Several months passed til the date of my surgery arrived. We scheduled it for Christmas vacation - December 26th - the year I turned seventeen. It was my last year of high school, but I'd be able to have several days for recovery and miss a minimal amount of school - and thus minimize the questions I might get from teachers or classmates or friends.
I don't know how my Mom delivered the news to my teachers that I'd be out a few weeks, or what she said to them. I just know that she picked up my homework for two weeks for me, and especially since I was a straight-A student, there was no fuss at all. I didn't look forward to Christmas at all that year, because while we unwrapped gifts around the tree, the knowledge of what would come the next day haunted me.
Thanks to anesthesia, I remember nothing about the surgery of course, little about pre- and post-op. My Dad was there, which I appreciated. Despite my relationship with him always being tough, I knew that he cared and wanted to be there with me. At the same time I was embarassed with this being a female problem.
I have fleeting memories of the few days just after surgery. I remember lots of pain. From turning or moving or trying to sit or walking to the bathroom. I remember the huge and horrible incision and the ugly stitches. I felt like I'd been butchered, and couldn't stand to look at myself. I hated the gynecologist, hated the surgeons, hated everyone in the hospital. Especially the nurse who forgot to administer estrogen, so that sometime after surgery I plummeted into almost instant menopause (with no forewarning from the doctors). I felt unimaginably hot and unbelievably sad, and just started bawling. I know that I had plenty to cry about rationally, but even then I could tell that this was like no other need to cry that I'd had before. Mom ran for the nurse and fortunately they slapped an estrogen patch on me shortly after, stabilizing my body and my mind and my mood.
Another "consolation" - they stressed that the scar would be minimal, and hidden by the bikini line. This was the least of my worries.
The days following surgery sucked. I couldn't go to school so I lie at home on the couch. I looked forward to homework because it gave me something to occupy my mind. I couldn't wait to get back. I thought about ways to quiet any rumors that might have started or explain my absence. I didn't even tell my close friends the truth. I don't remember now, but I think I must have just been evasive and answered their questions in a vague way.
When I returned, I had to wear sweatpants for a week in order to protect the incision area. Not very cool. Teachers and friends were glad to see me back. When they asked if I were ok and how I was feeling I acted as if nothing at all had happened. But it was hard to keep from crying.