I Survived A Myomectomy

Hi Ladies!

I am a 44 year old, recently engaged, PreKindergarten Teacher and mother of 3 young adult boys and one adopted little girl.

 I decided to have a myomectomy on February 5th, 2010. Well,  I never actually WANTED the surgery, but ever since the age of about 14, I have suffered severe, agonizing menstrual pain month after month. After having had an Ultrasound, which revealed multiple fibroids (some calcified), I had had a D&C, a LEEP procedure, and numerous pain as well as hormonal treatment medications over the course of many years  - all to no avail. There were many pain meds which I was unable to take because they would cause allergic reactions such as unbearable itching, or they were not strong enough, or they would make me feel loopy and thus interfere with my employment or ability to drive to work. Finally, on November 27th, my doctor ordered an MRI which showed that I not only had multiple fibroids, but that I had a particularly large fibroid which was positioned right up against a vital organ. So, something had to be done right away. Uterine Fibroid Embolization was not an option because I was allergic to the contrast dye containing iodine, and a hysterectomy was out of the question because I haven't yet ruled out that I may want another child.

I found out, upon researching the internet, that I would be in recovery for about 6 weeks (plus or minus two weeks) so, I tried to make a lot of preparations in the weeks before surgery. I worked on things such as preparing extra lesson plans for my PreK sub, doing the laundry and linens, straightening up closets, filling out disability paperwork, cleaning the fridge, etc. After awhile, I sort of gave up on this "To Do" list because it began to be somewhat overwhelming. The fact that my father became diagnosed as terminally ill during this time (I tried to cook meals for him and visit every other day) and my adopted daughter's adoption disruption process was also going on didn't help things either. I worked up until midnight before the night of my surgery making sure there was enough food in the house with grocery shopping and filing my taxes. I figured that if my disability request was denied (there is a pre-existing clause in my contract), I could live on my income tax return for the next six weeks. I was advised to rest well before the day of surgery, but as a single parent, I found this difficult. Several family members and friends said to me that if there was anything they could do for me to just ask, but I suppose as an independent, single parent, I have always had a difficult time asking for help from anyone.  I truly thank God that my dear mother insisted on flying up from down south to be with me for two weeks after my surgery.

Finally, on the day of surgery, I entered the operating room leaving my sister, my fiance, and my mother in the waiting room at 3:05pm, and I woke up in recovery at 8:30pm. I wondered why a supposed 1 1/2 hr - 2 1/2 hr operation had taken so long. Later on, my doctor shared that when she opened me up, she was shocked at what she saw. Among scar tissue, she discovered endometriosis as well as a large fibroid which had adhered itself to my bladder and major blood vessels. I remember her saying to me "Well, I just looked at it, and I just looked at it". I am so thankful she was able to remove it.

I was at the hospital for four days. I had my catheter removed on day 2, and I was placed on a liquid diet for a day and a half and then I was allowed to order as I wished, but I had a hard time building up an appetite to eat, possibly due to my inability to move my bowels. Even a cheese steak looked gross. I was given an IV for 2 days, and was given a morphine drip for pain. It was quickly discovered that I was allergic to the drip as I became miserably  itchy all over. The doctor tried benadryl to alleviate the itching, and when that didn't help, switched to dilautin (I think that's how it's spelled) and Tylenol. When I was released from the hospital, I was given a prescription for Pecocet.

 I am now home and nearing the second week of recovery. I am walking up and down steps and I am getting around the house quite easily for a few reasons. One, I had a very strict nurse at the hospital who didn't allow me to sleep all day (as I wished to!). Two, my bedroom is located on the second floor, but I really hate using the second floor bathroom and would rather  DIE before using what is unofficially designated "the boy's bathroom"!   And three, I had to take the bus to the Dr's office with my mother (who doesn't drive) 2 days ago on a three hour trip to get my staples removed. Walking around the living room and up and down your steps is NOTHING compared to taking 4 buses across town in the snow on the subways and buses!  

My mother is a Godsend. She cooks meals for me 3 times a day, she does the laundry, she cleans and vaccuums, she even encourages my 15 year old to make up his bed, and she keeps me company.  I am trying to wean myself off the Percocet by stretching out the dosages for as long as I can, but sometimes the pain is so bad I want  to cry , so I feel like, why torture myself needlessly. My doctor suggested Milk of Magnesia to help move my bowels along - which , incidently, still are not cooperating as well as they should. My appetite is slowly returning, but I have lost about 10 pounds. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but I am not really a big person and don't need to lose too much more than that. Both my fiance and college son commented that I look like I've lost some weight. I no longer walk like a 98 yr old woman, but I still walk very slowly and am able to reach and bend.

When I got my staples taken out 2 days ago, my doctor replaced them with steri-guard strips, which she asked me to remove on Saturday after my shower. She asked me if I was eating, and she gave me a new presciption for Percocet with a lower strength dosage. My 15 year old walked to 3 pharmacies, but no one seemed to have this lower strength dosage, so I would up calling my college age son to drive to another pharmacy 7 miles away. Unfortunately, the pharmacy discovered that the Dr forgot to sign the typed prescription! I'm down to only a few in the bottle, so I'll make some phonecalls to my Dr's office in the morning. It's either that or I'll be curled up with pain  in my bed for the next few days!

My mother leaves to return to her home down south in another day. I'll check in with you all then to let you know how things are going. Until then , get plenty of rest, and take care!!

Symphonyind Symphonyind
41-45, F
4 Responses Feb 19, 2010

who was the doctor that treated you? I am looking for a surgeon to do a myomectomy for multiple large fibroids and would love to get some recommendations.

Hi SymphonyinD,<br />
<br />
I had my myomectomy a day before you. I had 10 fibroids removed a couple of cysts, and endometriosis too. I had a terrible cough after the surgery, cause of the tubes stuck down my throat.. my surgery lasted almost 3 hours... Coughing was HELL ...<br />
<br />
I stayed in the hospital for 7 days (it was the normal procedure according to my surgeon) I was walking from the day after. I stopped pain killers 3 days after... I didnt need them cause I wasnt in any pain. I didnt get any to come home with either. <br />
<br />
I hated that bloated feeling after the surgery in my stomach, its a lot better now and my tummy seems to be going down little by little. <br />
<br />
I am starting work again on Monday the first of March. I dont have any kids yet, and my surgeon said not to try until a year after. I hope he reduces that time to at least 6 months as time goes on. <br />
<br />
I wish you luck on your recovery .

Hello ZeeMee,<br />
Thanks for the advice about not ignoring the pain. I will try to remember that and stop trying to be Super Woman!<br />
It's great to know you were able to drive after thee second week. I am looking forward to being on the road again soon. <br />
Hope you have a speedy recovery!<br />
~SymphonyinD

Dear Symphonyind,<br />
It's great to hear that you have gone through the ops...and recovering well. Being a single mother, I understand how you need to move and get things done... do it slowly and don't ignore your body signals should there's pain/uncomfortable especially at the incision area.<br />
I had a myomectomy on 28th Feb, about 3 weeks ago and am recovering well. Started to drive after 2nd week and now things almost getting normal. So far so good, don't really experience great pain...since the ops.. thank GOD!<br />
Take care !!!