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Awaiting hysterectomy - how important is it to have Zolodex leading up to this? (And lots of other questions...)

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by bacardibreezer, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Firstly I apologise that I am asking questions that seem to require indepth medical knowledge - I have made an appointment to see my GP but can't get in until next week. I am posting on here in the hope that someone will have experience of this and might be able to give some advice or reassurance. I really need to pacify my HT and reassure students that I will try not to be a liability to them.
    I am on the waiting list for a hysterectomy due to large fibroids (I look about 30 weeks pregnant) which are causing lots of other problems as well. I have been told that the op will take place in 2 to 3 months.
    The problems are interfering with my work at school. I've had to go into hospital fpr blood tranfusions and treatment for infections brought about by the fibroids and have been signed off by my GP yet again because of the resulting abdominal pain, bladder and bowel problems.
    Anyway, apart from the obvious distress and pain this is causing me, I am worried about how the time I am taking off is affecting my students. I know that some parents are asking questions as well, and I really can't say I blame them. So I have been looking into the possibility of going private and seeing if I can get in within the next two or three weeks - this would then minimise the possibility of having recovery time during the beginning of the autumn term. As many of my students will be doing exams in the winter, I really don't want the stress of trying to juggle all that with going into hospital.
    What I need to know is: will they consider doing the operation within such a short time frame? I have been given a Zoladex implant (my God, that's a delightful experience!) to shrink the fibroids before surgery and am supposed to have this for at least 2 months. However, at my last hospital visit they did say that because the fibroids are so large this won't make a lot of difference. Zoladex is also supposed to help cut down the amount of bleeding that will happen during surgery and because of the need for past transfusions I guess that will be an important factor for me.
    If there is a possibility of getting in as soon as I like, this will mean I won't have the benefit of the Zoladex for long enough, but will that really be an issue?
    Has anyone here had a similar experience? How realistic is my wish to have the op done so soon? And has anyone here gone ahead without the Zoladex? (Other than emergency hysterectomy).
    Sorry my post is so waffly - I am very anxious and feeling very low at the moment. I want to get back to work as soon as possible and be able to reassure all worried parties. And obviously I would like to get my life back.
     
  2. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Firstly I apologise that I am asking questions that seem to require indepth medical knowledge - I have made an appointment to see my GP but can't get in until next week. I am posting on here in the hope that someone will have experience of this and might be able to give some advice or reassurance. I really need to pacify my HT and reassure students that I will try not to be a liability to them.
    I am on the waiting list for a hysterectomy due to large fibroids (I look about 30 weeks pregnant) which are causing lots of other problems as well. I have been told that the op will take place in 2 to 3 months.
    The problems are interfering with my work at school. I've had to go into hospital fpr blood tranfusions and treatment for infections brought about by the fibroids and have been signed off by my GP yet again because of the resulting abdominal pain, bladder and bowel problems.
    Anyway, apart from the obvious distress and pain this is causing me, I am worried about how the time I am taking off is affecting my students. I know that some parents are asking questions as well, and I really can't say I blame them. So I have been looking into the possibility of going private and seeing if I can get in within the next two or three weeks - this would then minimise the possibility of having recovery time during the beginning of the autumn term. As many of my students will be doing exams in the winter, I really don't want the stress of trying to juggle all that with going into hospital.
    What I need to know is: will they consider doing the operation within such a short time frame? I have been given a Zoladex implant (my God, that's a delightful experience!) to shrink the fibroids before surgery and am supposed to have this for at least 2 months. However, at my last hospital visit they did say that because the fibroids are so large this won't make a lot of difference. Zoladex is also supposed to help cut down the amount of bleeding that will happen during surgery and because of the need for past transfusions I guess that will be an important factor for me.
    If there is a possibility of getting in as soon as I like, this will mean I won't have the benefit of the Zoladex for long enough, but will that really be an issue?
    Has anyone here had a similar experience? How realistic is my wish to have the op done so soon? And has anyone here gone ahead without the Zoladex? (Other than emergency hysterectomy).
    Sorry my post is so waffly - I am very anxious and feeling very low at the moment. I want to get back to work as soon as possible and be able to reassure all worried parties. And obviously I would like to get my life back.
     
