Tag Archives: Surgical Menopause

Coming Back Strong: Wellness after Surgical Menopause



This post is from Lori Ann King, best-selling author of Come Back Strong: Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause.

I went into surgery, hoping and trusting for the best-case scenario: the simple removal of an ovary, cyst, and fallopian tube. I was excited to erase the pain that was burdening me. I didn’t expect anything else to happen.

I awoke to learn that the worst-case scenario had happened: I had received a full hysterectomy as well as a double oophorectomy. Uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes—everything had been removed due to the severity of endometriosis that had been found.

I expected to be pain free when I woke. It didn’t work that way. I was in severe pain. I was tired. I was afraid. I couldn’t pee or poop. My body felt and looked swollen and bloated. This was uncharted territory, and I had no idea how to fix it.

I suddenly experienced all the symptoms that many women report in natural menopause including weight gain, slow metabolism, low energy, fatigue, insomnia, lack of focus, and a roller coaster of emotions that leave us feeling overwhelmed, highly stressed, and out of balance.

In addition, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness affected my health, relationships, and even my passion and sense of purpose. The more symptoms I had, the more hopeless and powerless I felt.

The worst part was that these symptoms hit me all at once. And, in spite of following a strict diet and exercise plan, I gained 26 pounds in 26 months.

In the weeks while I was at home recovering, I found myself explaining and clarifying and justifying to family and friends. Conversations would go something like this:

Friend: “What’s new? I haven’t seen you in a while.”

Me: “I had a hysterectomy.”

Friend: “Oh. Wow. What else is new?”

Me: “No. I had a full hysterectomy.”

Friend: “Okay. And?”

Me: “I had a full hysterectomy. They took everything. Nothing’s left of my womanly parts except my va-jay-jay.”

Friend: “Oh. Okay. So that’s simple these days, right? An in-and-out procedure? Laparoscopic? Barely a scar? When will you be back to work? Wait, why are you crying?”

This experience had turned my world upside down, and it would feel as if my friend was saying “So what? What’s the big deal?”

The big deal was that I was struggling physically and emotionally, and I didn’t know how to help myself feel better again.

As my doctor worked with me to find the right dosage of bioidentical hormones, I learned that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not an exact science. In fact, it seemed a bit like a guessing game as we attempted to balance my hormones and emotions and help me feel good again. The hardest part, perhaps, was that it simply took time to get it right.

I discovered that wellness is more than a state of health where you are free of illness. It is a state of well-being that is the result of deliberate effort.

In the months that followed, I found solutions for my symptoms through complementary medicine and lifestyle changes. I worked on improving my thought life and my emotions turned toward the positive. Overall, through the journey of surgical menopause, I found hope in my ability to come back strong.

For more information or to purchase Come Back Strong, visit www.LoriAnnKing.com.

Amazon: Here’s the link to Come Back Strong on Amazon.

Giveaway: Lori is offering a copy of Come Back Strong to one Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by April 1. Thanks!

Lori Ann King is a best-selling author, speaker, blogger, certified sports nutritionist, and wellness coach with over eight years of experience in health and wellness.
Lori is also a cyclist and body builder, and was a runner for over twenty-five years, competing in races ranging in length from two to 26.2 miles.  She has an undergraduate degree in Recreation from Western State College of Colorado and an advanced certificate in Information Management from Syracuse University. She currently resides in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband, Jim.


Slammed into Menopause


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A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

Women in my family tend to go through menopause later than usual. My mother was 56 years old and claimed ,“It only took one day!” My cousin is 54 and my sister 57, and  neither of them have any symptom of ‘the change.’

Last year I was diagnosed with a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe and an ovarian cyst the size of an orange.

I was looking somewhat pregnant and feeling a bit, um, large. The gynecologist was none too happy with me when I, at age 51, said,“Let’s give the things a little time. Maybe menopause will naturally shrink them.“ (This is possible –estrogen causes them to grow and lack thereof causes shrinkage).  51 is the average age of menopause.

Needless to say, I found myself having a total abdominal hysterectomy 3 months later, as I was still producing plenty of estrogen and the things were getting bigger instead of smaller. I emerged from the surgery thinner and happy my ovary had not exploded .

Things were not too bad at first. I was (and still am) reluctant to take hormone replacement therapy.

However, one night I awoke to find more fluid coming out of my body than I had ever experienced. Primarily, my neck for some bizarre reason.

It was as if some gigantic pores had opened below my hairline; the pillow was soaked, and I had to get a towel and sleep with it.

Then I decided to start counting the hot flashes; it was exceeding 10 a day, most of them requiring a wipe down.  Living in South Florida and the time of year being Summer did not help matters. I called the gynecologist and asked for some help.

“Is your sleep disturbed?” they asked.

Only by waterfalls of mysterious fluid leaking out of my neck..followed by frozen clamminess.

I am not sure if disturbed is even the proper word. Defiled is more like it.

So, I got the horse dose of HRT in a transdermal patch. The patch does help but I am still not out of the woods and menopause has definitely lasted more than one day.

Amelia Grant is a very experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.


She lives on the Treasure Coast with her husband, two retired racing greyhounds and a fluffy  white cat. Landscape design and consulting are her primary occupation with writing, gardening, and cooking as sidelines.

Amelia’s  blog,The Shrub Queen, may be found at theshrubqueen.wordpress.com.