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LAVH - Johnna's LAVH Princess Story LAVH - Johnna's LAVH Princess Story

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Unread 10-08-2003, 12:37 AM
Johnna's LAVH Princess Story

July 2003 I began having intense pelvic pain, fever, nausea and fatigue. I've always been very aware of my "female" organs - my periods were so regular they were every 4th Wednesday at 6 am. I could tell when I was ovulating because I had mittelschmirtz (sp?). Last summer I had a tiny ovarian cyst that barely showed up on ultrasound but I could feel it. So this summer I knew something was wrong. I thought the worst - ovarian cancer - and scheduled an appointment. After ultrasound and laproscopy I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a fibroid, and a prolapsed uterus. We tried treating with danazol but the pain continued and has been so intense that I've needed vicodin every day. Finally, I scheduled a consulatation with my doctor. I have two children already (a 10 year old son and a 2 1/2 year old daughter) and don't want any more. I told my doctor I cannot continue living with this pain. So we talked about a hysterectomy. I scoured the internet and read everything I could find. (Thank you Hyster Sisters for all of the information here!!!!!) I spoke with tons of women I know who have had endo and a hysterectomy and ALL of them told me the surgery was the best thing they ever did. So the choice was an easy one to make. I wanted a hysterectomy. We decided to keep the ovaries because I'm only 31 and don't want to go on HRT, but to remove the cervix by LAVH. My surgery was scheduled for Wednesday October 1st at 8 am.

I checked in to the hospital at 6 am. The nurse shaved me (I told her I could have saved her the trouble if I'd known that was necessary) and gave me an enema. She started my IV on the inside of my left forearm. I've decided that is an ideal place because it doesn't bend like the wrist or elbow, and it's out of the way. My husband kept me company while we waited. The anesthesiologist came in and I told him I have a hard time coming out of anesthesia and I get nauseous. Whatever he did worked because I came out of anesthesia easier this time than ever before. Finally the time came and the nurse rolled me down to the operating room. My husband was shown to the waiting room. The OR was cold so I was given two heated blankets. The nurses chatted with me to keep me distracted and ease my nerves. We talked about our kids - a universal language for all moms, isn't it? The anesthesiologist gave me drugs and I was out.

Next thing I know I'm waking up in my room. The nurse asks me what my pain level is and I tell her 8. She gives me more demerol. It still hurts. She gives me another shot. I'm still at about a 6 so she gives me one more shot. Finally I'm down to a 3. She shows me how to work the pain med pump and tells me it is set to allow me to push the button every 12 minutes. She shows me the pressure cuffs that are on my legs to prevent blood clots. They feel kind of nice, really. She checks my oxygen level with a little plastic thing on my finger and tells me I'm doing well. She explains that I have a catheter. I tell her it hurts a little and she says it will come out the next day. She checks my vitals. Now that the drugs have kicked in I'm getting nauseous. She gives me a shot in the bottom. My husband arrives and tells me he has called everyone on the list I gave him. He has spoken with my doctor and tells me the surgery went well. I start to fall asleep so he goes home. The nurse wakes me up for my vitals again and tells me I'll have a roommate. My roommate arrives a little later. She is noisy. She moans a lot and complains about wanting to smoke. Thank goodness the demerol makes me sleepy so I don't really care. My nurses are soooo nice. We chat everytime they come in to check on me. Most of them have children and some have had the same surgery so we have common ground. Visitors come and go but I don't remember much. My mom visits, my son visits, my daycare provider visits. The office sends flowers. I'm allowed to drink broth and eat jello. The rest of the day passes is a demerol-induced haze.

Thursday morning I wake up and want the catheter out. The nurse receives permission and tells me to take a deep breath. On the exhale she removes the catheter and I feel so much better. She shows me the "hat" that I have to pee into. Every time I have to pee I tell the nurses so they can measure how much I'm peeing. I get to walk around and the nurses help me walk up and down the hallway, pushing my IV as I go. I'm allowed solid food for lunch - another milestone. At some point my doctor visits me and tells me he saved my ovaries and the surgery went well. My husband and son visit me again and this time I can actually hold a conversation. My noisy roommate checks out and a noisier roommate checks in. But she watches Survivor so we don't have to fight over the TV tonight, so I'm okay. I beg the nurse to let me get rid of the leg pressure things and she finally relents as long as I promise to get up and walk frequently to prevent blood clots. I try to sleep, but every hour my roommate wakes up and turns on the light because she can't sleep. Around 4 am my nurse apologizes to me and I can tell she's angry with my roommate. She says that if I have to stay another night she will order a sleeping pill so I can get some undisturbed sleep. I love my nurses.

The next time I wake up it's 7 am Friday morning - I've gotten three hours of sleep in a row!!! The bed next to me is empty. I ask the nurse if my roommate has gone home and she tells me they moved her to a different room so I could get some sleep. By 8 am the IV has been removed and I am able to take a shower. My doctor visits me and tells me to schedule an appoointment in two weeks. He says I'm doing very well. An hour later I'm told I can call my husband whenever I want and check out. Yipppeeee! I'm given my orders to rest, no driving, etc. A prescription for vicodin is called in to the pharmacy. My DH picks me up and one of the hospital volunteers (a little old nun) wheels me down to the exit. My DH picks up my prescription, some prune juice and ginger ale. We go home and I sleep most of the day.

Finally - I'm home and getting better!

Thank you hyster sisters for all of the information. This site has been a blessing.
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