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TVH, no surgical date yet TVH, no surgical date yet

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Unread 11-17-2011, 12:27 AM
TVH, no surgical date yet


Just joined up.

As I said in my first post in the intro section, I just met with my doctor yesterday and we decided to go with a hysterectomy.

I've had miserable periods for many years, except for when I was pregnant or on the birth control pill. As I move into toward menopause, the periods were getting heavier and closer together and were really starting to affect my quality of life. My husband and I farm and I would go into harvest just hoping that wasn't going to be a problem. No product could stand up to what my body had to throw at it! DH figured 'go for a hysterectomy'. His mother had had one, but she had had 8 kids and likely needed one. I told DH that this is major surgery, you don't have an organ removed without good reason and these periods would eventually stop on its own, just let nature run its course.

Well, the last straw was this summer. I was feeling uncomfortable 'there' and I didn't know why. Finally...well, I used to be a nurse and I know what is supposed to be where and what stuff looks like. So I got out a mirror and looked, and there, staring back at me was my cervix. I was utterly horrified. There I was, with a prolapsing uterus. It could be pushed back up, but if I was up for very long or even if I went to the bathroom, out it came again.

Doing Kegels, but of course, it's too late.

The whole thing has just given me such a yucky feeling about myself, but that has calmed down. Of course, I have a rather droll sense of humor as well as an understanding husband. I would make jokes about being able to perform my own pap tests now, don't even need a speculum. Just give me the little wooden scraper thing and the slide and I can do it myself.

So I went to see my GP and he immediately referred me to an Ob/gyn. We just had a new one move to the region last year, so I think I had to wait less than 2 months to see him. I've gotten used to longer wait times than that.

This doctor was quite good and I found I could discuss things with him calmly and matter of factly. He knew exactly what questions to ask, I didn't have to sit there and think, "OK, is there something I'm forgetting to tell him?" At that point, too, I had had a period lasting for about a month, after several months of heavy periods every two weeks. I mean, most of the time when a health care professional asks, "When was your last period?" I can say, "Right now." I've been flowing more often than not for a good part of 2011. He figure that amount of bleeding required investigation before dealing with the prolapse.

So he did a quick ultrasound right there in his office and ordered some bloodwork (before I ran dry!). He said he wanted to do a hysteroscopy and a D & C, and he explained what that would involve. That had to be put off until after harvest, so that was all done in October. I was surprised that I had to go for a "pre op clinic" at the hospital. I had never had surgery at this facility before, and they were very thorough.

Anyway, that went allright. The only post op problem I had was with my throat. I guess they had a problem with the intubation and my throat got quite bruised up, which I found out by looking with a mirror. (Not that mirror, a different one!..) I finally did look because I wondered what the problem was with my throat, it really hurt and I had a hard time swallowing. But no discomfort from the procedure itself other than feeling a bit of a twinge the next day. The throat healed in a few days. I phoned the doctor to ask about the throat and he said they had had trouble with the intubation, I guess they had to try several times and put me under further and ended up using the smallest tube they had. He had wanted to talk to me post op and he apologized for not having done so, but I had gone home by the time he was out of surgery.

And I was told a small polyp was removed from my uterus and tissue samples from my uterus sent to pathology. No malignancies were found. And everything looked normal.

So I scheduled another appointment to get the original issue--the prolapse--dealt with. We discussed options, which basically were surgery or pessary. Given that I am past my childbearing years and my periods are so awful, the decision was made to do a hysterectomy. Surgical repair would be done for the prolapse as well.

Again, this doctor thoroughly explained exactly what he would do, showed me a picture and drew on it with a pen to show me where the incisions would go. I mentioned the intubation. He said if they had trouble again, they might leave the tube in longer this time. (I really hope I don't actually wake up with that thing because I think that would make me panic.)

So now I'm waiting for the hospital to schedule another pre-op clinic and the surgery. The doctor figured may it would be in about 3 weeks. I hope it's fairly soon because we're planning on a long trip south in January. Road trip, not flying, and our vehicle is very comfortable.

And that's my story so far.

I did some reading online about the procedure itself and I had to stop...It made me cringe. I started to read some of the stories here, but that had the same effect. I was feeling quite stressed and had a high level headache this afternoon. I had a good talk with my husband, though, and he was really good about it. He is very supportive and he says he's looking forward to looking after me.

I think the thought of being under anesthetic for an hour and a half is kind of bothering me, but I'm reminding myself that this procedure is done all the time and when it's over, it will be so liberating to not have to worry about these heavy periods anymore, to not have to keep space in my purse for pads and tampons, to not have to fret about long stretches driving the combine at harvest or long road trips and 'where's the nearest bathroom' and 'is this jacket long enough to conceal any accidents'?

