I told the surgeon I wanted a hysterectomy. I wanted it all out. I was done. I wanted closure and I just wanted to stop being touched. I was so tired of the pain. I was so tired of being violated for the last 24 years with multiple tests, TVUS, Leeps, colposcopies, etc. We don’t talk about that much, how violating the medical testing for endometriosis and other female reproductive conditions is, but we should. The anxiety and depression from the endless medical assaults is real and damaging. I wanted it all to end, and so, I scheduled my third, and hopefully final, endometriosis surgery along with a radical hysterectomy for May 9th 2014.
When I left my surgeon’s office, I think I was in shock. With all that had happened to me, finally someone listened. I was ecstatic, to say the least, and I couldn’t wait to update everyone who had been rooting for me. Thank you nurse intern – you made huge difference.
As the date for the hysterectomy drew closer, I started to panic. It was the kind of panic you get from fighting too long and starting to wonder “Is this really what I want done?” I had suffered for so long that I started to doubt myself. If I am honest, the hysterectomy was not only for mental closure, but for physical closure as well. It took me three years of having to fight just to be listened to, for someone to acknowledge that my pain and my disease were real. This surgeon is one of the best in Canada but his time doing surgery was slowly ticking away, since now he is at a teaching hospital. I trusted him and only him to do this surgery. I had no desire to be butchered by another surgeon.
I was nervous about being put under. I have TMJ and it had gotten a lot worse since my last surgery. With TMJ, I was afraid that they would break my jaw trying to put the tube down my throat. It seems really silly to worry about that, but my jaw is just as painful as the endometriosis at this point, if not more painful.
Prior to the surgery, I decided to do a bowel prep as it was a possibility that my endometriosis was not fully removed in 2007 from the rectovaginal area. It was a good thing I did. This is the second time that I have made this decision on my own and just in case. In the end, it was needed.
The day of surgery I was no longer panicked. I just wanted answers. I was certain there was a partial bowel obstruction and I was sure that my ovary, tube and ureter were stuck to the pelvic wall but not sure about the endometrisosis because my last surgeon said it was only superficial. I would hate to have gone in and nothing was there because then that would have meant previous surgeon was right, that I didn’t have endometriosis.
Before walking into the operating room my angel of a nurse was there for me to make sure my surgery was not cancelled. She was there for me if I had any questions or concerns. I was so touched by this gesture as she didn’t have to be there. I signed off on the endometriosis research study paperwork, which I was excited about. I think it’s important for more research to be done with this disease.
I walked into the OR and was told to lie down. This is always the weird part. I don’t always seem to remember much about what happens except for the last minute or so. I got up on the table and had my legs in straps. The surgeon came around to talk to me while they were putting on all the monitors and was calm and reassuring. However, I did ask again if they were going to check for recto-vaginal disease and he said “yes” then said “Did you do a bowel prep?” Yes, I did, even though no one told me to. That was good news.
The Surgery and Post Op Pain
My surgery lasted two hours but I was in the recovery room for another two hours trying to get the pain under control. Finally, after the first hour and after I kept telling them that I was a tremendous amount of pain, the nurse came in. She looked at the chart and she made me smile when she said “Who gave this dosage for this patient? It must have been a man because it’s such a low dosage no wonder she is in so much pain for what she had done. Bless her. “
After the proper pain medications and dosage, the pain subsided some. I was brought into my semi private room to recover. There was no way I could go home with this pain, especially the bladder pain, which was excruciating. I was passing gas fine but about five hours after surgery they wanted to take the catheter out. UGH. I begged them not to as I could feel my bladder spasm continuously; however, the nurse took it out anyways. About an hour after she took it out I still could not urinate and the pain was becoming intense.
I was bawling my eyes out when the nurse came in, but all she did was tell me to keep trying. It was torture. Finally, she got a hold of someone in the urology department that told her to put the catheter in to drain the urine and try again. Well, it was what I expected, as this has happened before. I could not go again, and finally, after another hour she had the urologist come up and examine me. She said to put the catheter back in for good and let the bladder calm down. Seriously? Could they not have just left the catheter in in the first place? Sometimes I question what people are thinking.
I had blood in the catheter bag for about eight hours. Eventually, the blood cleared out, but I was still having bladder spasms. I didn’t sleep through the night and I was barely getting any pain meds to help with the pain. I think I was given two Tylenol 3’s every two hours and one oxycodone every for hours. Needless to say, I wanted to die right then and there.
The surgeon came in the next day in his street clothes on his day off. He was very nice and polite but still there was a part of me that wanted to slap him still because of what he put me through the last three years. We could have avoided all of this pain if he would have just recognized that my endometriosis was still spreading. I didn’t hurt him of course and he gave me the option to take a leg catheter home for three days or stay another night in the hospital. There was no way I was staying another night. Then he told me a little bit about what was found during the surgery. He said we would talk more at my six week follow up.
Recovering from Hysterectomy – Bladder Infections and Catheters
I left the hospital May 10th with a leg catheter and went back to the clinic three days later to have it removed. I tried and tried but could only get 50 cc of urine out so it was put back in and remained in for a total of 11 days. While I was there, I had them do an exam to see what was going on because I was in such pain. I thought I had a yeast infection. A urinalysis revealed I had two bacterial infections. Could that be because they kept removing and reinserting the catheter, I wonder. I also know now that I have a latex allergy. I ended up with blisters all over my stomach from where they bandaged the strips to close the incisions.