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When I feel this good, why make myself sick? When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

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  #1  
Unread 02-05-2005, 12:20 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

Ever hear of a pre-emptive hyst?

Despite having a regular 'ol fibroid factory churning away inside, cramming my entire uterus and pelvic region full of little round creations like the fibroid equivalent of an Ikea ball room, I don't have serious symptoms.

I'm not bleeding heavily. I have some pelvic and lower back pain at times plus some truly wicked cramps a couple of days of the month but I'll bet it isn't anywhere near the pain level of a hyst.

I sometimes think my bladder is compressed to the size of a tea bag and there's undue constipation, but that's a minor inconvenience compared to some of the problems faced by other L-I-W.

And oddly, my paltry symptoms make it harder to justify the surgery to myself since I'm not seriously afflicted.

I have to keep telling myself there are logical reasons for the surgery. Both gynocologists who examined me were concerned about damage to other organs. The mass is large now -- 20 week size --and could well continue to increase.

Logically, sooner is better. If the mass has to be removed to protect the other organs -- and reduce my intake of ibuprofin -- it is better to do it now, before the mass gets bigger, or has actually damaged my bladder/bowel, or has adhered to any other organs, or I'm anemic from heavy bleeding, or I'm five years older.

So while I know all the logical reasons for going ahead with the surgery now, emotionally it feels like I'm going from feeling healthy to making myself sick. And that feels like a really dumb thing for a supposedly smart woman to do.

Keep well,
IslandScribe
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  #2  
Unread 02-05-2005, 12:37 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

I understand your dilemma completely. I chose to wait for many years. Now that I am recovering from TAH, sometimes I wonder why I waited so long. Even with multiple and sometimes debilitating symptoms, I did not want to have this surgery. I always found a reason to wait.

Finally, the anemia was too great and my quality of life so poor, I couldn't fight it any longer. Now I am not far enough along in the recovery to say I won't have any complications or ill effects, but so far I have to say I feel much better than before.

Anyway, my take on it now is that you have to feel comfortable with your decision. Do you trust your doctor's opinion? Do you want a second opinion? It sounds like your "farm" has grown into quite an estate, but if you are not comfortable with this yet.. it can wait. There is always time to change your mind until the moment you are on the table asleep from the anesthesia. Once it's done, it's done.. no turning back.

If you're ready to put it behind you, then don't look back. I nearly chickened out right up to the day of my pre-op. After that, I was just fine. Now I am glad!
  #3  
Unread 02-05-2005, 02:39 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

Everyone's experience is different, and you must be comfortable with the decision for yourself, but I will echo the experience of JoJo. I also was not medically necessary and was not letting the thing interfere with my busy life (why do the doctors always base their advice on whether or not you are simply soldiering forward in spite of the pain, lower mobility, dinky bladder, etc.) I think it was actually the grimace of my gynecologist when she first took over the practice from my previous gyn and the opinion of my second opinion: "out with it!" which I thought was a bit callous but somehow continued to echo in my head throughout my decision process.

Now, four weeks out from surgery, I am still wondering why I did not do this earlier. I am still having some bladder discomfort which they are trying to find the reason for, but basically I would characterize the pain of the hyst as equivalent to a bad monthly cycle after the second day (and the first day I had a catheter and drugs so I don't even really remember the pain and I did not suffer). I am starting to do some gentle yoga stretching again and the new mobility in my lower half is a wonder! My bladder can hold 600+ mL now--I can even get out of bed in the morning and wait 15 minutes to pee! I am still on the cursed iron pills since the OP did a final slam on my hemoglobin--but at least now I know it is just this one last time and done forever.

I think you see a lot of the problems on the internet but not a lot of the good stories from women who are out living now and done suffering. But of course, any time you choose surgery, you have to be aware of the potential risks and make an informed decision which is right for you. At 40, and with my mother never entering menopause until her hyst in her late 50s, my personal factors definitely did not encourage my to wait. I did wait about six months due to my work schedule, and my symptoms did worsen during this time...which I am also glad for because it made me really feel like this was the right decision. Give yourself time and keep really close watch on yourself, and you will find the right decision for you. Good luck with it.
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  #4  
Unread 02-05-2005, 05:32 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

I am struggling with this also - how to measure the value of quality of life versus the risks. I think we women are so accustomed to taking care of others and nurturing others, that our own needs tend to become secondary. I think that causes us to downplay our own quality of life issues. It would be easier for me if the DR said you MUST have a hsyterectomy, rather than leaving it up to me to say when I've had enough.
  #5  
Unread 02-05-2005, 07:11 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

As always, the disclaimer that this is your body, your decision and you have to do what is right for you on all levels...that being said...

