Tricia’s Robotic Hysterctomy
daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 38
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
Have read many of the stories listed here and to be honest I’m quite jealous. My story, leading up to my hysterectomy, and so far 12 weeks into my recovery, has not been easy.
When I was 21 years old, right after my first miscarriage, I was told I had endometriosis. That next year my husband joined the military. We moved 16 times over the next 16 years. It doesn’t give you a lot of time to get a good rapport with an OB/GYN. While living in Germany for 8 years, I met a great military OB who diagnosed me with ovarian cysts. One was the size of a grapefruit. Do to an extreme phobia of needles, we would just let them rupture. The pain was horrendous, but my fear of needles was worse. After my last pregnancy in 2013 my OB suggested a hysterectomy, but said due to local laws, I had to wait until I was 36. I was only 34.
We moved twice more, and I had several more documented cysts and cyst ruptures. This summer I took a 2400 road mile trip and was expected to be gone 3 weeks. I got to my first destination and started having so much abdominal pain and I couldn’t leave my bed for more than 2 1/2 weeks. I knew it had to be another cyst. That road trip turned into an eight week trip, because it took that long before I could drive back.
I got home and asked my PCM what to do. She ordered an MRI but they wanted to do it with contrast, that includes a needle. I was petrified and ended up calling a friend who happens to be an OB. She encouraged me to switch my insurance over, get the MRI without contrast and see her the next day. I did, and when I went to see her she had already looked at my MRI, and my medical records, and suggested an immediate hysterectomy. We didn’t have much time, because the military wanted us to move in six weeks, 1500 miles away.
That was a Friday and she called on Monday to schedule the surgery that coming Friday, exactly one week after our first visit.
I guess you could consider her a second opinion, just two years later. I really didn’t have time to ask anyone else that’s the last four OB’s I had spoken to you just gave me pain meds and told me to deal with it.
Surgery lasted two hours, and I had General Anastasia. The hospital was wonderful working with my phobia, and I don’t remember waking up until I was in recovery room. I’m a redhead, and have a high pain tolerance which makes it hard to get my pain under control as well. Because of this, I ended up in the hospital for two nights.
My doctor said that I had adhesions growing all over my abdomen, which is extremely uncommon for someone who is never had abdominal surgery. I also had bleeding polyps inside and outside of my uterus. The endometrial tissue had created a lasso of tight around my uterus and was cutting off the major arteries. It was also starting to strangle my intestines. They also found Adenomyosis. She said it look like a bomb had gone off. The crazy thing is, the MRI from the week before said there was absolutely nothing wrong. However, an ultrasound from one year prior had noted Adenomyosis as well as in endometriosis and cysts.
The doctor said there was a lot of work they had to do on me. I guess so, my blood pressure dropped extremely low after that, and stay low for the following four weeks. The nurses didn’t want to give me more pain medication because my blood pressure was so low, and we had to contact my doctor so that she would come in and make sure that I got pain relief. It took a long time to get my pain under control.
Once I got home, I was able to rest for about a week and a half, and then I had to pack up my house for a full DIY move. That included lifting well over the 15 pound them that I was given. I went back to my doctor for my check up and she told me that I was healing well and externally, but internally would be taking much longer.
At six weeks exactly I hopped in the car and road 1500 miles across the country, and then we proceeded to unload 18,000 pounds of our household goods.
It has now been almost 12 weeks since surgery, and I am still not able to drive, because just riding in the car often causes so much pain in my right side that it’s hard to function. Because we moved and there is a freeze on my insurance, I have not been able to have a follow up since six weeks. The last time I talk to my doctor she expected it to be 20 weeks or more before I would be released for regular activities, to include sex.
This has been one very long, hard, recovery. It has definitely not been typical.
I continued to suffer severe lower right abdominal And ave prescriptions for Dilaudid, hydrocodone, and Percocet. Unfortunately, none of them really help. I often will spend 3 to 4 days a week in bed with a heating pad, still. My husband is a paramedic and even he was surprised that the narcodics don’t seem to touch the pain.
I won’t say I am any better off post hysterectomy, because I’m spending just as much time in mobile and in pain as I was before. I guess the good part is I don’t have periods. I’m hoping that soon I can find out what else is going on with me and I can get the rest of this pain to go away.
My sister, two years older than me, had a hysterectomy and it changed her life. I’m hoping that I am the exception, and not the rule.
I guess my biggest piece of advice, is if you have the luxury, rest all that you can post surgery. I am fairly certain that most of my post op problems are due to not being able to rest thanks to the military not allowing us to postpone our move or to extend the time it took us to drive from point A to point B. My doctor feels the same way.