First off, I want to say that this website has helped me tremendously!! This was my first surgery EVER and I had no idea what to expect. By reading everyone else's stories, it really help me know what to expect, which in turn kept me calm, because I am one to worry about the unknown. It also helped me know what questions to ask my doctor. While I have a FABULOUS doctor, he wasn't too forthcoming about certain information, but I don't think that was on purpose. I think it was more of a case of he is a doctor and does this all the time so it is routine to him but forgets that it isn't routine to the patient.
So here it goes......at about the age of 21 (I am 36 now) my periods started getting heavier and I was passing clots too. My Dr. then didn't really have an answer except to suggest putting me on BC pills. That was fine with me because I was about to get married anyway. Fast forward five years and I had been married for four years and just had our first baby. After the baby, I decided not to go back on BC pills for awhile. During that time I continued to have heavy periods with clots and now I was spotting between periods too. Surprisingly enough, spotting in between periods did not interfere with us getting pregnant three years later and having another baby. After baby #2 I did not go back on BC pills and my period behaved for awhile. I did not want to go back on BC pills because of the mood swings and it made my BP high.
So about two years after my second baby was born, I was pretty much bleeding all the time. It was kinda like a reverse period, I would bleed for 3 weeks and not for one. I finally decided that I needed to get some answers about what was going on instead of just masking it with BC pills. Biopsies, U/S, and blood tests were done and the only thing that was discovered was that I was now anemic from all the bleeding and some ovarian cysts. Since nothing else was found to be abnormal, the doctor said that it was all hormonal. And basically the lining of my uterus was growing at different rates, therefore shedding at different rates resulting in me having a period all the time. So my choices were BC pills again, an IUD (no thank you!) or an endometrial ablation. Since we were getting ready to move again (hubby is in the Army) I decided just to take BC pills once again and visit the issue later.
Once later came around, I had a new GYN and she again suggested the ablation. I just wasn't sure because you had to be put under general anesthesia, which I had never done before, so I just didn't know. What I did know was that I was getting older, and I didn’t want to be on BC until menopause and the side effects of BC are greater over the age of 35. Also at this time I followed up on the ovarian cysts that the other GYN had found. This time I had a 4cm cyst on my right ovary, which the new GYN was on the fence about removing. I decided at the time to just keep doing BC pills again because I was chicken!
Fast forward a few more years and we are moving again! While we were on the road driving to our new state, I had this HORRIBLE pain in my right side...WHILE driving. I thought I was going to die!! It felt like the most horrible gas pain ever!! We were in the middle of nowhere and I thought for sure I was going to wreck the car. I had the pain, shortness of breath, and cold sweats. Finally we found an exit with a gas station and I had to have my hubby help me into the bathroom. You should have seen the strange looks I got on the way to the bathroom. I must have sat in there for at least 45 minutes trying to get this gas out to no avail, but the pain stopped. We were back on our way and I never gave it another thought.
About 10 months go by and we settled in to our new home and I get that horrible pain again! Once again I thought it had to have been something I ate. And again after about 45 minutes, it went away. A month later it happened two more times but not as severe. Then it happened a fourth time and I was in as much pain as the first time, only this time, the pain was not going away and OTC pain meds weren't helping either. I had to call my husband home from work and then I decided that he needed to call 911. I was in so much pain, I liken it to childbirth with no pain meds (which I have experienced also-not by choice
Ambulance came and took me to the hospital and I finally got some pain relief after an hour or so after it was determined I was not pregnant (duh-hubby had the ol snip-snip). CT scan showed a 10cm cyst on my right ovary. After a couple of hours I was feeling fine again. Doctors suspect that the ovary twisted on itself cutting off the blood flow and causing mind blowing pain and then untwisted resulting in me feeling good again. They let me go home and gave me a referral to see an Army GYN in the morning.
The next morning we met with the Dr. His recommendation was to have surgery and remove the offending cyst along with the ovary since there wasn't too much of it left. I agreed because I never wanted to go through that pain again. While meeting with him, I brought up my history of bleeding problems and mentioned the ablation. He agreed that it would be smart to do it all at once and I also asked him about just getting everything removed (I was always worried that the ablation would fail or not last until menopause) and he said that he would support that also seeing as we were done having kids. So it was decided that I would have surgery to have the cyst and ovary removed along with my uterus and cervix (I decided to remove it so as not to chance having 'mini' periods considering my history with bleeding--plus no more pap smears!
