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So many questions, where to start... So many questions, where to start...

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Unread 02-14-2002, 01:08 PM
So many questions, where to start...

Well I am new here. Just found out I have to have a LAVH BSO (yes I checked out the abbrvs). There is some doubt as to whether I can have a LAVH (as I have not had children). My surgeon is referring me to a Lap Specialist. And in the scheme of things, that's where I am now, waiting for an appointment.

My issue is recurrent cervical dysplasia, four loops over five years and it keeps coming back! I am 47 and have no signs of menopause. The only answer I got to wanting to take my ovaries is "well at your age..." I guess they are affraid of ovarian cancer? It's funny I don't know what bothers me the most -- amputation of my body parts or that my mechanic takes longer discussing what ails my car!

Anyway, I am just looking for in-sights into recovery periods and HRT. I am extremely athletic and hate the thought of missing a seasons competitive dressage, (I don't have that many left LOL), not to mention that when you run a horse breeding and training barn, taking it easy adds a whole new dimension to life! Any dressage riders out there? How long did it take you to get back to normal? Please answer if you experienced LAVH or TAH. And HRT where do you even start to know what to take and expect.

Thanks so much,
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Unread 02-14-2002, 01:16 PM
So many questions, where to start...

Hello Judith!

You might check into the Hormone Jungle message board for posts and questions about HRT. My procedure was a TVH, so no help to you there. I do believe though, that if you are healthy and fit, your recovery will go a bit easier. You will still need to take it easy and slowly move back into your routines, but this is important to aid in full recovery and not suffer any setbacks. It can be difficult for the active woman to slow down, but you must do it! Here is the link to the hormone jungle:

Good luck to you!
Unread 02-14-2002, 07:24 PM
So many questions, where to start...

A few of our sisters are horse people, so I'm sure someone will be along soon to give you some insight. The closest I've gotten to a horse is the carousel in Central Park.

The good thing about being athletic is that you are in good shape going into the surgery, which surely helps your recovery. The usual recovery for a hyster is 6 to 8 weeks...the internal work is the same for vaginal or abdominal. The LAVH seems to be a somewhat shorter recovery, but I think it's critical not to rush back to normal activities, especially ones as strenuous as these.

Please discuss this stuff frankly with your doctor, and you may find some good answers on our Pull Down menus on the home page....Princesses Tell Their Stories.

Hope things go well for you!!!

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Unread 02-14-2002, 07:35 PM
So many questions, where to start...

I had a TAH/BSO 11 weeks ago. However, I had a lap myomectomy in June last year. I think the biggest advantage of a LAVH is the small incisions instead of the larger abdominal incision. But as other ladies have pointed out, you still have the same internal healing going on, regardless of the incision type so you need to keep in mind that early recovery is 6 to 8 weeks and not overdo it, even if you have small incisions on the outside.
As for your ovaries ... this is one of the toughest decisions. I'm 46 and had mine removed because I had stage 4 endo and estrogen is suspected to fuel endo growth. I'm not taking any estrogen yet ... a precaution to help prevent possible regrowth. Talk to you doctor about the HRT issue and what he/she recommends. Check out the hormone jungle too. If there's no family history of ovarian cancer, you've had no problems with your ovaries, you should consider keeping them. Even after menopause, your ovaries continue to secrete small amounts of hormones that we need. Unless there is a good reason to remove them, why do it? Best of luck!

Unread 02-14-2002, 08:16 PM
So many questions, where to start...

Hi Judith,

I had the same surgery you're planning 2 years ago. It took about 6 weeks before I could do some real excercise although I felt great at about 4 weeks. Good Luck! I've felt better than ever since my surgery and I love the ERT I'm on. The Vivelle patch is on my rump and really small 1in x 1 1/2 in. I run and swim a lot and have found it works great.

Hope this helps, I wish I had a horse!! Kristy
Unread 02-14-2002, 10:47 PM
So many questions, where to start...

Hi Judith!

