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

Published by Meredith Gallie

My name is Meredith. I’m a mother of 4 boys living in NY on Long Island. I suffer from a chronic illness called Sjogren’s Syndrome. It is a debilitating autoimmune disease which has wreaked havoc on my body, causing me to become disabled and mostly housebound. Each day for me is about survival and caring for my children. My older boys are twins, one of which has autism. These are challenges that I must try to overcome each day, but I am thankful for my family. I’m thankful to have a loving husband who is able to help and provide a comfortable life for us. We are thankful for his hard work and dedication. I’m not a writer by any means, but I wanted to make this blog as an outlet for all the noise in my head, as well as something to focus on to keep my brain from melting into a pile of mush. I also hope my thoughts and experiences will help others out there with similar struggles. Some of my posts will be like a public diary, some will be advice and inspiration. Some posts will be dark and sad, some will be uplifting and inspiring. I’m just going to write according to whatever mood I’m feeling at the time. It’s a bumpy ride, but hopefully you find it helpful or entertaining. Enjoy!

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