One woman's Surgical Menopause (hysterectomy)
|My doctor said
surgical menopause is like driving a car 70 miles per hour and slamming
on the brakes. That's what it's like for your body. |
When I was 43 I went for my yearly ob/gyn visit. I could tell something
wasn't right as my ob asked me when my last period was. When I got in
his office he told me I had a cyst on my right ovary. I was concerned
because I had two on my left ovary seven years prior and had to have them
both surgically removed. At that time I was also diagnosed with endometriosis.
I went back again after another period and he said that it was smaller.
I was concerned still as he was checking me manually and didn't offer
an ultrasound or a Ca-125 test for ovarian cancer. I called the office
and spoke to the nurse and told her I wanted a Ca -125 test as when I
had the 2 cysts on my left ovary. She said it would be fine to come in
and have it done, but my doc said that it wasn't warranted, but I could
have it for peace of mind.
Peace of mind, my foot. Two days later I got a call from the nurse and
she said to come to the office immediately as a normal Ca-125 was between
1-35. Mine was 75. How I made it to his office in one piece is beyond
me. He told me since I had opened Pandora's box by asking for the Ca-125
test that he had to investigate.
I was on the operating table 2 weeks later having a complete hysterectomy.
I have regretted that day forever. I was put on Premarin .625. The first
month I felt great. Then I woke up one morning with a bladder infection.
The panic and depression set in and loss of appetite. My insides felt
like they were shaking. In short, I was a mess.
I went back to my doc and he told me these were not menopausal symptoms,
to get them out of my head, I was on estrogen. I went to a second doc
and cried in her office. She added estratest.
Finally I went for a mammogram and ultrasound and the female breast
specialist to whom I had been going for years asked me what in the world
was wrong... as I had gone from 118 lbs to 107. She got me in to see a
I had never been depressed before and not wanting to get out of bed.
But now I dragged myself to work everyday. I finally went to see the ob/endocrinologist
and she said no wonder I didn't feel well. My estrogen level was 40 and
should be over 100 for my age. Also since I was thin I did not store estrogen.
She has been a help, but if I knew what surgical menopause was like I
would never have done it and would have sought a second and third opinion.
By the way, I didn't have ovarian cancer. Thank God!!!! But the road has
been long and difficult.
My doctor said surgical menopause is like driving a car 70 miles per
hour and slamming on the brakes. That's what it's like for your body.
I never even knew that hormones have such a strong affect on a woman's
mind...your thoughts, your reactions, your interpretation of things, not
to mention the brain fog. You wonder if you have Alzheimer's or are you
losing your mind.
I'm better than I was but not 100% and sometimes wonder if I will ever
be 100%. I'm on 2 estrogen patches and still don't feel exactly right.
Sooo, Ladies, have blood work done to know what your levels are prior
to surgery and get a second and third opinion. I wish I'd thought I had
the time to do it.
I have emailed Oprah and Dr. Phil about this as I feel it's a shame women
have to go through this.
Take care, Tina <email@example.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.
Awareness, a website dedicated to raising awareness about hysterectomy
as well as providing support and resources about the subject.
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.