Decision time

Back to health in three months? That would be great, but also, what? Three months? That long? Let me explain…

So last week, now about 6 days ago I had a hysterectomy and had my bladder lifted. Having been home now for 2 days I thought I’d like to share a bit of my personal experiences so far. No, I am not a medical professional, and my story will not necessarily be the same for everyone and of course no advice should be taken without previously consulting your doctor. I would just like to share the things that lead up to this surgery and my path to a – hopeful – speedy recovery and playing tennis again.

A little bit about me

I am a 54 years old,  happily married mum to three boys and since my eldest son, now nearly 20, decided to be born bottom first in a normal vaginal birth I think I stretched it a bit much. I wouldn’t have done it anyway else by the way. 2 Early stage stillbirths and 2 normal births later (1999 and 2006) my bladder decided to investigate the world and started popping in and out of my vagina. Lovely…. Fortunately I didn’t have problems with leakage most of the time, so doing sports was not an issue, and the adventurous bladder wasn’t sticking out all the time, so I kept going on as normal.

And then, some 20 years later: Welcome to the world of the menopause! I was not  only having hot flushes, night sweats and  irregular and a then diminishing periods, but the diminished production of estrogen was apparently also contributing  to weaker connective tissue around my lower body parts. So my bladder had a feast and could adventure out most of the day, especially after long hours of ironing, doing housework, teaching, lifting. By. then, however, it really started to drag me down.

The Uterus Challenge

After a while my uterus got curious as well and also started to peep out. It was definitely time to address the whole issue. So around september last year I paid my gynaecologist a visit to discuss the options and after investigating the whole down-under thing we decided to have the lift surgery. “Oh, and by the way, since you have no use of your uterus anymore, I suggest to have that taken out as well…” Well, swell.

However, then it got stressful, because, as I’ve had a perfectly healthy one so far I wasn’t inclined to have it removed. Many other questions came to mind. As I was a bit nervous at the time I didn’t think about these at the time unfortunately. However, as a girl who is always looking for a balance between conventional and ancient wisdom I started looking for answers on the web. By then it got really interesting and even more confusing. Nowadays you can find so much on the web, but you really have to dig for the correct information and then trying to find something that would suit my personal questions, hmm,  quite a challenge so to say.

Fortunately for me I know two people who’ve had the same surgery and they both said they wished they’d had it done years earlier. One of them is back to playing tennis again. Great! So far, so good.

Second Opinion

I got advised to have a second opinion and found a specialist for the urinary tract who did a scan and discovered a cyst near my right kidney. I had known about it before to be honest, but sort of mentally blocked it away and removing that will probably the next surgery I need, but let’s not get distracted here. This specialist also strongly advised the hysterectomy. He told me, however, that since I hadn’t been incontinent so far, this could very well be the case after the surgery. So far, my urine flow had been partially blocked because of the prolapsed bladder and lifting it could very well change that. If that would happen, however, that could be easily solved. Okay…

The reason to have the uterus removed is because the weight of the 80 gr baby room can cause a possible faster relapse of the bladder prolapse. Lifting the uterus is a more invasive procedure as well. Doing as suggested would be a pure vaginal process, which causes less stress on the body. It all sounded logical. So, I entered the pre-surgery intake talk fully confident about the fact that the hysterectomy should take place; or so I thought…

Intake Procedure

I had a wonderful female doctor who discussed the whole thing with me and she got me doubting the whole thing again. Bother! She told me that it was my decision to have a hysterectomy. Yes, leaving it in could cause a faster relapse, but taking it out could cause different prolapses of any sorts. Anyway, it would always be very difficult to predict anything as it depends on so many factors. In the end, however, we made the decision to go ahead with the whole procedure. That was Friday a week ago. The following Monday (January 30, 2017)  I went in at 8 am.

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