Whitney’s Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 48
Location: Sarasota FL USA
After gaining nearly 28 pounds, and my menstrual cycle stopped for nearly 9 months, I began to notice other reasons why I thought I might be pregnant (which I knew wasn’t the case). I went to the GYN for exam, and she “ran into something” which ultimately ended up being two fibroid so large they were mimicking a pseudo pregnancy. I then went through a colposcopy of the cervic, uterus and fibroids – the most painful experience ever. Results showed that I had thickening of the uterus and tubal metaplasia with pre-cancerous squamous cells.
Within 24 hours of results, I was scheduled a week later for a radical abdominal hysterectomy. Despite me never being sick, in the hospital or having surgery, I was petrified, but got through it. I woke up to a 7.5″ incision that was glued and tapes (instead of sutures ). I was up walking by the end of the day and was in a lot of pain by 11pm that night. Day two, I was up walking but taking significant pain meds; Day three, something did not seem right but I had trouble explaining it, so all they could do was increase pain meds which were making me nauseous. I was also beginning to show signs of “menopause” such as sweating, dry skin, etc. (but dr would not approve estrogen until i saw her in her office a week post d/c). Day 4, I was in a lot of discomfort, given a support brace, meds and discharged home. I was scheduled to see GYN a week post op.
The most important issues of my recovery was weening off the pain meds despite the incredible pain I was in (ill get to this issue in a minute). I also has someone assisting me with showers, cooking, cleaning, and simply getting in/out of bed he first week of recovery. Living in a second floor condo, I was unable to climb steps so I was walking in circles in my condo instead outside in beautiful Florida. On 10/30, I had my 1st follow up appointment, an exam identified bacterial vaginosis, the incision was healing nicely, but there were immediate concerns from the doctor. My increased pain and swelling sent me to the ER for a CT scan. What they found was a 6cm hematoma in the surgical area causing my extreme pain. I was again put on pain meds. The pain got worse instead of better and my second f/u with GYN is when I had my first nervous breakdown. A second exam still showed vaginosis, pain was barely decreased, support brace was pushing against the hematoma causing nausea, etc. I was then put on Premarin 0.625 which decreased many symptoms over the next week – thank goodness. I was put on a weekly follow-up appointment with the doctor and for two weeks I was doing ok; one good day for every two bad ones was my new normal. Thanksgiving week the pain increased, back to ER. My second CT scan showed the hematoma was not any better, and I was impacted. Within that same week, I noticed a 2″ area of my incision was getting inflamed and overnight it opened and was draining. Back to the doctor for a culture. Results were: MRSA in incision and in vagina (which was never bacterial vaginosis) and was put on 10 days of bactrim that was brutal. Incision is healed and today (12/23) my lower abdomen is extended and I have pain along the full length of incision. Next follow up is next week. I am hoping to be released from doctor and back to normal activity.
My overall health has been fine. I am unable to say if its improved because of all the setbacks and continued pain and discomfort. Am I glad I had the hysterectomy – NO NO NO!
I have been traumatized by this experience due to the fact that I’ve always had an extreme phobia to sharp objects which includes knives and needles. I was expecting a smooth and tolerable recovery but the setbacks have broken my spirit and overall sense of being.
If you are faced with a possible hysterectomy please know all of your options especially if you have not had children; or were planning on doing so. Ask a lot of questions, google words you don’t know, ask your doctor to speak in laments terms, etc.
Although I did due diligence prior to surgery, I will forever regret my decision to have a hysterectomy; regret not having children.