Melissa’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 36
Location: Edmonds, WA, USA
I have suffered from terribly painful periods since starting them at age 12. Birth control pills seemed to help some when I was younger and I had no trouble conceiving. But after my husband’s vasectomy, I came off the pill and the terrible periods turned into an even bigger nightmare. My entire family’s life was put on hold for four days to a week while I suffered. Getting back on the pill made things worse and caused me heart palpitations. Every synthetic hormone that I tried made my palpations flare up.
My doctor couldn’t find anything wrong on a scan and she didn’t believe it was endometriosis, but offered me a hysterectomy since all other treatments were bad for my heart. Seven years later and three different doctor’s opinions, I finally did it.
I was absolutely terrified for surgery and almost backed out. Even my doctor didn’t think I would actually go through with surgery. I ended up giving myself shingles four weeks before surgery because I was so scared.
The day of surgery, I was more terrified than I had ever been and was afraid I was making the wrong decision or that it was overkill. Maybe I was just being a wuss and should just put up with misery for likely another 15 years. I was a mess right up until the anesthesiologist gave me something to calm me down. I was under general anesthesia and barely remember being wheeled into the OR. When I woke up in recovery, I had no nausea and was so relieved!
I was lucky and had a shockingly easy recovery. No bowel or bladder issues at all. I was up walking within an three hours of waking up and felt no pain. I did have a swelly belly for about 48 hours. I went home the next morning and had to force myself to stay down because I felt so good. I did tire very easily and needed lots of naps. I took anti inflammatories for the first 48 hours even though I don’t think I needed them. I never needed narcotics.
I spotted for the first three weeks, but never needed more than a panty liner. At two weeks, my doctor released me to ease back into activity. I went to a theme park and on a speed boat at three weeks PO with no issues and a strenuous hike at four weeks PO. At four weeks, I was released me for all activity except sex.
My one complication was granulation tissue. I needed three treatments total. I felt no pain from either the tissue or the treatments. It was finally gone and I was cleared for sex at 7 weeks post op.
Since surgery, I feel amazing! I am so, so glad I decided to go through with it! Pathology discovered adenomyosis and endometriosis, so I know I made the right choice. I feel like I’m at the beginning of a great new phase of life. I can live without planning my entire family’s schedule around my pain. Sex is better than before and my ovaries are working great! I did gain about ten pounds and lost most of my fitness. I was very active and fit before surgery, so that was discouraging. But I am happy to say that the weight is coming off as I get back into my normal routine.
I would tell women to get several opinions and try everything possible before surgery so that they can be confident in their decision. I had lots of freezer meals ready, which lifted my husband’s burden. Accept help, even though that’s hard sometimes, and know how important it is to rest and stay down during recovery, even though you may feel practically back to normal.
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