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Dany - Alumni Hostess 2009

From the Alumni Staff Bios Articles List

Bonjour to all my Hyster Sisters. I am honored that you are taking time to read on me, Dany.

My name is Danielle and I hail from the beautiful Capital Region of Canada. I was born and raised in an Ontario town, near Ottawa and now live just across the bridge, on the Quebec side. Dany was the pen name I used in High School, when writing poetry for the school's student paper. I still like to use that nickname whenever I write, though I like to be called Danielle when spoken to. Go figure!!!

I am married and mother to two amazing children. My son was 10 years old at the time of my hyst and my daughter turned 5 the day I came home from my trip to the castle. I am also "mother" to a huge, white tom cat, born in 1993, who's gracefully, and playfully, heading into kitty old age and to a boisterous and not too obedient Golden Retriever, born in 2005.

I am an Information Management Professional who specializes in the field of Records Management, with a definate knack for the Technology side of it. I consider myself lucky: I am able to work in a field that I believe in and that is on the leading edge of the new Information Management Strategic directions.

My gynecological problems started at about the time I had my first period. Even though I never had to deal with PMS or painful periods (PMS for me meant light cramps, a slight change in disposition and, at times, a slight headache), I always had to deal with irregular, extremely long and abundant periods. I remember bleeding so heavily that I would need the largest bath towels to contain the flow when I was only 17 years old. Very early on, I was put on Birth Control pills to try and regulate my periods. It worked. Therefore, from the age of 21 until I started having children, at 34 and even after my pregnancies, my periods were almost normal.

The problems started again in April 1997, a week after my father passed away. The bleeding was so heavy, dh thought I was miscarrying again. I put it down to the stress of losing my father. When the problems started recurring, I put it down to a combination of peri-menopause and extended nursing. However, whenever I checked into the symptoms or side-effects of either, I discovered that this type of irregularity was not consistent with neither peri-menopause nor nursing. Finally, in September 1998 I headed for my GP's office. The thyroid, blood and urine tests as well as the sonogram all came out negative. The only thing I found out was that my uterus was retro-versed, however, that wasn't the cause of my problems. My GP referred me to my ob-gyn. He studied the test results and found nothing that could explain my problems. He asked me to graph my periods for 2 or 3 months. When I returned and the graphs showed almost consistent and very heavy bleeding, he decided to try me on progesterone for three months, in the hope of forcing my cycle to a regular pattern.

I loved the progesterone: my energy level was higher than it had been in years and my sex drive was at its highest ever. However, the honeymoon was short-lived: 3 days before my periods started, I was struck down by the worst case of PMS I had ever had: abdominal cramps and lower back pains that were so bad I was lying with a "bean" sack on my tummy and another on my back, with no relief. Then, my periods started. The clots were so bad that I ended up in the ER.

After succeeding in stopping the flow with yet another hormone, the bleeding started again, worse than ever, the next day. A D&C and hysteroscopy performed the next evening revealed that I had fibroids. At that time, I was also presented with my alternatives: 1) do nothing and hope the fibroids go away at menopause; or 2) total abdominal hysterectomy. The doctor left it up to me but did warn me that it was unlikely that I would have any relief soon since, at 42, I was at least 10 years away from natural menopause.

I elected to do nothing. Every summer, I'd re-evaluate the situation, since heat and humidity seemed to augment the flow and frequency of the bleeding, but it would get better in the Winter. In the summer of 2000, when having a shower, I felt a bulge in the vaginal opening. I was sure it was cystocele. After a few weeks of procrastinating, I went to my GP, who diagnosed a cystocele and referred me back to my ob-gyn. My ob-gyn diagnosed a rectocele and told me that the time had come for a "little" surgery. By then, the fibroid that could not be detected on a transvaginal sonogram two years earlier was palpable. It was about the size of a 3 month pregnancy, and growing. I scheduled my hyster the next day, for December 14th.

I found Hyster Sisters the day before I headed for the ob-gyn's office. I performed a search on cystocele and, then, hysterectomy, and Hyster Sisters was at the top of the hit list. I read the pull-down menus and the calendars and registered that evening. That was the best thing I ever did: My on-line sisters saved me from worrying myself silly during those early months.

I recovered very slowly but very steadily from my trip to the castle and found myself feeling better than my old self by the 10th month Post-OP. I embarked on a weight-loss program and, thanks to the group's help and the wonderful support I found on the BEST forum, eventually succeeded in loosing over 50 lbs. Since then, I have have been struggling in my aim to reach my Healthy weight AND my goal weight, and, most importantly, to MAINTAIN at that weight. I have a long term objective of maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of my life.

All has not been rosey, though, since my hyst: Since November 2001, I have been plagued with problems with Incontinence. I still have no answer and no relief in sight. As if that wasn't enough, as of July 2002 I have been diagnosed with Arthritic pain, and am learning to deal with this blow. Again, my wonderful Hyster Sisters have been there for me and offering the support I so badly need.

Thanks to my long stay on the pre-op board, I was able to head for the castle in a relaxed frame of mind. I had asked all the questions that needed to be asked. They had been answered by the wonderful women on this site or by my reliable ob-gyn. I was prepared and confident that, for me, it was the best option. Then, in April 2001, I received the invitation from Kathy to join the Hostess team. I am now monitoring the Hysteritaville forums, Beyond the Land of Hyster and The Polling Place. Come and visit us, whenever you feel the need!!

I hope that I can continue to help the women who join this community in the same manner that I have been helped.

04-29-2003 - 09:34 PM


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