Shannon’s Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 34
Location: Des Plaines, IL, USA
At 17 I had my first abnormal pap smear. It went on to irregular periods which would be heavy bleeding and bad cramps or 2-4 months with no period at all. My pap would be normal over the years but the endometrial biopsies were not. They showed thickening of the lining. I tried birth control pills and my breasts kept growing which lead to breast reduction surgery. I did hormone replacement therapy due to symptoms that looked like early menopause. I was in my earlier 20s. I lost my hair and developed acne and gained lots of weight. A few years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and then endometriosis. By 2020 I was over 300lbs with bad skin and little hear, so when the doctor told me that I was basically a prepubescent woman, I was tired of fighting. I once had sledding that lasted 60 days. That episode lead to a tubal ligation because it was caused by birth control. The bleeding stopped immediately. Summer, 2020, after a failed last attempt with a third IUD(due to low progesterone), I was referred to the advanced medicine gynecologist. My gyne and the surgeon agreed that a hysterectomy would be the best option due to my 10+ years difficulties. I was heartbroken but I agreed. I was tired of feeling tired. I wanted my life back.
I went into the hospital on a Friday morning and went home the next night. I was out under general anesthesia and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. I quickly realized that they put me in the labor and delivery section. It brought me to tears because I wanted at least one more pregnancy. I heard babies crying and a jingle would play out loud everytime a baby was born. I heard it several times. It made me sad. The nurses were very attentive and sweet to me. They explained that I was there because they had all the supplies a woman in my position needs. Needless to say, my hospital stay was bittersweet.
As I recovered at home, comfort was the most important thing for me. I absolutely hate pain. My body has become so sensitive over the years that a little brush against the wall hurts. I took advice from my hystersisters and got extra pillows and ice packs. My greatest challenge was being on my butt all day and not driving all over the city getting into everything. Honestly, I got so frustrated after two weeks that I flew to Belize for a different scenery. The doctor said if I felt good enough I could go back to work after four weeks. I went back after six weeks and let me tell you, I WAS NOT READY! But it was too late. I ran out of sick days and needed to work. Two months later and I’m still sitting on a donut pillow and feeling cramps.
(Oh, the pathology report said that my uterus had precancerous cells and confirmed endometriosis.)
I’m so glad I had the hysterectomy! No more heavy bleeding concerns and my blood pressure went back to normal. I don’t feel tired anymore. I do still have pain. Whenever I empty my bladder or poop or fart, yes I said fart, it hurts. I didn’t feel ready for intercourse but I tried oral sex and I was afraid that I would be wet like before surgery or excited like before. When I had an orgasm, I felt a sharp pain in my pelvic area. My vagina was just fine though. I went to the surgeon and he thought that maybe I had an infection because I shouldn’t be in pain ten weeks after the procedure. He prescribed antibiotics which made me nauseous and have diarrhea. Six days after my seven day antibiotics treatment and everything still hurts like I mentioned before. I hope this goes away completely and very soon.
If you’ve struggled like me for many years, my best advice is to get the procedure. There is a greater chance of an improved life. There’s no need to suffer another year. Living in constant pain and discomfort is not natural. Read up on the matter and talk to your loved ones about what your plan is. A good support system is essential to your well-being as you go through this process.