I absolutely agree with the other ladies who have posted - and I know what you mean, too. I guess for me it's been living with the pain I have had which has steadily increased over the last 15 years - I haven't realized the impact it's had on me - until I stop and look at what I've opted out of because of it. I always think - hey, I can get out of bed, go to work, etc... I must be ok! Not that even though I can do that, I have to come home and sleep for a couple hours to recover, or I've had to lay down on the floor of my office more than once because of the 'discomfort'....

It's a big decision to make, and there are lots of considerations, which makes HysterSisters a great place to 'talk' things out. Just like journalling, sometimes putting things into words helps make them more concrete ....

From your own words, here's your logical reasons:
- a regular 'ol fibroid factory churning away inside, cramming my entire uterus and pelvic region full
- some pelvic and lower back pain at times plus some truly wicked cramps a couple of days of the month
- bladder is compressed to the size of a tea bag and there's undue constipation
- Both gynocologists who examined me were concerned about damage to other organs.
- The mass is large now -- 20 week size --and could well continue to increase.
- sooner is better-- it is better to do it now, before the mass gets bigger, or has actually damaged my bladder/bowel, or has adhered to any other organs, or I'm anemic from heavy bleeding, or I'm five years older
- reduce my intake of ibuprofin

Yes, you will have some discomfort during recovery, but overall, think about the above - you won't have the pressure and pain in your pelvis and lower back, no wicked cramps each month, your other organs will have a chance to avoid damage and resume normal function (particularly bladder and bowel), and you obviously are taking enough Ibuprofin to make it something worth mentioning reducing!

You said you felt like you were going from feeling healthy to making yourself sick, but maybe, if your symptoms have been gradually increasing like mine, you're not even fully aware of how not well you really ARE feeling.

For me, I figure recovery might not be a walk in the park, but it can't be worse than where I am now, my doc is VERY supportive and positive that this is going to really help me. And honestly, as I lay in bed I was pondering how I really won't miss the pain shooting down my leg that just wouldn't quit!
  #6  
Unread 02-05-2005, 07:44 AM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

Hi Scribe

Take a look at my "face". Do I look like an eagle or do I look like a chicken?

I had to be both to get through this! It's true - it's two VERY bad choices from your current point of view. Yes, I know which one looks "less bad"...

For one thing, it's easier to get dragged into a hospital than to go willingly. I've tried both, and I still can't tell you which I "prefer". (but I think it's the first one) I didn't have any choice, but being the master of denial and equivocating, I can really sympathize if there's even an inch between you and the wall. I know I would be having exactly the same feelings as you are.

About 2 years ago, I became aware that my frying pan was on fire. Instead of putting out the fire while it was still in the kitchen, I almost waited for the whole house to burn down. (can you say denial?) I was almost complete toast before I gave in. This made for a very hard recovery. Even though putting the fire out while it's still in the pan might seem pre-emptive, it still might not be a bad idea.

I tend to agree with everything that Bookogre just said - especially the part about not realizing how bad you already feel, and how you have had to make accomodations and sacrifices already - to be able to 'live' with the problems. I've read that in several of your posts, too.

On the bladder the size of a teabag? I DO remember that! (thing of the past) One day, at about my two week mark, I began to notice that I could hold ALOT more. I decided to see just how much, so I took out a 16 oz. tumbler. (This was first thing in the morning, after sleeping uninterrupted all night.) I filled the tumbler, then paused while I emptied it, and filled it AGAIN, to the top. It's amazing what your bladder can hold without a big fibroid sitting on it!

I know you'll come to the right decision for you. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other, just sharing a few experiences. And you're right - this IS a big deal, and you need to be as comfortable as possible that it's the right choice for you. Failing that, you could possibly wait until it's not a choice.

hug,
joano
  #7  
Unread 02-05-2005, 12:33 PM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

Hi IslandScribe,

I also had similar feelings about a hyst. I was the type of person who had my annual exam w/ pap smear and nothing was ever wrong. It was, "see you next year, Doc!!""

Then at one of my recent annual exams I was diagnosed with two large fibroids. I was shocked and like..."wait a minute...where did they come from??" My Dr felt they were fast growing and had grown between my two annual exams. My Dr. recommended a TAH due to the size of the fibroids.

My symptoms?? Not much. I had had some pressure around the pelvic area. Thought it was too many stomach crunches. And I had had more bladder incontinence. Chalked that up to being 46. Periods?? They had not been heavier...just reddier.

