If you’re a fan of my blog, you know that I’ve had some female issues for awhile now. I started seeking treatment with Mirena but that went south in a big way. The next step was eating 800mg ibuprofen every day, then it was a progesterone prescription to stop my period entirely. The latter was a huge pain in the neck because it caused acne. I was breaking out like a teenager; it seems I’ve had more acne as an adult than I did as a kid. Ugh! Anyway, from there, I was referred to a women’s health specialist for the next step – a hysterectomy.
I visited a women’s health specialist who took my history, listened to my complaints, and offered a solution. Originally, I was interested in an endometrial ablation but the specialist informed me that I wasn’t a good candidate for that procedure. Why? I’m too young (the endometrial lining could grow back, putting me right back where I started from). Go figure. A hysterectomy was recommended and away we went.
The pre-op testing for a hysterectomy is no joke! For me anyway. Because my mom had breast cancer twice and one of my great aunts died of ovarian cancer, I had to be tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2. I’ve gone back and forth about this testing for years and decided that I didn’t want to know. Well, my doctor wasn’t having that. Before she would schedule the procedure, I had to be tested. According to the doctor, if I tested positive, my ovaries would come out, but, if I tested negative, there would be no need to remove them. This is in addition to the chest X-ray and blood work. My chest X-ray showed some questionable spots on my lungs….enter a pulmonologist. She sent me for an CT scan with contrast. Translation, no coffee.
I tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2! Now this doesn’t mean I’ll never get breast or ovarian cancer; it doesn’t even decrease my risk much if at all. It did mean that my ovaries didn’t have to be removed. The spots on my lungs were also ruled out after the CT scan and surgery was still on schedule. I checked in to the hospital at 6:30 am on Wednesday, November 23….the day before Thanksgiving.
There was some question as to whether or not my hysterectomy would be performed robotically or through an incision. This wasn’t determined until they “got in there” to see how bad the scar tissue is (I’ve had 2 c-sections and a tubal ligation). According to the doctor, it would take about 3 and half to 4 hours. Fortunately, the surgery was completed robotically but with an extra incision on my abdomen. I’ll take that any day over being cut open again. I was knocked by 7:30 am and in the OR by 7:45. My husband posted on Facebook just before 11 am that I was out of surgery and in recovery.
Apparently, I don’t handle anesthesia well because the nurse had to bring my husband back to calm me down. I was a bit “combative” and “abusive”. I felt terrible when I learned that and wanted to track down everyone and apologize. The anesthesia finally wore off around 3 pm and I was able to stay awake longer than 10-15 minutes. I was put on a morphine pump for pain but I only hit that magic button twice. I was up and out of bed by 4 pm walking around my room. My pain level was at a 2 after surgery; it was more discomfort than pain. I was back home by 11:30 am on Thanksgiving Day. I was sent home with 600mg ibuprofen and vicodin, explicit instructions of no sex, baths, or exercise for 8 weeks, and to not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk or driving for 2 weeks.
The End Result
It’s been 2 weeks since my hysterectomy and I’m pretty much back to myself. I did experience some hot and cold flashes and night sweats the first week, which drove me crazy. I was washing bed sheets every day; because I don’t have enough laundry to do. I’m now off of the lifting and driving restrictions and I couldn’t be happier about that. I’m back to walking fully erect without the use of a pillow when I need to cough or sneeze. Oh! Let me tell you – you do not want to sneeze after a hysterectomy. Holy hell…that was an experience! The pain was minimal and there was no bleeding. Glue was used instead of stitches and it’s starting to fall off. There was more discomfort using the bathroom than anything else. All of that is gone now and my belly is itching, which is a good thing. I have my post-op check up a week from today.
Now that I’m back to my version of normal, I feel fantastic and I’m anxious to get back to my every day activities. I feel lazy because I’m not able to be as active as I’d like to be. I’m trying to be patient but patience isn’t one of my virtues. Ha ha! I was ever so elated to throw away all the tampons, pads, and period underwear – never to look back.