It wasn't gas--or wanna see my surgical staples?

TMI, but here goes.

Early Tuesday evening began what I thought was gas pain, which began increasing in intensity and strength over the next few hours. By Wednesday morning, it was so bad that my doc ordered at CT scan (there was lower right quardrant rebound pain as well). Long story short, I was admitted to the hospital, where it was discovered that I had two tumors on my uterus–one was 8 cm. x 5 cm and the other was 8 cm x 6 cm. By the time they did surgery on Thursday, one had erupted and filled my abdomen with blood. Later he said that endrometerosis had filled my “belly with goo”. (Nice visual, I know.) The doc did a complete hysterectomy–uterus, fallopian tubes and both ovaries–and I have a line of Frankenstein staples up by belly to show for it.

I’m okay with this for the most part. I’m 40 with two adult children and a teen ager, and there were no more children on my horizons without a hysterectomy. My initial thought when the doc said “hysterectomy” was, “Oh! No more periods for the rest of my life!” It does bother me that I had absolutely no symptoms of endrometrosis until the tumor exploded in my belly. And, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking of a thread I read years ago…Persephone . I know it’s different circumstances, etc., but it’s like that offhanded comment you overhear that stays with you, hanging in the back of your mind, when it pops up years later.

I’m sore (Vicotin sucks, and I discovered I’m highly allergic to Morphine, so I’m sucking down OTC Tylenol), I’m tired (can’t find a comfortable spot to lay–my back hurts from laying on my back), and now I’m fighting a growing concern that the joyous occassion of having my uterus taken isn’t going to be so joyous afterall. To top it off, daytime television sucks and I can’t focus enough to read the billions of books I have ready for an occasion such as this.

I wanted some time off of work, but this isn’t what I had in mind.

You know, it’s oddly comforting to hear from another woman who thought she was experiencing gas pain. I did, too, only in my case it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy that burst one fo my fallopian tubes – also filling my belly with goo. I felt like a real dork telling all the various doctors and nurses that day that I’d thought it was gas pain.

Here’s to a swift recovery for you.

Best wishes on your recovery. If Vicodin isn’t working well for you, ask your doctor for another pain medication, and take it regularly.

One other piece of unsought advice, but do consider prune juice or other stool softeners as recommended by your doctor. Constipation + abdominal incisions=not pretty.

Seriously, get well soon!

I never chime in in these kinds of threads, but through SDMB holiday exchanges, I remember you.

I sure hope you feel better soon.

I second cub mistress’s suggestion to ask for something different. For me, post-op pain is best addressed by Percocet, and I’m not shy about asking for it. It’s better than Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Lorcet or Darvocet, imho. Call your doc, there are lots of options available.

Best wishes for a quick recovery!

Oh, btw, the last time I thought I was having really bad gas pains, it turned out to be my gall bladder!

Sorry to hear of your ordeal. Sending healing thoughts your way.

Thank you, as I can use all the healing thoughts I can get!

Sorry to hear about your exploded female bits.

Where are the pics? :smiley:

(I really am sorry, that must have hurt sooo bad!)

Definitely ask for a different painkiller. Vicodin doesn’t work on everyone. Apparently you need an enzyme to process it, and some of us don’t have that enzyme. When I had my (long planned) hysterectomy, everyone said to expect to feel pretty bad for about a month and a half, and then I’d start feeling better. And they were right. I also had surgical staples, and while at first I felt that the doctor cheated, now I think that they are better than stitches. Less painful, less itchy, and easier for the medical staff to remove.

The worst is probably over now. Except for the daytime TV. That will continue to suck. Avoid daytime TV, and start walking a bit, it really WILL help. Hope you start feeling better soon. And believe me, it’s a pleasure to not have any more periods! Get yourself some nice fancy panties, and enjoy knowing that you can wear them any day of the month now!

I went through similar problems over the past 4 years. (OK, I’m a man so no uterus, but lots of operations in the stomach area.)

Daytime TV sucks, the pain medicine made it hard to concentrate, so reading was tough. God I hate recovering from surgery!

The one thing that no one warned me about - and perhaps won’t happen to you - but after each major operation I went into a major depression. After some research I finally asked my doc and he said it is not uncommon. Trauma can do that. It helped to know that it was “normal”.

I hope you don’t experience it, but if you do, know that it is likely a result of the way the body changes after trauma (and perhaps after losing your uterus.) Ask your doc about it, he can help. But don’t panic.

(I also always had trouble with body temp. I was always cold when usually I don’t even wear a coat in winter.)

Anyway, sending more healing thoughts your way!

No shit, Sherlock–I see that your doctor hasn’t yet mentioned the “Instant Menopause” thing.

You get no futzing around with “peri” or “pre”, no spending a couple of years working your way up to it. Just “menopause”. Wham.