  3. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Hi Bacardibreezer,
    Sorry to hear about your problems. I can't advise on your question but I felt I had to post because it seems to me that you're more worried about your students and parents than about yourself. Having been through this some years ago I can tell you that it is a major op and that you will need time to get right again physically.Just for a few months you will need to concentrate on you alone,build up your strength,get your body adjusted to the changes and get yourself fit.After that you will find that you even begin to think differently and that most of the things mentioned in your post will not seem half as important as they do now. Right now...bogged down by pain and discomfort your thoughts are,as you said,waffly and you are not focusing on what is important,which is you and your health.
    Please do what you are being advised by the doctors to do.Take your time and don't rush back to work if you can help it. The school will run on without you,believe me.
    If you look after yourself you will get your life back and you won't regret anything.I certainly didn't.It's over 10 years since my hysterectomy and it would take quite a few posts to tell you where I have gone with my life since then...but before I was,bogged down and couldn't see the wood for the trees.
    All the best.Try to cheer up and look after number 1.
     
  4. I feel your pain. I was exactly the same position 3 years ago. I had a 19week wait for my op. There are a number of factors. I had huge fibroids probably similar in size to yours I am lucky enough to live in an area with a highly regarded teaching hospital with an excellent surgeon (on the NHS) and despite the size of my fibroids was able to have keyhole surgery meaning recovery only took a couple of weeks I could easily have been back to work in 3wks (and that's working with little ones) I had zoladex for the three months before my surgery, this made a HUGE difference. It meant I was able to keep working but my symptoms were greatly reduced and I had no bleeding the fibroids also shrank an enormous amount in that time. If you are having a full incision then I don't suppose it will matter hugely that your fibroids haven't shrunk but your recovery time will be much longer 8 to 12 wks in some cases. If you have the option to have keyhole surgery (not vaginal) then the length of your recovery is greatly reduced. Don't let the medics fob you off saying the fibroids are too large for keyhole surgery, not to be too graphic but the fibroids are cut up in situ then sucked out. So size doesn't matter as they say. Hope this helps, let me know if you want to know anything else. Also join the hysterectomy association forum you will get a huge amount of support from ladies having the op at the same time as you and old timers who have been through it.
     
  5. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thank you for your replies, towncryer and yirg - they are most reassuring.
    I am worried about my students, that's true, but simply because I will be held accountable for their results. I'm not a martyr to the extent that I would put them before my own health - in a way it's self-preservation.
    I've only been at this school since April - and had no idea at the time that I accepted the post that I was going to be having a hysterectomy; I was still awaiting scans at that point but was assured that I was looking at a coil - or embolization (sp?) at the very worst!
    I feel guilty that I have been at the school such a short time and am already proving to be a massive liability. The worry of this is not helping me healthwise and I feel that going private and getting this done quickly (if that's possible) will help alleviate some of the stress for me, hasten my recovery and increase my chances of going back to work in September feeling ready to do the best I can.
    Interesting point about the keyhole surgery and being fobbed off, yirg. So far they have tried to tell me that it is better to have everything removed - cervix, ovaries and tubes as well as the uterus. Their only reason for this is that it means should I develop problems in those areas later on, I won't need another operation. However, the chances of developing problems in any other of these areas is not increased in any way by my condidtion. I wanted to ask whether the surgeon could remove my appendix while he's in there - just in case - but didn't have the nerve :-/
    Anyway, I've signed to say I want to preserve my ovaries and cervix (they didn't give me the option of tubes but I've found out from the website from one of the private hospitals that this is indeed an option and that there are benefits to keeping ovaries as well - something I have not been told at the NHS hospital - yet it's the same surgeons at both hospitals!)
    I want this done quickly but I also object to being treated as if my concerns don't matter. It's almost as if they would rather take the lot out because it's easier for them.
    Feel better for that rant :)
     
  6. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Hi again.I think it depends on what they find as to what they take out.In my case the chances of similar problems recurring with the ovaries intact were very high and I was very clear that I didn't want to be running to the hospital every few months or years.For me it was all or nothing and incision...so yes it took a long time to recover...but afterwards....wow..new life,new me.
    Hope you can have keyhole if possible but discuss with your doctor what life will be post-op if bits are left in.As you are concerned about your job performance you need to think whether its better to have all removed,long recovery but relatively nothing afterwards...or whether leaving bits in will lead to problems later on and more time off. Only your doctor can really know.
     
