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The more I read the scarier it seems The more I read the scarier it seems

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Unread 03-27-2002, 03:40 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

I'm scheduled for a TAH with a bladder sling procedure on April 2 and I went for all my preop labs today. They are leaving my ovaries intact. As the surgery gets closer and closer I can feel myself starting to panic. Although I am worried about the pain of the surgery and recovery (I've had 3 prior abdominal surgeries) the long term effects are what I am most afraid of. I was reading on some website about hysterectomy-- and their stats were very alarming with the percent of women who have depression, sexual problems, etc following their surgery(like 70%!!). My sister had to have her TAH BSO a couple years ago, and she says that she has never felt better in her life. From what I've been reading on this website (I just found it today!) I'm not hearing the horrible outcomes that those statistics portrayed. I'm only 39 and thinking about never having a decent relationship with my husband again is incredibly scary. Well, thanks for letting me vent. I would love to hear from anyone who could provide a little reassurance!
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Unread 03-27-2002, 05:12 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Dear Leslie -

Oh I'm so sorry you're hitting that panic mode that seems to set in big time once you go to the pre-op appointment. When I hit that point the best thing I did was go to the chat room and let the ladies know how I was feeling. No matter how much I talked to my friends, co-workers (and basically anyone who would listen) about how freaked out I was there was nothing better than hearing from someone who had actually "been there and done that" here on hystersisters.

From one 39 year old Leslie to another -- a big

Unread 03-27-2002, 05:38 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Hi, Leslie,

I can only speak from my personal experience, but once I was completely healed (I had A & P repairs done which took a little longer to heal up), I can honestly say that I have had no sexual problems at all.

And as for the depression - Did those stats include whether those patients had kept their ovaries or if not, were they taking some kind of hormone replacement therapy? Again, just from my experience and from the posts that I have read here on HS, I think those stats are questionable.

I hope you will be able to take the other Leslie's suggestion and go into the chat room to talk to others who can also reassure you that those stats appear to be way off. It's true - the waiting is really the worst part.

After you've been home a couple of days, please come back and let us know how you are.


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Unread 03-27-2002, 05:41 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

I was also reading all those other sites. You are right, they can really scare you!!!! Once I made the decision, I only read this one. This one is real. Really real. So many people who have been thru it and most of the post are positive. They speak the truth, complications, pain, the unexpected, the afterstories. But, they prove you will survive, and for the most part life is better. Lots of tips and just knowing your feelings are normal is great!!!!This is the only site, where I posted a question and got answeres and support immediatly!!!!! Stick to this site, it will get you to your surgery date!!!!
Unread 03-27-2002, 05:43 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Hi Leslie!!! They didnt survey me.... I had no bad pain and no side effects afterwards. I am actually much happier and easier going since having the surgery. No more mood swings for me! I hardly ever get mad or ill anymore and physically I feel wonderful! Sexually, neither me nor my husband can tell the difference. I know there are people who have had a hard time, and that everyone is different. I can honestly say, that having a root canal was worse than this surgery to me and I had never even had surgery before. I will tell you that you move slowly and have to take it easy for a while, but after you recover, you will feel so much better. I am very grateful for my wonderful doctor who helped me with this decision and my family for being by my side and all my cyber friends here.
Try to relax (its hard I know) and keep yourself busy doing things that will take your mind off the surgery if you can. The last week or so before mine, I didnt read anymore about it. It gets confusing sometimes hearing so many different things. This board is great but I found myself getting too overwhelmed from it all. I just put it aside and came back later after surgery.
I wish you all the best~
Unread 03-27-2002, 06:32 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Hi Leslie, I had a TVH and a bladder swing on January 2nd. I understand your concerns, but I will say that I'm glad that I did have both of the surgeries at the same time. I was lucky enough to not really experience any pain, except for some back spasm probably related to my positioning on the operating table (at least that's what the doctors told me). That only lasted a few days. As for sex, it's great. It took me a little while because I continued to bleed for about 8 weeks, but we're back on track now and it's just as great as it was. I had two different doctors performing my surgeries -- my gynecologist and my urologist -- I don't know if you'll be having two also. My advice to you if you have two doctors is to find out exactly which one you have to call if you have problems. I would call the urologist and he would tell me to call the gynecologist or vice versa. It would have helped me greatly to have been given direction after the surgeries. Good luck -- and by the way, I feel like I've been given a wonderful gift. I can now laugh, cough and even walk across a room, even go for a long walk, without having to wear protection. It's absolutely wonderful!!!
Unread 03-27-2002, 07:07 PM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Actually, those statistics are reversed. The usual stats show that over 70% of women have excellent outcomes. As with any surgery, there are those who have complications or outcomes that are not what were anticipated. It would be irresponsible to take the position that everyone will live happily ever after following their hyster.

But the facts seem to point to MOST of us doing well afterward. We may have intermittent issues, or issues that go away with time...or our problems may not subside. Each of us is different.

But I think that most of us do feel better and function better afterward. Talk it over with your doctor, and discuss the real possibilities for your particular condition and situation. Keep reading and post all your questions, and only then can you make an informed decision. This is big stuff...for most of us it's life-enhancing. But we should never paint a totally rosy picture...there are risks with this surgery just as with any other. Just try to make the best possible decision for YOU.

That said, I had my TAH/BSO just over one year ago, and I feel 100% better than I have for many years. Chances are EXCELLENT that you will, too!


Unread 03-28-2002, 05:29 AM

Thanks for all of your words of encouragement. I also know many people who have had their hysters, and feel much better than they ever did. I am confident that my outcome will be as positive. This is such a great site for support and I'm so glad I came across it!
Unread 03-28-2002, 06:45 AM
The more I read the scarier it seems

From what I've read on this website over the last 6 months since my surgery, those stats are not reflected in this population of women. So either the stats are overblown, or the women on this website have found that the support we got from our hystersisters made the difference in our recoveries. Probably a little of both. Sexual relationships are probably as good afterwards as they were before. Therefore, if your's is good now, it shouldn't change.

For the record, I feel great, only got mildly depressed at about 5 weeks because I thought I'd never heal ( I now see that I was just bored at home and whiny), but now am sooo happy I had this done and our sex life is the same.

As long as you don't expect things to get back to normal too soon, you should have no problems. By the way, before my surgery, I talked to a lot of women that had had the surgery and not a single women mentioned the symptoms you mentioned.
Unread 03-28-2002, 07:36 AM
The more I read the scarier it seems

Hi, Leslie -

Please realize your fears are very very normal! The whole thing is strange and scary. And there's something about preop (I just had a preop yesterday for what I discovered is probable, not possible as I thought prior to it, thyroid cancer, with surgery April 9th) that makes things seem real, and so the fears all seep in. I know..believe me I know (my crying jag last night tells me I know!). I can tell you I had almost no pain after the surgery (read my story by clicking below my name). The hospitals really work hard to keep you pain free. Recovery so far has been more what I'd term uncomfortable and the worst part for me is trying to not do too much!

I can't speak personally about the long term effects, since I am only 3 1/2 weeks post op, but want to add my agreement that a lot of women don't go through problems. And, even if those stats are accurate, is there any clear evidence that the surgery and the "aftereffects" are related? LOTS of people have depression, whether they've had hysterectomies or not. And I do question the stats. Read posts here (keeping in mind that there ARE women with problems, and they are often writing a lot here because they can get great support). Look for posts on the post-op board with positive titles and be sure you read them! Many many women are like your sister - it is really important to keep a positive attitude (which doesn't mean you aren't worried or scared) that you will have good results.

Hang in there - we are all with you!

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