) His schedule was full for the next month so surgery was scheduled for June 4. I was hoping I could make it that long without having another 'episode' as at that time it would be considered emergency surgery and I could not be guaranteed that they would do the hysterectomy also and I didn’t want to have to go back to have another surgery.
Side note: My doctor did have me do a bowel prep, which I was dreading! Not so much the after effects of it, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to get the stuff down that you have to drink. Luckily there seems to be a few different kinds of bowel preps and what my doctor had me do was not bad at all. The day before surgery at 1pm I had to take four Ducolax tablets all at once. Then an hour later I had to mix Miralax(tasteless) with Gatorade (8oz.) and drink that every ten minutes until I had drank 64oz. of the Gatorade and Miralax mixture. The worst part was drinking all the Gatorade because I wasn't thirsty and my stomach was full! The end result wasn't as bad as you think either. Soooo, my advice is if your Dr. orders a bowel prep and it is one with the nasty stuff, mention this one and see what s/he says. Take my word, it works!
Surgery Day-June 4th-I made it with no more twisting cysts! We had to be at the hospital at 8:30am and they said that surgery usually starts an hour/hour and a half or so after getting there. I signed in and sat only a few minutes before I was called back. Hubby was able to come with me and be with me the whole time until they rolled me away. So I go back and I change into the hospital gown. After, they take my vitals and I get blood drawn. Then the nurses come and ask me tons of questions that I have answered so many times before. Then I got to meet the anesthesiologist. He asked me tons of questions too and then ordered an EKG on me just to be safe (why I don't know) and asked if I had any questions. I asked if he would give me something before the surgery and he said sure. I wasn't too nervous at the time, but I knew I would be. The EKG comes back fine and then I get asked some more questions from a different nurse. Finally I get to see my doctor and we go over everything again. We also discuss what to do it the cyst comes back borderline/pre-cancerous (he would send a sample off to the lab while I was still under). We decided that if it did, he would go ahead and take my other ovary (there was a cyst on that one too albeit MUCH smaller) to avoid the risk of cancer. Side note: I much rather deal with the effects of menopause compared to worrying about getting cancer. A nurse put a self stick oxygen monitor on my finger and taped my wedding band to my finger too. After the Dr. leaves, the nurse comes back and starts my IV. After she gets that started, she comes back with my feel happy drug-Versed I think she said it was. She gave me two doses about 5 minutes apart. By that time I was feeling good. Not loopy, not sleepy, just relaxed and calm. Around 10:30 they came to wheel me back. I kissed my hubby and I was on my way.
I wear contacts and at that point had my glasses on, but the nurse took them off to put them in a safe place. We got to the OR room and I couldn't see much because I am blind without my glasses, which is probably a good thing so I couldn't see everything! They asked me to scoot over to the OR table and I lay down. They strapped my arms to the arm boards which I thought would freak me out but it didn't. They put a bunch of warm blankets on me which felt wonderful because the OR was very cold! I also remember them putting a seatbelt on me...the nurse said because the tables are so narrow...LOL! And then they put an oxygen mask on me and they told me what it was and told me just to breath regularly and that was all I remembered! I was out!
The next thing I remember is waking up but feeling like I didn’t want to cause I was so sleepy. I remembered asking the nurses if I was all done and one said "Yep, you're all done sweetie!" Then I remember them changing my hospital gown and I really couldn't participate or help very much...LOL! And then I felt the uncomfortable feeling of the catheter. I hate that thing! And my arms hurt too! I guess because of the position they were in for so long. I was laying there waking up and I asked for some ice and they gave me some. My Dr. also came by to tell me that everything went fine and that I got to keep one ovary and the other cyst was totally benign. A few minutes later I had to ask the nurse what he said again, because I couldn't remember...LOL!! I felt a little nauseous, but nothing too bad. I don't know how long I was in the recovery area (not too long from what I can remember) and then they finally brought my hubby back and we all went to my room together. I asked hubby what time it was and he said 2:15 and I was a little surprised that it had been that long.
