Friday, 22 March 2013

I May Be Having a Hysterectomy

My miscarriage doodle
Thought I'd cut straight to the chase.  Not my usual style, but I'm pretty spent at the moment.  Emotionally, physically, mentally.

It's been a really shit few months.  I don't always show it on here, Twitter, Facebook or wherever. But it has been rough.  Rough few months.  Rough year.  Rough few years.

But of course there has been plenty of joy.

But right now...

My friend said I wouldn't be able to write this post without some humour as that's not me.  Well, she's about to be proved wrong! :) I've done it before - good old PTSD days!  Ahhh the memories.

So here goes: humour-free zone.  You have been warned.  Hell, you were warned by the title.  Can't be much clearer can it?

I've always had issues with my periods.  I was on the pill at 13 because it started off badly.  I've always suffered with hormones and I think that's what sent me haywire as a teen.  Suddenly I just wasn't me anymore.  I was put on Prozac at 16.  I believe my issues were related back to my hormones - nothing else.  I also think that's what caused the Hyperemesis for me, and possibly an inability to carry full term.

Whatever causes it I've always had this joyous cross to bear and I've never really stopped.  It's just that they reached a level where I finally had to do something.  They say that women who have bad cycles often see some improvement after having a baby - mine have gotten worse.

I may have had a miscarriage (maybe even a couple) before I had my daughter.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect.  I certainly have had two since, confirmed with multiple pregnancy tests - as you do.  I've never written about it on here, and some people probably think that I shouldn't.  But I'm explaining what has gotten me to this stage.  The stage where I felt that my last option was to have a Merina Coil fitted in a bid to avoid 'the nuclear option'.  I have tried pills, hormone injections, everything.  With varying degrees of awful effect.

The Merina coil didn't work.  Apparently it's rare, according to my doctor (though not so much from what I've seen on the Internet).  But my body has unequivocally rejected the foreign body in my womb. It rejected at least two conceived embryos, and it has violently rejected this coil.  And when I say violently, I mean it.  I have had 8 weeks of labour pain contractions as my body has tried to eject the 'invader' in the same way it tries to propel a baby down the birth canal at approximately 40 weeks - or 26 to 27 weeks if you are me.

The contractions were of course on and off, sometimes worse than others, but almost every day.  I was already anaemic.  But the pain was truly exhausting.  One night it lasted 5 hours (not for the first time), but was so intense I nearly called an ambulance.  If I hadn't known what it was I would think I was having a baby without knowing I'd been pregnant (as can happen).  That bad.  I came close to passing out in public on a number of occasions, and I had a panic attack in Tesco for the first time since I got over the PTSD.

When the doctor went to take it out it fell into his hand as soon as my cervix was opened (apologies for the gruesome imagery).  He said it would have been out on it's own in a week or two.

"It really hasn't been a success with you" he said, sympathetically, yet smiling - because naturally I had been making light and nervous jokes, just as I did when I was in shock and giving birth to my premature daughter.

No, a success it most definitely had not been.

So... next course of action.  Probably a hysterectomy for you, he said.  Nicely.  He said it nicely.  But hearing it, well, it's not the nicest thing, is it?  It will be the only way to solve the problems, and if your family history with hormone-related breast cancer is as bad as you think it is then it might be wise.

I have spoken to my mum and it is.  So I have some thinking to do and some choices to make.  Do I continue with the painful 21-24 day cycles (with spotting and pain in the middle) or do I put an end to it?  Do I risk keeping my womb and ovaries when I likely cannot carry a child past 6 weeks, let alone past the 6 months mark? Do I risk it when I know that it could lead to breast or ovarian cancer, due to my genetic disposition?

I genuinely did want a second child.  People tell me it wasn't meant to be....  That I am lucky to have the one I had....  That a second pregnancy would result in Hyperemesis again - I know it, the exhaustions and nausea as early as 4 weeks was one way I knew I was pregnant before I miscarried a week or two later....  That if I had another premature labour I might not get such a good outcome...

I know all of this.  My head knows that this is all likely correct.

But I just don't know.  So final.  A hysterectomy.  Logically it makes sense, but in my heart... well, you can imagine...

I'm so busy and unwell that now wouldn't even be a good time.  But still, a hysterectomy is a big thing.    Operation.  Recovery.  Don't lift shopping bags.  Don't put your child in bed.  Don't do housework.  Don't exercise.  Don't do anything.

And I don't want any of that.

I have one last thing to try.  A radical change of diet and the elimination of anything that can throw a woman off balance.

Wish me luck, please.

22 comments:

  1. How very frank and honest of you opening up to us. Thank you for sharing ur experiences. Its your desision to make...no one can tell tell you what to do....but it sounds to me like you have been through more than your share of heart ache and pain.....if this operation can put an end to that.....then imagine the peace after things have settled down! No more worry...pain or horrid cycles! Hard to say when its not me going through this...my thoughts are witb you. big hugs xx

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    1. Thank you. I know, there is that... if it works. I wish I could have a guarantee! x

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  2. I am so, so sorry to hear this!!

    Reading your post is almost like recapping my own life (except the miscarriages and premature labour). All the horrors of hormones going haywire, short, painful and unpredictable periods, hyperemesis, varying degrees of awful side effects from the very treatments meant to help... Hormones have a lot to answer for!!

    My grandma and mum both had the very same issues. My grandma had a hysterectomy at 40 and my mum had one at 36. I have always assumed this would be my fate one day too. And even though the fact my hormones obviously hate me and have made us say no to a second (much wanted baby) there is still a very big fear of making such a huge decision one day...

