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Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!! Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!!

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  #1  
Unread 07-05-2002, 06:50 AM
Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!!

Thanks ladies for your input in advance.

First off, I am a 41 year old single female with no kids. Never been pregnant. For several months now I have had a dull ache in my pelvis area, even after my period.

This last week has been a TOTAL whirlwind for me. First off I bled all last month (I have been on B/C pills for years) and so I went to my regular family doc. He ordered a Ultrasound, which showed some tumors. Three in all, each about the size of a baked potato.

He called me ion his office the next day and he seemed more worried about my condition than I did, and ordered a CA125 blood test to see if I had ovarian cancer. My levels were not shocking, 48 (normal is below 35) and so I was a bit relieved because everything I am reading on the web that 1/2 of those blood tests are false positives and many time fibroids and other non cancer tumors can set them off. The doctor then ordered an MRI and refered me to a gyno doc. I saw the gyno doc the next day.

The gyno doc told me that I would need a total hyst.....they were taking everything. The surgery is planned for July 18th. He told me the MRI report said that my ovaries are enlarged, and that the largest tumor is a fibroid near my uterus. He did tell me that the lymph nodes look good...no cancer. He thinks that if this is cancer we have gotten it early. He is frankly VERY surprised that I am in less pain that I say I am, because he said the three tumors should be causing me more pain. GOOD NEWS!!! The hospital I am going to be at does "Post Op Epidurals"...so that will be great the first day.

I have some questions for you ladies that have "been there, done that".......

-----do they give a shot of hormones right after the surgery do your symptoms are lessoned???

-----what about sex drive????

-----what about a shower?? I get crabby if I am not clean and my hair is greasy.

------How severe is the pain?? (this scares me)

------what about oily skin?? Mine is very oily now, even though I am 41. Will it dry up some??

Thanks in advance.....I will probably have many more questions before July 18th. I still need to surf this site a little more closely and get more info.
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  #2  
Unread 07-05-2002, 07:11 AM
Welcome

Keely,

Welcome to the best support site on the web. I'm glad you found us before your surgery.

I am six weeks post-op today, so I'll answer what I can for you. You will see as you read more posts, that every doctor is an individual as is each woman, so don't be suprised if your own experience is different than others.

I had a TAH and was started on oral hormones (Premarin) the following day. I have not had one hot flash, and no mood swings, crying jags, etc. No symptoms of menopause and better than my former monthly PMS!

Sex drive as strong as ever. My dh was afraid to touch me at first, for fear he would hurt me. I was missing sexual contact and having nightly dreams, so I convinced him at four weeks post-op that we needed to make sure everything was still working. No penetration for six weeks, so we didn't go there. Everything felt as good as ever. Now that I have hit the six week mark, we have done it all and it's as good (if not better) than ever.

The hospital staff delivered a towel and wash cloth to me the day after my surgery, but I just kind of laughed, as there was no way I could take a shower by myself. I had taken wet wipes and did a sponge bath in my bed. Day two I was anxious to get in the shower and had no trouble at all! While some women say a shower with hair washing wears them out, I never had that complaint. From that day on, I showered every morning with no trouble.

Most doctors/hospitals are good about pain relief. I had a PCA pump with dilaudid immediately post-op. After a day, the IV was removed and I had Percoset, which I also took home. They relieved any pain, made me very sleepy and gave me lots of dreams! At about five days post-op, I switched to over-the-counter relief. I wouldn't describe it as pain so much as discomfort. The incision pulls and it's tough to get up and down the first few days. I could see a huge improvement every single day the first two weeks!

While many women here report dry skin, I can't say I have experienced that at all.

Keep reading, asking and learning. Here's hoping your experience is as positive as mine.

Nancy
  #3  
Unread 07-05-2002, 07:13 AM
Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!!

Hi Keely

So glad you found us. Take a deep breath. Fibroids are seldom cancerous and as you pointed out, CA125 levels can be elevated due to fibroids or endometriosis, not just cancer. I truly hope that there is no cancer in your case.

As for your questions, I had a TAH/BSO seven months ago primarily due to severe stage 4 endo. Although I did not take any estrogen for several months after surgery because of the endo, most ladies report receiving estrogen immediately after surgery ... often an estrogen patch is used immediately and ladies wake up in recovery wearing one.

Everyone reacts a little differently to ovary removal, with regard to menopausal symptoms. Some ladies have few symptoms, others have severe symptoms. Generally, ladies who are younger and thin have more difficulty. I'm 46, average weight, didn't really suffer too much even without getting estrogen for awhile. My biggest issues were major night sweats and depression.

