. I cannot figure this out…I am not an unintelligent person but this just has me baffled. Let me try to explain.

I manage a dry cleaners. I love what I do. I work too many hours so sometimes I feel burnt out but somehow I get re-energized. Most of my employees are awesome but there are a few that challenge me. And there are some positions that seem to have a revolving door and there is always a new person in the mix. I want to spend less time at work and more time at home and with my grand children. But I feel more needed at work. Now my work kids are always asking my advise about well a lot of things. I am like their mother. They come to me about their personal lives and what to do in all kinds of situations. I always tell them what I truly think no sugar coating it. And they get mad at me sometimes but respect the fact that I am most of the time right on the money. They think I am great. (Their words). Now with my own children I speak my mind with my youngest, mostly speak my mind to the eldest…but my middle child I walk on eggshells. That situation is shall we say not a stable one. 

People come to me for advice on 

Boyfriends, girlfriends, stains on their clothes, where to buy this or that, self esteem issues, anxiety issues, love, hate, parents, children, exes, how thei item was or was not cleaned or pressed correctly or how they requested. How to press this or that, can you print me this or that, how do I log into this or that, how do I operate my phone, where can I find a replacement????

Now I am not saying I have a degree in any of these areas… But people ask me about these things and more. And I answer to the best of my ability and knowledge or I Reccomended them to find another person and how to go about doing that. 

But there is no one or even two things in that for me to focus on to even begin to figure out my purpose or passion. Heck I out together a greenhouse a few weeks ago and loved doing it. Just a few days ago I put in a cement floor in it. Really loved doing that too! I enjoy computer stuff as well. I am so all over the place it is crazy. 

And yes I am a people pleaser. I love making everyone happy and smiling. It really drains me when I let someone down. Even if it really wasn’t me but I didn’t double check that one thing and it didn’t get done right…bugs the heck out of me!!! I know I cannot make everyone happy. I have come to terms with that. “Sorry I really tried everything I could but that spot just isn’t coming out” I don’t like saying it so if I do say it you know I tried everything but literally cutting the stain out to remove it. I am far from perfect and so is everyone on my staff most of us try real hard but mistakes happen. And I try to not make excuses just solutions if there are any to be made. If you are still unhappy then you can be on your merry little way and I hope you can find someone that can make you happy. 

But is all of this there is more. I love being outdoors. I love photography and playing around with the photos I have taken and making something new and wonderful out of them. I really swear there will never be enough hours in a day for me to do everything I truly enjoy doing. But the fact remains I enjoy my career. I enjoy most of the people I am around there. My favorite part is 1) seeing the smiles on my customers faces and 2) after hours when the magic happens that creates those smiles. I do personally work on the specialty items and antique items. I have two people now in training helping we with those items. An employee for a couple of years now and recently (sort of but some over the years) my daughter and now employee. Training my art can only be done in a dry cleaners and that limits me. I do not want my competition to have my knowledge. Other towns and cities I don’t mind but I am a working manager. So I work Monday through Friday 6:30 am until at least closing. Although recently I have been trying to take off early at least one day a week. But that happens almost every other week. The weekends are for my husband. 

So still figuring out what my purpose is and my passion and the difference between them. 48 and still going strong!

Timeouts

You would think I was talking about child rearing but I am not. I am talking about workaholics like myself. I work 12 to 14 hour days. Monday through Friday and the weekend is for my husband and family. I am in demand all day…if not by an employee it is a customer on the phone or in the lobby, or even a sales call on the phone. Anything from equipment not working right to the boss has a question about something in the office. I am pulled every which way for most of my day. Even when I try to sneak in a quick bathroom break…I no sooner get in there I have someone outside the door hollering my name to ask me a question or tell me I have a phone call. 

We need timeouts…silent moments where there is no calls or interuptions. Just some time for ourselves. That is hard to do. I have a hard time shutting down and being unavailable. UNAVAILABE…no one like to be unavailable. But for our health and sanity we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. 

Nothing is going to go so drastically wrong in an hour that we cannot fix when we get back. There is always a learning opportunity…at least that is what I tell my team. So if they mess up while I am gone I just call it a “learning opportunity”. What to do the next time I am unavailable. 

I know this was short but I need a little me time. I will be taking a timeout.