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Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007 Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

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  #451  
Unread 06-08-2007, 12:32 PM
5 weeks post op

Hello, to all my sisters and a really big
After reading your posts, it sounds as if every one here is getting better and healing! I am so happy for all of us and continue praying for our healing!

I am doing pretty good at this point but still find by the end of the work week, I am extremely tired! My legs still ache 3 or more times a week, also.

I, too, have been given the clearance from my DR that I may have sex but as other sisters have written, I am very scared! If any of you have had a TLAVH and have experienced sex afterwards (the first after the surgery) and would reply to this concern, it would be most appreciated, as my DH is really anxious for us to resume. Me, on the other hand, well, very scared.

I still have unexpected twinges in my vaginal area, and where my bladder is, even after 5 weeks. I don't see my DR for about 12 days, so I wonder if any one else has these twinges.

Have a nice Friday! Love to you all! Thank you for your support, too!!
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  #452  
Unread 06-08-2007, 02:18 PM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

Hello Everyone!
First the bad news - was doing really well but then suddenly developed some kind of discharge/infection yesterday afternoon. Wasn't sure if it was a UTI or yeast infection but I have never had either before so I called the doctor today to get it checked out before it got worse.
Then the good/bad news-was able to get in to see the doctor 1-1/2 hours later (!) and it turned out to be a minor infection for which I was given a prescription for an antibiotic I have to shoot into myself at bedtime (NOT looking forward to THAT!). It's only for 3 days so I'm glad I called when I did.
Now the good news-when the Dr. stood there with that lovely cold, hard metal thing to check my insides, I asked if this was going to hurt (for many, many years I would be screaming in pain from the annual pap smears - I used to cry because it hurt so bad and I was afraid this was going to be worse because of the surgery). He told me "no, it won't hurt" and I only half-believed him...Well...let me tell you...this had to be the first time in my life it did NOT hurt when something (that includes sex, too) was put inside me. I was literally screaming for joy - "OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! THIS DOESN'T HURT! OHMYGOD! THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN ABOUT 15 YEARS IT HASN'T HURT! OHMYGOD! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAD TO DO! OHMYGOD!" (You would have thought I was having the big "O" - it felt so good. I am also embarrassed to say it felt so good that I could have easily had the big "O"- oh my..... ).
If this is what sex is going to be like when I am allowed to resume normal activities, this single stray kat is gonna hafta start a-struttin'!!!
  #453  
Unread 06-08-2007, 02:19 PM
Arabrabneslin

  Quote:
Originally Posted by arabrabneslin
I've written this summary of my experience because I could not find a similar summary before my surgery and would have loved to be able to read about another person's experience before having the surgery. I hope this account helps others.

My experience with a TLH (total laparoscopic hysterectomy), retaining ovaries.

I am 39 years old and began having heavy irregular periods, breakthrough bleeding, and terrible cramping for over a year. I tried using the pill to help the symptoms but it did not work. I was diagnosed withfibroids (several both inside and outside the uterus) via ultrasound-- my uterus was about the size of a 12 week pregnancy. I decided on hysterectomy because I was finished with childbearing, did not want to have repeat procedures and I found a doctor who specialized in minimally invasive surgery that would allow me to recover easier and faster than a standard abdominal procedure.


Pre Op Visit

Only ate a liquid diet all day-- I did allow myself milk in my coffee and a soy milk protein drink in the morning. These are not usually part of a true liquid diet,but I had been given no specific instructions about a liquid diet by the doctor. Thepre op was in the late afternoon and when I arrived the office was pretty chaotic. The clinic nurse put the thermometer in my mouth without the sanitary cover!

Another nurse finished recording my vital signs. I lost 5 pounds since February (yea)! I have been trying to lose weight since Dec 2006 when myfibroids were diagnosed. I brought DH back in time to see the doctor. Then we got a big shock. In December along with my diagnosis offibroids, I had a bad pap smear (AGUS NOS). This required an ECC and an endometrial biopsy. They were done by my regular GYN and came back negative. But the surgeon I was seeing was still worried something was missed. She had consulted with oncologists about my case and they said she should do another pap smear and biopsy before surgery. All I could think was what am I going to do if I can't have surgery tomorrow. It takes months to get prepared for this type of thing. And of course here I was worrying about cancer again. The doctor scheduled me for the second surgery of the day and sent me home to do the bowel prep etc.

