{Between The Lines} Trice Hickman has Overcome Health Setbacks

Author Trice Hickman has overcome recent health setbacks after having a hysterectomy. She pens an open letter about her journey below:

My Surgery 

I recently underwent a total hysterectomy. It’s a difficult procedure–physically and emotionally–and I’ve had my moments dealing with both. I experienced complications during my surgery, which took twice as long as it was supposed to. But thanks to God, a great team of surgeons, and lots of prayers, I made it through. After 5 days in the hospital I was so ready to go home. A few weeks later, I yet again experienced complications, this time sending me to the ER (14 hrs. in the ER will make you sick if you aren’t already!) and again, God brought me through! I’m so grateful and thankful! I’ve been blessed with supportive family, friends, and people I don’t even know, who’ve all been speaking affirming words for my health and healing. I can’t tell you how many cards, balloons, fruit baskets, flowers, candies, home-cooked meals from neighbors, phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook posts, tweets, and hugs I’ve received. I’m appreciative and humbled by all the love.

My Journey

I’m 5 weeks post surgery and many days I’m still so tired I can barely concentrate. I think to myself, “Where did my energy go and when will I get it back?” I know I’ll eventually rebound, and that rest is my best medicine right now. I admit that I’m naturally wired (those who know me well will chuckle and nod in agreement) and always on the go. Slowing down and resting has been a challenge, yet, my body is forcing me to do it. I’m obeying.

It took me a long time to finally make the decision to have a hysterectomy. It came down to a matter of my health. There are days when I smile as I think about my future, one that will no longer include monthly pain, excessive bleeding, severe cramps, bloating, or the dreaded yearly pap smear. But I’ve also experienced days when I’m down, and I think about the loss I feel because I’ll never know what it’s like to carry a child inside me. At times, my emotions have swung back and forth like the wind.

There have been moments when I’ve felt less womanly because my “female parts” are now gone. My ability to give birth–gone. Some of the anatomical things that make me uniquely female–gone. Although my logical mind knew this was ridiculous thinking, these were some of the thoughts and emotions I’ve felt, which were raw, hurtful, and real. I had to embrace all my emotions and examine what it means to be who I am, and then stand in that truth. I’ve discovered that at this point in my life, I’m more of a woman than I’ve ever been!

I may have lost something, but what I’ve gained is such a blessing. I’ve gained confidence in who I am, what I want, and how I’m going to get it. I’ve come to realize that I’m responsible for my happiness and it’s up to me to claim it. I’m a good-natured, loving, caring, supportive, quirky, soft-spoken, slightly obsessive, fun, compassionate, creative, talented, smart, and determined woman. I so appreciate me!

I’m at an age where I’m not young anymore, but I’m not old either. I’m at the halfway mark and I’ve still got a lot of living to do. Great living, in fact! On days when I have energy I go for walks to keep in shape. I’m resting when I feel tired. I’m taking care of myself and it feels good. Will I have days when I feel down? Probably so. But one thing that’s been steady through everything is my faith, and the fact that I absolutely know better days are ahead for me.

I shared my personal journey with you in hopes that it might help at least one person. Some of you may be going through a life event of your own. You might be dealing with challenges surrounding your health, family, children, relationship, finances, or career. I’ve come to learn that everybody is going through something. Please know that whatever you’re dealing with you are not alone, and you won’t stay down if you decide to stand up! Discover who you are and what kind of life you want. Make the decision to live the best life you can for as long as you can. We don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next (as my sister says, “Life is so unpredictable”) so live in the moment that’s right in front of you and enjoy every second of every day!

In closing, I’d like to encourage anyone who is considering a hysterectomy, has had one, or knows someone who is dealing with this possibility, to visit Hystersisters (www.hystersisters.com). This is a wonderful community of supportive women who help each other pre and post hysterectomy. Please continue to keep me in your prayers, as I’ll be keeping you in mine! Be well, be happy, and keep the faith! Blessings, Trice

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