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TAH -- Let's see, I was camping in the woods... TAH -- Let's see, I was camping in the woods...

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Unread 10-20-2005, 09:11 PM
TAH -- Let's see, I was camping in the woods...

... celebrating my 34th birthday this year when period decided to join me the third morning. Decided to pack up and go home as being cold, damp and eating dry food is not the best way to spend first couple of days. That was a Tuesday. The following Friday night, I was lying in bed when I felt something give way down below and knew I'd better hightail it to the bathroom. Got three steps out of bed when it happened. I know it's now called "flooding," but then it was "oh, my god, I'm gonna die." I had a bit of this a couple months ago, so just thought it has come back again. Nothing major, I thought at the time. It turned into something major as it happened again and again and again that weekend. I'm not sure how much blood I lost, but it was pouring out of me.

I called my gyne that Monday, and they called in a prescription for birth control pills. Took them that day and the next. Then another symptom reared up called horrendous pain. Don't know if it was related to the pills or not, but I knew something was TERRIBLY wrong. Went to the O.R. Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. and the doctor went white reading my blood counts out to me. By that time, deep down inside, I already made the decision to have a hysterectomy.

I told him as much, and I contacted my gyne. We met a week later and went through what had been going on, and several treatments that were available other than the hysterectomy. None of them were a sure bet, and the side effects were bleeding and pain. Hmm, let's see, don't think so. So we scheduled the hysterectomy for Oct. 14, three weeks later. An ultrasound a few months before showed an enlarged uterus, but as there were no large fibroids and nothing obviously wrong with it other than its size, we decided to leave it. Because of this, the hysterectomy would have to be an abdominal lateral cut, as big as it took to squeeze the offending organ out of my body.

The next three weeks were a blur of well-wishers, paperwork, tiredness, soreness, and anxiety.
Then the day came, my trip to the castle, as you all like to put it.

My Mom was there for the first hour or so, but as she wasn't feeling well, and the wait would be long, I told her to go home, and I'll call her later. Was supposed to have surgery at 12:15, but wasn't taken into pre-op until 1:30. Having had nothing to eat or drink, I was doing a slow burn.

My first helper was a little lady who didn't look like she could push 200-pound me on a large stretcher bed down a hall, but she managed. We banged into a couple of corners, but she got me there. Then the questions started. Don't know why, but about six different people, doctors and nurses, had to ask me what I was having done and how to pronounce my name. I answered promptly, time and again. 'Cause of my low blood count, which wasn't fixed by iron pills, I was told they'd have to give me a unit of blood or two during the operation. Never had that before, but guess it went okay.

The first little shot into my I.V. made me feel a little dizzy as I was wheeled into the operation room, and I remember seeing equipment, lights, white walls and ceiling. I hate that they didn't warn me that I'll be falling asleep now, but that's what happened. Anyway, I guess it was about two hours later that I awoke with what felt like a slight cramp down below. I remember hearing someone talk about extra x-rays needed 'cause of a missing retractor. I think someone asked me how I was. I was thirsty, and my mouth felt disgusting. The pain down below was increasing, as well. Finally, I asked, "Am I done?" in all earnestness 'cause, like I said before, nobody prepped me earlier. They said yeah, and as the x-rays showed nothing the shape of a retractor in my abdomen, I was wheeled back to pre-op room. No nausea, just dry mouth and pain. Doctor came by to say everything looked fine, no big fibroids, just a uterus FULL of blood which bled to the touch. She's so darn sweet. She said she'd call my Mom, which she did, and explained to her that everything was fine. After a time in the pre-op room, I was wheeled to my room, which is the true castle of my story.

I felt SOOOOOO bad. Knew it'd hurt, but DARN! (I can swear like a sailor here, but don't want to offend. I'm sure y'all know what I mean, though.)

This was about 6 p.m., I think. Time didn't mean much at this point, so I'm guessing. They gave me ice chips and water, which was a godsend. They gave me my cellphone, hooked up my pain meds, gave me the little button to push every ten minutes, and left me to myself.

I called Mom and a couple other people, and at 8 p.m., I was given a liquid diet, which NEVER tasted so good. Ginger ale, chicken broth, jell-o, and tea. Ladies, if you ever feel bad, try this diet. It was like ambrosia. Either that, or I was extremely out on meds and starving from not eating or drinking for 24 hours. That first night, I just slept, rested, and tried not to cough. I also peeked underneath my bandage to see what the heck hurt so much.

A nurse came in that night saying that the hospital was having a fire drill, and I was to stay in my room. They shut the door, and I waited until about a half hour later until they came back to say it was over. Also remember having a nursing supervisor come in needing me to sign a paper saying it was okay to test me for HIV and whatever 'cause somebody got pricked with a needle with my blood in it during the operation.

Didn't know where my doc wanted to do the incision, but obviously she didn't want to give me too visible a scar. It's right on the hairline, all the way across, and up on one side. Haven't measured it for distance yet, but it's 16 staples. Told ya, big uterus.

Next morning, doc stopped by, was pleased that I was feeling well, and said that I could eat regular food. They had sent in another liquid diet, and I stole the Coke off of that and had the real breakfast when they brought that in. I got the tv turned on ( had to pay four bucks), and spent about half that day zoning in and out on a lovely morphine drip. Eventually, they removed my catheter, the i.v., and got me on my feet. A quick turn around the maternity ward (where I was the only one there baby-less)and a teeth brushing was followed by being set up in a recliner chair and percoset pills. I was allowed to shower and take walks when I wanted them, which I took advantage of, as I was getting restless.

That night, I had a bit of a problem as one of the many nurses skipped my 2 a.m. pain pill 'cause she said I was sleeping, and she didn't want to wake me up. I finally got one at 4 a.m., but don't ya think I wouldn't mind being woken up to take a percoset? I was in so much pain! Silly woman.

Next morning, as my bowels weren't doing anything but making noise in my abdomen, I was given something to help go. It worked later on that day. Doctor came in asking if I was ready to go home that day. Yes, I was! Wanted to be somewhere comfy, surrounded by people I knew who wouldn't disappear in a few hours, and have access to pain medicine that I could self-administer.
At 10 a.m. Sunday, I was discharged with plenty of information, warnings, and a staple remover that I was to bring along the following Friday at the lovely appointment for Staple Removing.

I'm writing this the night before Staple Removing, typing slow on my Mom's computer. I've been set-up in her extra bed, and have only made two treks down the eight stairs to my bedroom. NEVER knew that stair walking was that big of a physical activity.

So, that's my story. The time went fast, the pain is constant, but decreasing, and I got five more weeks of leave from work to build my energy back up.

Thanks to all my fellow hyster sisters for the laughs, the tears, the support, the comfort, and above all, the information. Couldn't have done it without you.

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