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Unread 08-15-2006, 07:00 PM

My name is TJ. I am from Ohio and I am scheduled for my hyster on October 19th.

My doctor and I have tried every imaginable process to avoid this whole surgery. Finally I went in because I was having crazier periods (3 boxes of overnights, and tampons, scripts for my period migraines, hot flashes, zoloft, every sort of pain med imaginable for my cramps and lets not forget the lovely EXPLODING CYSTS!!!!) we both agreed enough is enough.

I am absolutely terrified about my surgery. The only thing that keeps me from calling this whole thing off and just continuing on this crazy thing called a period...is now I am anemic and I cannot stand too much more of the bleeding, cramping, flashes, and my expense report for kotex super plus tampons and always overnights. ( I should buy stock in that company)

My Dr put me on prenatal vitamins and iron to try and avoid the whole tranfusion issue b4 my surgery. If things don't improve I will have to have a transfusion......who should I ask to donate??? My children are both of age...and would donate in a minute if they needed to.

I can tolerate pain pretty well...but after reading some of the post here...I think I am going to have to worst possible pain I have ever felt in my life. Unfortunately, my uterus is so big it is almost up to my belly button so I have to have a bikini cut.

My issue right now is I have a teenaged daughter who will be in school when I am home alone and the master bedroom in our house is on the 3rd floor complete with full bath. I don't think I am going to want to climb up or down stair cases to be on the main floor of my house...but I would like to eat. I have thought about buying a really little fridge and microwave just for my room. Does this make sense to anyone?

I am also thinking I need to cook several several huge meals and freeze them b4 my big day. She knows how to cook, but can only do so much.

TJ the terrified
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Unread 08-15-2006, 07:06 PM

I hope all goes well with your surgery.
Unread 08-15-2006, 07:09 PM

TJ, I am sorry that you are going through so much right now with the pain and now the anxiety. As you read many of the posts on this site, you will see many of us (I am including myself) have felt frightened at one time or another. I am scheduled to have my total abdominal hysterectomy on Aug 23rd 7 more days!! And I have had some bad days where I have had to write to get support from the sisters here. Remember you are not alone, and you are encouraged to verbalize your fears, concerns, and questions.

About your dilemma about your bedroom, and the fridge situation. Is there really no where on the first level you could sleep the first week? If not, then I have read that some women have had their family members pack a cooler for them in the morning, with drinks, sandwitches, fruit and vegetables and I guess a thermos for hot stuff could also be included. That way you actually would not have to go downstairs. My husband works very long hours, and he is travelling/driving all day. So I bought him a cooler that plugs into the outlet in the car for the summer, and another thermal unit that also plugs into the car that keeps things hot, for the winter. So you can buy these things (they also plug into a normal wall plug) and you could have hot or cold things all day.
Anyway I am glad you found this site, and please keep your sisters here updated on your progress. You will find everyone here is willing to offer support and suggestions.
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Unread 08-15-2006, 07:18 PM

Dear TJ from Ohio,

I had my TAH/BSO almost a year ago, so it has not been so long, that I do not remember how scared I was too.

Like you, I put it off for many years and have no regrets about that-due to being thrown into surgical menopause-which was not in the plan prior to the hysterectomy. I had endo that we did not know was there. I had to have a midline incison from the navel down, because my uterus was also huge-fibroids the size of cantelopes-it was a 20 week uterus.

A word of caution, this is a wonderful website and helped me tremendously to prepare-but do not take EVERYONE'S experience on here to heart-or you will never get to the O.R. I was in tears at times, if I spent too much time on here and things I read now suprise me sometimes and @ the time, was not even aware that I was going to lose my ovaries. This was my first surgery.

Turns out, my surgery was far more extensive than planned-but none of it came anywhere as bad as those terrible periods I was experiencing prior to the surgery. I was to the point of almost needing narcotics for the pain with my period every month and spend almost an entire day in bed, if I could. Following my hysterectomy, once the morhpine pump was removed, I required only Motrin for pain-and 1 shot of Demerol prior to my drain being removed. I could not believe how much easier it was than I ever imagined. And, I thought I was a wimp as far as pain was conerned due to the horrible pain with my periods.