Ok- it is true what people say the bowel prep is one of the worst parts of this whole experience. I did not find that the phospho soda tasted bad (I put mine in ginger ale and slugged it like a college student binge drinking jello shots)...it was just very salty and had a weird aftertaste. Drink quickly and move on! The worst part of bowel prep was the sore rear end afterwards--- I did not buy gentleflushable wipes. That was a mistake.

Its easy to stick to the rule about not eating after a certain time--- you won't want to eat after the bowel prep. If you are allowed fluids try to drink up until the cutoff time because you don't want to be dehydrated the next day. Always follow your doctor's instructions.

That night I had to shower with antibacterial soap they gave me at the hospital and do the same in the morning.

In the morning I got up and said goodbye to my son, my parents drove him to school. We did not have to go to the hospital until 10am. Before showering I did the enema (geez enough already with the bowels!!) that gave me a stomach cramp or two but was over quickly.

At the hospital we checked in and were directed to the pre-op waiting area. This room was filled with lots of lost looking men walking around with clear bags filled with their significant other's belongings. They looked so sad and all I could think was that was going to be my DH soon!
I was still uncertain about my new pap smear and biopsy-- but guessed that since no one called in the early hours to cancel that things wereok.

The pre-op nurse called me in to take my vitals-- sat me in a giant chair, I felt like Lily Tomlin in the "incredible shrinking woman". then sent me to give a urine sample. That was like getting blood from a stone.

Back to the waiting room for less than a minute before they called us both back. The nurse put us in another room with a different chair, told me to take it all off and put on the hospital gown, hose, slipper socks and funny hat, told DH that his job was opening the door when I was finished dressing. We had a good laugh about the white pressure hose- DH saying they were sexy etc. I got dressed and we opened the door.

The parade of people began soon after. First a nurse put an needle for an IV in both of my hands, connecting only one to to an actual IV drip. They were giving me fluid andpepcid. Apparently they tilt you so much for the surgery that the pepcid helps prevent acid reflux afterwards. It worked- I did not have a problem with reflux after surgery.

Then the anesthesiologist stopped by to ask about my medical history and my neck flexibility (for airway insertion), the nurse anesthetist stopped by as well and explained the full procedure and all risks. I was happy to learn that the bladder catheter and respirator were to be put in after I was under anesthesia.

The surgeon arrived and leaned around the anesthesiology people to give me the thumbs up!! No cancer detected, whew! It was a relief to see her and to know everything wasok . She had two residents who also introduced themselves. Everyone was cheerful patient and friendly--it really helped put me at ease.

Be prepared to repeat many times the type of operation you are having-- this is because everyone involved must ensure that they are aware and that you are aware of all the plans- to prevent medical errors and misunderstandings.

After all the prep was done they let me say good bye to my husband and then wheeled me in the chair to the operating room. I remember seeing the huge lights and all the equipment and that's about it! Someone put the happy juice into my IV and I had a good sleep.

Four hours later...either the anesthesia nurse or the surgical resident was saying my name and asking if I was ok. Then I think I fell asleep again. I woke up in the recovery room--- and my first thought was boy do I have to pee! There was a nurse at the food of my bed but I felt like I couldn't speak up, so I feebly raised my hand. She walked up to me and I told her I had to go-- she said that was just the catheter and I could just relax. My second thought was- I'm alive! And I love my family! (hilarious, no?). The recovery area was strange-- there were other patients and nurses and it was so frantic and hectic but I felt like a zombie and kept nodding off. My pain was well controlled-- honestly the catheter feeling was my biggest problem. They let my husband visit me in recovery because they had a hard time locating a bed for me-- I was there about 2 hours before moving to a special unit for people spending only one night in the hospital.

The unit reminded me of a cardiac care area--- rooms with a nurses station in the middle-- no doors just curtains. But each room was private (not shared).

From 6pm to ~10:30 pm I battled waves of nausea with the goal of not vomiting. Once I get started I am usually sick for days! The nurse was very good and rather then giving me the standard dinner she ordered a liquid diet for me that night. They sent Ensure, pudding, ice cream and juices. She also brought saltines. I tried everything but the Ensure-- just looking at the ingredients list made me want to vomit! In the end I could only stand the crackers and ginger ale and finally ice water. I'd get a wave of nausea-- and try to breathe through it, recover and then I would burp!! I think it was the gas from the operation discharging.

