Sunday, August 16, 2009

Almost one week post-op

I was able to have the Da Vinci Hysterectomy. Everything went very smoothly and my recovery was amazing...was released in 24 hours and went home. I am completely amazed at this surgery and the fact that it is so non-invasion and I was up and switching myself without assistance (at least the up part) about 2 hours post-op. I have had a c-section in the past and it is very hard to get up after that. Don't get me wrong, it hurts...but it is nothing like a c-section.

My recovery was going very well until a few days ago when I started having some burning pain in my left thigh, which also went numb from the pain. In the past I have had this and it was circulatory issues (I had a venous ultrasound done in June 2008 which showed no blood clots), so I chalked it up to that. The only difference is this is not resolving. It continues to be a problem, it's at the point where I cannot sleep well at night because when I turn, the pain is so intense it burns and I'm scared to turn. I have to sleep solely on my left side to avoid that pain. I get the same pain on the right upper thigh as well but not as intense or as prolonged. Being the medgeek I am, I looked up "upper thigh pain" and came across something called Meralgia Paresthetica. I also looked up some information and posts on a website called HysterSisters and it is actually quite common after a hysterectomy as a nerve where the surgery is done (or nearby) can end up pinched or worse. I am going to my doctor hopefully tomorrow or sometime this week to discuss this and see what we can do to stop the pain. Now I am concerned about whether this will affect my ability to go back to work...but I know I am jumping the gun so I am trying to remain calm.

Besides that my recovery has been incredibly smooth. I am dealing with pain still, but overall it's not bad at all. I had my first hot flash post-op and it was very bizarre...only on the left side of my face. Now I am on Premarin to help with that (which it does) but I am going to into natural therapies because of the problems with Hormone Replacement Therapy.

More to follow later, and hopefully some good news on the problems in my legs. I am concerned about blood clots too, so hopefully we can rule that out. Hopefully this problem will resolve on its own (and soon!).

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Here I go

I have posted about it in the past, my female reproductive system not working correctly. As a result of that I have Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Adenomyosis (like a sister to Endometriosis). In 2006 I was told I really needed to have a hysterectomy. At that time I was on a charity type of insurance because we were low-income at that point. Then I went back to work and finally got good health insurance through my employer. After discussing this with my co-workers, including one who had just had her hysterectomy done, I finally decided I was going to bite the bullet and do it. Last March (2008) I had an endometrial biopsy done and luckily it showed nothing but proved to my physician that I do have the Adenomyosis.

I was referred down in Seattle to an oncologist gynecologist because of my weight. I am high risk just due to the weight alone. I met with him on July 21st and he did an exam and went over my history with me. He told me about the da Vinci hysterectomy, which I had already researched online. I asked if it were possible to perform that type of surgery on a person with a high weight/BMI. He had told me that he performed some before on heavyset people as well. He has excellent credentials outside of what I was told (again, research is your friend- you are your own advocate), so I feel confident in his capabilities. I am having my surgery at an incredibly wonderful hospital on Monday, August 10th. The da Vinci hysterectomy is a robotic-assisted laparascopic surgery. It's minimally invasive and very effective. There's a chance it might not work on me, so they are preparing for the fact that they might have to cut me open but I am hoping I do not have to go through that again. I have had a horizontal bikini cut in the past when I had my daughter in 2000, but that was when I was 100 lbs less (and believe it or not, still heavy!) and 9 years younger. However, I tend to recover well, so I am hopeful. I am more hopeful they can do the da Vinci procedure.

I'm not going to lie, I am very nervous about having a major surgery...but my quality of life will improve, and I will no longer be in pain. We're also hoping it will help me become more successful in my weight loss journey. For having been more active than I had in years and working out regularly and to only lose 17.2 lbs in a year's time is wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have a loss than a gain...but I should have lost more. The swelling from the uterus and the hormonal issues have GOT to go. They are taking it all- uterus, cervix, ovaries, and even the tubes. I joked to my mother that I am going to hit menopause before she does. But yet I worry about the health risks. I'm just a worrier by nature.

So the next time I can get on this thing, I will be a new woman. And hopefully out of pain post-surgery. More updates to follow! (I promise.)

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