Since you’re only 40, I’d definitely talk to the doc about hormone replacement therapy.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Duck Duck Goose, because all my innards were pretty much eaten away by endrometerosis, and the doc managed to get all of it except for a tiny piece by the bowell (better to leave it, he said, than to push further and risk getting into the bowell), he said he’d like to try to wait 6 weeks to 6 months for the any remaining pieces of endrometrosis to die off before starting me on any hormone therapy. Having experienced the Wrath of Endrometrosis, I’d agree at this point. So far, no symptoms (knock on wood).

Khadaji, although I’m at a very good place in my life (good job with great short term disability, more secure financially, stronger relationships, etc.), this surgery has brought back the flood of feelings I experienced when I had a C-Section 13 years ago and my life was much, much worse. I honestly think I never dealt with all the crap in my life I was experiencing at that point in the way that this has brought it all to the surface. It’s not depression, per se, but it’s hard to explain. In some ways I’m mourning that part of my life–something which I don’t think I’ve done before. I did call yesterday to make an appointment with my therapist whom I haven’t seen in awhile, but she’s open to picking things up with me again.

I had a friend, someone with whom I’ve had a friendship with for about 20 years, that I called and told him I’d had a hysterectomy. We used to be close 10 years ago, but basically keep in touch now. His response? “How are you handling this? I know you go through about every 3 years wanting another baby.” WHAT? “Yeah, that was true about 13 years ago,” I said. (Hallboy was my last baby, and I knew that at the time. It hasn’t changed, or even wavered over the last 13 years.) That my friend didn’t know me at all–or still thought I was the same person as 13 years ago–was disappointing.

Lynn Bodoni, Hallgirl1 (my budding pharmacist) managed to get me a different non-narcotic painkiller–stronger than OTC Tylenol, but without the wacky dreams I had with Vicodin. (I can’t recall what it’s called.) Apparently it worked because I slept through the night last night. I thought I was nuts, telling everyone that the Vicodin wasn’t working. I kept thinking, “THIS is what makes people addicted???” It’s so funny that you mentioned the panties. Although my scar is verticle (to match the horzontal C-Section scar), I’ve already begun to inventory my panties, thinking, “well, these granny panties go…” :slight_smile:

It’s good to hear you’re recovering.

By the time Mr Macho, aka The Grandfather From Hell (he wasn’t a gramps then yet) walked from his coal shop near Pamplona’s Central Market to one of the hospitals, the “gas” he’d had for the last couple days was peritonitis… :smack:

I’m glad you’re recovering and that you were able to get the right Good Drugs :slight_smile:

I, too, highly recommend hormone replacement therapy, since you are only 40. I have a girlfriend who had a total hysterectomy at…oh, 31, I believe, who is now 41. She went on hormone replacement therapy, and her advice, which I believe most women should follow in the case of hormone replacement, is to NOT listen ONLY to your doctor. He/she will do blood tests and TELL you that your hormone levels are “normal,” but if you don’t FEEL normal, or FEEL like “yourself,” then INSIST that the doc keep playing with the levels until you DO. My girlfriend was an emotionally unstable wreck for quite a few months, even though the blood tests indicated “normal.” She insisted that her emotional state was not “normal” and after enough tinkering, she finally began to feel emotionally stable and back to her old self. She’s been on the doses of hormones she’s on for many years, now, and is quite happy.
(A word of caution from a guy, though, who has seen an interesting side-effect. Because the body doesn’t process artificial hormones as readily as the ones it would normally produce, you will probably be taking more than what your body would normally provide to you. The end result is, you will feel more “normal” since you will actually GET the amount you SHOULD, but your body will “dump” the “excess” that it can’t process of the artificial hormones – I hope this is making sense – Your libido will probably get a boost…but the MEN around you will probably start taking more notice of you, too…I firmly believe the men “pick up” on the excess hormone levels…seems to be true of my girlfriend, and of my mom, too, back many years ago…)

Good thing you went to the doctor!
Relax, sleep and recover!

As everyone here has said, get lots of rest and here’s to a speedy recovery!

Concur completely! Docusate Sodium (Colace, but you can buy store brand) is a godsend in these sort of situations… start taking it NOW. You can get it OTC, but if it wasn’t prescribed, ask about it.

Sorry to hear about the OMG HYSTERECTOMY NOW. I hope you’ll be on the mend in no time. I’m only a couple of hours down the road if you need anything, keep that in mind.

Well, see, you have to wait 28 days for your endocrine system to figure out that it’s going to have to make other plans. But when it does…

I have a friend who had a complete hysterectomy in her late 30s, for massively dysfunctional menstrual periods and other female troubles, and immediately after the surgery she went into major serious clinical depression, which she still isn’t properly out of, and it’s been, like, 10 years.

So there’s more to it than just “oh, you’re going to start having hot flashes”. If you see major changes in your behavior, do not hesitate to pound on your doctor’s door and insist that he address it, not “wait 6 months and see what happens”. Some doctors are unfortunately still stuck in the “doctor is God, surgery cures all ills, and depression is all in your head, get a hobby” mindset from the 1950s.

I’m hopeful that we (my medical team which includes my surgeon, my long standing GYN midwife and my therapist if necessary) can find a happy medium between full blown menopause and endrometerosis that is turning my insides to liquid gel.