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Health & Lifestyle
(not verified) on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 5:36am.
dear helpme, I felt compelled to respond to you. You posted this question the very day I had my hysterectomy so the coincidence got me. this is a bit long and indebth, but please read. I am 39, have 3 adult children (18,20,21) a 10 month old grandson, and have had my tubes tied since 1990. I have suffered from very frequent and heavy periods since the beginning. I was 8 when I had my first period and except while pregnant, Ive had a heavy 5 to 6 day flow that came every 20 days or less. Besides the flow amt, they were also very painful, to the point of most of the time being debilitating. I experienced no less than 4 days of "ovulation pain" with acne, bloating, weight gain, and moodiness starting apporox. 7 to 10 days after my flow stopped each month. Between the flow and ovulation I'd have about 5 days that werent horrid but between ovulation and flow I'd simply feel "yucky" and have a clear discharge. I was put through every test imaginable and deemed "clean" of any type of VD, infection, or disease. I was simply told either it was nothing, or some would blame it on pantylinets, my soap, powers, etc. but stopping those/ changing Brands, etc. never changed the symptoms. Then about 15 yrs ago I started having extreme pain with intercourse. Not long after this began however, I was raped. Due to that, the pain issue was passed off at first from the trauma, and then as a psychological issue even though I insisted it was there prior. Anyway, for the past 15 yrs I have refrained from intercourse almost entirely. Except for maybe once or twice a year, my husband and I have only had what we call "outercourse" for over 11 yrs. Fortunately my husband has been not only understanding about this, but also satisfied. On Sept. 21st I had my "checkup". I had not had one in nearly 4 yrs due to 1) being deemed a candidate for the 3 yr schedule, and 2) a near fatal car accident. On Oct 1st 2007 I received a phonecall from my doctor telling me that my pap came back very bad and that I had carcinoma-in-situ (CIS / CIN III) and needed to have a biopsy and treatment asap. I was devastated and in shock. After talking with the doctors, testing, reveiw of the rapists records, and my husband being tested, it was determined that the HPV virus was transmitted to me during the rape and had laid dorment and supressed by my immune system until my car accident. When I had the accident in 2004, my immune system was comprimized by stress, pain, broken bones, lack of activity, and deminished food inttake. When this happened the HPV virus was able to become active. Then the resulting chronic pain and pain meds allowed it to flourish to the cancer stage in a fairly short time period. So, on Oct 19th I had ai colposcopy with cervical biopsy. That confirmed the pap results but left me in a continual menses state. On Nov 5th 2007 they did a uterine biopsy (basically a d&c without sedation or anesthetic) to see if the continual bleeding was due to the biopsy, the CIS, or cancer in the uterus. THIS proceedure left me in a continual state of pain, bleeding, and lethargy...but ruled out uterine involvement of cancer. I was told that they would do something called a LEEP proceedure to cut away the cancer they saw, would then repeat the colposcopy and biopsy every 4 months for 5 years and simply repeat the amputation proceedure (leep) to cut away the cancerous parts they seen at those times. I asked if they could simply do a hysterectomy instead. I assumed since I had the other issues (pain on intercourse, extreme periods, etc) and then to have to go through these colposcopy/biopsy and leeps every 4 months, it was going to be not only very painful, costly, and at times debilitating, but I'd still have the other issues...I figured a hysterectomy would solve a lot. Well, instead of the "over reccomending of hysterectomy" experience people talk of, I had the opposite experience. I was told that hysterectomy was a last resort reserved for women over 55 that have cancer in the later stages, have a traumatic uterine injury, and/or have severe fibroids. I knew this to be not entirely true so I pushed. He then said that hysterectomy simply was not indicated for my list of problems and given my age, was completely out of the question. I was therefor scheduled for the leep on November 19th. By that day I had been bleeding for 2 full months, and had been on bedrest for 45 days. I was weak and ill. To my surprise, he didnt sedate me (which is what I was told wouldbe done) nor even numb me for the proceedure. This proceedure basically is a