As if it were yesterday, I lay in the hospital bed waiting for my hysterectomy, feeling a wide range of different emotions. I was relieved that I was finally having my surgery. After all, I went through hell just to get to this point. On the other hand, I was still torn and feeling sad because after that day I would no longer be able to bear another child. I couldn’t help wondering if this would make me less of a woman. Clearly, I was very anxious.
A sweet woman with a volunteer badge approached me and asked if I would like a massage. (I highly suggest you ladies take advantage of this perk if it is offered at your hospital.) It was amazing. She covered my eyes with a satin mask, put headphones over my ears with beautiful music, and massaged my head and shoulders. I can assure you that this was the best part of my day! Shortly after my massage, I was wheeled in for surgery.
A few hours later, I awoke in the recovery room extremely cold, sore and nauseous.
A few days later, I was released to go home.
Over all, not so bad…
However, I did have one concern… The blood flow would not stop. But when I called my nurse she reassured me I had nothing to worry about.
A week after my surgery, I was eating lunch with my cousin, and felt something wet on my seat. I excused myself, went to my restroom and noticed a moderate amount of blood. I drove myself to the hospital where my surgeon examined me, and again assured me there was nothing to worry about. But, just to be safe he cauterized me, and sent me home to rest.
8am on May 4, only one week later, I had the scariest experience of my life. My husband had just left for work, and I was getting ready to take my son to an appointment. I put my favorite “mom” outfit on; Sanctuary shorts, a black tank top and flip flops. I grabbed my bag and headed for the door. I decided to use the restroom before I got on the freeway. I kept going, and going, and going. Finally I looked down and realized that it was blood coming out, not urine. I sat on the tile, grabbed my phone and called my friend Nancy. Crap, no answer. Next on my cell phone was my friend Cody. He answered. I have no recollection of what I said to him, but I knew he was on his way. I stood up and unlocked my front door. I called my husband last because, A – I was in a panic and wanted someone there NOW, and B – he takes the train to work so there was no way he would have been able to get back home any time soon. When I did finally reach my husband he urgently instructed me to call 911 immediately. To this day, I have no idea why I didn’t do that in the first place! Clearly… I wasn’t thinking straight.
The ambulance arrived and the medic immediately started me on an IV. I remember hearing them call someone and saying I had lost over a liter of blood. By then, my teeth were chattering, my mouth was going numb, and I was feeling very scared. I clearly remember being more worried about my son seeing the blood in the house and becoming scared. Later, I found out that a kind neighbor had come to the house and whisked him away.
Once I was in the ER, a team of nurses and doctors began “packing” me in the attempt to slow the bleeding. This clearly was not working. I remember starting to panic and at one point, my blood pressure was 56/19 with a heart rate over 200. Now, I may not be a doctor, but I knew this couldn’t be good!
For over two hours the doctors repeatedly tried to stop the bleeding. Nothing was working. My friends and family looked so scared. They were crying, and whispering to one another, and becoming increasingly more and more upset with the hospital staff. Still, I tried to remain calm. I absolutely refused to die in that hospital. My mother took her last breath in that place and I sure as hell wasn’t going to follow suit.
What happened next, I have no logical explanation.
The most calming feeling suddenly came over me. The panicky feeling I had felt before completely subsided, and I felt as if I was floating. I could see everyone in that room, including myself. I’m assuming there is some sort of medical explanation for this phenomena; but to me, it was my “near death” experience. It was not scary. In fact, on the contrary, it was peaceful and beautiful.
Obviously, my experience was merely “near death”, cause I am here to write about my experience today. And yes, the doctors did finally stop the bleeding because they realized the problem stemmed from my robotic hysterectomy. As it turns out, the bleeding was caused as a result of my stitches not being pulled tight enough by the robot. Every last stitch had come undone and I hemorrhaged. I lost over two-thirds of my blood.
The good news, make that the great news, is that I survived! In fact, my witty doctor told me that I was the Honorary Miracle Survivor of the Week. Yay!
Once again, things didn’t go quite as planned. But, that’s A-okay with me. Yes, I’m weak… and pale, but I’m here to share my story. Oh, and you can bet that I will BE standing in line to donate blood, as soon as I can!