As for showering, my surgery was at 2 PM on a Thursday. I was in a chair that night and up and walking (SLOWLY) the next day. I took my first shower Saturday morning right before I went home. Again, everyone is a little different in terms of recovery and each hostpial seems to be a little different too. As for oily skin, mine seems to be about the same as before, maybe a bit less oily but not much change.

As for pain ... I won't kid you. The first couple of weeks were pretty rough for me. My incision was 7 1/2 inches and my gyn had to do some extra cutting of muscles in order to get a large enough opening for my surgery. Normally they do not actually "cut" your muscles, they spread them. When I was asked about my pain level after surgery, I said it was an 8 on a 10 point scale. Most of my pain was related to the incision ... I really wasn't that aware of internal pain other than gas pain. The good thing is that you typically have a pain pump for the first 12 hours or so after surgery and then you are given oral pain meds that help a lot. Don't be a hero, take the pain meds if you need them. (Once again, everyone has a different level of pain tolerance ... mine is actually very high due to years of endo pain with very little pain management. The incision was just not much fun.)

Sex drive ... another thing that varies for everyone. Honestly, I had no interest in sex at all during those first few weeks after surgery. Too much recovery going on and adjustment to no estrogen. Things were much better by about 8 weeks after surgey and once I started taking Estratest (estrogen + testosterone) at 5 months post op, I really started to feel great again. Sex is REALLY good now, especially since I don't have pain anymore!

Hope this helps. Keep reading and posting and we'll support you, any way we can.

Beth
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  #4  
Unread 07-05-2002, 08:11 AM
Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!!

Hi,
Well, you have had to make this decision rather quickly, I guess!
I had a total abdominal hysterectomy plus BSO abut 7 weeks ago, for fibroids. I had had them for years, but the symptoms got worse in recent years, and I couldn't stand it anymore. I had an easy recovery and feel this was absolutely the best decision for me!

In the hospital I was given an estrogen patch but I switched to a pill a couple of days after coming home. The only time I ever had any menopausal like symptoms was when I stopped the patch and waited 24 hours to take a pill. Otherwise, I've felt great, and in many ways better emotionally (more on an even keel) than before.

I do have some skin breakouts but not bad.

I tolerated the pain very well. I was given morphine in the hospital and switched the next day to percocet, I think, but I never used any pain medication after I left the hospital (and I was there for less than 48 hours). Yes, it hurt, but I could bear up with it, and I didn't like the side effects from the pain meds.

I was very active from early on--walking a lot every day and I began light jogging at 5 weeks and am now completely comfortable doing everything.

My stitches were all internal, and my incision is below my hairline, so it simply looks like a angry red line that has paled and is not that noticeable now. I had steri strips (little pieces of tape) covering it, but was able to shower right when I got home.

The recovery was not nearly as bad as I had feared, and many of my awful symptoms (anemia, indigestion, sciatica, moodiness, stress incontinence) have disappeared or are greatly lessened!

The only thing I still feel is fatigue--I need more rest than I think.

I hope your recovery goes well too!
  #5  
Unread 07-05-2002, 08:32 AM
Having total hyst on 7/18/02-need advice!!

You're quote.
"How severe is the pain?? (this scares me)"
Since you said you will be at a hospital that does post op epidurals you won't have to worry the first 24 hours about pain or have a fear of waking up in pain. I had an epidural that stayed in till the next day and I felt awesome. No pain whatsoever.

I don't want to scare you but I want you to learn from my experience so it won't happen to you. When my epidural came out the next morning, I didn't want to wait to long to call the nurse when the pain started so at the first sign of pain I pressed my call button. I kept pressing my button and finally 30 min later my nurse came in. By that time I was in a lot of pain, crying, and hyperventilating because of the pain and the fact that my call button was constantly being shut off and ignored after pressing it so many times. I could have picked up the phone and called the hospital operator but there was another nurse in the room for my room mate who kept leaving and coming back and told me to keep pressing my button for my nurse. I had my own nurse because of the epidural. I didn't know this till later but figured out that since the other nurse was in the room, my call button was constantly being shut off do to the nurses sensor. (Wish I hadn't listened to her and just picked up the phone). Make sure you don't wait till the pain gets bad to call for pain meds once the epidural is out. I got my nurses cell phone number after that incident and my dh was really mad at the fact that my call button didn't get me help when I needed it. You may want to see if a family member can be with you during the time the epidural is taken out to stay with you. The fourth day after surgery I didn't need many pain pills and I only needed extra strength tylenol during the day after the first week. It was a lot less pain then the cramps I had before surgery.
  #6  
Unread 07-05-2002, 02:03 PM
I am having total HYS on 7/17!

All the info and stories here are really helping me! Just found this site today was scared to research but now am happy girlie! You all rock and look forward to talking to you all for a long time!
Ceil
Chicago
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