Jessica’s Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 45
Location: Marshall County, WV, USA
I had my hysterectomy after years and years of pain. I was young when I started getting my period. 10.5 years old. At first it was just icky, you know, as a young girl would think of it. By the time I was 14, I was having severe cramping at the beginning of each cycle. I never missed a day of school, but on day 1, I often had to go home early. The pain was so bad, it often had me vomiting.
In August 2020, my body temperature dropped to 95 degrees and I started getting light-headed and sick. Cramps were already building, but I had not “started” yet. My low temperature and other symptoms had me actually going to the ER. When I got there, they gave me pain killers and decided to take me in for a vaginal ultrasound. The ultra sound indicated ovarian cysts and fibroids. Lots of fibroids. The ER doc suggested I may need a hysterectomy, and was going to admit me, but for some reason, changed her mind.
After going to so many different gynecologists in the last 30 years, and being told time and again, there was nothing wrong, no reason for such bad cramps. I was not bleeding heavily (soaking through a pad an hour) so there was nothing that could be done. I did not realize that passing clots monthly was considered heavy bleeding. Everyone just asked about the pad an hour. I went to see yet another doctor. I was there for about an hour, talking to my new Dr., the one who eventually did perform the hysterectomy. He explained about adenomyosis. He said with all my other symptoms, he was certain that was the main culprit, though as he said, the cysts and fibroids were certainly not helping. He took a biopsy and sent me on my way, with promises to call and follow up. After about a month, my biopsy came back negative. Thankfully. But as lovely Covid was spiking again, I had to wait for any sort of follow up. I was persistent. Kept calling and asking. Finally, in December, I was asked if I still wanted the hyster. I said yes. Because of the size/location of my fibroids, it was decided to do an abdominal surgery. It has been a rough recovery. Though as they say, nearly every day gets a little better.
I was in the hospital for about 30 hours. The Dr. came to see me about a half dozen times, and most of the nurses were fantastic.
I did have some mis-steps. Lifting things that I should not have, and a nasty bladder infection. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so my recovery has been more on the slow side. I was released to resume normal activity at the 7 week mark. I have been easing myself back into it. I still have days when I get bad sharp pains, feel exhausted and just plain blah, but for the most part things are better.
My overall health is basically unchanged. Just no more cramps and pain for 5-10 days a month. My bladder is not happy with me, but I am not quite at the 3 month mark yet, so time will tell. It’s been almost 11 weeks. I feel better most of the time, just crazy tired. Occasional twinges, etc. and about 1 day of weird cramp like issues a month, though not at the point they were at previously. It is a journey to be sure, and though there is some sadness, there is also a sort of calming resolution. I have been through a lot and now there is one less thing to worry about.
Research everything before your procedure. Ask lots of questions. You will likely not be the first to ask the Dr., nor the last. If you have any hesitation, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advise or help. Some do not have the luxury of time to think, but it is a big decision. Be 100% on board with it, if you have the option. Just know the “sisterhood” will be here and they have your back!