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Hi all, I am new here. 49 years old, have been watching this submucosal fibroid for 2 years. Can't take hormones to shrink it - I am a smoker. I have so far avoided surgery, my doctor suggested hysterectomy a year ago, but knows I am terrified of it. She wasn't opposed to watchful waiting - then, it was 4cm. Another specialized ultrasound (with saline) was attempted last month but the "thing" is in the way and the probe wouldn't go in. I requested an MRI, doctor gladly authorized, so we could get a very accurate picture of exactly where it was and how big. Now it's 6cm, I saw the pictures - it's filling the the entire cavity - and we can't do a hystercopy (the least invasive to just take out the fibroid) and she is recomending a laprscopic hysterectomy. I've had heavy bleeding for 2 years (wear adult diapers at home for the first 2 days of my period which can last for 2 weeks to 2 months) I have big clots that scare me,bad cramps,and I am anemic from all the blood I am losing. Can I still wait though? I haven't asked the doctor this yet, I just had some bloodwork done and she will call me next week to schedule an appointment to talk about it. I want to have all the right questions to ask. So far it does not seem to be pressing on any other organs but I am wondering if waiting will only cancel out the laproscopic hysterectomy in the future and neccesitate an abdominal hysterectomy? - if given a choice I'd go laproscopic but I am completely terrified of something going wrong.. PS - I live alone and will have no help after surgery. I understand you can't bend? - I have a cat and need to clean her box at least 2 times a day - what will I do? I also understand , no stairs? I live on the second floor! Totally scared, how long can I wait? help?
I understand your concerns. I would think, if I were you, from a health stand point, your biggest issue is the blood loss. I think the clots would terrify me as well.
Others have posted on here bigger fibroids but yours is rather large. You have to ask yourself about whether the 'side effects' of your fibroid is impacting your quality of life.
Even if you go Lap, this is major surgery. I wasn't able to bend more than about 60 degrees until 2 weeks (my intended lap was converted to SAH due to not finding the expected 2 fibroids but many many) and even then, I never would have been able to bend like that. Moreover, with open incisions, I don't think you should be changing a litter box. Maybe a good friend could do this? Since you live alone, I would think you would want to plan for the Lap but maybe have a contigency plan if they have to convert (you might ask your Dr their conversion percentage, mine was 5%).
Stairs are hard on the body but living on the 2nd floor, you will have to be 'ready to stay' at least a week. You'd slowly get yourself up upon arriving home and stay put. This might be more critical if they convert. If it is Lap, you might find in a couple days, stairs once or twice a day are ok..
I am sure others who live alone will reply. There are those who have done it, it just requires a bit more planing on your part.
Best wishes on whatever you decide to do. If you have further questions feels free to post or PM me.
Hi Jaynee ~ The answers to your questions depend a whole lot on the procedure you elect to have done. The recovery from a TAH is more challenging physically then LAVH. I had LAVH with anterior (bladder) repairs... was home in 23 hours and haven't used pain pills since the day after getting home. I'm 5 wks post-op tomorrow. I have had no problems at all and have been driving and such since about the 8th day. Bending is one of those eye of the beholder things... I was very creative the first few days. Steps weren't a problem (I have a split level) because I just took it slow. You may want to have someone help with the kitty box.
In deciding whether or not to have you surgery, you just have to ask yourself will I be better for having done it? If there are more reasons to go forward, then why wait. I always remember a Dear Abby column when someone said if they went back to college at 40 they'd be 44 when they graduated. Abby asked -- how old will you be in 4 years if you don't go back to college? The point of course is do you do something to better your life in that time or just pine it away.
I was 46 when I had a laparoscopic hyst for 2 large fibroids. They measured 9.1 cm total at the time of my hyst. I am still very pleased with my surgery results. No more heavy bleeding, no more pelvic pressure and no more bladder incontinence.
I guess for me I saw a ~window of opportunity~ to have a less invasive hyst. I got 2 opinions and both my Drs felt my fibroids would continue to grow if I did not opt for surgery and then I would have only been a candidate for an abdominal hyst.
I had almost the exact situation that you have described. I waited for 3 years, and finally the fibroids started pressing on my bladder, and that started causing major problems. I finally "gave in" and said yes to the hysterectomy. By then they had grown so large that my doctor wasn't sure whether or not he could do the vaginal surgery. In my case it was important to avoid an abdominal incision as I have diabetes, and the doctor was worried about possible healing issues.
I went into the surgery not knowing whether I'd wake up with an abdominal incision or not. The doctor was great, he stuck it out, and the surgery took over 3 hours, but he was able to do the LAVH.
About the operation, the other sisters are advising you well! About the kitty-cat... if you do not have a neighbor or somebody that can help, perhaps you can get one of those house/pet sitter persons to come by a couple times a day, like you would as if you were not home. I had somebody help scoop the box out the first two weeks, and I was very careful and moved slow and did mine after that, even though it is not recommended!
You could maybe attach the scoop to a pick-up stick, or extension to reach without bending over. For the dog outside I have a hand-held spring loaded scooper contraption so I don't have to use shovels or bend over. One of those could be used in the cat box for a while.
I don't know what type of housing you are in, but maybe a neighbor's kid could help. You will be there to guild them as to how to do it. The best to you!
I had giant fibroids as well and just tried to live around it. I also wore Depends and had the clots too. I left it so long that I ended up in Emerg with very low blood pressure because I was losing so much blood. My Hemo"Goblins" werre 8, bad. I also had lots of hair loss from the anemia and was wiped out all the time.
I finally went and saw my Gyn who booked me in the first time slot just 10 days after I saw her. I have a bikini cut.
In some "overrall" ways I feel much better than I did before and I know I will continue to improve. When I look in the mirror I see a better skin color than that pasty, dark circled vampire look I was sporting.
My options were explained to me as this: Have the surgery now or have the surgery in an emergency situation becuase of the hemmoraging at 2 a.m. some night soon. I opted for now since I knew it was inevetible and I was fed up trying to live around the bleeding.
I was scared about my stairs but had no pain at all coming up them.
Before I went in I did some house prep to make it easier for me. I diced and froze veggies, cooked up and portioned out easy on the tummy meals to reheat in the microwave, froze milk, etc. Stocked up on toilet paper, cereals, bread, soups, eggs and frozen juice. Left some pots and pans on top of the stove to avoid bending.
If you have a small end table then move it into/near the bathroom and put your cat box on top of it so you don't have to bend, your kitty will jump up to it. Move her food to a higher spot too.
I understand feeling anxious about having it done and trying to put it off. Hopefully your doc will be as supportive as mine and give you lots of clear answers.
All the best to you!!
I also live alone and really wasn't sure what I would do. I have a large young bouncy dog and an old cat with terrible health problems.
I've told EVERYBODY I know that I need help and if anybody has been fool enough to offer help I have booked them in. I am planning to go and stay with my aging parents and be an aging person for a couple of weeks. It's not the most ideal situation but it will get them out walking my dog and will give them the feeling of helping (which they will be). My cat will be looked after by a house sitter. He will be ok.
In some ways I think we have an advantage being on our own. We don't have to worry about those we live with being less than understanding. It would be nice to have some emotional support duing the low points but we are free to just recover at our own speed in our own way.
I too lived alone when I had my TAH/BSO and its not easy but its doable. Get one of those long handled Grabbers, wonderful things. I use it to this day!! and remember what falls on the floor and you cant pick up will still be there when you can get down to get it, just kick it out of the way lol
The big key is to plan ahead, have all you will need for at least 2 weeks in the house before surgery. like others have stated, cook and freeze.... let things go if you dont have someone help you..... you can clean later, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!!