I decided to get a 2nd opinion and he recommended a LSH, a less invasive hyst after I did (3) months of lupron shots to shrink my fibroids enough for surgery. Lupron is not for everyone and for me it worked.

Both my Drs said that since my fibroids were fast growing....they would keep growing. In a short time, my pelvic pressure started to significantly increase along with my bladder incontinence. I also started to get heavier periods. That totally FREAKED me out putting trash can liners under my sheets. NEVER had to do that before!!

So...for me, my LSH with lupron shots was a "window of opportunity" to have a less invasive hyst. Would I do again?? In a second. I am 9 1/2 months post op and fibroid free, no more periods, no more b.c. The most important thing I got from my hyst was my quality of life back.

Best wishes. A hyst is a very personal decision.

Mary
  #8  
Unread 02-05-2005, 04:05 PM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

I'm only at 14 weeks, and I have lots of symptoms that I'm hoping this surgery relieves. I would imagine at 20, you would be pretty uncomfortable. My big hope is that I can get rid of the indigestion. I didn't even know it was related until the Sisters confirmed it for me. I'm not afraid anymore. I look forward to not having to stop in every bathroom and hopefully getting rid of the migraines. I'm just focusing on feeling better. I also remember that ripping feeling I get with my period. Usually, I want a doctor to cut into me right then and remove everything. Still, the timing isn't great for me. I just started a new job, but it's worth it to me to feel better. Good luck. I'm going in on 2/23.
Judy
  #9  
Unread 02-05-2005, 07:21 PM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

Just want you to know that this is exactly how I felt.

Days before my surgery date I was telling my husband (and I told him more than once) "Why am I doing this, I am sitting here feeling just fine, why do I want to go from feeling just fine to having to be recovering from a major surgery for weeks or months?"

You currently have even more outward symptoms than I did, I think.

I had a little bit of irregular bleeding for two months, I went to the doc to see if my fibroids* had returned, he said yes, and I mean as soon as the words hysterectomy were out of his mouth, I had no more irregular bleeding. It was almost like the fibroids had heard him and decided to quit giving me problems to save themselves. So, I had a month and a half of waiting, with the symptoms gone, wondering should I cancel this? What am I doing? It was a constant argument going on in my head. THe argument never totally went away, even while they were hooking up the IVs almost 2 weeks ago.

Other thoughts that went through my mind a lot prior to surgery were:

I feel just fine now, why don't I wait until I am having a lot of serious problems to have this done? I can pee and poo just fine now, and I like it that way. Why do I want to put myself through a surgery that has the potential to damage my ability to do that, when I feel fine?

Of course that statement was met with the following:

Why should I wait until I am having a lot of serious problems to have this done? WHy put myself through all the bleeding and pain that I did before? Why not have it done now while I am very healthy and have no other issues? My doctor is fantastic and a great surgeon and would not damage my other organs.

The most reassuring thing that I had to keep telling myself was that I really trusted my doctor. I believe that he felt that the fibroids were located in a place where it was only a matter of time before I began approaching the same condition I was 6 years ago. It sounds like you have seen two doctors, and they both said the same thing. But I know that doesn't change the way you feel. Trusting my doctor never changed the way I felt, but it helped a lot.

It is an extremely strange feeling, walking into a hospital at 5:45 am, feeling just fine, waiting for your name to be called, knowing you are going to have surgery that's going to put you out of regular service for a while.

However, now I am free of worrying about: whether the symptoms will return, if they will get worse, if I may have to have the hysterectomy when I am older, etc.

I know now I made the right decision and I know you will take some time to make the decision that is right for you.

Good luck,

--QB


*the fibroids I had 6 years ago I almost bled to death from, was taken to ER in ambulance for hysteroscopy.
  #10  
Unread 02-07-2005, 01:24 PM
When I feel this good, why make myself sick?

I KNOW YOUR HEART!! I had to make the decision to have a hysterectomy too. I struggled with pain for 2 years from adhesions, twisted ovary, painful periods. Now I have a small mass in the "good" ovary so the choice was put to me. Oh, friend, I struggled so much with this!! Nobody would tell me for sure to have it or not to. Just kept saying "its your body". I prayed and sought out others who had hysts done. My hubby finally broke down and listed the reasons (medical and otherwise) why I should strongly consider it. I was in such a fog of shock that I didn't know how to think. He helped so much. I am due to have mine in 2 weeks. I still find myself questioning my decision, but then the pain kicks in and I remember all to well why I have to do this. I pray that it all goes well for you!

Ramona
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