On the day of my appointment I explained, upfront, that I was treatment conservative, that I wanted to have an active role in my health, and that I wanted to know about any complementary or alternative treatments available as well. After my wishes were made known, the first words out of her mouth were, â€œYou are not planning on having any more children are you? So why not get rid of the uterus and be done with it?â€ I felt completely unheard and more than a little aghast.
I again said that I would not have unnecessary treatment, and I did not feel a hysterectomy was needed. The specialist, obviously unhappy with me as her arms crossed and her eyes blazed, listed off reasons to have the hysterectomy: no more periods, no more fibroids, no more fear of pregnancy! What I was hearing, however, was, â€œI want you to do this so I can keep my production up.â€ After further verbal skirmishing, we compromised on a D & C. (Dilation and Curettage.)
In the short period of time following my procedure I was aware enough to notice the specialist did not stop by the recovery room to talk with me. Instead, a kindly nurse recited post-op instructions and sent me home. About a week later, I received a form letter from the specialist saying the D & C showed no signs of cancer. The letter went on to say I was to start taking the enclosed prescription and to schedule a follow up appointment in 3 months.
The coldness of the message aside, it bothered me that no reason had been given as to why I would be taking the prescription, or even what it was. A slow burn worked its way through my emotions. This was my body and my life, neither an object to treat cavalierly!
I researched the medication I was to take (Premarin) in my husbandâ€™s Physicianâ€™s Desk Reference. What I read, including a litany of horrible side-effects, caused me to crumple my prescription and toss it in the wastebasket. All I could think about was how irresponsible the specialist was being on many levels. Was it that threatening that I told her about my integrative health belief system, or that I wanted to be involved in the decision making? It sure felt like it. But as I let go of my frustration with the specialist, the question remained, “What now?”