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Miserable in Menopause (after hysterectomy)

Here I was at 31 yrs of age facing a decision that would change my life. I was so naive, I did not question the doctor and did not realize the consequences. About two days after surgery, I was in total menopause.

From the day I got my first period it was a nightmare. They were always very heavy and would go on for days (7-9). I thought this was normal for everyone. By the time I was 26, I started bleeding one day and it went on for a couple of months. I finally went to the doctor and was told I had an ovarian tumor. I was in the hospital the next week and they removed my left ovary and a portion of my right (it was not cancer).

The doctor then told me if I wanted to have children then to hurry up and try, because he was unsure if the tumors would come back. I luckily had two childred within 18 months of each other. I was on a regular schedule of getting pap smears every 6 months. In the fifth year after my first surgery, I thought I was home free when the doctor found that my right ovary had a tumor. He recommended a complete hysterectomy.

Here I was at 31 yrs of age facing a decision that would change my life. I was so naive, I did not question the doctor and did not realize the consequences. About two days after surgery, I was in total menopause. I told the doctor I was having hot flashes and extreme night sweats. He put me on Premarin .625 and yes it did work. My symptoms did subside and I did feel better. He told me I would have to stay on Premarin until my late 40s into my 50s.

Then this past year when I went for my mammogram, they found a small nodule on my right breast. They also did an ultrasound. The surgeon said that he does not feel it is anything to worry about at this time due to the shape and size, but I will have to go for ultrasounds every six months to keep an eye on it. He also told me that because I had been on Premarin for 14 years that I was at a higher risk of breast cancer. He told me that I would have to get off Premarin immediately. The Premarin might have helped me when I was younger but now at my age it was putting me more at risk for breast cancer.

I also was diagnosed at that time with osteopenia and high blood pressure. I am now taking blood pressure medication and calcium with Vitamin D every day. I refused to take Fosomax (afraid of the side effects) until my next bone scan.

All I know is this...ever since I went off Premarin in February of this year, all hell has broken loose! I probably should have been weaned off the Premarin and not just stopped cold turkey. Within a week of coming off Premarin, I was in total menopause again. I felt like I hit a wall. I am exhausted all the time, I have headaches, my white count has been low since the summer. I had a positive ANA and am due to be tested again. I have had weight gain. I am now having allergic reations to things that never bothered me before. My joints, especially my knees, ache. I am having trouble sleeping. My hair is thinning. I could cry at the drop of a hat. Lots of up and downs.

Overall I just don't feel good and haven't felt good in a long time. Some days it is such a struggle just to get up and go to work. I have no energy. My sister referred me to this website and I am so glad. I cried when I started reading the articles and stories. I want to look for ways to start feeling better and any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Christine in Massachusetts
cristine418@yahoo.com

 

For more information about hysterectomy:

  • HERS Foundation (Hysterectomy Educational Resources & Services) is an independent, nonprofit women's health education organization providing accurate information about hysterectomy, its adverse effects and alternative treatments.
  • Hysterectomy Awareness, a website dedicated to raising awareness about hysterectomy as well as providing support and resources about the subject.
  • Sans Uteri, a forum for the discussion of the physical and emotional challenges that can be caused by hysterectomy.
  • Hystersisters, a woman to woman support website for hysterectomy recovery. This group offers resources and kindness so that visitors can discover options and make decisions for themselves.
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Updated  05/15/2010