Hysterical Bits #1

  There are a lot of difficult and possibly life-changing decisions that need to be made when deciding whether to have a hysterectomy or not.  I do not want to make light of such decisions.  However, I hope to include the occasional light story about hysterectomies as I think humour is a healthy and needed aspect of our lives. 

  I recommended a great book in my previous post but I was not able to read this book prior to my hysterectomy as it was an emergency surgery.  Had I read the author’s section on “Things You Should Not Do When You Get Home”, I could have avoided this whole incident.  Streicher tells her readers “Do not weigh yourself”, but, having not read the book yet, I did exactly that.

  I was in the hospital for 4 days prior to surgery and given the uncertainty of my situation, I was often told that I couldn’t eat “in case you’re called down to surgery”.  But I love to eat!  And I don’t just mean that eating is an important part of every day.  I mean that every meal I indulge in is a highlight of my day.  Having limited meals in the hospital apparently made me delirious because I was even craving hospital food.  Craving…hospital…food!

  I needed to come up with a positive thought in this situation.  The best I could do was, “Well, at least I’ll lose a couple of pounds while I’m in here”.  So, you can imagine my shock when, upon weighing myself at home, my weight had changed by about 9 pounds…that I gained!  I couldn’t believe it!  Within a few days, I was back to my normal weight, which is what happens in most cases.  Apparently, all that weight gain was just from the intravenous fluid I had been receiving for 5 days in the hospital and as Dr. Streicher says, you will soon, “sweat it off and pee it away”.  Yes, indeed!

Resource #1 – The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy

Image  As I have mentioned in previous posts, the main reason I have started this blog is due to a lack of good quality information on hysterectomies and their alternatives online.  I hope to provide readers of this blog with some resources on this topic.  The first recommendation I have is Lauren F. Streicher’s The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy: Advice From a Gynecologist on your Choices Before, During, and After Surgery.

  Since my online searches on hysterectomy were not providing me with the information I wanted, I headed off to my local bookstore.  I soon came across The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy and was immediately interested.  The book is written by an American Gynecologist and she has just released a newer edition (2013) of her original book (2004).  As the subtitle suggests, this book deals with hysterectomy and alternatives from the perspectives of before, during, and after surgery.  Streicher has detailed chapters on fibroids, types of surgery, and life after hysterectomy.  She even includes a history of how hysterectomy has developed and changed over the years which is not recommended reading for the faint of heart!

  Lauren Stiecher’s writing style really appeals to me as well.  Although she is a gynecologist, she presents her information in very plain and readable language.  She also injects a sense of humour in some parts of the book, which I appreciated.  Her humour though is subtle and does not make light of some of the serious decisions and implications involved with this topic.  You can judge for yourself, if you follow this link it will lead you to a page that has some small excerpts from her most recent edition of the book.

  I had looked to see if my library had a copy of this book and they did not.  However, upon purchasing it and reading it, I’m happy about that.  This is a book I can see myself referring to at different points, especially the section on Life After Hysterectomy.  I also see this as a great resource that I will definitely lend out to all of my friends who may be faced with such a decision.

Our Hystories #1: Why This Blog Exists

blog pic 4  On June 7th, 2013 I was admitted to our local emergency room due to uncontrollable vaginal bleeding.  I had been dealing with heavier and heavier periods over the last two years, but lately they were getting ridiculous.  I was missing days at work as well as social gatherings.  I was exploring some of the options to deal with this issue with my doctor.  However, everything came to a head on June 7th. 

   I made a last minute appointment with my doctor since the bleeding seemed out of control.  My doctor soon sent me to the emergency department to see the on-call gynecologist.  The gynecologist sent me for an ultrasound and they could see one 3cm fibroid that seemed to be causing all the problems.  I was given some heavy duty medication and was told to go home and the bleeding would stop within the hour.  We set up an appointment for the next week to meet with the gynecologist to discuss the next steps. 

  After being at home for 2 hours with no change in the amount of blood I was losing, I returned to the hospital.  The nursing staff then spent the next 18 hours or so trying to get the bleeding under control.  They finally did so by Saturday evening.  I then spent the next several days in hospital, being monitored while doctors tried to decide where we should go from there.  I was eventually scheduled for a hysterectomy for Monday evening.  Everything went very well and I was sent home Tuesday afternoon.  I have since been at home recovering and everything seems to be going well. 

  As I began to feel more energized, I started researching information on hysterectomy and really could not find the kind of information I was looking for.  I wanted to know the details of the procedure I just underwent, when and why people have hysterectomies, things I should be watching for post-surgery, and so on.  That is why I am creating this blog.  I want this to be a place where people can read about the experiences of others, find links to great resources, and learn a little more about hysterectomy as well as some of the alternatives out there.  As I have said before, I have no medical experience and nothing on this blog should be taken as medical advice.  However, I know I learn a lot from the stories of others and I hope to share such stories here in hopes that you may learn something too.  Please feel free to explore the blog and contact me with any questions or if you would be willing to share your story here.

We’re all in this together!

ImageIn order for this blog to be all that it can be, I need your help.  Yes, you!  Have you had a hysterectomy?  Did you choose an alternative to hysterectomy?  What was your experience like?  What did you learn that might help others in their decision making process?  If you are willing to share your stories with me, I would love to publish them on the blog.  You only need to share what you’re comfortable with of course.  Please contact me if you’d be willing to share your story with this community.  Thanks!

Welcome!

Image   You have stumbled across a blog that will be dedicated to all things hysterectomy!  Why would I create such a blog you may ask?  After dealing with troublesome periods for several years, everything came to a head recently, requiring me to receive emergency hysterectomy surgery.  I tend to be someone who would have researched this topic thoroughly before ending up on the surgeon’s table.  However, due to the circumstances that was not a possibility.  So now I was uterus-less and wanting to find out more information about the process I just underwent. 

  Simple, I will search the trusty internet and find answers to all of my questions!  However, I soon realized that the information I wanted to discover, was not easily found online.  Given that hysterectomies are the second most common surgery in the United States, I found this odd.  I did find numerous sites that spoke of hysterectomies but nothing that went as in-depth (without being overly technical) as I was searching for.  So, that’s how I ended up here, writing a blog about hysterectomies. 

  Now I want to be clear.  I am in no way a doctor, nurse, medical professional or even a med student.  None of what you read in this blog should be considered medical advice.  Please consult your physician regarding any questions you may have.  This is simply a blog where I hope to share stories of women’s experiences with hysterectomy and possibly shed some light on this topic.  Please spend some time looking around and I would love to hear from you!