Part 4

by | Feb 13, 2024 | 0 comments


Disclaimer: This is my journey, yes I am a Nurse Practitioner but I fix broken hearts, not broken uterus’ therefore this is by no way giving you medical advice. Thank you for reading my journey.

My postoperative journey was an up/down experience. I mean, I did have a major surgery, so learning to give yourself grace was something I began to do over these weeks of my recovery.

My pain tolerance is super high, therefore postoperative pain was not horrible for me. The worst pain is the referred pain in your shoulder from the trapped gas from anesthesia. This lasts 48 hours but is more manageable after 24 hours. Get yourself a heat pad and early movement helps the most. I did not need to take any narcotics at all during my recovery. I used Tylenol and Naproxen (NSAID) for a few days postoperatively. This was also the same remedy I took for horrible period cramps. I had to move slow, no straining or lifting for at least a week. I couldn’t drive for two weeks because you had to be able to bear down and push on the brake pedal. Week two I was doing leisurely walks in my neighborhood. By week three I was back in the gym lifting light weights. It is important to move as soon as you can postoperatively to not only avoid blood clots but this significantly positively impacts the recovery process. Each day the pain was less and less. My fatigue took the longest to improve, I would say a solid 4 weeks.

Two months go by and I finally had the best sex, pain free! I couldn’t believe it! The surgery took most of my endometriosis away, there are areas remaining he couldn’t reach, one of them being on my diaphragms. He would have had to involve thoracic surgery, considering I don’t have pain there, and its not harming anything, I was totally fine with leaving that well enough alone! No, thanks. More weeks go by and I unfortunately have a terrible pain episode in the gym. This is the same as I discuss earlier in the blog, terrible cramping and searing pain in my uterus area. I chalk it up to part of the healing process from surgery. Dr. Klebanoff tells me this is likely from my adenomyosis and to start thinking about hysterectomy.

Six months post operatively, periods are back full swing, bleeding and pain are absolute hell. Back to bent over fetal positions with heating pad lots of Naproxen and Tylenol. At this point, he suggests to try Orlissa again as I was not fully mentally ready to give up my uterus. This time however it did not work at all. I continued with heavy periods and pain. So I bailed off of this therapy. I continued to suffer until the beginning of February of 2023, when I had another horrible intense pain episode in the gym and that was my final straw. I messaged Dr. Klebanoff that day and said, Let’s do this, I am ready for a hysterectomy. Goodbye devil uterus!

What finally helped me mentally was why should I continue to suffer? It was debilitating my personal life and career. My whole career, I have spent dedicating to caring for other people. It was finally time to take care of myself. I flipped the switch to also think that I get to make this decision all on my own and not have to worry about how this would affect my potential partner’s life also.

My Dad and I for a decade had talked about me adopting, to the point at which I felt like he almost knew I would not be able to give birth, the natural way. I never could picture myself pregnant either, which I always thought was weird. It’s almost like a premonition of sorts. I do enjoy the possibility of being able to adopt and give a child or two, a wonderful home. Adenomyosis can cause infertility. Given this possibility and my age, there was a high likelihood I would need IVF. Many people asked me if I would do this as a possibility to have children as well. For me personally, I did not want to put my body through IVF and I did not want to do it alone. I saw many friends over the years go through this process. It is a beautiful choice for so many women/families. IVF is not without risk, as was my decades use of birth control.

On February 24th, 2023 I went in for my hysterectomy. We kept my ovaries, but my devil uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix are gone. Before I went under anesthesia I said to Dr. Klebanoff, take some pictures because I can guarantee this thing is going to come out with devil horns. At least I made him laugh. Another trait I got from my Dad, always making light of the situation and getting people to laugh. If you can’t laugh, you cry really.

We decided to keep my ovaries to avoid going through early menopause. Typically, It is encouraged to keep your ovaries to avoid this at younger age groups. There are some increased cardiovascular risks going through menopause at an earlier age, this is why most surgeons opt to keep in the ovaries.

As you can imagine, I did not expect to have two surgeries in under a year’s time. It was 100 percent worth it to me for my quality of life. The time between my first surgery and my hysterectomy allowed me to mentally process this life changing decision. I was also hoping that my first surgery would have been enough to take away my pain. Unfortunately it was not. My pain was coming from the endometrial lesions but also a big part of my pain was from my uterus itself due to adenomyosis. This is why I was still getting pain after my first surgery, laparoscopic clean out of endometriosis tissue, therefore this is why my surgeon recommended to have a hysterectomy.

Stay tuned for my continued story on my second postoperative journey and where I am now being a year later. Both mentally and physically, plus major life changes!