Michelle’s Robotic Hysterectomy
HysterSisters has been a blessing to me during the past two months. I read what so many ladies had to say about their experience before I actually went in for mine. After surgery this was the first website I visited. During those first few days (weeks) at home I was on here several times a day talking with the women in my recovery group about our experiences. I want to share my story for those of you that are doing research for your upcoming hysterectomy.
I had been having long heavy periods for about a year. When it got to the point where I was almost bleeding nonstop for about 6 months we started talking about a hysterectomy. My doctor talked to me about alternative options, but I knew from the very beginning that I wanted a hysterectomy. At some point during the process of trying to figure out how to get my periods to stop there was a biopsy done. My doctor warned me that for women that have never been pregnant this can be a very painful procedure….he wasn’t kidding. OUCH! I also had a pelvic ultrasound as well as a vaginal ultrasound. After all the tests were run they couldn’t find anything that would cause me to be bleeding non stop.
I was passing clots larger than tampons every single time I used the restroom, which was often. At the worst of times I would soak through a tampon and a pad before I got back to my desk (2 minutes?), and at the very best I would soak through a tampon every 2 hours. Every single day for 6 months. A month before surgery my Hemoglobin (red blood cells) level was an 8 so I was put on iron supplements. The day of surgery it was a 7.2 so they had blood on standby in case I ended up needing it. I only lost 1 tsp of blood during the operation and I was still at a 7.2 when I was moved to my room. The doctor and I discussed it and I told him I would prefer to spend the night and he agreed that it was a good idea so he could keep an eye on my blood counts. The next morning it had dropped to 6.9, but since I was not showing any negative side effects and was feeling good he went ahead and sent me home with instructions to take 2 iron supplements every day. I have not had my blood count checked again, but was told it would take at least a month to get that number back up to a normal range.
Surgery went well. No complications at all. I weigh 350 pounds and have high blood pressure so I was a little concerned about the anesthesia, but they did not have any complications at all. I spent a couple hours in the recovery room because my body felt like staying asleep for a while. Some people are there for 15 minutes and some for hours – we are each different and all those times are ok. I felt the urge to pee as soon as I woke up and the nurse kept telling me I had a catheter in and I was fine, but I (being a pain in the butt patient) kept arguing with her that I had to go NOW! Once the anesthesia wore off a little more and I started to feel like myself again I apologized to her.
I spent a little over 24 hours in the hospital. The worst of my pain was the sore throat from having the tube down there during surgery. I had major surgery and the worst of my pain was a sore throat. Granted, I was on pain meds! I skipped lunch (surgery was at 7:30 and I was in my room around 12:00 but not ready for real food yet, just crackers and applesauce from the nurse) but did eat a good dinner that night. They decided to keep the catheter in me overnight so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting up to go to the bathroom and could just sleep. Around 4am I was up, the nurse had some free time, so we took the catheter out. I couldn’t pee right away, in fact it was a couple hours before I could go and even then it was just barely anything. It got easier each time after that. Once the catheter was out they took the IV out and I was free to roam around. I was feeling good!
I slept a lot those first few days! I had a little bit of red spotting the first day or two, but it went away quickly. On day 4 I was feeling pretty good and decided I could start contributing to the housework again, so I loaded the dishwasher. Bad idea! I paid for it that night! So much pain! Do yourself a favor and be a lazy bum as much as possible! Don’t rush your recovery!!!
Thankfully my husband and kids were amazing and really took care of everything while I was home recovering. My original plan was to return to work after 2 weeks, but the doc didn’t like that idea after he saw my red blood cell count in the hospital. He said 4 weeks…I made a follow up appointment with him at 2.5 weeks so I could hopefully return at 3 weeks. He was amazed at how well I had recovered in such a short amount of time. He said it looked like I was already at the 6 week mark and cleared me to do anything I wanted. (No restrictions on lifting, pushing, or pulling.)
Watch Netflix, read books, and take lots of naps. Yes, get up and walk around, increasing your walking time as you get to feeling better, but remember to take it easy. With DaVinci surgery the outside scars heal fast and look tiny (they are) so it’s easy to forget that we still had major surgery on the inside and that takes time to heal.
I just passed the 4 week mark and it’s just now starting to hit me that I’m never going to have a period again. I can buy light colored clothing. I can sit down on furniture and not fear that I’m going to leave a stain behind. My life has changed and it is exciting!