Monday, October 24, 2016

My Uterine Ablation Procedure

Well, since I have had a TON of people ask me about this... I guess I will blog about it.  It may not be something we all wish to hear about, but oh well.  This is my life now.

I mentioned in my last post that my periods (since having my 4th and last kid) have been a nightmare.  I've always had bad and heavy periods growing up, but these have progressed from there.

My first two days, I couldn't go more than 30 min - 1 hr with a SuperPlus tampon AND a pad.  So heavy that I had to get out of car rider line one day (and who does that??) just to clean up AGAIN after I had just left the house right before that.  So ok, it was only the first two day of each cycle, right? No.  Nope.  Then it would d...r......a..........g......for usually up to t....w.....o......w......e......e........k.......s.......  Yep, my last one lasted 2 weeks.  Then I only got 2 weeks "off" before it was due for another monthly cycle!

so yeah, with 4 kids.... who has time for all that mess???? Heavy and way longer than my normal. My mind immediately went to future vacations (with or without kids, but how can I do that if I'm bleeding and can't go more than 1 hour on vacation?? and having to pack 2 weeks worth of tampons in a suitcase?? for real??)

What is the ablation surgery?
#1.  First, they knock you out completely.  Not fun.  Its so weird.  You won't feel a thing and won't remember a thing. But this wasn't my first rodeo with general anesthesia.
#2.  Hysteroscopy.  They insert a camera to look at everything.
#3.  Depending on what they see or don't see.... they may or may not do a:
#4.  D&C.  Scrape out "stuff" that maybe shouldn't be there (cysts, fibroids, etc).  I didn't have any of that.They will also do a uterine biopsy to rule out uterine cancer before they do anything else.
#5.  They then fill the uterus with a liquid (I'm guessing saline of some kind.) and expand the uterus so the liquid fills all those little nooks and crannies! hehe
#6.  They then insert this metal mesh looking appliance (to me it resembled an avocado kitchen utensil or a whisk).   They heat this thing which then heats the liquid... and it will basically burn the inside lining from which you are bleeding.  It cauterizes the lining to decrease/stop the bleeding.
#7  You wake up with some serious cramps that will last a few days.

Dr. T mentioned getting the ablation done several months ago, and I kept talking myself out of it.  I finally decided (after another bad month) that there was NEVER a good time to do any kind of elective/somewhat necessary surgery.  I say elective, because was I going to die without it? no, but it sure made life pretty miserable.

I talked to a few friends who had it done in the past few years and all said it was worth it.  They were "down" for a day or two.

My mom was coming down to help me with kids and planned to leave a few days after the surgery and I was back on my feet.

Surgery went well.  Because I have had 4 C-sections, she had to "skip the area of scar and scar tissue because its already paper thin."  She could only ablate (is that the right word?) 80% of my uterus.  For some people this procedure will COMPLETELY get rid of their periods, but because there was about 20% left untouched, she said I would still have one, but it should be drastically better.  I cramped pretty bad for 3 days, but did not bleed at all.  EXACTLY one week later, I've had very light bleeding every day for almost a week now.  I am not sure if that is my period (since it was time for that anyway) or if its surgery related, but I go for my 2-week post checkup tomorrow.

yay, all done with the hard part.  In recovery, she went over all the post-surgery stuff.  All I heard was "no working out or lifting over 10 lbs. for TWO WEEKS."   ummm...... what??? Did I hear that right?  Mason weighs almost 30 lbs probably and I lift weights on a regular basis.

Mom was the awesome mom that she is, and has stayed with me for the past 2 weeks to pick up Mason (car seats, cribs).  Dr. T wouldn't even allow light walking as exercise for at least a week and absolutely no lifting weights for two.


its all good though.  Just keep looking at the long term... not the short term.  :)

My sister is looking into having it done and her doctor has told her that they have to try all other methods and rule out several other things before insurance will cover this procedure.  just fyi for all those interested... I unknowingly had already ruled out all that stuff in the past few years:
#1  Blood work. They have to rule out your thyroid.  My thyroid is normal.
#2  IUD and birth control.  I tried to get an IUD after my 2nd baby in 2010, but because my uterus is tilted, it physically will not go in the right place in my uterus (it should be placed at the top of the uterus and mine kept hitting the side wall of the uterus).  To this day, the IUD insertion procedure was the most painful experience I've ever had including my 4 C-sections.  The IUD wasn't there 5 minutes before they took it back out.   Which is part of the reason I had my tubes tied after this last baby!  We all still wonder if the fact that my uterus being tilted is the reason I don't dilate and have to have C-sections?? no way to prove that though.
#3  You have to be done with having babies!!!  Obviously, destroying the lining of your uterus will make you infertile!  My tubes were tied, so that ruled that out anyways!  hahaha!  Four and no more!

Looking forward to getting back to my normal routine, mom is looking forward to going home finally, and Mason is looking forward to me being able to pick him up again!!!

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