My journey to surgery began about six years ago. I have a family history suggesting Lynch Syndrome and underwent genetic counseling several years ago. At that time, the oncologist told me that she would have a hysterectomy if she were me. Unfortunately, my insurance company did not agree. So I continued with regular screenings - CA125 and transvaginal ultrasound every six months. Since I was perimenopausal, the tests inevitably showed something that needed follow up. I had numerous endometrial biopsies, D&C's, hysteroscopies, etc....
Things began quieting down about three years ago when my ovaries finally stopped functioning - until last June when I had some unexpected bleeding. The endometrial biopsy was normal but the bleeding continued so I had another D&C and hysterscopy - polyps were removed and pathology showed hyperplasia. My doctor was sure she got it all and we agreed the next time I had symptoms, we needed to schedule surgery. My Christmas morning present was more bleeding. I saw my doctor on Dec 30 and we scheduled the TVH for March 8. Since my mother and grandmother had ovarian cancer, we agreed the ovaries would go. The FSH test she ordered was high but did not indicate menopause so we were not sure if I would have symptoms after surgery.
I was petrified in the weeks leading up to the surgery. The sisters on this site were so wonderful in answering all of my questions. One of the best suggestions I got was to download a meditation CD to help me relax and sleep in the week before my surgery. I had a cold in the week leading up to surgery but took Zicam and had no fever or symptoms on the day of the procedure.
Surgery went just fine. I woke up in some pain but they quickly took care of that with the morphine pump and really was very comfortable the whole time I was in the hospital. I had some nausea and vomiting in the hospital - mostly when I moved around. I did have the motion sickness patch but it caused such severe mouth dryness that I think it made matters worse because I was drinking sooo much water that it made the vomiting worse. I actually felt better when they took the patch off.
I was ready to go home the next day but had a couple of setbacks. My fever was 100.5 late the next morning but the nurse said I might be better if I got up and walked some more. Sure enough, my fever was normal the next time they checked it. I had one more vomiting episode that day. And I was able to urinate after they removed the catheter but I wasn't completely emptying my bladder. I had the option of staying another day or going home with the catheter. I knew I'd be so much more comfortable at home so I went home with my new best friend. It really was no problem to manage from home and was so worth it. The catheter came out on Monday (I went home on Friday) and my bladder was working just fine.
I really have felt fine since coming home. I used the pain meds through the weekend I had the catheter - just because it was a little uncomfortable. Once it came out, I took the pain meds at night for another few days. It's two weeks since the surgery and I don't even need tylenol most of the time. I had a lot of trouble with "foggy brain" for the first week and that made it hard to be home. I couldn't even focus to watch TV or read. Now that my brain is functioning, I'm kind of enjoying the many projects I lined up for myself.
My discharge stopped a couple of days after surgery but I started bleeding again after a week. I was worried that I had overdone it but it seems that this is the experience of many sisters. I'm still spotting - enough for a panty liner - and do notice it's heavier when I'm up and around more but it's really not worrisome. I'm being careful not to lift anything - that is sooo hard.
I had thought I would go back to work after two weeks but I'm not ready. I don't have any pain but I still tire very easily. We're having beautiful Spring weather and I've decided I'm going to take the whole four weeks to let myself heal. When will I have this long stretch of time off again? Probably not until retirement.
My pathology all came back completely normal and I'm not having menopausal symptoms. It's funny, I have been sure for the last decade that I would end up with ovarian cancer - now that worry is completely gone. That is worth a whole lot! Whatever reason you are considering this surgery, I would say go for it. And then take care of yourself and let yourself heal!