Karla’s Abdominal Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at surgery: 43
Location: New York
I had my hysterectomy because I was having heavy bleeding. I didn’t have normal periods anymore and was literally bleeding out. I developed anemia due to the heavy period, it was affecting my heart, and I was always fatigued and had shortness of breath. In 2010 I was diagnosed with fibroids the size of golf balls; I had two. The doctor said he would monitor them and that I could try birth control in the meantime but I have polycystic breasts and I thought birth control would give me more issues. My mother had almost the same diagnosis so I was kind of prepared. The heavy bleeding started in 2012 and it got worse in 2014. A friend gave me her gynecologist information so I could have a second opinion because she thought that something was not right, and because my last period wouldn’t stop ( July 2015). I made the decision to visit the new gynecologist. Thank God I did because she sent me immediately to the ER for a blood transfusion because my blood count was so low. The doctor prescribed Norethindrone to stop my period.
In the end my new gynecologist referred to an oncologist because the MRI showed a bigger uterus than the one in the ultrasound and I had many fibroids. The biggest one was 8 cm. She wanted a specialist to do the hysterectomy because she wanted to be sure I didn’t have uterine cancer, so that was my only option. We asked a different oncologist and said the same thing. My experience at the hospital was great, starting with the staff at the preparation room to the staff at the hospital. I had general anesthesia and I stayed two days in the hospital because I had abdominal pain due to gas.
I didn’t have issues recovering. I took it very very slow and tried to keep my sleep routine as normal as possible. Thankfully fall weather was very mild so I could go for slow walks. I kept the binder from the hospital and it helped me tremendously, especially while sleeping and walking outdoors. I tried to keep a healthy diet and stayed away from foods that would give me gas. I was ready to go back to regular activities after my 6th week follow up. I worried about my sex life and still do, so I’m taking it slow.
My health improved after the surgery; I don’t have palpitations anymore and the best part is that I don’t have anemia. I went back to regular exercise. In a perfect world I wish I hadn’t had to deal with fibroids and heavy bleeding but that wasn’t meant to be. Today I feel pleased with the outcome and happy to not have other complications.
My advice to every women is to ask many questions, to research every possibility, and all the pro and cons…if you should keep your cervix, your ovaries or not ( i kept mine). Hopefully you have all the support from your family, husband or significant other, friends etc. because we all need it. Understand that every recovery is different, listen to your body and everything will fall into place.