The ovaries are staying, so no early menopause.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I really don't have anyone to talk to about any of this. I wish there were nearby patient support groups or something. I would even have liked to talk to some other patients of this specific doctor, but I have no way of doing that. I was pleased to find this group.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 02:11 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

Wow. You sound like me .I havent had a preop yet. I had a whole month long period. Some would be on a schedule and some just whenever.I never really thought much about it . I would go to work bleeding and cramping and eat all the over the counter pain meds. I could . I was shocked at my doc deciding to do a TVH. But , I am so happy that the bleeding will be done . I have mine on 5 of December . Right in time for the holidays . YIPPEE!? I work a full time job as well as helping here on our country home . I really hope you get through all this well too . I have no one else to talk about this to either . My hubby wont even talk about it . He did not like it when I elected to have my tubes tied. We did not want anymore kids.Well, good luck . Maybe we can check in on each other .
Unread 11-18-2011, 04:55 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet


That's too bad your husband won't talk about it. I know guys can be like that when it comes to 'women's stuff'. My hubby is kind of comical when it comes to 'periods', acting like he's allergic to brand new packages of feminine products, like it's so gross. We've been married over 20 years, I just laugh about it now and tease him. Like what, he's going to turn into a woman if he touches a box of tampons? After our son was born nearly 19 years ago, my husband and my mom had to go pick up some pads for me, and it still makes me laugh to try to picture him with his mother-in-law, the two of them trying to figure out what brand I was using..."I think she gets the one in the green package." Actually, he can laugh about it, too. One of those classic moments to remember.

When I told my husband about the prolapse last summer, I was really nervous about that because I felt like I was gross and he would think I was less attractive. He was so sweet about it, though, and his concern was about whether or not he would hurt me. I have made sure he knows how much I appreciate his understanding and his care.

I haven't given him the details about my surgery, like exactly how the procedure will go, but he understands that it [i]is[/I a big deal. My doctor explained it to me in detail, I myself read about it once and I'm not going to dwell on it from there because I don't think that is helpful. As it is, I have these little flashes of fear off and on and that doesn't do any good. I know what's going to happen, I understand that it's major surgery, and what reading about the details has done for me is given me what I think will be a healthy respect for the process and for the degree of care that will need to be taken during recovery. There's a LOT of stuff being done and, in my case, some extra repairing to do. So if I'm really sore for a while afterward, I'll understand why, and I'll respect my body and the healing process that will be needed. You don't want something to go wrong with that.

And this process does have an end and the result will be so great and just so liberating.

(Think of what we'll do with the extra money we won't be spending on feminine protection products! )

We watched a news report last night about a group of patients suing a doctor who had performed hysterectomies in Ontario, Canada. I guess this doctor was supposed to be supervised, and she wasn't and no one bothered to tell the patients. A patient who had had complications was interviewed and she explained her issues with the bowel having been perforated and she had to have part of her colon removed. My husband looked at me, alarmed. I said, "Yes, it can happen."

Well, all kinds of things can happen. It's winter here and an oncoming vehicle could skid into my lane next time I'm coming home from buying groceries in town, too. There are risks with surgery, there are risks in life.

I wish you all the best with your surgery and recovery. Don't get all caught up in overdoing it just because the holidays are coming. Maybe your husband won't talk about it, but I'll bet he'll be glad to have you not having such long and miserable periods all the time. If you have some pamphlets or something related to your surgery, maybe you could leave them lying around where he could see them, just so he understands that you're going to need lots of rest afterward. And maybe he's a bit scared, too. Guys don't like to admit that either, and they don't like being or feeling helpless. Seeing some info might help calm his fears, too.

Let us know how you're doing with the surgery and afterward, too.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 05:06 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

I agree with you on all you said . My hubby isnt good about showing his feelings. Been married 9 years.Thats not the redneck way . lol. But, I know he is worried and I just go about it . I know my obgyn is a good one . My family doc had no problem when I told him who was doing it . I think the shock is because my first obgyn told me that this would never happen . Guess who was wrong. I dont blame anyone . My sister said it was because I never had any children . My 2 are his from his first wife. I just never wanted any . Personal reasons. Well, I will be watching out for you . I also told my friend at work Well, at least you will have free pads. lol. You gotta smile about things or go on a crying spree. I hope I dont get depressed after all this . I hear it happens. But , country gals are tough and always bounce back . Keep smiling . Prayers.
Unread 11-18-2011, 08:16 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

