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TAH - My Story TAH - My Story

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Unread 05-12-2000, 02:40 PM
TAH - My Story

I had a TAH on 4/20/00. I believe I started having symptoms 1 1/2 years to 2 years ago. I had sharp shooting pains when I had to go to the bathroom and did not go right away. This was a doubling over pain. Very bad. I was very scared and went in to my GP. I did not currently have an OBGYN. He pushed around and sent me away saying I probably had an overactive bladder. From then on when I would get the pains I thought it was something I had to live with. I could not state the frequency.

I would say I started having some intestinal bouts of pain and bladder symptoms for a few months. I am lactose intolerant so I was used to ocassional pains and symptoms from that too. Also I started experiencing extreme fatigue and it was getting worse and worse. I went to an OBGYN for a physical and Pap smear in March. She discovered a fibroid and sent me for an ultrasound. She gave me a sheet of paper on fibroids which said basically live with the pain. Lay in bed with a heating pad when bad and take pain relievers. Non-communitative. I called and called to find out the results of my test and the nurse said multiple fibroids, no large masses, but the largest one was larger than a golf ball. The report stated my uterous was enlarged to 8-10 months size. The nurse said come back in 6 months. The nurse said an off color joke about meopause while I was there and I did not feel good about her competence. I was in shock, but also then in excruciating pain for three weeks.

I sought out a second opinion. I felt something was not right and also suspected I would need surgery sometime soon. I found a highly recommended surgeon who most of the nurses go to in town. A month lapsed, I went in to see him and he was shocked. I was 16 weeks size. He said there was no mistaking this. I had severe pain at this time, abdominal, intestinal, bladder. I had a couple of rough periods and the tissue paper discharge.

My hysterectomy was scheduled for about 10 days out. Looking back I am glad, because I had trouble sleeping. I could have rescheduled it, but wait another month in pain? My husband and I can't have children of our own, and have an adopted daughter so losing my uterous was not an issue.

4/20/00 Surgery was scheduled for 10:30 am. We arrived at the hosptital at 8:30 am. I did the fleets enema the night before. I signed the paperwork, changed into the hospital (cute) attire and they put me in a room on a bed to wait for the nurse. I was more afraid of blod clotting as I have vericose veins and my mother has the history and is on blood thinner. The nurse drew my blood, inserted the needle for the IV, and hooked up the mechanical massage stockings. It felt weird but helped me relax a little. After 1/2 hour or so they wheeled my to the holding room. I must have gone to the bathroom four times before surgery, I was sooo nervous.

I talked to the anethesiologist and my doctor prior to surgery. I had a few tears as I kissed my husband goodbye. I did tell the anethesialogist I got car sick and motion sickness on boats. He asked if I was nervous and needed something to relax and I said yes. Then I was wheeled into the operating room. They asked me to slide over to the operating table and think about a nice place then I was out.

The next thing I knew, I was awake, hurting and being wheeled to my room. My husband was there and my pastor met us on the way. That was great. He said a quick prayer and devotion in my room and I will never forget that. I did not get sick from the general enestesia at all.

The first 24 hrs are kind of blury. I had a cathetor and a morphine pump. I probably used the max of morphine allowed all night. You sure can't sleep someone is coming and going constantly taking vitals etc. Very noisy. Someone warned about the IV running out and sure enough I was pushing the nurse call button. Also a nurse didn't seem to know how to change the morphine pump so that alarm went off in the middle of the night too. (Murphy's Law) I drank a lot of water my whole visit. I am not a water drinker, but I had extreme thirst. Also, I did not want a bladder infection.

The next morning the nurse disconnected the IV and the morphine pump and gave me pain pills. I also could start on the fluid diet. Yeah! The next day I pee-ed every hour! I could not believe it. I think when fluid was in the bladder it caused pain and pressue. My incision also was large, vertical and went down low. I could not believe how weak and how much effort it took to go to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, the nurse did not explain the pain meds and how they work. She gave me an IV shot and then pills next time. I did walk as soon as I could and as much as I could. I did not want a problem with constipation. I had a bad day with pain and learned from the night nurse how long the meds were good for. When I questioned the day nurse she said something different and said she was trying to stretch out the meds! A doctor stopped by that next morning and I broke down crying. He was very nice and said I did not have to be in pain. There are many different drugs I could try.
Ask about the medications! I experienced the extreme gas bouts. These subsided about a week later.

I was doing very well, no discharge after a day. Passing gas. The nurse said I could start on bland foods. Boy what a mistake somewhere! I felt good so I ate, but I could not believe what they put in front of me. I ate jello and canned fruit and mashed potatoes. My first two meals were french dip and the next dinner a Steak you could not cut! Something wrong here. I started having problems. A doctor came in and nurses. I had severe chest pain and burning around my heart, elevated pulse and blood pressure. They thought I had a drug intolerance. As a result, I also have not used the darviset at home, only motrin and tylenol. No one figured it out and I suffered for two days. I was really scared. As a result I was not released until the 5th day. The last nurse with 20 years experience hit it on the head. I was having servere heartburn. They tried Mylanta in the hospital, but it did not do anything. She said get some pepcid AC when I went home. That did the trick. I had to use it for about 10 days. I never had heartburn in my life. I also used milk of magnesia for about a week. After that I ate three prunes every morning and have been fine.

I think I have had more discomfort from back pain and siatic nerve irritation, more then the actual surgery. It started in the hospital. My right leg went numb and tingly. The best thing I could do was get up and walk it out. Laying on my back in the hospital bed was killing me. This continued at home post op. It is about gone now 3 weeks post op. I have used heat to my lower back. That seemed to help the most.
It definately hurt to laugh, cough or sneeze, but the laughing is worth it.

Four days post op my doctor removed my staples. I was a little shocked what a big incision he did, but he said my uterous was so large by the time I had surgery that it was necessary. I did have my first bowel movement before I left the hospital on day five. It was fine and felt great. Discharge was super. The ride home was ok.

HOME NEVER FELT BETTER. I was probably in bed about a week. I found that setting an alarm to take the pain meds helped rather than wake up in excrutiating pain. Three weeks post op I don't have to do that. I rented the hospital table. (invaluable) I also purchased a bed wedge and grabber stick.
I did run a lowgrade fever for a few days.
At about 16 days post op my stitches started dissolving. I've had a tiny bit of discharge everyday since.

The doctor said I could take a bath, but I have not yet. Getting in and out of the tub would not be easy. The shower the first week home was exhausting, but was worth it. I put make up on everyday in bed. I also dressed everyday in the loose elastic waist pants. It made me feel better. I have been feeling great everyday a little better, stronger
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