When the residents came by to check on me at 10:30-- one noticed the wreckage of crackers on my table and looked at me-- it looked funny because I could only eat the crackers after breaking them into tiny pieces- what a mess. I said something about my new amazing cracker diet and he laughed.

After the residents left the nurse arrived announcing it was time to take out the catheter and go for a walk. Oh joy. I'd been pretty brave up to now but I did not like the idea of that thing coming out---but I psyched myself up and followed her instructions (holding my breath and counting) and soon enough the thing was out. It did hurt but I survived.

Walking came next. The nurse helped me swing my feet over the side of the bed and sit up for a bit. Then she helped me stand and walk slowly to the bathroom. The next test was trying to go. After the catheter this was challenging--but I was worried about having them put one back in so I was determined. Not much happened with this first visit-- I felt like I was learning to pee all over again.

Slowly the nurse and I walked back to my room. I decided to sit up and drink as much water as possible so I could go again soon. The nausea was coming in faster waves and I was tired so I agreed to takephenergan. It went to work really fast and I did not have nausea again. The only bad side effect of the phenergan is getting really sleepy-- so I was only able to sit up for a few minutes- then I got back into bed and tried to sleep.

I was wakened by a lab tech who needed to draw blood-- not a fun experience when you are trying to sleep. Then I decided to drink more and walk again to the bathroom. Walking got easier and easier and going to the bathroom got better too.

Soon it was morning (I had very little sleep in the hospital). I was up and about walking without the nurse-- they brought me breakfast and I was able to eat it and keep it down, no nausea. They were ready to let me go home!

One problem! Remember the advice about packing a bag? Well- I packed one with a change of clothes and a few other items and we brought it to the hospital. But my husband took that bag and the bag with mypre -op clothes, shoes etc. home with him the night before. The only thing he left behind was my chap stick! So- if you are wondering what to pack, try to remember that unless you expect to spend several days in the hospital, you don't need much at all!

So all the discharge stuff was done- the doctor came for one last visit, the IVs were removed etc., I just had to wait for DH to bring my clothing! Soon we were out of the hospital and I was home.

I was discharged with percocet and motrin for pain. I alternated the two drugs as directed and they worked for everything except the gas pain. The day passed quickly but as night came I began to feel worse and worse. My shoulder pain spread down my arm and up my neck. It grew and grew so by 9pm I was in tears. All I could do was take thepercocet and sit in bed with lots of pillows propping me up. I dozed off around midnight when the pain eased a bit- and DH was smart to wake me up in the wee hours to take another pain pill. By morning that awful awful pain had eased and was just an ache. I can only think it was caused by the gas but I've had problems with neck pain and shoulder pain before (from previous whiplash and weight lifting errors), so I don't know if the pain was worse because of those other problems. At my post op visit the doctor said this could have been a muscle spasm from my position on the operating table (tilted). I'm just glad it did not last.

DH was so stressed the next morning that he goofed up and gave me a double dose of pain meds in the morning. So I spent that day zonked out on the couch!

Each day I felt better, my incisions were healing well and my pain was under control. I began to take short walks (20 min) and increase the time and distance gradually. After 7 days on thepercocet I was able to stop taking the pills altogether. I think I took percocet all day for 3-5 days and then took it only at night before stopping altogether. I took motrin for about 2-3 weeks after that, gradually moving to night time only doses and then none at all.

I've followed the instructions about not lifting things and waiting for sex. I've been able to cook simple meals and straighten up around the house. I still haven't been to the grocery store by myself-- I'm actually looking forward to shopping alone for a change!

It has been 4 weeks and I pretty much feel like myself again. I no longer have a giant thing in my abdomen taking over my body! Clothes actually fit better- I was even able to go shopping for new ones. The doctor gave me a picture of my uterus and it was amazing how big and deformed it looked-- there were so manyfibroids -- probably more than the 3 they saw on the ultrasound. She also photographed my ovaries and they look healthy and fine. I did not have any problems with ovary function after the operation.

