Elisa’s Vaginal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 46
Location: Austin, Texas
I am fortunate to be blessed with two children. I can also remember experiencing a variety of issues throughout my years while being on monthly cycles even when they were younger. Horrific cramps that doubled me over even if I were out shopping. Perhaps a pre-cursor to what was going on. My mother had endometriosis and also underwent the surgery 20 years prior. Amazing what you do not remember until it starts to affect you. I was a good patient but also a bad one. I knew I had irregular periods so there was a timeframe that I went almost 3 years without being seen simply because I figured it was “ my new normal”.
After realizing that even the clotting was getting bigger, I set up my appt Oct 2016. I also remember telling my doc that I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy and I was pretty set on it. After the first appt, I was seeing him on a pretty regular basis for ultrasounds/trans-vaginal ultrasounds then to discuss the findings which then included Menorrhagia. There were 3 large fibroids discovered and one in an unusual spot which engulfed the opening of my right fallopian tube. A myomectomy was scheduled in February 2016. Recovery was supposed to be the weekend but lasted a week of which included that ‘anesthesia fog’. I gradually began to notice an escalated level of pain when my cycle hit for the month of March. The Mirena IUD was my last viable option and I tried it in mid- April. The side effects began instantly and also started to trigger my migraines. It stayed in a little over two weeks before I requested to have the device removed at the beginning of May. I’d even tossed my hands in the air based on all the events I went through over the last several months. Surgery was talked about (an LAVH but because of an enlarged uterus it could be a TAH) and thus ultimately was scheduled.
This was when I found Hystersisters at the beginning of May. I read any and everything I could before surgery so I could be as prepared as I could possibly be. It also helped to calm the nerves as I realized I had a checklist of things to purchase, things to accomplish yet also achieve before the big ‘date’. By the time my pre-op appt happened, I was ready and set to get things moving.
The morning of: I arrived early that morning and got ready. The pre-op and anesthesia nurses gave me the hook-up (general anesthesia). It was time so I kissed my hubby. Before even being wheeled anywhere, the anesthesia assistant pushed something into my IV and I was out like a light.
The next place I awoke was in recovery with everyone checking on me. I vaguely remember being told about the morphine drip. I’d stayed there an hour or so before being wheeled up to a room where I stayed overnight and until I left at 4pm the next afternoon. At times the nurses were surprised that I didn’t press the morphine drip much at all. Anytime they asked about my pain level, I told them it was at a 2 to 3 the whole time as it simply felt like cramps. Discovering I had that high of a pain tolerance was a shocker.
I got home and rested. The doc gave me Percocet to which I only took three that night as I remember reading to ‘stay on top of any pain’. Though in a case like mine, what was pain if I didn’t feel much. The next day and the days that followed, I opted for ibuprofen. Within a couple days, I started to lose track of my last dose. The entire time I iced my tummy as 24/7 as I could even sleeping with the pack on my tummy. Recovery was mostly up with just a few downs. Every day is different just as each week was also.
I had my two week appointment with my doctor. No internal exam. I was cleared for driving at the time but knew I was not ready so I continued to let others assistance which is a BRILLIANT idea!
By week 3 (and having only light zingers), I attempted to go back to work part-time though I only lasted a day and a half out of that week. Each week I built up my energy as I could and made it a little further. I am lucky that my daughter works with me as she drove me until week 5 ½ then I grabbed the reins back and have surged since.
As my 6 week checkup hit along with that internal exam. WOW! I didn’t feel a thing when he inserted the speculum nor for the rest. He definitely saw that stitches were still present and could be for a while longer.
I am happy to be pain-free. I LOVE THAT!!! I am thankful to have found HysterSisters when I did (though I wish I’d found it years sooner) because I sat back and read/researched every forum and article that I could. It is a vast wealth of information to help through the various transitions that go on. During recovery as I rested, I read even more especially as I found out that Adenomyosis had a part to play in there too.
My only lasting crux presently is severe insomnia and trying to get the last bit of my energy back. I am working full time and driving. Since surgery, I have even started watching what I eat and drinking more water. I still might get a light zinger or two, but I am not anywhere near the pain levels I used to be in.
Ask questions before you have anything done.
You will know when it is right.