Cheri’s daVinci Hysterectomy
daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 44
Location: Lansing, Mi
I had a hysterectomy because it was time to have one. The “official” reason was because they found pre-cancerous growth on a biopsy I had because my periods had become seriously scary and almost miscarriage like. I’d been having problems with my “lady parts” since the birth of my second child- a long period without well, periods, and then this crazy “slaughterhouse crotch” kind of bleeding.
My gynecologist, bless her heart, sent me to one of the best oncologists in the area. He told me that he’d remove it all, because of the pre-cancerous growths, and the high likelihood of something being wrong with the ovaries. I didn’t seek a second or third opinion, although I should have. I don’t regret the decision, but I feel that one should always explore second opinions. I didn’t because it meant an end to all of this craziness with my angry uterus. I only asked him for one thing- I wanted to see my uterus, so I asked him to take a picture of it for me. His response was amazing- he didn’t bat an eye, and said, “Sure!”
Side note: I always thought that uteri were these lovely slender delicate things- that’s what the anatomy pictures show. Nope- mine looked more like a fire plug with tiny stretch marks than anything else. And that makes sense- they’re tough, they have to be. I can’t really look at the picture for long, it still bothers me for some reason I can’t fathom, but every once in a while I’ll glance at it. It’s important, it was mine.
When I went into surgery I was terrified, and thank Hystersisters for helping me through that. Even then though, I was intrigued by the idea of the DaVinci Robotic process and still wonder about the odd angles they must have put me through to get the surgery done. I was put completely under, and woke up from the surgery without any vestige of my reproductive system, save for my vagina- which let’s face it is only technically a part of the reproductive system. My hospital experience was fantastic, I had wonderful nurses and assistants that took very good care of me and let me know what I needed to to do get out of there- specifically I had to walk. Thank god they didn’t expect me to poop- that didn’t happen until much later.
I stayed at the hospital for one or two days- at this point I can’t really remember much about that experience, except that they were super nice to me, and I needed some help getting out of bed the first time. Oh and walking, as much walking as I could handle. It hurt, but I wanted out of there.
I had a dream recovery- so much so I felt guilty when I read about my other sisters who were having serious problems and complications. The hardest part about recovery was not knowing what my limitations were. My husband and kids were amazing, and took very good care of me, and I feel very blessed to have them.
The greatest challenge for me was when I would run out of steam, that was it. It was on or off, there was no gradual decline. Like, I’d be walking in the store doing shopping, and then just like that, nope, my body wasn’t having any more of it. I got tired very easily in the beginning. Going to the store for the first time was a very big deal, and we were just running in for milk! My first poop was a cause for flowers- that part had me worried, I’ve never been so excited to go to the bathroom than I was that day.
Later on in my recovery as I was up and moving around more, I was preparing dinner one evening, spaghetti or something that required a stock pot with boiling water. I reached up to grab something above the stove and I ran into the hot edge of the pot- right along one of my recovering scars. It was longer but at the same angle and right over the scar. I was super worried that it would mess with the healing, and I was right. I now have an extra long scar about four inches long as opposed to the inch it originally was. My advice- be careful about that cooking thing.
I have mixed feelings about my hysterectomy. On one hand, my heath and mental well being have never been better. On the other, my sex drive and libido are effectively non-existent (no overall hormone therapy here, I do use a cream to keep things um, plump and moist down there). Sex is more orchestrated than it is spontaneous these days (and I’ve become an expert on lube), but I certainly don’t miss my periods and the worry. I wonder about the long term effects of a lack of estrogen, but it’s not nearly as much worry as when my angry uterus was still calling the shots.
Number one in my advice: seek out women who have been through it. If that’s through this site or another, the important thing is to talk to those who have gone before. The sooner the better. Ask the questions you’re embarrassed to ask- those are the ones that need answering the most. Ask what they didn’t expect- because you probably won’t expect it either. Weigh your options before you commit- know that there are many out there. Be kind to yourself and don’t skip the pain meds- they make recovery so much easier and quicker.
The most important thing to know is this: Life goes on, you will make it through this, the scary part is the anticipation and dread, not the procedure itself. It’s okay to be scared and worried- your uterus has been with you a long time. You are at this point because something isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, and even so, it’s a tough decision. I didn’t realize how much I liked my organs until I had to actively decide to get rid of one of them. I’m okay with the decision, but sure I still worry sometimes. And that’s okay too.