I took dressage lessons for a short while. My horse trotted over the boundary of the arena as if it were cavelletti, to visit with another horse, and I was too busy laughing to stop her. ("You mean I'm supposed to *steer*?") Neither of us could get past doing serpentines when it was simpler to cut straight across the arena. Hopeless...

But I do ride, more or less, and did have a TAH.

I'm sorry you're in need of a hyst, but you've come to the right place. There's tons of good info here - even info on dealing with doctors who don't feel the need to bother explaining things to you.

I'm a "backyard horseowner", so I was able to get by with my wonderful DH feeding and watering (and mucking out!). By two weeks I could feed my 3 critters (horse and two donkeys) if I took everything really slow, sat and rested, carried one *flake* of hay at a time... By three weeks I was a little stronger so I tried to clean my mare's feet - almost passed out from bending and holding her front foot. I *felt good* and had a pretty easy recovery, but it's amazing how much it takes out of you - the term "weak as a kitten" really fits sometimes.

Handling a horse on the ground can be a real challenge, nevermind riding. The day after I came home from the hospital I was out in the pen just petting my "herd", but I didn't dare try to halter and lead one until I was cleared by my doc at 4 weeks - and even then I got pulled on real good (the bigger of the two donkeys tried to chase and stomp a cat) and my belly hurt for a couple of days.

Even with an LAVH your abs may be very sore/weak. Tugging on a lead rope or getting head-butted would probably hurt. If you have a situation where you are handling the horses (turning them out?), don't count on doing that yourself for about 4 weeks - if they are quiet with good manners - maybe more if they are cantankerous beasts.

You will need dependable help for feeding/watering for at *least* two weeks, 4 would be more reasonable, and 6 would be pretty safe. You'll progressively be able to take on bits of it (filling water with a hose, handing out carrots...) but doing the whole thing will be rough, and there may be days when you really just need to lie down and rest. Be sure you have someone (neighbor? border?) who can haul a horse if you need to send one to the vet. And if you will be without help (say, between feedings, or overnight) be sure you have a few numbers of friends who can come save you if a horse gets out, or gets cast or something.

I've never run a big barn, so I'm probably missing something. I hope you have a bunch of 12 y/o girls hanging around helping you out. Just try to not get into situations where you could get in over your head, because if a horse needs help, I'll bet you will help it, and you may hurt yourself. One Sister recently caught her little kid as the kid took a header off the radiator (I think?), and she ended up with a hernia at the incision site. But you know she *had to* catch the kid. Just try to stay out of those predicaments with your horses.

As for riding... I mostly goof around bareback (no saddles to lift!), so I'm probably not a good comparison, but I was back on my horse at 5 weeks, just puttering around at a walk/trot. Riding normally was pretty easy, but little spooks hurt - it's surprising how much you use your abs for those! Bareback or not, if you are working with a few particular horses, you might start now training them to come get you off of something high (trailer fenders are perfect) so you don't have to reach your foot up to the stirrup.

My brain's gone dead and that's all I can think of right now... Holler if you have any particular questions. Also search (using the Search button, upper right part of the screen) for "horse riding" or maybe even "dressage" - I'm sure you'll find a lot of info. Several sisters jumped in and helped me when I started asking the same questions, and it's been discussed a lot since, too.

Good luck - take things slowly so you'll recover more quickly.
Unread 02-15-2002, 02:08 AM
So many questions, where to start...