It has been a tough journey some days-mainly due to the fact that I was a pretty busy, energetic person prior to surgery. The fatigue has been by far, more of an issue than the pain. And, I am still in the process of getting my hormones balanced.

You will have to pace yourself for that first year. I am still not quite 100 %-but look forward to my first Hysterverisary next month. I do not miss those terrible periods one bit ! I am finally free to live each day to the fullest

Email me any time and if there are any questions I can answer for you.

You will do just great! Waiting is the HARDEST part.

If you feel that your anxiety is becoming too much, ask your Dr. for something, short term, to take the edge off. I did and it worked wonders-especially for a good nights sleep. And a rested princess does much better.

I send you a , and prayers.

Unread 08-15-2006, 07:19 PM

Hi TJ. I understand your fears. I had a TAH with bikini cut on July 12th and live alone. While I didn't have to worry about stairs everyday if I had your situation I would have gotten a small fridge and microwave - it is a good idea. And yes to preparing and freezing meals ahead of time. This also allows for your teenager to have healthy meals as well.

My recovery has been easier than I imagined it to be and I tend to be a worrier! I found for myself that being prepared was helpful and ended up not needing a lot of things I thought I would. The main thing I found by putting together a "to do before surgery" list was it made me calmer because I felt like I had some control of things.

I too read through the different posts and some I found scary and disconcerting but remember that every person is different and so is their experience. I have found this site to be such a help to express my concerns, ask questions, and talk about my emotions.

And it is wonderful to know we are not alone - others have been through what we go through and made it to "the other side". Hang in there and let us know how you are doing!
Unread 08-15-2006, 07:23 PM

I am sorry you are terrified but glad you have found Hyster Sisters and hope we can offer you some support and comfort!

I was of the ladies who actually did not have a lot of pain after my hyst. I had more pain after my lap than I did my hyst. I barely remember the day of my hyst, so they must have gave me meds to keep up with the pain without my asking. I do remember pain on the second day, but that was it. I only had pain meds for headaches after that.

Talk to your dr about your fear of the pain and how your pain will be managed. Staying on top of your pain, before it is unbearable, can be extremely benefitial and make all the difference in the world.

While recoverying from my hyst, my DH would bring me downstairs every day when he would leave for work, and I would not go back up again until he was home at night. This worked out best for my family situation. If you think you would be comfortable staying in your room, have a fridge and microwave handy, and a cordless phone so you can "buzz" other members of the household when you need them.

Many ladies find having meals prepared ahead of time helps out tremendously while recovering, and making them helps soothe the nerves prior to surgery.

Many best wishes to you for your upcoming surgery! I wish you the best!
Unread 08-15-2006, 07:45 PM

Dear TJ - don't be terrified. I, too, had a huge uterus and needed to have abdominal surgery. The pain is very tolerable: 1. they give you the happy button at the castle and 2. they give you other pain meds after they take that away. You should be able to manage any pain with relative ease. I hardly needed my percocets and took them as a preventive measure, then I didn't like the loopiness so I cut back to only 1 at bedtime and quit that at about day 9. Yes, I have a high threshold for pain too. Dr couldn't believe I tolerated my uterus the way I did. As for the daytime setup - I don't know what to say. I was able to take the stairs (1 set) and went round trip only once or twice a day for the first week. Dh went back to work on day 5 and I managed. Also on day 5 I started 2 online college classes and was able to read the material and do the online course work including writing papers. I won't say it was easy in the beginning because it was not. It was do-able. Maybe you can set up your first floor to accommodate you staying there for the first week. My guess it that you won't even need it for that long. I think you will amaze yourself at how much better you will feel with each passing day - barring complications that is. The risk of complications is so small, don't even keep that on your list of things to think about. You can't do anything about it anyway. I flew through my first 6 weeks and am now approaching week 7. I feel fantastic and to anyone else who is a lady in waiting, know that there are others like me who had clear sailing. Meanwhile, keep posting. The gals here are so very helpful and caring.
Unread 08-15-2006, 07:46 PM

