Tonya’s Hysterectomy Story

Type of Hysterectomy: Da Vinci Robotic Surgery
Age at Hysterectomy: 39
Location: Tennessee

I started out with cervical cancer at the age of 16. Then at 24 it had returned. At this time, they went in and done one biopsy only leaving a portion of my cervix. Over the years, I started having severe bleeding, cramping, chronic pelvic pain. The chronic pelvic pain was unbearable. Every time I went in to get my yearly or just to have an examination for infection anything, I literally came up off the table when she examined me. The gynecologist I had previous from Georgia said I had cyst on my ovaries and the chronic pelvic pain was probably from having two cesarean & tubal and it was just scar tissue. She said the bleeding was just heavy from having kids, and me getting older. It was common. Well 3 years ago we moved to Tennessee and I found a doctor that I loved. She started running test, Ct Scan, biopsies, blood work, ultrasound and said I need to have Hydroscope done, DNC etc. So at the time we just couldn’t afford to pay for all of this, so she said well I need to do the biopsy in the office. The worst thing I had thought I had ever gone through. No pain meds, nothing, I felt it all.

Well, she looked at me and my husband and said I don’t think the DNC would have done any good.  She needs a hysterectomy very soon . After the biopsy came back and other test she ran, I was diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis, Enlarged uterus, chronic pelvic pain. Multiple cysts on both ovaries. She mentioned the Da Vinci to me. She said it would be better on me with all the abdominal surgery I had in the past. I did a lot of research on this and was scared to death. I had multiple conferences with her before I decided to do this. She was going to try and leave my ovaries because I have Atrial Fibrillation and I cannot take hormones. She was my second gynecologist that was dealing with my issues and she just seems to be more concerned.
My surgery was done on a Monday morning. I arrived at 6 am for prep and it took them to ten minutes till 8 before they got an IV in me. I had a lot of sticks on me. It was awful. Ten minutes before they rolled me down, my doctor came in and explained everything to me. My surgery took 3 hours. They were getting ready to roll me down, I ask them would they give me something to relax, he said yes. I told the anesthesiologist I did not want to see the Robot. He told me to close my eyes until we got in the room. I remember him telling me to scoot on to a very cold table and lift my legs, scoot my bottom down some, and he put oxygen on me. Put my head in something. That was the last thing I remember.

I woke up in recovery very sick. I remember I keep telling whoever was there or not there I had to throw up. I could barely open up my eyes, but I never seen a nurse or heard anyone talk to me. I just know I was very sick. The next thing I remember I was in a room and I heard my husband boots walking down the hallway, so I know he was coming with the kids. The nurse came in and asks me was I ok; I told her I was very nauseous so she gave me something. I was in and out of it, but I couldn’t see anything. My daughter said my eyes where very swollen and face was really red! I know I kept telling them to take the blood pressure cuff off my arm, my daughter came over lifted my sleeve up and said mom that’s not what it is. They left the rubber band still tied up on my arm from where they put the IV in during surgery. My husband went and got the nurse and she pulled it off. I had no feeling for a while in my arm.

Later that afternoon they removed my catheter and I told her I had to pee right then. She said well I drained all the urine but we will get you up to try. Well I went a lot, but that was the last time my bladder worked normal on its one for a while. I was in so much pain I was crying and telling her something was wrong and every time I would get up to go pee, it was just a trickle coming out. She said they would do a bladder scan. Well my bladder wasn’t emptying and she said she was going to call the doctor. So of course she did, and my doctor said out catheter back in.

I didn’t want that at all. At this time they were changing shifts and the night nurse came in. She said if you think you can do some laps, it might make your bladder start working because it’s very swollen from surgery. Well, I was determined to try anything. So my husband and I walked the hallways. I could pee just a little each time. This went on for several hours. Every time I would get back in bed, I would have to get up to pee again. They put a portable potty by my bed. I ran a low grade fever all night long of 99.9. I thing I slept an hour the whole entire night. By 6 am, I got up and starting walking again. I was so swollen and in so much pain, so I finally got more urine out.  They come in and told me I could go home. Praise the lord, I just wanted to rest. Well the released me and never brought a wheel chair. My husband finally found one and we left. My hospital stay was 23 hours.

The important issues were to take it easy and take care of my body. I still couldn’t pee and poop at this point. This went on for three straight weeks with not being able to probably urinate. I went in for a week checkup and she said it was all normal that the bladder will be swollen for a while. I thought my gosh what have I got myself into. My recovery has been very hard. I had a brown discharge for 6 weeks so I was on pads, couldn’t lift my legs to put clothes on by myself for 2 weeks. No appetite. I am on 8 weeks of recovery and can barely walk. At 6 weeks I went on for my check up and I was diagnosed with Vaginal Cuff Cellulitis Which is a type of staph. I was put on two different antibiotics. The next week ( week7 ) I went back in for another checkup. She said I think you will start feeling better. You can have sex tonight. So needless to say we tried, this was Wednesday. Friday I was in so much pain and I called the doctor. She put me on another round of antibiotics and tomorrow I will be having a CT scan done.

I still can barely walk, can’t bend over without being in pain, and every day I have this pain in my vagina and me and some of the sisters on here have described it as the shoved up tampon feeling. I am completely exhausted every day. It literally wipes my body out. I’m not strong and I don’t even feel like myself anymore.

As for now, this has been far worse than the chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis and heavy bleeding. If I had to redo this over, I WOULD NOT!!!!! My health has gone down since the surgery. It is awful to have this every day. Not be able to do anything on your own and wonder will you be like this the rest of your life. I’m scared to death every day that the cuff will rip open.
My advice to other woman is we all heal differently. Don’t expect to go in there and think you will recover quickly. I would recommend really doing a lot of research about the cuff, hysterectomy, and everything you can have done. It’s not easy. They never tell you, you may not be able to urinate right for weeks; pooping will be something your actually very excited to happen in your life, not being able to move around and most importantly the cuff!!!!! Read, research, make consolations with your doctor, ask a lot of questions, I was never told about the cuff till I came to this site and learned about it. Never thought I would be going into 8 weeks, not being able to make it through Wal-Mart, a simple outing wears your body completely out, taking so many medications, so many trips to the doctor, and just not being myself. Ladies, it’s not always as what it seems!

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