Stevie’s Hysterectomy Story

Type of Hysterectomy: Abdominal
Age at Hysterectomy: 50

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy earlier this year. I do still have my left ovary and tube. I had suffered from HORRIBLE periods for many, many years. I had terrible, doubled over cramps. Ibuprofen 800’s didn’t even touch it most days. I wore pads and tampons at the same time, but it really didn’t help doing both because I would ALWAYS bleed through. I had many embarrassing moments of bleeding through at work  – I started scheduling vacation days on the days I was on my period so I could sit like a slug at home near the bathroom. I would set my alarm clock for every two hours while I “slept” because I would always have accidents in bed. Luckily, or so I thought, we are on a mail order Rx plan, so I would get my birth control pills 3 months at a time and usually ahead of time, so I would have extra pill packs. If I had something to do or somewhere to go or some holiday weekend, I would take my pills straight through so I wouldn’t have a period that weekend. It seemed to work for me only that it got to the point where I just could not mentally handle my period anymore and would take my pills straight through for 3 or 4 months at a time. In 2006, my doctors ARNP placed me on a seasonal type of birth control – it didn’t work, I had a period for 6 weeks straight and then ended up having a d & c. Last year, we tried the same thing, with the same results. Period forever. I didn’t have another d & c as returning to my current high powered birth control pills seemed to get me back on track. My periods were still horrible of course and after taking my pills straight through again for another 3 months, I finally decided that I needed to see my DOCTOR. Wow! He was quite shocked at what I had been doing and the first thing out of his mouth was that I needed to have a sonogram to see what was going on exactly before he could recommend anything. The very next week I was at my sonogram with the tech just clicking away. My results were that I had several fibroid tumors, the largest being the size of a walnut. He told me that it was no wonder that my periods were terrible and to keep taking my birth control pills straight through until my scheduled surgery. He further let me know that if I stopped, I could start bleeding profusely and not stop then would have to have an emergency hysterectomy. So surgery scheduled!! Yay!! I did not get a second opinion – I trust my doctor and was so ready to get this done! I had originally wanted to discuss “options” such as new pills, oblation surgery, etc, but my only option was to have a hysterectomy.

My hospital experience was wonderful – the nurses were so kind and caring – I felt like I was at a spa actually. Of course I was in pain, nothing I couldn’t tolerate with the great meds that were distributed. I definitely kept my eye on the clock for those. I had morphine and Hydrocodone, one then the other. I had general anesthesia. My surgery was on a Tuesday and I was out Friday afternoon.

My recovery was fairly easy. My husband took off work for a week to help take care of me. We had to buy a recliner because I couldn’t lay down in bed or on the couch – that was $750 we weren’t counting on – lol! At that time my only worry was keeping my pain under control. I was released to go back to work after 3 full weeks (I have a desk job) and then 2 weeks of half days. I do the payroll at work, so the very next week after my surgery I came in after hours to get it done. That was exhausting! Then 2 weeks later it had to go in again. If I had to do it all over again I would DEFINITELY take the 6 to 8 weeks that was suggested to me initially because I could have used it! It has been 6 months now since my surgery and I still feel as though I’m still trying to get caught up on my sleep and energy level.

I am definitely glad that I had this done although I feel my health otherwise has declined. I have no energy or stamina. My joints, especially my hips, just ache constantly, especially after sitting a while at work. For some bizarre reason, my left leg really hurts, like I have a pinched nerve or something as from my hip to my knee, which is now numb on the side, down to the side of my foot is uncomfortable. I feel agitated and annoyed most of the time. I am sooooo tired! I really thought this was the miracle that was going to change my life by not having those terrible periods anymore. I have another follow up appointment in a couple of weeks, so am hoping to be able to visit with my doctor to see if something else is going on??
And, this may seem strange, but I just feel kind of weird knowing that I do not have my reproductive organs anymore, like I’m not quite a woman anymore – dumb huh??? I tend to be an overthinker…………

At this point in my recovery I don’t know if I would be able to give any sane advice in general only that please see your DOCTOR, discuss your options and don’t play with your medications like I did. And, please, if you can make sure you take PLENTY of time off to recover – I wish I had!!

Good luck everyone!!

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