Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Upcoming Surgery

I have been alluding for awhile to some surgery that I am going to have this week. I thought maybe I should actually post a little more detail about it. First, though, I want to sincerely thank everyone who has offered prayers for me at this time. It is very appreciated, believe me! I am very nervous and scared, and can use all the prayers I can get!!

Since October, I've been having "female trouble." It's gone from bad to worse, only improving a bit over the past months. I finally ended up in the ER the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so anemic that I almost had to have a transfusion. For those with any medical background, my hemoglobin was only 8. The ER doctor put me on heavy hormones and told me that I was to return to the ER immediately if I had any further issues. Fortunately, it got under control after that enough that I didn't have to go back...at least not right away.

The ER sent me to an OB/GYN to further investigate my problem. I had initially believed that my thyroid levels were out of whack, which has happened before, but the blood tests the hospital ran disproved my theory. When I got to the doctor's office, I was told by the nurse that I was to have a biopsy. I HATE those things! They hurt terribly! However, the doctor came in to talk to me and told me that my hemoglobin was so dangerously low that she could not do the biopsy. We just had to wait awhile. In the interim, they wanted me to have an ultrasound.

In December, I had the ultrasounds. They did two types, and the tech would of course tell me nothing. A few days later, the nurse called to tell me that I had fibroids and I had to come in for that biopsy that I had missed. However, they had to put that off until January due to my state of anemia. So, I was kept on huge doses of hormones through New Year's, while taking iron to try and raise my hemoglobin.

In mid-January, I had my biopsy. They then gave me more information about the situation. Apparently I have one very large fibroid that is about 3 inches all the way around. Yikes! And it is very deeply embedded in my uterus, resulting in only two forms of treatment that have any chance of being effective. One is considered experimental surgery, requires a specialized radiologist, has LOTS of possible complications, and is not covered by my insurance. After googling the procedure, I was very uncomfortable with it. That combined with the huge expense to me really prevented it from being an option. So we had to go with my second choice, which is a full hysterectomy.

Unfortunately, I have had 3 c-sections with my kiddos and that combined with my still-recovering hemoglobin level makes this a high risk surgery. There is a high chance of scar tissue complicating matters because apparently it can fuse organs together. I've been advised that I might end up having more surgery than what is planned due to this, and a general surgeon will be on standby during my procedure. As if just having to be put under and having things removed isn't frightening enough, now I have to deal with that, as well! I have been awake for my other surgeries, so the fact that I will be completely out and intebated makes me extremely nervous. I know this is a fairly routine procedure, but I also know that complications are very likely.

So this is what is happening with me. Trying to schedule the surgery last week was a nightmare and I got so completely stressed out about it that I ended up putting myself back in the ER for a day. NOT FUN!!! So now I'm under strict orders to take it easy, not lift much, and above all else, remain calm. I'm definitely struggling with that one, but so far have been okay.

Provided everything goes okay on Tuesday, I will be recovering for 8 weeks. No lifting, no vacuuming, limited activity.....it's not going to be easy! My mother is going to be here this week to take care of the kids, and my husband will be on vacation the following week, so at least for the first two weeks, I will have some help. I'm hoping that by the third week, I'll at least be able to take cooking over again. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway.....that is the story from here. It's going to be a difficult few weeks around here, and I am going to be a complete basket case tomorrow. If everything goes as it should, I will be back home on Thursday or Friday, and hopefully back online by the weekend. I'll try and post that I'm okay as soon as I get back home.

I hope everyone reading this has a much easier week than I'm going to have!!!! :-)

8 comments:

JodieMo said...

I send my thoughts, prayers and well wishes to you. I can understand your nervousness. My mother had to have a full hysterectomy about 10 years ago, for a lot of the same problems. Everything went fine except she wasn't exactly "pleasant" to be around afterwards for a few weeks
( nothing like pain pills and extra estrogen!)So maybe you should give the hubby fair warning! ;)
Good Luck!

Karen said...

Hiya, here from SITS because I saw your check-in this AM. It must be synchronicity at work because I live in KC, too and had a huge fibroid removed laproscopically last year. I had my surgery at Olathe Medical Center because that's where my RE is. Anyhow, I was sad to read that you are having a full hysterectomy and honestly it just made me grateful that I didn't need the same, for whatever reason. I have a good friend who had one 2 years ago and it was a long recovery. So if you need some companionship while you're recovering, shoot me an e-mail at cliobabyblog at gmail dot com and I'll pop over with carrot cake (or something) and my cute baby to cheer you up :) I'm adding you to my prayer list, I hope the surgery goes smoothly and your recovery is so fast it blows the docs' minds!

Denise said...

Janelle I had no idea! I need to put you on my blog roll so I can keep up with you. Can I do anything? Can I help at all? What hospital will you be at?

xoxoxo
Denise

Annie Jones said...

You'll be in my thoughts. I'll email you my phone number; if you need anything at all, just call me.

Melissa said...

I will be praying for you. I hope everything goes well with your surgery.

Michelle said...

My MIL and a couple of my friends have both had full hysterectomies, and have actually done pretty well. I will keep you in my prayers that all is smooth for you. I will also ask my friends in our prayer circle to include you in their prayers as well.

xoxo

Beth said...

You are in my prayers...I don't wish surgery on anyone at anytime! At least after this surgery you can stay on the pain pills longer...with my c-sections at least, I was off pain meds before I was really feeling better! Keeping you in my thoughts, take it easy!

ChefBliss.com said...

I just came across your blog tonight. I had a full hysterectomy in May last year at 43. I will tell you that I feel so much better then I ever thought I could, after years of problems. I had the usual no lifting, no heavy anything, but walking was really good. They made me get up that afternoon, and I had to walk the next day. It was not pleasant. But I let myself sleep as much as I wanted for the first 2 weeks, and then I did a lot of walking. Cooking was no problem for the most part but the family had to do everything else. And don't budge on that. I will tell you this: keep moving. I made the mistake of slowing down after a while (few months) and it took me a long time to get up to snuff again. But mind over matter, you can do it!!