My hysterectomy story: the day of surgery

Well it has been almost a week since I had my total abdominal hysterectomy and got my tubes taken out as well. I want to say thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. It really meant a lot knowing that I had people that care about me. 

It has been a week of ups and downs and honestly, the recovery has been a lot harder than I have expected. Today was the first day I felt like sitting down at the computer to write about it.

So my hysterectomy was scheduled for 9am last Tuesday. I was supposed to be at the hospital at 7:30AM. Thankfully, my mom agreed to come take the kids to school and to take care of them that day until Bill was able to get them. After waking the kids up and crying with them, I kissed them all bye and Bill and I left for the hospital. The hospital is only 5 minutes away so that was nice. We arrived at 7:25. 

When we arrived, I signed in with ambulatory surgery and they had me go back to get ready and Bill was shown the waiting room. After going back and signing in, they showed me to my little area where they had me change into the hospital gown and put on non-skid socks. Then the nurse came in to start everything. As soon as she logged on to the computer, her phone rang. It was the operating room. Seems that my doctors first surgery patient was a no-show and they were wondering when I would be ready to go. They wanted to take me back as soon as I was ready. So another nurse came in to help. They inserted my i.v., shaved the area that needed to be shaved, put on compression things on my legs, and went through all the questions, etc. Then they allowed Bill to come back, where we were given a couple of minutes for the nurse to tell Bill what to expect while I was in surgery and that my surgery would be about an hour and that then I would be in recovery about 45 minutes and they would keep him updated. They also allowed us to say goodbye and I love yous before they wheeled me back to holding. 

When I got back to holding, my nerves really hit. I started shaking a little. My surgery nurse was so kind and kept telling me it would be alright. Within minutes of being taken back to the holding area, my anesthesiologist came back and talked about what they would do and that she would be with me the entire time. She could tell that I was nervous because my lips and chin were shaking. She promised to give me something to relax me, but first she wanted me to see Dr. Prior, because she said if she gave it to me before then I would be loopy and might try to kiss my surgeon. LOL. As soon as she left, Dr. Prior came in and reassured me that everything would be fine. That surgery would be about an hour and that it would all go great. After he left, the anesthesiologist and nurse came back in and it was time to roll. 

First the anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV to relax me. I remember being wheeled down the hall into the operating room, which was FREEZING! I was asked to move over from the bed to the operating table. A nurse told me that she would get warm blankets. Then a nurse was explaining that they needed to put my arms out to the side and she asked if I could move my right arm straight out, which I did. And then....that is the last thing I remember. 

* This is according to Bill and my doctor. The surgery itself took almost 2 hours versus the 1 hour that they thought. Dr. Prior encountered a lot of scar tissue that he was unaware of and according to him my uterus was a mess inside full of fibroids and scar tissue, etc.. My uterus was also attached to my bladder which he had to correct. Thankfully, my tubes looked great. However, we had agreed to take these as well as it reduces my risk of ovarian cancer. He was able to save my ovaries! My incision is longer than my c-section scar across my abdomen. I was also in recovery over an hour before I was moved to my room. 

The next thing I know, a nurse in recovery is telling me that they were going to take me to to my room in about 5 minutes to see my husband. I remember being a little uncomfortable but not in a ton of pain. Then I remember being in my room, and looking at Bill and seeing him smile at me. Bill told me later, that when they brought me into the room, they hit the corner of the bed on the door and I screamed but I have absolutely no recollection of this at all. 

My husband took a picture of me that afternoon. This probably 6 hours after surgery. 


I do remember being in a lot of pain most of the afternoon. Thankfully I didn't have to walk around as they had a foley catheter in me and I was on a morphine pain pump where I could hit the button every 7 minutes if needed. Believe me that day I needed it. I remember that they asked me to eat something liquid so Bill ordered me jello and they brought me orange jello with whipped cream. It was good, but it took me forever to eat it. I also remember the nurse bring me ginger ale and some kind of juice. 

I don't remember much of any of our conversations that afternoon. Bill said that I asked him the same questions over and over. I know that Bill left around 5 to go get our kids and that while he was gone my dad came by to visit. I thought he was only there like 15 minutes, but apparently he was there over an hour. I know that Bill brought the kids to see me and I was so glad to see them. During this time, I also had dinner which was chicken noodle soup and strawberry shortcake. I think I ate less than 1/4 of the soup and about half of the strawberry shortcake. 

Another photo taken post surgery by my husband.

After everyone left, I don't really recall much of anything, except that I think I slept off and on and only was awake when the nurses came in to take vitals or give me meds. I really don't remember much as I was in such a fog from the anesthesia and the pain meds. I do know that I was glad to have the surgery behind me, but also worried about what recovery was going to be like.


   

Comments

  1. I'm glad you're feeling better. I had my tubes tied but it was NOTHING like this... Yikes!

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    1. I had my tubes tied during csection with Ben. My doctor told me recovering would be like my csection recoveries...all I have to say to that is yeah right.

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  2. Abdominal surgery can be rough, the worst is behind you now. I've had 3 c/s and excissional gall bladder surgery so I can relate. Be well, take care of yourself!

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    1. Thanks. And yes this is my 3rd abdominal surgery (2 csections in past). This recovery has started off rougher than the other two.

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  3. Keep a pillow handy in case you laugh or cough....ask me how I know.lol
    You look so miserable in that photo. I hope your recovery from here on out is better.

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    1. Yes I know. I do habe a pillow with me at all times. My favorite saying the last few days has been " Don't make me laugh, it hurts." And I was miserable. Lol He said he took it because he figured I would blog about it. Lol

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  4. Just remember every day gets a little better

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    1. I keep reminding myself of that. Believe me.

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  5. Glad the surgery went well though longer then expected. Those operating rooms are so cold and when your nervous the cold and shaking makes it miserable. Cheryl

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    1. You are right! Even the holding area was freezing!

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  6. Rachel, I am so happy the surgery went well and was a success....even though it was longer than anticipated! Please take it slow and allow those who love you to help! Take the time to heal! And, by the way, I was very cold going into the surgical suite last year for a minor gynecological surgery too! The hospitals keep those areas cold on purpose I swear! =) Take care and thinking of you!

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    1. I think they really do keep them cold. Probably to keep germs at bay, etc. I am taking it slow and allowing people to help, even if that goes against the grain of who I am :)

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  7. I am glad you are okay now. I am a little surprised you had an abdominal incision. My complete hysterectomy involved four incisions. The largest was about an inch long and the smallest was half an inch. Plus, they did a liver biopsy while in there. The uterus attached to the bladder could have been really bad news if not fixed.

    They do keep the surgery cold on purpose. The surgeon and nurses have on masks, hot gloves, scrubs hat and other items that make them sweat during the surgery. They can work better when not overheated. There is suppose to be a Bair blanket or system which is heated and used over the patient in surgery. After my hysterectomy I had them lower the temperature in my room to its coldest, then I asked for heated blankets. The nurses were cold in my room, but I could breathe.

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    1. The only option I had was to have an abdominal incision because of the size of the fibroid, the presence of the scar tissue in my uterus and the way that the fibroid was stretching my uterus backwards. The other options could not be done safely.

      When I got to my regular hospital room, I did have them bring in an offered fan as I felt the room was stuffy and hot.

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  8. The worst is now behind you. Soon you'll be up and about and the best part will be that you won't have that monthly problem anymore. Rest, rest, rest.

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    1. Yes I am looking forward to not having that monthly visit anymore! LOL

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  9. I am so thankful that you are alright and that it is all over. Hang in there, its all uphill from here.

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    1. Thanks...now just to get through recovery so that I can move on...

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