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Choosing the Best Time to Have Surgery

I finally decided last year that this would be the year I have a hysterectomy, along with my second lap. I have adenomyosis and in recent years, the pain has become worse and my cycles have shortened, meaning that sometimes I menstruate more than once a month.

Weighing my options

I had this personal goal where I wanted to wait until I was at least 40 to pull the trigger and at least exhaust all my other options before finally committing to such a drastic move. But I've tried just about everything, and the painful periods prevail. In addition to adenomyosis, I also have other things going on in my uterus, including several fibroids, a possible polyp, and endometritis (which is chronic inflammation of the endometrium), so enough is enough. I turned 40 at the end of last year and I have been bleeding for over three decades as I had my first period at 9. I feel I've put in my time.

Starting the process

At the end of last year, right around Thanksgiving and a month before my 40th birthday, I had a surgical consult with an excision specialist who focuses only on advanced cases of endo. I said I would have surgery. I was hoping to have it in February or maybe March, so I was really disheartened when I heard they couldn't (or wouldn't) schedule me in until the very end of May. I didn't know why it was taking so long. In the recent past, I had attended several surgical consults, which I was able to get into within a week or two of calling and all of them were booking you for the surgery only 2 or 3 months. Now it was taking me 2 months just to get into a consult and nearly half a year until surgery? It seems my state's Medicaid changes were contributing to larger wait times. The really upsetting part is hot and humid weather is the absolute worst for me- it flares all of my pain very badly. This doesn't just include endo/adeno-related pain, but the pain caused by my fibromyalgia and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It's truly a miserable time of year.

Important considerations

So, I am hesitant to put my body through something as extreme as surgery, and have to deal with recovery when I am already in a very vulnerable and painful position health-wise. I have heard that sometimes, even when keeping the ovaries intact (which I plan to do), that sometimes a hysterectomy can incite side effects for the first month or two afterwards that mimics the onset of menopause before the body adjusts. This includes hot flashes and extreme fatigue. I am horrified at the prospect of getting hot flashes and fatigue in 90 degree weather when I am already hot and pained. Because of this, I've decided that barring an emergency or pressing medical reason, that if I can't get my surgery by April, I will have to wait for the following fall. Hopefully, nothing changes or gets too much worse between now and then. But it's critical to me to go forward with a surgery in a way that will not cause me to suffer more and if I have to wait a few more months, I am willing to do that.

Were there factors that dictated when you would have surgery, or did you postpone it based on certain events? Please answer in the comments below.

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