Friday, December 2, 2011

The Active Womans Hysterectomy Part1

or...Not your Mama's Hysterectomy!


So there you have it, the jig is up! I've outed myself on both facebook and twitter so the natural progression would be a blogpost(s) on my personal experience with the surgery of which we dare not speak...gasp!!


My reason for sharing is simple, it was difficult to find information from an athletic woman's perspective on the subject. At best I found web forums offering support, just not the kind of support that resonates with me. Not to offend but how does commiserating about how bad you have it while exchanging cupcake recipes aid in the process? It doesn't, so I stay away. That leaves me with people who are against the surgery altogether (scary) as if my womb somehow belongs to them, or the clinical perspective which is interesting, but clinical. What's a girl to do?


The goal over the next few blogs is to share my experience in order to help those who, like I was, are searching for someone who has gone through it, and is healthy, strong and athletic. I am not a doctor so these posts will be purely my opinions based on my decision to have the surgery and of course, my recovery.


Why?
Again, Simple...at 47 years old and having experienced a wonderful pregnancy and childbirth, I was grateful to my uterus but alas, my uterus was not a happy one. The fact that I had a great pregnancy at 29 was a true blessing as I had spent most of my years since puberty hating life during, what should we call it, menses..lol!! Post pregnancy just got worse as I developed fibroids and pcos in my 30's. Sadly, I was unable to give birth again and suffered 2 miscarriages. As for my 40's? I was done. I was losing 2 weeks each month, medicating myself with 800 mg. of advil every 4 hours the first week, The 2nd week, well, I'll spare you the details. This was my norm and it sucked.
I was doing everything right...consistently eating healthy unprocessed food, taking supplements that I knew should help, and of course, working out. All of which offered some relief, for some of the symptoms, some of the time. I was simply done and wanted a better quality of life.


What?
Okay here is the clinical stuff. After all the necessary tests were complete and consulting with my OB,  Dr. Marc Winter, I had several options; the first was to have an Endometrial Ablation, a procedure to destroy the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. EA offered a minimally invasive procedure with about an 80% success rate, basically no down time at all after the first day in most cases and nothing is removed. The second, and the procedure I ultimately felt was the right choice for me, was the DaVinci Supracervical Hysterectomy; Uterus removed, ovaries and cervix remain, no early menopause. The Davinci is robot assisted surgery which is the least invasive and recovery is generally much quicker than abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy.


The Outcome?
I am now 11 days post op and the surgery was a success with no complications except a negative reaction to pain meds and anesthesia (bummer). recovery is what it is, your mileage may vary. I have found that (of course) I want to do more than my body is ready to do and I realized early on that I was not going to be one of those super hysterwomen that is mowing the lawn on day 3. Nope, not gonna happen no matter how strong I think I am. I have also shelved my aspirations to start training inside of  6 weeks and the only PR this girl will have is a PR in patience, with myself.


Recovery?
To Be Continued...


I am grateful to have found such an amazing and gifted surgeon in Dr.Winter, I can't say enough about him. The support I've received from family and friends overwhelms me and as for my husband, he is a saint.


Here are some links with information on both the Endometrial Ablation and the Davinci Hysterectomy for those who may be considering these options:
Endometrial Ablation
Dr. Marc Winter Info
Robotic Hysterectomy Info.
Davinci Robotic Surgery

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like you made a smart choice - best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery! :)

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  2. Thank you Adrienne : )...one day at a time!

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  3. Jeanette Renteria CastilloDecember 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing as I have been dealing with some issues myself. It's nice to know that I am not alone. Turning 45 for me has brought on quite a few health issues. Depression was my first recourse, as I felt as if my body were betraying me. Knowing that I am not alone really helps : ) Wishing you all the best for a fast recovery. You are in my Prayers <3 Take care

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  4. Two things I thank my Dr for whenever I see him. One is having my tubes tied when Nigel was 3 and the other is getting rid of my uterus. I'm not sure why women hang on to those things esp if it causing problems. Now I can sit back and watch my friends suffer and I get to say, I told you so.

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  5. Thanks Gab for sharing your story. I had a hysterectomy 3 yrs ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Now I can live and be pain free. You'll never realize how bad it was until you don't have that impending menses coming. Take care and keep us updated.

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  6. Wow, Gabby. I had no idea! Glad you decided the way you did, because it sounds like you were pretty miserable. Feel better soon!

    Aleks

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  7. Jeannette R.,
    Your feedback is exactly why I am sharing. No one talks about this stuff, certainly not our mothers generation. Take care of yourself and stay on top of it. A good OB is your defense.

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  8. Jet and Laurel...AMEN my hystasistas!

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  9. Aleks, I've had several gentlemen thank me for sharing and I am beyond happy about that. Women don't talk about it, men even less. If nothing else a guy can have a better understanding about what their wife, mother, sister may be going through.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your story Gabby. I am sorry to hear about the years of suffering you endured. We need to get women's health issues discussed more openly. There are too many women suffering silently with menstrual problems, post partum depression, menopausal issues, as well stress induced incontinence and the list goes on. We all know if Mama's not happy, then no one's happy :) Strong, healthy, happy mothers are so important to the success of the family and in turn the community!

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