Kelly’s Hysterectomy Story

Type of Hysterectomy: Davinci/vaginal, total

Age at surgery: 50

Location: Maine
I started bleeding in June 2015 and it just never really stopped. Not always heavy. Some days just spotting all day. I was put on progesterone which helped for 10 days.

I developed left sided pain which kept worsening until I finally went to the ER. I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts, given pain meds and sent home.

Two weeks went by and I was still requiring the pain meds, tylenol, ice and heat. I finally got to see a specialist on Monday August 31st. She felt my some of my pain was adenomyosis. She offered an IUD which would take 3 months before bleeding may stop or a hysterectomy. I opted for the IUD. However the very next day I developed excruciating pain, I couldn’t sit, walk or even breath it felt like my side was being stabbed. Something was very wrong.

I went to the GYN specialist and within an hour I was an inpatient receiving IV narcotics and having another abdominal ct scan and ultrasound. Final diagnosis ovarian cysts. Ovary may have been torsioned briefly. MY WBC’s were up I was put on antibiotics and I decided I needed to go ahead with a hysterectomy as I could not work with the cysts and the bleeding/pain.

I had general anesthesia. I knew I was having a robot assisted vaginal hysterectomy. I am a nurse and I did not even ask questions. I was just ready and trusted my surgeon completely. Of course I was also still on IV pain medication.  I went home the day after my surgery.

For some reason I thought I should not need pain medication on post-op day #2. Needless to say my pain got ahead of me. Post op day #3 I reached out to my nurse friends who told me to take the pain meds- good idea.

On post op day #2 I also worried I had done the wrong thing. I began worrying that I would never be the same and I even worried my vagina was going to prolapse. I worried my husband would leave because sex would never be the same…

I had to convince myself it would all be ok and take a break from reading the unfortunate stories. I searched the web for positive success stories and found many.

Most important is to remember that recovery is a process. You heal from the inside out and that means resting, no pushing pulling, lifting. Walking is good. I started walking daily about a mile after I rested for a week. Of course I did walk around the house several times daily to keep blood flowing and prevent blood clots.

I returned to work at 4 weeks. I was told I could do all the lifting I wanted by the office PA. But the RN told me no lifting til 6 weeks just to let vagina heel really well.

I was cleared for sex at my 6 week check up. Yikes I had to tell my husband I was good to go.

I do feel so much better now – obviously no bleeding and no pain.I am on estrogen since I was not yet in menopause. I am hoping to stay on it for at least 5 years. Maybe longer if I can. Depends on all the latest studies that come out! I am not glad I had a hysterectomy. I didn’t get time to ponder the idea or make plans. I am glad the hysterectomy went well with no complications.

The advice I would give is consider all of your options. Know that recovery is different for every woman and there is nothing wrong with a slow and steady recovery. Take the pain pills. Nap. Walk.

Don’t believe that every bad thing you read will happen to you.
You will still be female even after a hysterectomy. Sex will be the same…exactly the same.

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