LAVH - My Diagnosis, Surgery & the overall experience - Jaycee
(1/23/00 12:56:57 p.m.)
My Diagnosis, Surgery & the overall experience
I'm not sure how to begin, so I'll just get right to it. For reference, I am 27 years old and have one child; he is seven years old and the joy of my life. In mid November I went in for my annual exam and was informed that I had a stage 3 prolapse of the uterus, which would require a hysterectomy or a tack and repair job. Taking into consideration that the tack wouldn't last and I would have to have the hysterectomy at a later date, I opted for surgery. It was scheduled within 3 days for December 10, 1999.
Just a little history behind the decision. I have always had problems with my cycle. I started at a very young age (ten) and was plagued with problems. At one point I had a period for six months straight, then I was medicated to induce menopause for a little over a year. I had problems with maintaining pregnancies and finally gave birth to my son after 8 months of complete bedrest. I knew then that I would never be able to have another child.
Now to the not so distant past. Ten months ago I began to have debilitating cramps. They would begin two to three days prior to my cycle. I ended up in the ER once (I wasn't expecting to start my cycle, I should have known better) the doctors thought I had appendicitis. I was there for 6 hours, was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and went home only to begin my cycle an hour later (which was the cure for this case of gastroenteritis!) Anyway, this went on for months, and then I noticed I was having bladder trouble. I began having problems with urgency, frequency and being able to retain. So I went to an urologist, his cure: a cath and stretch my urethra. Needless to say I didn't go back and it didn't work. Months went by the pressure, pain, heavy cycles and bladder control problems increased. (Bless my mans heart he is such a jewel to put up with me). So I went for my annual, and viola Stage 3 prolapse. The fix LAVH with entrocele (top of the vag) repair and colopopexy (put the vag back in place). The weeks leading up to the surgery were nerve eaters. Everything centered around this procedure, somehow it would come up in the conversations at work, at home, and at the store...you get the idea. I have a friend at work that is a hoot I'd just about get ready to cancel and she'd say; "Now Jean, I don't want to walk in and find my child playing with your Uterus," (she has a one-year-old that "works" with us.) I'd laugh and cry at the same time. Well on to the surgery.
December 7-9 I was on clear liquids for three days prior to surgery, ohhh joy, love that chicken broth! On December 9 I was introduced to a lovely little drink called "GO-Litely". When the pharmacist gave me the 'JUG' I just laughed. I couldn't imagine having to drink all that stuff.... For goodness sake I hadn't had solid food in 3 days and now I had to drink what seemed like 4 gallons of gunk. I didn't think I could do it! And sure enough I only got through about half, before I said enough is enough. My doctor just happened to call me that night and asked how I liked the stuff he sent. I told him that I liked it so much that I saved some for him and would give it to him at 6am the next morning. My doctor is a wonderful person and an excellent doctor. Luckily, he is tolerant of me!
Anyway, December 10th rolled around, my SO took me to the hospital my mother joined us about an hour before I went into surgery. I was scared to death. All I could talk about was making sure that my son knew how much I loved him if something were to happen. My SO & Mother were very supportive and understanding.
The nursed prepared me for surgery, the gown & IV, were the attire for such an occasion. My mother bless her heart decided I needed the window blinds open and when they didn't work, she called the maintenance dept. and guess what 3 showed up in my room, with me in my surgery attire! I was mortified, and if that wasn't enough, they proceeded to take the window apart. So the cool December winds were a blowing in my room to boot! LAUGH.. Mom was so nervous! I calmly asked the men to put the window back in place because with any luck, in a few hours I wouldn't care if the blinds were open! I thanked them and they left, as did I. Off to the holding area. My SO and Mother walked me to the doors and I cried and kissed them both. I then cried every time I saw a doctor luckily, all of the doctors knew me (at one time I was a nurse) so they would stop and talk with me for a moment or two. Then the lovely little drug was pushed into the IV. I remember being wheeled into surgery, and waking up in recovery. I was so cold my nurse, Kim, loaded me down with blankets and a bear hugger (warm air filled plastic type blankie). Then she socked the pain meds to me. That little pump became my best friend over the next 24 hours.
I remember returning to my room, with my mother and SO in tow. I can remember everyone who came into my room even though I was in a Morphine fog. I also remember the pressure and discomfort. Every time I opened my eyes for the first 12 hours I hit that little button. Only one time did I exceed the dosage and had to wait...my nurse promptly brought me a shot to help.. bless her. I developed a fever right off the bat..102 and climbing. It peaked at 103.7 with no known origin. So my antibiotics were increased, changed, alternated.... Which means that I had multiple blood draws to make sure I wasn't becoming toxic. Anyway...I was adamant about coughing and turning and the inspired meter. I had seen too many surgery patients develop pneumonia and I was determined no matter how much it hurt I was going to move, cough and deep breathe! It was very uncomfortable but I managed. During the middle of the first night a nurse took pity on me and brought me a popsicle (God love her) that was the best popsicle I had ever eaten it was
grape (I'm not crazy about grape but it was wonderful!). I ended up eating an entire box that night.
Day 2- The next morning I was awakened by an x-ray tech who was ordered to get a couple of chest x-rays since my fever was still high. I was not thrilled with this person. She walked in and said "time to get up we have to go to x-ray, come on get out of bed!" Like I was going to just pop right up after 4 days on liquids and less than 24 hours after surgery! She then added that I was going to x-ray and was going to have to stand for the x-rays and we needed to get going! The SO came into play then (he is amazing and protective WOW) He all but pushed her out of the room and helped me sit up in bed. I told this tech that no way was I going to stand and she wasn't thrilled with that. She wheeled me down the hall like her heels were on fire and I was bumping along ready to scream! We made it to x-ray, and she put this block behind me in the chair, which made me thrust forward...ohh was I upset, as was my SO. So after 10 minutes she said we would have to do the chair block thing again, the x-ray didn't take...so I stood with the SO holding me. After I sat down again, she promptly asked me, did you have a baby? To which I replied, " No, I had a hysterectomy" she said "oh really, when?" "YESTERDAY!".. she was mortified and the ride back to the room was much smoother. ...Now wouldn't you think that the techs should be informed of their potential patients procedures before racing through the halls and jabbing blocks behind there backs!!! Arrgg…Later on that same day (Saturday 12/11/99) I was told that my lovely cath would be removed!… YEAH as would be the packing. I got up around 10 and had a shower...it was wonderful! I would have loved to wash my hair but with all the tubes and my waning energy that wasn't going to happen. Still no food, popsicles only.... sigh. Shortly after my shower, I began having horrible gas pains and begged for a ducolax. when it took effect it really took effect. (Again bless my SO's heart, btw he took notes on everything, when I hit the pump, when I passed gas, when I had