When we got to my room I felt like I was going to throw up and I did do a couple of dry heaves, but with not eating for over 24 hours there was nothing to come up...thank God! They had me scoot over to the hospital bed and I remember that it took so much energy just to do that! After that, the next hours were a blur to me until the next morning. I do remember the nurse showing me how to use my wonderful Morphine pump. And then I remember someone bringing in a liquid food meal tray and I had no desire to eat whatsoever. I also remember the respiratory therapist coming in and showing me how to use the little breathing exerciser. My doctor also came by again. He was on call that night and was at the hospital all night, so that made me feel better too if I had a problem. Luckily my hubby got to spend the night with me. Even though in the end I didn’t really 'need' him like I thought I would, it just made me feel better knowing he was there with me.
Around 6am the next morning, the nurse came in and had me sit up in bed. I thought I was going to be sick! Every time I moved my head the room spun! It was probably the Morphine, so per Dr. orders she took me off of the Morphine pump and they gave me some Tordol-that stuff is great! I think they also gave me something for the nausea. After the shift change at 7am, the new nurse came in and got me up again. Room was still spinning. She took the catheter out and helped me to the bathroom. There I put my own pad on and my own undies and my own PJ's. She helped me back to bed and said that the nurse aid would be back at 11am to get me up to walk. She also wanted me to order breakfast, which I did, but could not eat but a couple bites before I felt it wanting to come back up. 11am came around and I indeed got up and took a walk up and down the hall. No more spinning room, I just felt a bit off. Went back to the room and ordered lunch. I was actually able to get lunch down with no problems. My next hurdle was to pee on my own, which I did not too much later.
Dr. came by again and asked if I felt well enough to go home and I pretty much was. He also brought me pictures from the surgery....it was so cool!! Since he did it partially laparoscopic, he could take pictures with the camera they use. I could not believe the cyst that was inside me!! I actually started crying looking at the pictures after the Dr. left. He actually said that it was so big that once he got the camera inside, he couldn't see anything else...the uterus or other ovary! He said that it was as big as a baby's head and would not fit through my vagina and therefore he had to drain it before pulling it out! Amazing!
So around 2:30pm the nurse comes in to discharge me and by 3:30pm I am on my way home!
Week one: Not too bad. Not too much pain. I was taking Motrin around the clock and Percocet at night as it made me sleepy. I was mainly stiff and sore, but it wasn't pain per say. I did have some burning feeling in my vagina, but that only lasted about four days. I also had an odor from there as well, but that luckily only lasted about two days. I did have some gas pains from the innards starting up again, but Gas-X helped. I also never had any of the pain some do from the CO2 that they pump into you for the surgery.
Week two: Feeling good. Getting bored. Emotions are on a roller coaster!! I am weeping for the strangest things and worrying about stuff and it is driving me crazy!! Luckily that only lasted for about four days. I discovered that if I did some stuff that I usually do (within limits of course) I felt better. Midweek I was started having trouble sleeping, probably because that was the time my Percocet ran out. I was soooo tired but every time I got into bed, I felt antsy and could not sleep. Thankfully that only lasted about three nights and I think it was my body coming off of the drugs. By the end of week two I finally leave the house to go out to dinner and do a little shopping. I may have overdone it on the walking part because my tummy was quite on the swelly side that night, but it felt so good to go out and do normal stuff.
Exact two week mark: Follow-up Dr. appt. He asked me questions and says everything sounds to be going good. At this point my only concern was a slightly oozing belly button. He took a look at it and said there was still a pin-sized hole to heal up and nothing to worry about. I mentioned my other concerns (weepiness, trouble sleeping) and he said it was all normal. Which I knew anyway from reading on here.
And he gave me a copy of the surgery report.....whew! All I can say is I am glad I was asleep after reading what they did to me...LOL!
So here we are now.....just shy of the three week point PO. Frankly, and I don't want to brag or jinx it, but I feel 90% of my old self again. I still have a very slight vaginal discharge and I have some tugging/tenderness at my belly button when I am sleeping and some pangs or tugs here and there other times, but that is it. It is very hard to make myself not do things that I want to do but shouldn't. It makes me wonder that if I am feeling like my old self again (almost) this soon after, was I actually feeling like crap before the surgery and not knowing it?? Am I going to feel even better than before six weeks from now?? What about six months?? I can only hope!
Sorry this is so long, but I hope that my long winded story can help someone feel better
about their situation.