Now I have mentioned numerous times on here that I would be posting my hysterectomy and recovery story but it has been hard to do. It seems like just when I think the story is finished… it isn’t. I will do a quick summary here and then maybe later post more details. First off, the surgery itself was a piece of cake. My surgeon must have awesome hands because I didn’t have pain or anything from the surgery itself. I didn’t take any of my pain meds at all. I am not saying that I didn’t have any discomfort… I did… but it was definitely not unbearable. I am one of those who doesn’t like taking medicine so unless it is really bad, I just suck it up. After all, I had babies without drugs surely I can handle other things. But honestly, the pain was nothing.
The recovery sailed pretty smoothly the first two weeks. Then I had a big hiccup in the process when my digestive system just decided to shut down. I couldn’t tolerate eating or drinking anything. Even water made my insides feel like they were going through a paper shredder. I have NEVER had pain like this in my life and I pray that I never do again. It was AWFUL. Once I got through that, I was doing pretty good for a couple more weeks and then I started having all kinds of little issues. Then came the big one… my bladder and lady bits were NOT happy. I felt like I had a raging UTI 24/7. I had burning and was just so miserable. I was also having terrible night sweats and brain zaps. Not to mention the crawly skin. I went back to my doctor and she said that I had atrophy down there and my lab results came back that I was low on estrogen. She only ran my estrogen level. She put me on estrogen replacement. Eight weeks later, I was still feeling like I had a UTI (although it had improved some) but I was feeling worse and worse in general. I kept calling my surgeon back to tell her something was not right but she just kept saying that I needed to wait longer for the estrogen cream to work. I knew it was much more than that.
My sweet patient husband told me that I was going to see another doctor who could help me. He was determined that it was a hormone issue but that estrogen alone was not going to fix it. I called my compounding pharmacist (who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement and asked her to please tell me who to go to. We spoke for quite a bit and she recommended a hormone specialist that she works with a lot. I made an appointment and went last Thursday. She is AWESOME. Her office staff was so incredibly nice. It was like hanging out with your girlfriends, not going to the doctor. She sat down and listened to me cry and tell her all of the issues that I was having. She told me right off the bat that my current treatment was “crap” and that I definitely had a serious hormone imbalance. She ordered a full blood work up and saliva hormone testing as well. That was all on Thursday. She emailed me on SUNDAY (which was also MOTHER’S DAY) and told me the results of my blood test. Here is a snippet…
“Your labs are what I completely thought. YOU HAVE NO HORMONES WHAT SO EVER! Here’s the plan…”
I cried. I took my phone over to my husband so that he could read the email too. I told him I felt heard. Thankfully, my thyroid is fine so we don’t have to mess with it. However, I have to be on Estradiol and Estriol (both estrogens), Progesterone, Testosterone and DHEA. I have thought for several years that my progesterone was very low but I couldn’t get my doctor to agree and she wouldn’t test me for it. I didn’t even have enough for a level to show up on the test. Needless to say, that’s bad. I knew that I had been progesterone deficient in my younger years (was on replacement therapy then) so there was no reason to think I wasn’t now. SO THANKFUL that this woman tested and got me back on therapy. I started my Progesterone last night and the others this morning. So far so good. I started at half doses on both since I am usually SO sensitive to meds. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any crazy side effects. So far, no issues. I will probably go up to a full dose or 3/4 tonight.
In case you were wondering what some of my issues were, here are some of them:
- urinary and vaginal atrophy
- bladder discomfort
- brain zaps
- memory lapses
- cognitive problems
- neurological problems (muscle twitching in several different areas of my body)
- itchy crawl skin (felt like bugs were crawling on me)
- hair falling out in HANDFULS every morning, as well as falling all day
- most joints and muscles aching
- night sweats
- hot flashes
Needless to say, there were a whole host of issues going on and I KNEW that wasn’t normal at all. I love the surgeon who did my surgery but she wasn’t being proactive enough for me on the hormone issue and she wasn’t one that specialized in bio-identical hormones. I knew if I had to have replacement therapy, that is what I wanted. So, I found someone who specialized in that. I will let you know in a few weeks how it is all going. I HOPE to be full of life and energy again soon.