My mom was a happy woman. She was overweight her all life but she always had a smile on her face and this is why she was loved by the people. She was working as a nurse and knew many people and was always meeting new ones wherever she went. She was helpful in every aspect of her life. Many friends still speak of the times she was there for them.
I suppose that she found hope in the doctor’s words and his surgery advice. Ten years ago, information was not so easy to find and she probably didn’t look much into the possible side effects of hysterectomy. She decided to go through with the procedure. The surgery went well. It was total. She had all of her reproductive organs removed and she thought she was safe. Safe from additional cysts, safe of uterine fibroids, safe of ovarian, cervical and uterus cancer but she didn’t know what was waiting around the corner.
The recovery period was short and we thought that the surgery went well. A few weeks following the surgery, she even danced at the cousin’s wedding. People could not believe she had taken it so well. She’s been taking hormone supplements for a year but they didn’t seem to have helped much and the hormones went ballistics.
Soon after, her mood started to change and she would go earlier to bed and became quiet. She started minding any kind of noise and wanted TV down. She stopped reading and calling her friends. She had additional stress at work and suddenly her condition was heading the downward path with a speed of bullet. Before we knew she was hospitalized. She was given antidepressants and sent home after a few weeks. This is when she first tried to commit a suicide. She decided to jump from the top of the building. Luckily, some neighbors saw her and called 911. She was hospitalized again and given some new meds, she also had behavioral therapy but that didn’t help either. Things were still going down the road. Each time she would be sent home, she would try another suicide. Next time it was the pills.
When we tried talking to her, her only words were: “You don’t understand, it’s stronger than me”. Every time she spoke, she would say: “I wish I didn’t wake up in the morning.” She was going to bed at 6pm and waking up at 5 am.
I would hardly sleep at night because every time she would go to a kitchen or toilet, I would wake up and listen to what she was doing. It was hard to watch her sad face every day. We were unable to help her and the doctor said it wasn’t up to us at all. He said it was her fight.
Since nothing seemed helpful, another doctor suggested shock therapy. She was constantly refusing to undergo this treatment but we didn’t know what else to do and we accepted. I still regret this decision. Shock therapy didn’t make her condition any better but it did erase a big part of her memory. She forgot all the birthdays, food recipes and many other things/events from her past while some other parts of the memory stayed intact.
This kind of condition went on for a few years. She used to spend some time in the hospital and some time at home. At one point she stopped eating and literally melted her pound off. In some time, it seemed that some meds helped her and made her condition stable. But what does stable mean for severe depression? She only stopped talking about suicide and death but is still very inactive, antisocial, doesn’t leave the house, can’t concentrate on anything, can’t read.
In time, we have managed to persuade her to make us lunch and wash the laundry. She used to clean the house but not anymore. She sits in front of the TV, supposedly watching TV serious, drinks her coffee, smokes a few cigarettes. She has these rituals. Everything is planned in her day and she hates if something suddenly comes up.
The drugs made her blunt. She hardly has any emotions left. She cares only for me and my father and no one else but she won’t even do things for us if they interfere with her daily routines.
Sometimes she cries. She says she is sorry that this had happened to her and that she wished things were as before.
I remember how she loved to go places and meet people. I remember how she would make my every wish come true. She and my father had so many friends and they always had people over. She would always make dinners and sweets to welcome the guests. She was sweet to my friends too.
I meet some of her girlfriends in the streets nowadays. Most of them are retired and are enjoying their free days. I see them go shopping, having fun in the city or spending time out with their grandchildren.
And my mom is sitting all alone in her dark home.
Last year ( after months of watching my mum roll around in pain and agonise over what was wrong with her) aprrox 6 months down the line my mum had a mass on her ovary. It was the size of a melon. Mum still describes it as though it were a full term baby hanging on the side of her.
At first the doctors did not seem too concerned. Eventually after tests , mum was taken into hospital for a laperoscomy, which in turn lead to an 8 hr nightmare for her and my family. After her surgery was over, mum was much better....Although now she is due for more surgery due to some complications. I find this worrying.
Ever since her hysterectomy my mum walks around with her wrists bandaged due to arthritc pains. She cant seem to hold anything for very long. Also she seems abit high one minute....and then as though shes not there as though she cant hear. When she is happy she is extremly happy, but when she is in the pitts i worry, She is a very sensitive woman and i dont want her to fall into the pitts of desperation. i am worried as to what this next hurdle will be like for her?
I also wonder why everything , every setback she has such as her arthritis has worsened since her surgery. Is there an explanation ?
I would suggest, if you have not already, put her on natural vitamins like porogesterone cream, Female Hormone Blend SP 7C or something. Be with her and love her as you already are. God will take care of her.
I am so very sorry to read your story about what happened to your mom; that is truly a horrible loss for you, your mom, your dad and others who loved her. I think the world is a little grayer and sadder now with the loss of who she use to be from what you wrote. I do not know how old you are but you sound like a very mature, insightful, loving daughter and I want to help you any way I can. I also assume from what you wrote that your mother never had any problems previously with depression/mood until after her hysterectomy?
Hormones and the human body are an extremely complicated area of medicine and are very difficult to treat properly in my opinion. I am a nurse but very far from an expert. I too had a total hysterectomy at 40 yrs of age, I am now 45, experienced a negative change in my sex drive, find intercourse painful and uncomfortable, though I have yet to try everything out there as of yet so there is still hope. I also have battled depression my whole life as well.
Here are my thoughts I would like to share with you. In my opinion your mother needs to be seen by a well respected, very knowledgeable Endocrinologist who has experience in the area of hysterectomys’ and extreme hormonal/mood changes. I believe there has to be a doctor out there somewhere in the US or World for that matter who understand, treats, or does research in this area and thankfully with the internet it should be somewhat easier to find him than it use to be. Your mother cannot be the only woman that this has ever happened to in the history of hysterectomies! J I believe your mother is depressed, suicidal, with profound personality changes due to the severe changes in hormones that the hysterectomy caused in your mother’s body. Hormones are often cascade reactions; in other words, they build upon one another. Each hormone has to be there in the right amount, at the right time, in the right order to cause the next hormone to be catalyzed. Amazing huh?? So it is no wonder that sometimes things can go very wrong when we mess with this delicate system. Also, we always talk about “normal lab values” in medicine. Those normal values vary from lab to lab and from person to person. We are not all the same though we are kind of taught to think that way. For example, my normal body temperature is 97.1 degrees instead of the “normal” of 98.6 degrees which is a 1.5. degree difference. So when I get a fever……you see what I mean? Hormone replacement for women after hysterectomies is not just about estrogen; there is testosterone, progesterone…then you start to move onto other hormones that affect the body profoundly like thyroid hormones (has she had her T4, T3, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels checked?).
It could very well also matter to your mother’s body what kind of hormone she is given as well…natural, synthetic? You need a doctor who is willing to do a very in depth analysis of your mother’s hormone levels in ALL areas to finally find out what has changed so drastically to have caused this for her so that you can get on the road to fixing the problem and not just throwing antidepressant band aids at it. The depression came after the hysterectomy. You are going to need to ask a doctor point blank if he is willing to take on such a challenge and not give up until he finds the answer. You may need to go through a few doctors until you find the right one but better that than wasting more precious time that your mom might not have.
I hope I have been helpful and that even though your post is a year old that there is still time to help you and your mom. I subscribed to your topic so hopefully that means that I will be notified of any postings to it you may make. Lindsey