Today I saw the Dr. for my post-op check up. I've lost 2 lbs since my pre-op visit. The doctor said my uterus was about 3 times normal size. No wonder its made a difference now that its gone. She removed a few stitches from my incisions that had not dissolved. Everything is healing correctly and I am cleared to go back to my yoga class in about 2 weeks.

It was difficult to make the decision to have a hysterectomy, but now that its over I'm glad I opted for surgery. I did not realize just how much I was suffering until now. The pain I felt from monthly cramps was worse than all the pain I experienced after surgery. I feel like I can move forward now into a pain free life.
Thank you so much for sharing your LAVH experience. I pray for your continued healing!
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  #454  
Unread 06-08-2007, 02:22 PM
Katzz3

  Quote:
Originally Posted by katzz3
Hello Everyone!
First the bad news - was doing really well but then suddenly developed some kind of discharge/infection yesterday afternoon. Wasn't sure if it was a UTI or yeast infection but I have never had either before so I called the doctor today to get it checked out before it got worse.
Then the good/bad news-was able to get in to see the doctor 1-1/2 hours later (!) and it turned out to be a minor infection for which I was given a prescription for an antibiotic I have to shoot into myself at bedtime (NOT looking forward to THAT!). It's only for 3 days so I'm glad I called when I did.
Now the good news-when the Dr. stood there with that lovely cold, hard metal thing to check my insides, I asked if this was going to hurt (for many, many years I would be screaming in pain from the annual pap smears - I used to cry because it hurt so bad and I was afraid this was going to be worse because of the surgery). He told me "no, it won't hurt" and I only half-believed him...Well...let me tell you...this had to be the first time in my life it did NOT hurt when something (that includes sex, too) was put inside me. I was literally screaming for joy - "OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! THIS DOESN'T HURT! OHMYGOD! THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN ABOUT 15 YEARS IT HASN'T HURT! OHMYGOD! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAD TO DO! OHMYGOD!" (You would have thought I was having the big "O" - it felt so good. I am also embarrassed to say it felt so good that I could have easily had the big "O"- oh my..... ).
If this is what sex is going to be like when I am allowed to resume normal activities, this single stray kat is gonna hafta start a-struttin'!!!
I am so glad you are doing well! You gave me my first laugh of the day with the last 2 paragraphs your wrote...GO KITTY!!
  #455  
Unread 06-08-2007, 02:26 PM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

Meeeeoooooowwwww!
  #456  
Unread 06-10-2007, 07:49 AM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

Katzz3
Way to go! How wonderful that it did not hurt! I am glad you are recovering so well! I am too nervous about my six week and the dreaded "internal" I hope mine goes as well as you described! Have a beautiful day!
  #457  
Unread 06-10-2007, 09:00 AM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

Hi Bella and everyone else who responded--- thanks for your kind words and good luck with your recovery!!
-Barbara
  #458  
Unread 06-10-2007, 09:23 PM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

Hi ladies.
I was so out of it when I first posted that I used the wrong thread. (My surgery was May 8th) So I hope you don't mind my tagging along with your group!
That said, it's been just over a month and I'm feeling guilty about not being back at work. Even though I can only sit at the computer for about an hour at a time and get tired out pretty easily. I'm due to go back the 25th and work part-time the first week to ease back in. But I feel like I'm letting my coworkers down though my sensible inner voice tells me to take care of myself first. I'm old enough to know jobs come and go, health is far more important. But I still feel guilty! What's that about?!
Had my follow-up last week and it was the first time I've had a pelvic exam without pain in years. I couldn't believe it. No crying!
One good thing is I get to go my husband's doctor appointment tomorrow - CT scans to see if his lung and prostate cancers have returned. We are hopeful and have reason to believe everything's okay. But still, it's stressful every time.
The hardest thing about going back to work is missing "The Young and the Restless" which I have become hopelessly addicted to. Thank goodness for Soap Net!
Everybody take care. All of you - and this board - are comforting and I appreciate it.
  #459  
Unread 06-11-2007, 03:21 PM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

pcbabe,

No, I have not been cleared for sex yet. I was so disappointed when my Dr delayed it because the majority of my stitches ( I had TVH) have not yet dissolved.
  #460  
Unread 06-11-2007, 04:41 PM
Hysterectomy dates Apr 30-May 07,2007

How much longer do you have to wait! are you still getting pains? I seem to get them when Im squatting for a long period of time.
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