Nov ’09: Hysterectomyy etc.

Originally posted at deviantART

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 6, 2009, 2:02 PM

A hysterectomy is normally very straightforward and can be done quickly. The quickest the gyn surgeon had ever done one was ten minutes.

Not to be in my case.

My left leg from thigh to foot had blown up to 2 1/2 times the size of the right. It was determined that there was was a tumour pressing down on major pelvic veins which interrupted the blood blow to and from my heart on the left side. I couldn’t walk for the last few months and was in a lot of pain from my leg and back.

The surgery was delayed on the part of an anaesthetist who had never even met me and really didnt seem to give a damn about the particulars of my case. He was harping on blood pressure when in fact all my vital signs revealed that I am, in fact, in excellent condition despite being very overweight. I had the kind of ideal results you expect in someone a lot younger than 43. He was taking the role of my GP about my weight and pressure when it wast his mandate and he got it wrong. Had I taken another year to lose weight and go on unnecessary pressure meds – the vascular surgeon insists I would have lost my left leg – and died from the seriousness of the vascular problems. So weighing everything up, the best course of action was to get me into hospital ASAP and the vascular surgeon took control and has continued to do so.

It wasn’t until the actual hysterectomy that they realised just how large the tumour was. It turned out to be a baby-sized tumour and the head was pressing down hard on my left kidney amongst other things. There was a lot of damage to pelvic arteries and veins that had to be repaired. The tumour also destroyed my ovaries so they ended up having to be removed as well. I lost a lot of blood and had to have several transfusions. I was told matter-of-factly that I was really lucky to have come through this – it was very intense and problematic surgery in for someone younger without my weight problems. The vascular surgeon had ordered units of blood on standby but had been very confident they wouldn’t be needed… even with the Doppler scans and MRIs – no one could foresee just how bad things really were internally or that the problems I would have wouldn’t have anything to do with my blood pressure.

So – I am starting hormone replacement therapy in a bid to stave off menopause symptoms. In addition to painkillers I have to take anti-clotting medication to prevent thrombosis. My leg looks almost normal and the Dopplers done the day before I left revealed that the blood blow is back to normal and there are no clots so far. I still have knee and leg surgery to get through – but only once I am fully healed from this.

I have lost almost 7 kilos in weight – quite a lot for the first 5 days alone in hospital. My blood pressure most of the time falls within an acceptable range – but the main problem as I see it are the doctors and hospitals that rely on electronic machines rather than doing it manually the old-fashioned way. I kept getting vastly different results from all the machines they used and no one would do a manual check. In one sitting I had a result that said 210/180 and when I insisted they then checked with another machine and it said 150/84. Go figure. I just couldn’t get them to see that the machines are not reliable.

But had I still been in London I would have been in dire straights – couldn’t get the GPs there to listen to me or even see me after the initial fall where I injured my leg and knee. I had had problems with my leg and foot swelling before but they always blamed my weight. In fact, this tumour had to have been growing for quite some time. But I couldn’t get them to do a proper gyn exam – they only cared about smear tests… So even with the difficulties I’ve had here in Wales and the uncertainly about my financial stability and the roof over my head – I’m alive and have had some very serious issues sorted out.

There are other details I could include but I’ll leave it there…

One thing this has forced me to do is re-evaluate certain situations and relationships with people I have. I just want to thank Suzi H. and Shirley P again. Both ladies live very far from me and I’ve never even met them. But they took the time to ring the hospital and send flowers and check on how I was doing – completely unlike people I actually do know face-to-face and are a lot closer geographically here in the UK. Some friendships really aren’t what I thought they were and I’ve given far too much to the wrong people.

That’s not a point of malice but a matter of fact…

2 thoughts on “Nov ’09: Hysterectomyy etc.

  1. Lisa, thanks for sharing. My first thought? OMG! Does not begin to say what I feel. Your writing it as clean and as stark as a bleached bone that has baked in the desert sun for ages. It is touching. Beautiful. I shall save your next “chapter” until the next time that I have free time. At which time I will write — and hope that today you are stronger and better and happier than yesterday. Ciao.

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