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Morbidly Obese-w fibroids & abscessed appendix Morbidly Obese-w fibroids & abscessed appendix

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Unread 05-13-2002, 08:51 PM
Morbidly Obese-w fibroids & abscessed appendix

I just discoved this forum this evening, have read some archives, but no time to read postings for a week or so before posting. So I hope my questions haven't been answered a zillion times already.

My story:
In June 2001, at 48, no children, I was diagnosed with fibroids, the largest being 2.8 cm. Dr took "watchful wait till menopause"approach, if I was able to cope with the pain and bleeding. I agreed I could take it for a few years until menopause. No birth contol pill or other drugs were recommended. He said because I am morbidly obese, I produce excess estrogen, which is the reason I have youthful skin with no wrinkles, but also the reason why I have fibroids.

Time passed, 2 periods per month, often 14 tampon days where I do not dare leave the house, for fear of accidents.

Then Nov 2001, I had a ruptured appendix. The appendix attack started Oct 7, but I and Doctors dismissed pain and other symptoms as being from fibroids. When I was finally admitted to hospital the appendix had long burst and infection had formed an abcess 9 cm in diameter. I was in hospital for 10 days on IV antibiotics. I am lucky to be alive. The abscess sealed off infection.

I had a follow-up ultrasound on Feb 15, 2002, to make sure abcess was completely gone. Surgeon found appendectal abcess gone, but also found fibroid now 8 cm.

He referred me back to a Gyno. Surgeon said if have to operate for fibroid (hysterectomy), might as well wait and have gyno. remove any appendal remains at the same time, rather than operate for appendix alone. In other words, two birds with one stone. He also said risks of surgery at my weight=equal= risk of appendix reinfecting in the future. So he took a "wait and see attitude", due to my weight.

Re weight: I am 5'8". I had lost 48 pounds from March 2001 until Nov 2001. I gained 8 lbs while in hospital with no food, just IV for 10 days!!! And since Jan have gained another 22 lbs back. So I am now 330 lbs.

Still 2 periods/month.

Gyno. said rate of growth of fibroid unbelieveably fast, so he has ordered another ultrasound for tomorrow. Based on findings, he said prepare for abdominal hysterectomy, which is likely the only option.

My questions:
Anyone that heavy who has had hysterectomy?
What can I do to prepare?
What questions should I ask Gyno. when I see him next week after ultrasound results back?
I live alone, so can I get through recovery after hospital stay without help?

Regards, Deel
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Unread 05-13-2002, 10:27 PM
Morbidly Obese-w fibroids & abscessed appendix

Hi Deel,

Sorry you're going through all this. I'm not obese, but I had an idea - the hospital where I had my hyst has whole world-famous wing dedicated to surgery for weight loss. Not that you're considering that, but it might be worth talking to that group and seeing if they can recommend a doctor in your area, a specialist, who can work with your gyn. I'd guess there are all kinds of special issues with regard to amounts of drugs, nursing care, etc. with "women of size".

The group is Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group, in San Diego:
Couldn't hurt to ask.

You might ask about bringing a GI specialist in for the appendix, too, since it's more than a routine appendectomy.

As for being alone - I would definitely want someone there 24 hours a day for the first couple of days. I (a reasonably fit and agile person) got wedged between two pillows in bed one day. It took me something like 15 minutes to get out - shift, rest, nudge a pillow, rest... You can get into the darnedest predicaments. After the first few days you can see how you feel.

All the best!
Unread 05-14-2002, 08:19 AM
obese w fibroids

Hi Deel,

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time with all this. I too am a heavy woman who has gone through issues of health and "weight" and doctors trying to convince me it was all in my head or my lack of self-control. Well let me tell you, I have sisters who were heavy for along time too, but when they had their hysterectomy, that weight problem just started to diminish. I have always been a bigger woman, I am the female version of my dad who was a big guy. Hereditary traits played a large role in it but so did my upbringing. I am 41 with 3 teenagers and I have always been active and happy. But something started to happen years ago(hormone problems) and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, and I have been on HRT since 1999. I have always been self-conscious about my weight, but my attitude was always good. You are a brave soul in my book to reveal your weight, so I will try that also. I am 5'7" and am 315 pounds right now. I have recently lost 16 pounds and that was due to really looking to make a life change for the long haul. I have a wonderful significant other who has accepted me as I am, but knows I will make improvements to my life for myself,not him. My teens are wonderful also,and they are a lively group too. I am taking better care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This is the only life I will have, so chances are that I will need to continue to work on myself the rest of my life. Don't give up hope or give into anothers ignorance. As far as the doctors are concerned, why do they always look at our weight as the cause of things, when we have body parts just like other woman do, but they work differently. Every woman has a unique body and chemical make-up. I dont smoke or drink or do drugs, I have a good job, I am stable and enjoy life. But the hormone and gyno problems have been getting worse and I need to do something about it. I just will have to find a gyno dr. who will look at the whole picture and not just certain parts of me. I am on that path right now. I have had surgeries in the past and always came through and healed very well and I was heavy then too. I will have you in my prayers Deel and you can e-mail me at [email protected]. Look forward to hearing from you.

Lorena M.
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Unread 05-14-2002, 09:59 AM
Hi Deel

Welcome to Hystersisters and thank you for your open and honest post. I know weight is a difficult thing for most of us to talk about.
I assure you, you are not alone in your concerns about this surgery with regard to weight issues. However I can tell you many, many women of size have experienced the surgery and recovery with excellent results.
You can use the purple search button in the upper right hand corner to research past threads on this subject. I just typed in the word Obese and got a lot of "hits".
Here is the link to one entitled "Large Lovely Diva Issues"
It was Read over 500 times and I am sure not by skinny people.
I think Lorena is right in that after the surgery you will feel better on alot of levels. I know I do. I have more energy and strength and motivation to work on my weight issues. I've been walking and am now ready to head back to the gym and may also do WW.
I need to lose about 50 pounds. I've lost it before and it just feels so much better. I will probably also use our Hysteritaville the Safari Resort and Fitness Center and B.E.S.T. (Better Eater's Support Team) to help me along. You are most welcome there too if you are so inclined at some point.
You're going to do just fine.
Please keep reading and posting.
Unread 05-16-2002, 08:44 AM
Morbidly Obese-w fibroids & abscessed appendix

Surgery can be risky if there is a weight problem- I had a UAE for a fibroid causing massive bleeding on May 6th. The radiologist mentioned that one of her sucess stories was a large woman suffering from misbehaving fibroids- anesthesia was ruled out and so they did the uterine artery embolization- which is done under conscious sedation (I felt no pain, could care less that people were doing anything to me and yet I was awake-very weird!). It's another option for women, but not for everyone. You might want to look into it.
I'm really sorry to hear about your appendix rupturing- what a scary story and I'm glad you made it.
Hang in there! I sure sympathize with your fibroid situation. Hugs, Artgirl

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