Erica’s Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: Lap Assist Vaginal Hysterectomy
Age at Hysterectomy: 35
Location: Breese, IL
I had a hysterectomy because I had severe cramping-like pain on a daily basis. In 2008 I was diagnosed with endometriosis after having an exploratory laparotomy. I wasn’t quite ready to possibly ruin my chances of having more kids by trying Lupron injections or having a hysterectomy at that time because I only had one child and wanted more. So I just dealt with the pain until I luckily got pregnant with my youngest daughter. The pain subsided for about 3 years where I only had a ‘bad day’ with pain maybe once a month. When my youngest was about 4 the pain started coming more and more frequently so I mentioned this to my OBGYN at a yearly checkup so she orders an ultrasound which shows cysts on both of my ovaries with one of them being the size of an orange. My OBGYN then suggests doing another exploratory lap, which I agree to, to see why I’m having so much pain. So Nov. 4, 2014 I have the procedure done where she finds endometriosis is all over my abdomen. With my post-op visit she suggests either Lupron injections or a hysterectomy. With advice from friends and co-workers that have gone through similar circumstances I decided to go ahead with the hysterectomy. I didn’t feel the need for a second opinion, I just wanted the excruciating pain to go away and I was willing to do anything make that happen and never come back!
My surgery was done under General anesthesia with an epidural block. It was intended for the epidural to stay in place over night where I would receive pain medication continuously through the epidural and be taken out in the morning. My epidural fell out the evening of the surgery, which was fine by me. I was able to tolerate quite a bit of pain after dealing with it so much the previous 6 months or so. I didn’t like feeling so drugged I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I alternated torodol iv and percocet which kept my pain tolerable. Because I got my epidural out early, my foley was also removed so I was making my way to the bathroom by that evening also. I was discharged by 10am the next morning, which by then I was walking in the halls and more than ready to go home.
The important issues as I recovered were to take it easy and let my body heal. With encouragement from my OBGYN I started going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 30 min to an hour every day the week and a half after my surgery. I was in so much pain by the end of that week I decided to take it easy for the next week. I really felt discouraged because I’ve always bounced back pretty quickly after my other laparoscopies so I assumed this one would be the same but boy was I wrong! I did end up pushing myself and getting myself to the gym to walk or use the elliptical 2-3 days a week for weeks 4-7 just because I thought it would give me more energy because I was tired of dragging myself out of bed to get my kids to school. I feel it helped some but looking back now at week 8 where my Dr. released me to go back to my Nursing job on a busy Outpatient floor on week 7 where I’m having to move beds and push patients in wheelchairs by the end of my 3rd day I was in so much pain I was in tears. I am very aggravated at my Dr. for releasing me and even though she released me at 6 weeks already and I had to beg for 1 more week because I knew I wasn’t ready, I wish she would’ve asked me!! I really wish I would’ve spoke up!! Now after being in so much pain after my first week back she ordered a CT of my abdomen to make sure everything looked ok and low and behold I have an umbilical hernia now!! As anyone would be I am extremely aggravated and now am scheduled to see a surgeon tomorrow.
Well from the previous question my health has been so so. Before I returned to work I was able to make it through 3-4 hours of activity before my stomach would get sore and since I’ve been back to work the pain starts with most any activity. Luckily I don’t have too many hot flashes but I seem to get headaches a lot which seems to go along with the abdominal soreness. With today being my 8th week and now developing the complication of a hernia. I am unsure as of right now if I made the right decision to have the hysterectomy!! The one thing I’m regretting the most right now is not listening to that voice in my head that said I wasn’t ready to go back to work!! But of course with the pressures of my co-workers, my boss, and my OBGYN it was hard to tell them no!
Advice I would give another woman considering a hysterectomy would be weigh out all your options. I know I would’ve done it all over again if I had to do it again but I just would’ve given myself more time to heal.