Hannah’s daVinci Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: TLH Davinci
Age at surgery: 45
Location: Greeley, CO
I decided to have a hysterectomy after years of very heavy periods that had gotten significantly worse in the two years preceding my surgery. I was diagnosed with menorrhagia due to fibroids and had a d&c and laparoscopy to get a closer look at what was going on inside. I took birth control for short periods of time as I didn’t like being on them with minimal results. The worst bleeding went on for two years, but I struggled with heavy periods from the first period to the last. I did not get a second opinion for a couple of reasons. When I started talking to physicians about the heavy bleeding, I had the feeling of having to “sell” my problem. I finally got my family doctor to listen when I told him that my grandmother had a hysterectomy at age 39 due to fibroids. I went to a gynecological surgeon who made me feel like I was just being a baby. After the d&c I didn’t want to see her again, and so I waited about another 10 years before seeing another doctor. I struggled with the almost immediate decision to move forward with a hysterectomy. I had braced myself for another long struggle with doctors to hear my story. It was also close to the end of the year and I had met my insurance deductible. A second opinion would have meant another year of waiting, and I had had enough!
My hospital experience was excellent. I was so frightened after hearing so many horror stories about the Davinci machine. Every nurse was patient and reassuring, and the anesthesiologist was very attentive to my concerns of nausea and allergic reactions to drugs. My surgery was outpatient which was my only disappointment. I think I rest better when my family is not around! I was only in the hospital about 12 hours start to finish.
The most difficult issue around my recovery was not feeling like my husband was willing to give me the time that I needed. I have a young child and needed to take care of him during his Christmas break. My husband struggled with me not having the energy to play with my son, wash the dishes, make dinner, and all the household things I usually do. Physically the recovery was easy, but I was very fatigued. If I had more family help I think it would have been easier. I returned to normal activities gradually. I was released by my doctor after four weeks, but I had begun some activities before then. I drove 5 days post-op as I was not on any pain medication. I did not do any lifting for 6 weeks after the surgery.
My health is about the same, but I feel better. I have never enjoyed excercise, but I actually feel ready to move. I am excited for swimming weather! I am so glad I had a hyserectomy! I still tease my friends by reminding them that I have no uterus and can go without underwear if I choose!
I think all women should know that they deserve to feel good. The final decision came so quickly that I told my doctor I didn’t feel like I deserved this surgery. I was not given a fatal diagnosis, so I felt again like I was complaining about something that was silly. He reminded me that I had other options, but that I should reframe my thoughts. It was so helpful when he told me that I was the only one who had my period. No one could decide what it was like to live with my issues but me. I had small fibroids compared to other women who had this surgery, but I was the only one who knew what my bleeding was like for me. I still felt selfish, but I decided that I was deserving of comfort. I finally realized that my bleeding was abnormal…for anyone, and I was worth it! I think every woman should know their options. I think they should also make the decision based on their feelings rather than what other people think is right.