    My mum maintains her hysterectomy was the best thing she ever did, that it gave her a life back and that even the day after major surgery she felt better than she had in years. I've also heard of women who regretted having a hysterectomy as it wasn't the miraculous cure promised them. I thibk it all comes down to risk vs benefit and whether they take the ovaries as well etc. Plus, of course, luck I guess.

    I don't envy you the decision at all, but wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and here if you need someone to bounce thoughts off xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda, that's very kind. I remember you commenting when I wrote my first post on my Mirena experience! So I've come to the conclusion that NO, they will not make contraception (or menstrual cycle fixers) for women like us!!!

      Risk v benefit - that made me smile - I always take that approach. It keeps coming down to the fact that I probably can't carry children now, so what is the point in not doing?

      Still don't like it though! xx

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  3. What a brave and honest post. I can relate to some of it - having gemma so premature we have agreed that we won't have any more children which is heartbreaking. The thought of a hysterectomy feels too final as does the snip for hubby but would take the fear of it happening again as the pill does not agree with me.

    We are looking into adoption but can't apply until gem is 4 so a year to go. Is this something you have considered? My friends recently adopted a little girl who was only 7/8 months:)

    Hugs

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    1. Oh how lovely - I've always thought adoption a really perfect way to complete a family. It's a possibility we've 'mentioned', but I wasn't up to discussing it when we did as I was still hell bent on having another - but husband didn't want to risk Hyperemesis/NICU again...

      I wish you look if you follow that path :) xx

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  4. That's a hard place you are in, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I was faced with the possibility of a hysterectomy too, but then I have 3 kids, and early menopause kicked everything to touch for me, not that I'd wish that for you either. I know what it's like to have your life ruled by hormones and I hope you find some other solution ((hugs))

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    1. Thanks, C. Yeah, it would be nice not to have Hormone monster emerge every other week (it seems). My mum and Grandma both had hysterectomies and I think it was fine for them - so hopefully it will be for me too - if that's what I end up having xx

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  5. I really really hope the diet works for you hon.
    Don't really know what else to say other than sending love and hugs. x

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    1. Thanks Marylin - I hope so too! the health benefits alone make it worth doing, even if it doesn't. Expect lots of butternut squash and tofu recipes round these parts!!! :D x

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  6. I'm not even going to try to imagine, because I can't. Just know I am just around the corner and can be a shoulder to cry on, a healthy food and treat maker and deliverer or a help with Babyzoid. Whatever you need, if I can, I will. Much love xxx

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    1. Thank you!!! Though we need to get you sorted before you start helping me out too much, Mrs! :) Healthy treats though, now that sounds pretty good.... x

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  7. You poor thing, you've really been through an incredibly tough time. As said above, I too can't even imagine. I can understand what you mean about the hysterectomy seeming so final and wanting to try anything else first. Definitely wishing you luck, strength and success with the dietary changes. I have a friend who was having all kinds of troubles recently and she has given up gluten and dairy and feels great again, so diet can be more powerful than we sometimes think. xxx

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    1. Thanks Mummy Zen :) It has been a rough time, but others have been through and are going through rougher so I will count my blessings and see this as an opportunity! I've been toying with the idea of a return to Vegetarianism for some time (except seafood, I'm keeping the seafood!) so it's not too difficult in that respect. Limiting the dairy will be. As for Gluten. I tried that once... I may again, if I have to :/ Lol xx

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  8. You poor thing, it sounds awful and then this decision making on the top of it! I really hope you can sit down and have a serious think, and I hope that whatever it makes it is the right and best decision for you xxx

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    1. Thanks Kerry. I'll get plenty of advice and won't make it lightly :) xx

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  9. Oh, so sorry to hear about this. A very difficult time, on top of the difficult times you've already had. I am glad you wrote about it though because offloading may have given you some relief. I do hope so. I wish you all the luck in the world with this decision.If an operation can help relieve all your pain and suffering and reduce other risks then perhaps it really is worth serious consideration?

    Best of luck C, be thinking of you :-)

    ((xx))

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    1. Thanks Jazzy. It has been a relief actually. The amount of times I nearly wrote about miscarriage, then stopped myself (or deleted a post!) It was too raw then. Now, it's okay (ish). And yes, if it does then it may very well be worth it! xx

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  10. So sorry to read this Beadzoid. Hormones are not the barrel of laughs they are cracked up to be. I've heard recently of several very rough cases where hormones are the prime culprit and where frustratingly there seems no quick fix. I'm not in your position but I understand what you mean by the finality, and whilst still recovering from PTSD and having recently had a miscarriage it must be difficult to make a choice for the best. I hope those round you are being extra strong so you can have some slack, as it sounds like you need it for at least a good few days or more of each month. As you've said, somethings are just too hard to be laughed off. xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. My husband has been great - he's really fantastic and has been throughout. I'm very lucky to have him. I suppose that's it... next month I should have been giving birth, if I'd gone to term. Instead I'm contemplating Hysterectomy. That's the difficult thing... not at all funny.

      But... I'm still incredibly lucky. I do know that xx

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  11. Awe Christina! It's not a very exciting prospect is it? I really, really hope these dietary changes work just incase hubs changes his mind. ( we can live in hope)
    In the meanwhile BIG HUGS x x

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  12. Thanks Leanna :) Well... what will be will be in regards to another or not. But not having to have the op is definitely worth a shot! xXx

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