Originally Posted by msmille66 View Post
I agree with you on all you said . My hubby isnt good about showing his feelings. Been married 9 years.Thats not the redneck way . lol. But, I know he is worried and I just go about it . I know my obgyn is a good one . My family doc had no problem when I told him who was doing it . I think the shock is because my first obgyn told me that this would never happen . Guess who was wrong. I dont blame anyone . My sister said it was because I never had any children . My 2 are his from his first wife. I just never wanted any . Personal reasons. Well, I will be watching out for you . I also told my friend at work Well, at least you will have free pads. lol. You gotta smile about things or go on a crying spree. I hope I dont get depressed after all this . I hear it happens. But , country gals are tough and always bounce back . Keep smiling . Prayers.
Had to laugh about the 'redneck' comment. Tough on the outside, soft old marshmallows on the inside.

A sense of humor sure helps, too.

And it's good that you have an obgyn you feel confident in, too. That's so important, to feel good about your health care team.

Hopefully you'll be able to keep your ovaries and then at least you won't have a sudden onset of menopause. Mine are staying, so we still get to enjoy the hormones, LOL! I usually have a sense of humor about that, too, but I'm moving into the time when sometimes I feel like I have a swarm of hornets inside. But I find I can even kind of step back and laugh at myself then, too.

All the best to you. Prayers for you, too.
Unread 11-20-2011, 02:30 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

Thanks. Sorry I have been busy with my family and trying to get ready for this . Still no word on my preop yet. I just wish it would be over soon . I have a nest of hornets too . As well as fireants!! lol. I try to breath deep and read here to see what other sisters say. I hope to find you on here after we get these over . Thanks. Prayers.
Unread 11-20-2011, 03:13 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

I hadn't heard anything about a surgical date either. I didn't have to wait long for the hysteroscopy and D & C, but that's an outpatient thing, so I don't imagine that would be too difficult to schedule. This time it'll be making sure there's a hospital bed available post op as well on the surgical ward. I am hoping it will be soon though. I think if it's after mid December, I might leave it until the new year. We're going south for the month of January and I'm concerned about being able to get travel insurance. So I think it'll be within 3 weeks or not until mid February 2012.

I'm also wondering if I'll have to have the whole pre-op thing if it's within a couple of weeks--like the entire blood work, urinalysis, chest x-ray, EKG and so on, since I just had that done at the end of September and nothing has really changed since then. I just want info re what prep they want. I hope there's no yucky stuff to drink for a bowel prep. I had a colonoscopy done a few years ago, and I had to drink 2 small but deadly servings of the most vile, disgusting stuff on the planet, and it was about as bad on its way out! The prep was worse than the test! I don't think they would want a lady in that condition going into hysterectomy surgery. I was so severely dehydrated from the prep and fasting that my veins collapsed and they had to place the IV in the crook of my elbow instead of my hand. I think the bowel should be empty, but I don't think it needs to be cleaned right out. Ah well. I've been reading about that on here and I don't think the bowel prep is too severe.

We're going to be away for a good part of this week. My husband has surgery on one of his hears to correct a hearing loss, and that's in a city that's about a 10 hour drive from here. (Naturally, just got my period. Nothing like a 10 hour road trip to bring that on. ) He's been waiting for this for about a year and a half now, so we're looking forward to this. I think he'll be OK. He's had surgery before on the other ear a long time ago, and he was a bit dizzy the next day but otherwise he fared quite well. I'll get to look after him for a while, at least as much as he lets me anyway.

I think some of the ladies on some other threads are talking about what they plan to do post op while they are convalescing, so that might be kind of fun. Making some meals ahead and freezing them will sure help, and arming oneself with some good books and DVD's. If there are kids at home, they can get in on it, too, sort out what they can do to help.

I'm going to get the house cleaned up in advance and maybe double up on a few meals, but it's just the 2 of us here, so it shouldn't be too strenuous keeping up with things, and we only have our one son coming home for Christmas and likely only for a day (work schedule).

I will definitely be on this message board before and after.

Unread 11-20-2011, 03:41 PM
Re: TVH, no surgical date yet

Good luck to your hubby on his operation . I hope my period stays AWAY so I m not bothered by it . I am still nervous and all. My sis in law said she will come help if needed . But my mom in law lives here on the farm with us so it wont be like I am alone . I just will have to get up and down all alone . I cant rely on her to help . lol. I think I have an old cane around to help me get a grip . lol. Listen to me . I sound like I am ready for rehab!!! Well, safe travel to you also . Hope you will be able to travel . Some wont let you for a few weeks . I laready bought me a few puzzle books to do . I cant stand to not have them . I am having horrid hot flashes at night since stopping the birth control pill . I hate that. lol.I will be looking for you .

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