  7. Twinkles

    Twinkles New commenter

    I had all my bits taken away in June last year and have never looked back! Same reason as you but I was only roo pleased to lose everything - no more smear tests for me - and at 51, I was nearly menopausal - could be different for you, of course! My surgeon was very keen to put me on HRT but I refused and, apart from a couple of very brief 'warm moments' in the week after surgery, I have had no trouble at all. I have changed to soya milk and seeded bread, as recommended in a menopause survival cookbook, but I have no idea if that makes any difference (and I'm not going to risk finding out!)
    Like you, I was worried about time off school, particularly since we had a new Head but he turned out to be very sympathetic. I was out of school for the whole of Term 6 and then had the Summer holidays to recover and I have never felt better. Because we had time to plan it, my class were able to have a reliable supply teacher who they already knew and handing over to her meant I could relax and get better.
    Hope everything works out for you - do check out http://www.hysterectomy-association.org.uk/ you'll find lots of very helpful people on there.

     
  8. I kept my cervix and ovaries and have had no problems at all. My surgeon saw absolutely no reason that I should ever have any further trouble.
     
  9. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I've been waiting since January for treatment for my fibroids, and it's going to be at least another 3 months before anything is done, so I can really sympathise with you. It's awful being kept waiting around like this, having to put up with all the problems the fibroids are causing. I'm supposed to be having embolisation though, which I have mixed feelings about. I'm only 32 and I've been told they won't consider hysterectomy in someone my age, but I'm worried the embolisation won't be effective as it only shrinks the fibroidd rather than getting rid of them and it can take up to a year to see the full effects. I'll have already spent nearly a year waiting for treatment, I don't want to give up another yesr to this!
    Anyway, I don't know anything about the implant you have in as that has never been mentioned to me, but I can definitely recommend going on the forum at the Hysterectomy Association website, its absolutely brilliant. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and remember to put you and your health first!
     
  10. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thank you all for replies and reassurance. I am especially grateful for the details of the Hysterectomy website. So impressed that I am now a fully paid-up member [​IMG]
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Sorry to hear that you have been having all this trouble, bb, and I hope the op goes well and that you have a speedy recovery. Take care.
     
  12. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thank you nutella [​IMG]
     
  13. seren_dipity

    seren_dipity New commenter

    When I had my hysterectomy I'd already had an ovary and large ovarian cyst removed about 10 years previously. I opted to have the cervix, ovaries and tubes removed because it avoided ever having to worry about cancer in those areas and the fact that ovarian cancer in particular is, on the whole, without symptoms worried me. I may have been swayed by the fact that I'd had pre-cancerous cells lasered from my cervix a few years before the hysterectomy though. I like the fact that, having none of the "bits" I have none of the worries.
    The thought of an implant gave me the heebie jeebies so I take HRT in tablet form - after much discussion following the heart attack I'm now on the very lowest dose available and am very, very gradually weaning myself off HRT.
    As to worrying about the op - no op is much fun but I felt great after it and I still believe that it's the best thing I've ever had done!
    I don't think I'd have bothered going private though but I suppose if the money or the insurance is available I'd have considered it. I was lucky as I had my hysterectomy at a time convenient to me because I agreed with my consultant to be part of final exams.
     
  14. That's great news, trust me the apprehension is far worse than the reality, you'll be fine. Good Luck.
     
  15. Lidnod

    Lidnod Star commenter

    It doesn't help that before the op they have to tell you all the possible complications so don't let that freak you out. I was shaking like a leaf! Have some 'treats' ready for when you come out of hospital and you are ready for them e.g. a favourite film to watch, a good book to read. Focus on your recovery. Best wishes!
     
  16. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thank you, everyone - I will focus on the treats rather than the op [​IMG]
     
  17. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thanks again for the reassurance. Have had the op and hoping to be home later. Unable to sleep, however, due to pain. Apparently it's trapped wind - very common after hhis type of op - but no pain killer seems able to touch it.
    So, lll keep going with the peppermint tea and hope it eases soon.
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I remember it from having the ovary removed (didn't have the problem after the hysterectomy). The pain had me crawling about on all fours trying to find a position where it was less excruciating. It passes quite quickly though.

     
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I hope you make a very good recovery, bb. The pain will lessen and be gone after a few days. Meanwhile, keep positive and know that you will be feeling better very soon. Take care, nut. x
     
  20. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    Thank you seren - it's a relief to know that pain won't last forever.
    I know what you mean about crawling around - it reminds me of labour contractions.

    Thanks nutella - I'm feeling a lot more positive about the future x
     

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