Wish I'd Done this YEARS Ago!
In 2001 I began experiencing heavy and prolonged bleeding and extreme cramping with my periods. Even with the heaviest feminine product, I still often soaked my clothing, my car seat, my desk chair. It took going to five or six different doctors until I found one that sent me for an ultra sound. I do not know why the other doctors didn't think of it.
The ultra sound showed three significant fibroids. I made the decision to have an embolization, but needed another visit to a GYN to satisfy my insurance.
Upon examination at the GYN, she discovered that a fibroid was growing from my uterus out of my cervix. She plucked it out right there, no surgical procedure, no anesthetic, just POP. Then the nurses proceeded to take it around in a jar and show all the office staff.
It was not a pleasant experience, but did take care of my severe issues for several years.
Progressively over the last three years (2009 - 2012), the prolonged heavy bleeding started up again. After trying to give blood in November of 2011 and coming up with low iron, I decided it was time to take care of the problem. I didn't have a primary care physician at the time, so picked one out of a hat. I adore her!
I asked her if I could try a low dose pill to regulate my periods, which she immediately prescribed, but she also sent me for another uterine ultra sound which found several large fibroids. The pill wasn't exactly working. My periods weren't as heavy, but they lasted all month. So I had a light period all month, and a heavy one for five days.
At that point, it was time to see a GYN. I used her recommended GYN office, and loved the doctors there as well. They were attentive, listened to my problems, and offered solutions. I asked about ablation, and a saline ultrasound was ordered to determine the exact location of my fibroids.
After a saline ultrasound, my GYN told me that because of the position of one specific fibroid, I was not a candidate of ablation. She also indicated that I had a uterus the size of a four month pregnant woman due to the size and number of fibroids. Upon the recommendation of a friend, I'd already researched the di Vinci Hysterectomy, so inquired as to that. My GYN told me I was a perfect candidate for that procedure, and set up an appointment with the doctor in the office who would perform the same.
I have to admit that I'd veered away from hysterectomies since 2001 because I'd read and heard all the horror stories. However, I didn't know I could keep my ovaries, and that this procedure could be done laprascopically.
After speaking with the surgeon, I was on board!
Having had a tubal ligation back in 1990, I had a pretty good clue of what was going to happen and how to be prepared. I explained to the anesthesiologist that I was extremely nauseated after that surgery and he ordered a "cocktail", as he put it, to stave off nausea.
The surgery did not go as easy as my surgeon expected. I had roughly 15 to 20 fibroids, plus polyps. One particular fibroid next to my cervix was wrapped in blood vessels so I experienced more bleeding than normal. Mid surgery she ordered a tray to perform an abdominal hysterectomy because she wasn't certain she could complete the surgery laprascopically. She also wasn't certain she could retain my cervix because of the position of that fibroid. Fortunately she was able to complete the surgery laprascopically, and kept my cervix.
Before my surgery, my friends kept telling me that I needed to take it easy afterward. My husband took off time to help me, and with my adult daughter still living at home, there were no issues in that arena. Dirty dishes in the sink? Oh well.
I was super tired the next two weeks, so took advantage of long naps. Because an extra incision was required because of the size of my uterus, I think I experienced additional pain, but pain meds worked fine to keep the pain at bay. I was back to work in two weeks, and now four weeks later am doing great.
I did however experience some recent problems with vertigo. I believe this might have been due to either excessive ibuprofen use, or the fact that the skin on my legs has been numb since surgery. The GYN explained that the numbness would eventually go away.
As the title of this states, I do wish I'd done this five years ago. I think about all the times I've stained my clothing and whatever I was sitting on during a flooding moment, all the times I didn't want to have sex with my husband because I was afraid a big clot might pass, my loss of iron because of excessive bleeding. This was completely and totally worth it.