Terri’s Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 38
Location: Glencoe, MN

I have been married for 26 years and have three kids. I had a tubal after #3 in 1999. After that my periods which were always bad got much worse. They never mentioned seeing adhesions after the tubal at that time. Because I was in so much pain and my menstruation was gradually dragging out to 7 days sometimes, In 06 they did an endometrial ablation and fixed my incontinence issues with urethral sling, which seems to have worked ok. But in 08 the pelvic pain came back with a vengeance and I was taking pain killers for 6 weeks straight just to barely cope.

I went in and my previous OB had moved so I was stuck with the other OB who was from India. He did a vaginal ultrasound and palpated everything said everything seemed normal but I could schedule an exploratory surgery to figure out what was going on … in a month. (because he was going home to visit his family in India!) I said what am I supposed to do for a month? He said “take more pain pills” and wrote me a script for Lortab (I was already using Vicodin and I hate that stuff).

I went somewhere else, cried to their OB, and he had me in to surgery in a few days. He said afterward he was shocked that the other OB hadn’t seen or palpated whatever it was that was wrong. I had a cyst the size of a golf ball on my left ovary, and my right fallopian tube was swollen with blood and tissue, i had some fibroids in the uterus, etc. He took everything out except my cervix. It had been going to be a laparoscopic but he ended up opening me up.

It has been great getting off the pain killers which were robbing me of motivation to do anything at all. i was stuck in a pain cycle that involved the pelvic stuff, and rebound headaches that triggered a lot more migraines than I would normally get. My GP started listening to me when I complained and stopped blaming my pain on being depressed.

They’d found adhesions even up by my liver, I guess, and having all that removed has been such a relief. HOWEVER….different problems of course have come up.

Hospital was great, except 2 days post op terrible pain under my ribs (I suspect that was where the gas bubble lodged) and they used dilaudid with the self administer button instead of morphine or whatever they use to use. Dilaudid wasn’t touching the pain. Eventually I think it just went away but I was screaming for what seemed like hours.

Cried uncontrollably for a week, then I was fine (relatively speaking) I think I just couldn’t swim for about 6 or 8 weeks or have sex, similar to after having a baby.

My kids weren’t terribly understanding – I still had to argue with them about doing things that I shouldn’t be doing, having someone around to back me up would have been preferable. Husband did at times, but not consistently.

It was much better for a while but other problems with vaginal dryness and atrophy have arisen, plus i have degenerative disc problems in my neck. Always something…

I would have loved to keep my ovaries or at least one of them, even though they say it makes the adhesions grow back.

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