Hi Judith
I cant relate exactly about the horse and hyst recovery question, but can tell you about what it was like after recovering from my C- Section and Lap. By way of background I only every had 2-3 horses at at time, agisted out in paddocks/stables. Im now horseless after 16 years, my lovely old mare had to be put down last year (she was 24) with degenerative ringbone. I had a very gentle mare who was agisted about a 15 minute drive from my home. Both times she was out in the paddock - less responsibility than being stabled/yarded - less cleaning and excercising.
Lucky for me I had many good friends who "baby" sat for me and were very caring - they wouldnt let me do things I shouldnt have been doing. I really wanted to ride. I wanted to clean her feet. I prepared as much as possible before hand, ensured that vet/farrier was up to date. Had a girlfriend on call in case of horse emergencies etc. The hardest thing both times was not riding for the first few weeks. I was strong and managed to leave it for 6 weeks after the c-sect and 4 weeks after the lap. In the mean time I contented myself with grooming and easy tasks for a while. When I had enough of being at home, I went out to the paddock and just watched the horses and fed her. I had to content myself with not having a perfectly clean horse for a while. Rugs were a problem in winter, again I got my girlfriend to put these on and off.
When I finally got back into the saddle the feeling of joy was amazing, I was testing my abdominal muscles and both times I was surprised at how quickly I had healed. I took it very easy on my first ride back - only a short time out and just walking and trotting. I guess I should say that the third time out when i was sure I wasnt going to hurt myself I did have a momentary lapse and went for a canter over a few little jumps, it made me sore the next day and tired, but I was proving to myself that my balance was still there and man it felt good.
Seek as much help as you can. Im sure that there are people (some horseless but reliable) around who would love to work for free! If you can appoint one sensible adult to supervise some enthusiastic teenagers and cope with not having everything done to your "ususal" standard for a couple of weeks you should be right.
Perhaps you can schedule more schooling and work in the weeks leading up to your op, this way both horse and rider will appreciate the break. I know that there were times that a "holiday" or spell meant we progressed faster afterwards. For those stabled friends a few weeks out in the paddock was bliss for them and a break for me.
I do wish you all the very best.
God bless
Unread 02-15-2002, 03:58 AM
So many questions, where to start...


I am really not much help with your questions. My LAVH BSO is scheduled for March 4th. But, something in your post did catch my eye and I thought I'd make a quick comment. You are correct that the doctors should spend plenty of time explaining your procedure, why they feel you need what they have recommended and answering every single one of your questions. If you aren't getting that satisfaction, please find a doctor that will give it to you. They are out there and it really does help alleviate some of the anxiety about the surgery when you know that your doctor not only has explained everything to you but also cares about your concerns and you as a person. Don't let him be outdone by a mechanic! Good luck to you.
Unread 02-15-2002, 05:20 AM
Thanks for you help

Thank you for all your posts. And thank you Linda and Lucy for your horsey stuff. I am sorry you are without horse currently and the loss of your mare Lucy, I really relate to that.

It really helps to talk. And what you are telling me as not as bad as I was thinking (dreading...).

I will become more assertive about my treatment. It's amazing how emotional the whole thing is. Thanks again, this site is great, it really helps.

Unread 02-15-2002, 12:01 PM
So many questions, where to start...

Another thought... When you do get back to riding, you might try wearing "control top" undies, a "belly binder" (from the hospital or pharmacy), or one of those black neoprene back braces (I wore mine backwards). Something supportive like that can help you feel more comfortable doing jarring things like riding in a car, or trying to sit the trot on one of those big, boingy warmbloods.

If you teach, bring a plastic lawn chair into the ring so you can sit and teach.

And see if you can't reform your current doctor (assuming you otherwise like/trust him/her). Bring a list of questions, and ask to take a few minutes going over them. You doc may just be rushed, or may think you don't want to know all the details (some women really don't). My doc was always rushed, but when he found I wanted to know everything he had me wait in his office while he finished up with a few patients, then he came in and ate lunch while answering everything I wanted to know. He seemed happy that somebody was interested in his work, actually.

Back to the horsey thing - recovery is a great time to try clicker training, if you haven't already. You can even do it sitting down in the barn aisle, with the horse safely in their stall (looking over the door) - or through the fence. My critters think it's the Best Game Ever. Also, lots of tack/feed stores rent horsey videos (mostly clinicians & how-to stuff) - your time on the couch would be a good chance to watch a bunch of them if you are so inclined. Just arrange with a friend to pick them up and return them.

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