I'm so sorry you're scared. I've had two previous abdominal surgeries so when they told me that mine would be vaginal, I was quite relieved. It is a wonderful idea to cook a few casseroles up ahead of time because I didn't believe I would be as pooped as the doctor said. Always quick to bounce back from surgery I was. Come to find out, when they mess with the girls, you do get pooped. Please take advantage of the afternoon, heck, even morning naps. You WILL be okay. Don't wait to take your pain meds. It's so much easier to stay on top of pain than it is to get control of it in the first place. You can wean yourself off in time. You will do fine and trust me...I haven't bled in three months. I figure that has saved me somewhere in the neighborhood of about $1,000 (just joking). Not worrying about when it was coming and how long it was going to last (which was usually FOREVER) is well worth the discomfort that you will have at first. Don't try too much too soon. I felt cocky two weeks after mine and flipped my four-wheeler in the driveway, split open my knee, got stitches, a staph infection, and another stay in the hospital for three days. I had some of the same nurses who still remembered me from a few weeks earlier). Take it easy. Even if you start getting your energy back. Start out with walks, don't set your goals too high, but slowly work up. You will be back to your normal self once your hormones are straightened out. If you have a partner, have them read this so they will know that you will have two bad days for every good day. Ask for their patience and have them drop me an e-mail if they feel like they will kill you!!! You will be fine. Good luck sweetie!

Unread 08-15-2006, 07:57 PM

Hi TJ,
Before my surgery I was terrified too. I worried and thought the worst things, and prayed a LOT! I actually felt better the two weeks or so before my surgery than I did a month and two months before. Some of us just need to go through the worries and fears and have time to adjust.
It seems that the more things I did to get ready, the better I felt. I think it makes us feel like we have some control over the situation, which we do. When I was doing things around the house and cooking meals ahead of time, and buying nightgowns, that type of thing, I felt much better. And yes, it's a great idea to have food pre-made, lots of snack and easy food around, and whatever kind of arrangements you can make to have food available in your room, like the fridge and microwave, or at least a cooler. I didn't want anything near my incision, and lived in big, loose nightgowns for the first 4 weeks or so. Those and a recliner to sit, lay, and sleep in were lifesavers. And computer games and the post-op side of this board!
I had my uterus, ovaries, and tubes out, and I had a lot of fibroids, including a grapefruit sized one and cysts on my ovaries. I had been bleeding, anemic, and exhausted, with pain just about everywhere for a couple of years before my surgery. I have no insurance or money, so had to find somebody to do it anyway.
I'm about 9 weeks out of surgery. My incision goes from above my navel to the pubic area, and it's still kind of sore and tender. BUT, my back, my feet, my abdomen...none of them hurt anymore. I didn't even know my back and foot pain was caused by the fibroids (pressing on my spine). I had been very short of breath for a couple of years, that's gone. (Fibroiids/uterus were pushing against my diaphragm.) My anemia is already gone, and my energy level is incredible. I feel like I did 10 years ago and more. I'm not on any HRT, but I've had no menopausal symptoms at all (I'm 51.) I am on Zoloft and I think that helps with the emotional parts of menopause.
Anyway, didn't mean to make this so long, but wanted to tell you there are MANY women here and on the Post-Op side of this site that understand the fear, and want to give you support.
Wishing for you the very best, and happy healing. Janet
Unread 08-15-2006, 11:52 PM

Hi TJ in Cleveland, OH

I'm originally from Cleveland! So to one of my hometown sisters here!

Yes - you'll have pain, but the dr usually give great pain meds in the castle - and to take when you're home to manage the pain. I had a bikini cut because of my large uterus, too. One thing that really helped me were cold packs that I was able to lay on my abdomen while I was resting. That really helped reduce my pain a lot!

As for stairs...I have been going up and down them since I got home because I live in a tri-level. If you have your bedroom set up to be your recovery room, then it would probably be good to have a small fridge and a cooler with drinks, sandwiches and snacks. OR - set up your recovery room downstairs. Whereever you feel more comfortable.

I froze some meals, but found that I was happier with lighter fare. I also bought a lot of frozen dinners (about two weeks worth) which worked out well.

I hope these ideas help!

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