From the Staff Bios Articles List
Molly50 - Rona
LovetheOcean - Kim
Kim M - Hostess
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
My name is Chris, and I live in Wisconsin (near the Milwaukee area). I am a college professor and teach freshman composition at a two-year college. I spend most of my non-work time reading, knitting, and avoiding housework. I have a husband and three kids. We have a dog and a cat, both of which shed profusely enough that I’ve wondered if there’s a way to convert their fur into something I can knit with. I write a lot, which results in a blog, lots of HysterSister postings, and the lengthy introduction you’re about to read.
I had heavy, crampy periods my whole life. In 2004, the cramping began to get worse. Soon, I began experiencing severe pain even when it wasn’t my period—after sex, after a pelvic exam, after an overly full bladder, after intestinal troubles, etc. Several times, I nearly passed out while driving, pushing a shopping cart, and teaching. At one point, we were thinking I might have adenomyosis, and since the only treatment for that seemed to be hysterectomy, I visited HysterSisters. I admit that I was turned off. It was too purple (and purple is my favorite color) and too happy. Obviously, I was only looking on the surface. My doctor at the time stressed how valuable a uterus was beyond childbearing, so when the MRI showed just a small fibroid and an endometrial polyp, I was happy to not have to think about hysterectomy any more. The ultrasound and MRI had triggered extreme pain, but it was good to know that I could keep all my parts. Early in 2007, I had a hysteroscopic resection of the fibroid and polyp and had an endometrial ablation.
The next year was lovely. I had absolutely no bleeding and was pain-free. In addition to the complete lack of bleeding, my ovaries had settled down to the point that I experienced absolutely no PMS symptoms. I was saddened by how I was no longer connected with the rhythms of my own body, which had become part of how I perceived my life and my world. I also had to come to terms with having no more children. Although I didn’t want more, I had needed the possibility in front of me. This was a very difficult process for me. I wish I had been told that this might be something I would need to deal with. Still, I was overjoyed that I didn’t have to deal with tampons and pads anymore. The joy was short-lived. In November of 2007, I very happily went in for my annual exam, gloating about how I loved my ablation. A week later, I was informed that I had an abnormal pap for the first time in my life, with possible high-grade squamous cell changes. So I began to think again about hysterectomy and dying. A colposcopy showed two lesions, and the biopsies showed one on the cervix was a benign HPV marker. The one on the vaginal wall right next to the cervix was diagnosed as low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia. My doctor consulted with a gynecologic oncologist and determined that the best thing at this point was follow-up paps at 6 months.
Two months later, my pain returned. Although I had no cyclical pain, all the other triggers were still there. My doctor wrote an order for an ultrasound. Before I had a chance to schedule it, I got a call that she was retiring and I needed to find a new doctor. I saw the new doctor, had a completely normal follow-up pap (yay!), and got a new order written for an ultrasound. However, the pain was even worse this time around than it was before and I put off the ultrasound because I knew how much it would hurt. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had the ultrasound, and had a whole week of pain as a result. But it found another fibroid. I had two clear choices—become a serial fibroid sufferer for the next ten or so years until menopause or have the artery embolization. I was so afraid that my doctor would try to force me into a hysterectomy, so before my consultation with her, I spend several weeks reading books and medical journal articles about fibroids, pelvic pain, and—just to be fair—hysterectomy. That was when I came back to HysterSisters. This time, I was looking for the horror stories so I could better explain to my doctor why a hysterectomy was wrong. Imagine my surprise when I worked through all the options on my own and determined that the hysterectomy was actually the best choice to give me a quality of life. I wrote about my decision on my blog.
Meanwhile, my attitude toward HysterSisters completely changed. Because I truly needed the information and support, I dug a little deeper, past the purple and the animated icons into the real experiences of women who, like me, struggled with their gynecological health in some way and faced a life-changing surgery. In September 2008, I became a member the same day I made the decision to have the hysterectomy. I had three months to prepare for the surgery, and the site was a sanity-saver. My surgery was scheduled the day after Christmas—December 26, 2008.
What came to amaze me about HysterSisters was how met my changing needs. It was there when I was still struggling with my decision. It was there when I was preparing for surgery. And if it hadn’t been there in my early pre-op days, I think my doctor would have blocked all calls from me because I had so many questions. The more time I spent there, the more I realized how well it worked for so many women. In fact, the first thing I did when I got home from the hospital was turn my computer on and post a message on the post-op board for the first time. I was so excited!
As I was getting support, I found that I got something out of supporting others, too. My heart felt pulled to some of the questions and concerns that were posted, and the next thing I knew, I was responding to my new sisters. This reawakened something in me. The reason I went into higher education is because my soul is fed by helping people. Responding to women on HysterSisters fed my soul in the same way. It’s a way of “paying it forward.”
As a new member, it was hard for me to find my way around the website. One of the things I like about the pre-op forum is that it gives women a place to be introduced to the other forums and resources while developing a sense of community. Most of us who come to the pre-op forums are anxious, and it’s wonderful to see women stepping in to hold a sister’s hand along the way.
Molly50 - Rona
LovetheOcean - Kim
Kim M - Hostess
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
The HysterSisters Store has gathered products made specifically for your recovery from surgery. Here are the best sellers we can recommend to help you:
- The Great Binder Set - We have made it very easy for you and combined the two best binders and the Silky Sac into a great set to save you money! Our favorite is the Perfect Pocket binder with cold/hot packs!
- Deluxe Hyst Prep Set - As you plan, we've gathered the best products into one set for special pricing.
- Post-Op Panty - These great panties speed recovery, and reduces scarring. They contain a medical-grade silicone panel over incision to reduce scar's apperance while they provide support to weakened muscles and tissues from surgery. Excellent!
- Softest Bra Ever - When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. This is the softest bra ever, in microfiber with no hardware or tags to chafe or dig! The comfort-ribbed underband stays in place gently, so it is perfect for sleeping and lounging.
- HysterSisters Accessory Kit - Are you a HysterSisters fan? This set has a fun collection of HysterSisters items.
- Very Private Moisture - Once your doctor gives you the green light for intimacy, this is the stuff! This is a best selling product with a high rate of permanent, satisfied, repeat customers! Relieves vaginal dryness instantly, protects tissue & enhances intimacy.
"Buy it for the problem, use it for the pleasure."
|Amie Napier, M.D.
Medical City Hospital 7777 Forest Lane Suite A331
Dallas TX 75230
|Mark Richey, M.D.
1200 Airport Heights
Anchorage AK 99508
|Mayra J. Thompson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd Dept OBGYN
Dallas TX 75290
|Kym Boyman, M.D.
1775 Williston Rd., Ste. 110
South Burlington VT 05403
|Jonathan Y Song, M.D.
2455 Dean St.
St. Charles IL 60175
|Wilfredo R. Ramos, M.D.
5301 F Street, Suite 210
Sacramento CA 95819
|Mini Somasundaram, M.D.
4845 Knightsbridge Boulevard
Columbus OH 43214
|Francisco Garcini, M.D.
1870 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox IL 60451
|Christopher Stroud, M.D.
11123 Parkivew Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne IN 46845