Rachel’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 45
Location: Chicago IL, United States
I started experiencing severe pain in my lower left abdomen/pelvic area back three years ago in Jan of 2017. The pain would come on 5 to 6 days prior to when I was to ovulate. The pain was excruciating. To describe it, it was a sharp, throbbing, pulsating pain that would start in the lower left area and radiate to my groin, down my upper front thigh, to my hip, and to my lower back. I could barely walk and would limp. During this pain Nothing helped. Sitting, standing, laying down, it did not matter, I was in agony.
I consulted with many specialists trying to figure out the cause ( hip specialist, spinal specialist, GI doctor, general surgeon, my gynecologist, etc..) not getting any answers. I went to see a womans physio specialist and asked her to order me an MRI. She did and the scan showed focal Adenomyosis, a fibroid and possible signs of Endo in the Culdesac. I then consulted with an Endometriosis specialist. Well after seeing him, I was not quite ready to go under the knife as I have other health issues that I was afraid to make worse. I tried different natural treatments ( herbs, acupressure, massage, etc) to no avail.
I ended up having surgery Nov 21st 2019. I had laparoscopic hysterectomy with Endometriosis excision with an Endometriosis specialist. He said he found fourth stage Endometriosis. It was all over my left side, uteral sacral ligaments, in the culdesac, on both ovaries( more so on the left) and on my bladder. I also had adhesions. He excised all the Endo and scar tissue and removed everything except for my right ovary. This was done under general anesthesia. The surgery took over three hours. I went home the same night.
Recovery was Not easy. I also have Mast cell activation syndrome and a history of Interstitial cystitis. My Mast cell made it impossible for me to take pain meds( I literally only took a couple tylenol twice a day for the first two days and then had to stop that as I was reacting to it). I had to rely on Ice and heat. It was Not an easy time at all. I also reacted to the antiseptic they use all over your abdomen prior to surgery. I had an itchy rash covering my entire abdomen and upper thighs from the antiseptic. It lasted for three weeks!
My IC also flared which was a challenge. I was having chronic hard stools prior to surgery and that didn’t get any better after surgery. I have been taking magnesium oxide capsules every other day to help keep things softer since my surgery. I was released to resume normal activities at 7 weeks post op. I am not there yet though. I’m still struggling with pain in and around my one incision site( belly button). I also get sore and tire pretty easily still.
Well, the lower left excruciating pain in my abdomen/pelvic area has not came back so far, so I am glad for that. I am struggling with pain in and near my belly button incision site. Not sure what is going on, but I am seeing the doctor this coming Monday to check it out. My bladder is up and down and seems much more sensitive since the surgery. Am I glad I had the surgery? In some ways yes, and other ways no. I mean I didn’t like the idea of surgery, but my pain was getting unbearable so I had no choice really. I think it’s still too soon for me to fully say whether I’m 100% happy I did it. Maybe after a few more months I will know where I stand.
The only advice I can give is to make sure you really think it through before making such an important decision such as surgery. Look at all options on the table before making your decision. I personally waited and struggled for almost three years before relenting and having surgery. I ruled out every possible thing first that I thought might have been causing me the severe pain before resorting to surgery. You have to be your own advocate and do all the foot work when it comes to your health. Never just rely on what a doctor says. Always do your research and homework before undergoing any surgery. Make sure you have the right surgeon too.