I Almost Died from a Hysterectomy

Dec 10, 2020

Today is three weeks since I’ve had my hysterectomy.  I’m still recovering and quite sore.  The surgery has also put me into a flare.  I’m disappointed, but not surprised.  Any trauma is not tolerated by my body and I pay the price for weeks to months afterwards.

On November 19th, 2020 I went in to surgery for a partial hysterectomy.  I kept my cervix and ovaries.  I opted for the surgery because I’ve had multiple large fibroids since having children and they’ve become quite painful.  I wanted them out!  I was very nervous about going into surgery since my health has not been great in the last few weeks.  Still I went forward.  Little did I know, this surgery would nearly kill me.  About 12 hours after the surgery I nearly bled to death in the recovery room.  During those hours, I was barely conscious.  I’d wake up long enough to feel my pain and to realize that I could not stay awake for more than a about 20 seconds.  Even then I knew something wasn’t right.  Around 9:50pm I woke up feeling like I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t take a deep breath and knew something was very wrong.  I called for help and when the nurse came to see what I needed, I said I can’t breathe and I don’t feel well.  She took my blood pressure and saw 64/30 with a heart rate of 122.  I knew exactly what that meant and even said out loud “I’m bleeding internally”. She immediately called for a rapid response team and a crash cart.  I was in hypovolemic shock and near death.  I had lost nearly half my blood volume and was in critical condition.  Doctors filled the room. I knew exactly what was happening and I was terrified.  I had multiple people touching me and sticking me with needles.  It felt like forever, but was only about 15 minutes or so.  For the first time ever, I was begging for my life.  I told the doctor “You can’t let me die.  I have 4 children who need me”.  The reality of the situation was terrifying and I was panicking.  They assured me that I was in good hands.  I was rushed back into surgery to remove a large blood clot that had developed from the blood pooling in my abdomen.  The last thing I could think of before I was put back under was “this could be the end of me.  This could be my last seconds alive.  PLEASE let me wake up when this is over.”  

When I woke up again, I actually said “I’m still alive!”  They saved me!  I just had a real near death experience and I made it through.  Terrifying to say the least.  I still have nightmares and flashbacks of those scary moments.  After the surgery, I spent 3 days in bed, unable to move more than just my arms and legs a little.  I was in absolute agony and I was extremely weak.  I was given 5 total units of blood to keep me alive.  Four during surgery and one the next day.  I felt awful.  On the 3rd night my doctor forced me out of bed by removing my foley catheter.  This meant I had to get up out of bed to use the bathroom.  Actually it was a commode next to my bed since I couldn’t exactly walk.  Once that happened I started doing a little better.  After about 5 days, I told my doctor to send me home because I was not satisfied with the aftercare I was receiving.  I had very little attention from the hospital staff and would have rotted in the bed if I hadn’t gotten up to walk on my own.  I was not encouraged to walk by the staff and my hygiene was not properly tended to.  I probably should have stayed another night but I knew I’d get better care from my family at home.  I also barely saw my husband while I was there because of visiting restrictions due to Covid.  At least if I was home, I’d be with him and my children.  

I felt terrible for about a week after I got home and was in agony, but I eventually started getting better slowly.  I just rested all day and ate whenever I could.

Now its three weeks later and I’m doing much better.  I feel mostly like my old self again but still very sore.  Of course I’m flaring now so my energy is pathetic and I still feel sick, but at least I’m home.  More importantly, I’m still alive!

2 weeks post surgery

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