heated electrofied metal wire loop that they use to amputate portions of your cervix where the cancer or dysplasia is. (envision a wire cheese slicer ran across a portion of a block of cheese and thats basically how it works) After cutting away the areas, they take a hot metal ball tipped instrument and touch the cut areas to sear them shut (called cauterizing) Well, because I wasnt numbed nor sedated, it was excrucsiatingly painful. I passed out twice, threw up once, and finally turned blue while he tried to cauterizebefore they stopped. Through my protests, screams, and pleading for them to stop over the 2 hours of torture, they never spoke a word to me, explained anything, nor comforted me. They simply held me down, spoke to eachother, and did the torture. When I turned blue, he stopped, told the 3 holding me dowto let go, turned the machine off, then sternly, meanly accusatory said to me.."Since your reacting this way I cannot finish cauterizing you. That means your going to bleed for awhile so dont call to ask about it. Maybe next time you'll do better" Then he told me to get dressed and go home, and they all walked out. It took me nearly 20 Minutes to be able to get up and dressed due to the pain and dizziness. Then sobbing, I had hubby take me home. After 4 days of severe cramps, vomiting, and dizziness, I began asking around for referrals to gynos. I vowed that there would never be another leep preformed on me, even if it meant a death sentence, and there would never Be another painful proceedure at all without numbing or sedation. On Dec. 15th I met with an ob/gyn that was referred to me by one of my husbands workmates. She said she really liked him, but the nurses and my family doctor warned me that he was new (had just finished a 10 yr internship and only been in practice 8 months) and that my eatment up until then had in fact been appropriate and "textbook" so not to expect a different approach from him, or anyone....so I went in with near hopeless expectations. We spoke in his office first. He explainec that yes, my treatment was standard, how ver he wasnt sure he would call it appropriate. He then went on to tell me all of the options. They ranged from doing nothing more to proceeding as recommended except with sedation, to hysterectomy. Then he thoroughly explained to risks and benefits of each option. He then did an exam, where he discovered that nearly 3/4 of my cervix had been amputated (only slivers should have been removed) and that the proceedure had introduced bacteria and t us causing me to have a severe infection. After the exam we went back to his office, where he told me that because of my painful intercourse problem, the recent amputation issue, my bad periods/ovulations..land taking into consideration Ive had my tubes tied over 18 yrs, and have no intention or wants for more children, he recommends a hysterectomy as a cure for all of my issues (a very slim risk of hpv related vaginal cancer still exists..but only a .009%) of corse I said yes and on January 22nd I had a total vaginal hysterectomy. This means he removed my uterus and cervix only, and he did it from the vagina so I have no external cuts at all. The proceedure took 4 hrs (was suppose to be 45 min) because my uterus was the size of a 10 week pregnancy and full of cancer. Had I went by the other doctors "results" I would have most likely died within a year. The first couple of days I was really sore, but each day I felt better. At 3 weeks post op we took a trip to Florida (im in ohio) and spent 7 days walking through universal studios, orlando, punta gordaand gasparilla island. I rode rides, and did just about everything. Although I tired easily, I basically felt good. I'm now 12 weeks post op and feel wonderful. Ive felt like nothing happened for about 4 weeks now. I no loer have painful intercourse, my vaginal pap came back clear, and even though I still have my ovaries, I no longer have a week of ovulation symptoms. Maybe a twinge or two with a chocolate craving, but no pain, swelling, moodiness, or fatigue. So, the reason I wrote this long, indebth note is to show that it all depends. What doctor you have, symptoms you have, your personal needs, thoughts, wants, and what your willing to stand up and fight for. If your in pain, have ied other ways, dont want anymore children, want a definative cure, and believe a hysterectomy will help you, then stand strong, demand to be heard, and if your doctor wont aee, find one who will...AND if its the opposite, you want to avoid hysterectomy but doctor insists..same goes...demand you receive the treatment you want as long as it isnt life threatening.
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