My TAHBSO Story Revisited

Five years ago, I underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy to save my life. Surgeons removed the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix to prevent certain illnesses from developing.

It was a difficult decision to make if I were still of child-bearing age. But, since I was in my late 40s and unlikely to conceive, I chose surgery as a life-saving treatment.

The Ordeal

I have suffered from painful and prolonged menstruation for years. I have not lived my life well because of this health problem. In the latter part of 2015, my condition had gone from bad to worse. Hospital is not a good place to spend the first month of the year, but I was admitted to one to undergo dilation and curettage (D&C) and to have blood transfusion for anemia. I thought this would address my dilemma.

A doctor in a private hospital suggested abdominal hysterectomy to cure endometriosis. But it would cost a hefty sum. The family has been relying on a single source of income which means raising the amount entails more years of suffering.

Three weeks after my D&C, I was back at the hospital for profuse bleeding. We decided to go to the nearest government hospital to ensure minimal expenses for the possible operation. Explaining the possible complications of the surgery, doctors gave me a non-invasive option to address endometriosis that causes bleeding. 

Doctors prescribed Visanne for six months. Finally, I was relieved of the painful monthly period. However, hormone therapy only provided temporary relief. I was bleeding once more the following month. I waited three more months before I took the plunge. By this time, we were able to raise enough funds for the operation.

Dienogest given in isolation is available for the treatment of endometriosis under the trade name Visanne. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dienogest (mumwrites.com)

An abdominal hysterectomy will address the cause of the bleeding and remove the growing mass in my uterus.

Preparation

Before the surgery, I read about hysterectomy, its advantages, and its disadvantages. I also got helpful tips from a support group that caters to hysterectomy patients. It took several weeks before I decided to go under the knife and change my life for the better.

I brought all my medical documents to discuss with the OB-Gyne everything I need to know about the surgery; what to expect, the operation and hospitalization expenses, and the operation schedule.

The will to heal for my family, my faith and the support I get from my family, and prayers from a few friends who knew about the surgery have given me enough strength.

Operation day

The operation took place on December 13, 2016, at the East Avenue Medical Center. The procedure went well. Thankfully, it did not require a blood transfusion. I am grateful to the doctors, anesthesiologists, and nurses who were part of the successful surgery.

These were parts of the reproductive system removed during surgery. I need to blur the photo because it might be too graphic for the readers.

Without a sign of complications like fever or pain, I started to feel well two days after the surgery. The doctors said I should get up and walk inside my room to hasten recovery. I was home after five days.

Healing well

Being an obedient patient, I don’t have a hard time recovering because I followed the doctor’s advice. I’ve got plenty of rest at home. But I made sure to move around the house. I started doing light chores in my second week. There may be occasional irritation and pain, but all of it was bearable and subsided in a few minutes.

Healed operation scar after a month

Best decision

This surgery was the best decision I have ever made in my life healthwise. I will never worry about bleeding again or fear that I may develop grave illness in the future. My only concern, at the moment, is the recurring joint pain. I’m (surgical) menopause now, so joint pains and other health issues will certainly happen.

Piece of advice

Young women and women nearing menopausal age are prone to endometriosis and adenomyosis. If you are suffering from the same condition, consult a doctor. Reading about the disease can help you better understand it. However, a visit to a medical professional is the right thing to do to avoid complications.

I first wrote about this in my other blog, mumwrites.com.

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