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Wednesday, August 1, 2007


It was 30 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play... Oh wait that is the wrong song.

It was 4 years ago today I woke up in the hospital, well; I really did not wake up because I was up all night pushing the button on the pain pump thing. It was around 8:00 in the morning when the pain pump thing quit working. The lovely nurse had told me I could push the button every 8 minutes. SHE WAS WRONG! I listened to her and trusted her and ran out of juice. Than it was an hour before they could contact the Dr who could order me more juice. That was the most painful hour of my life. All pain that I experience between now and forever will be measured by that level of pain. If that was a 10 than this headache I keep having must be a 1. On a pain scale of 1 to 10 that pain was a 25 easily. Oh, but the joy of the day continued. When the Dr finally did come visit me I looked at him and his head was bouncing up and down like a basketball, boing, boing, boing. I remember experimentations with pharmaceuticals in HS trying to see things like that but nothing ever came close. He started talking about blood loss and anemia and blood transfusions. Weird stuff, my brain must have been really foggy. Anyway I signed the paper and got two units of PRBC’s or something. More weirdness. I just laid there and watched the room slow down and everything move back into place. I had no idea at the time what kind of ride I was really on. The day before, July 31, 2003 I had a hysterectomy and total pelvic floor reconstruction with lots of skin grafting and TVT. The surgery lasted 5.5 hours. The recovery took 3 years.

The recovery period was supposed to be 8 weeks of total pelvic rest. No steps, no lifting anything! Not even a gallon of milk. I was having a very hard time with recovery (leaving out lots of details here) the biggest problem was that I could not pee, not a drop. After 10 days with a Foley I went to have that removed and got a nasty surprise. These things are called catheters and you have to use them on your self every couple of hours. At about week 4 when I’d sit down to use the catheter a few drops would trickle out before I’d take care of things. I was sent to see a lovely PT who showed me some stretches to try to loosen things up. They did not help. I was still in a LOT of pain and using LOTS of prescription pain meds.

At 10 weeks I got to have surgery again. This time they rearranged some skin grafts to make more room around my bladder. It helped a little. Very little. I could pee, but I had so much retention that I still had to use the catheters all the time.

At that time the Dr started talking about a third surgery to cut the TVT. I really did not want that to happen. I was pretty much willing to try anything to avoid the chance of leaking when coughing or sneezing or laughing...

I was sent to PT again. This time we tried bio feedback. Interesting stuff! Working muscle tone should be 20 resting muscle tone should be zero. My working muscle tone was 4.5 and my resting was 3. Well, that explained a lot of my problems... I worked very hard on all the exercises she gave me. Twice a day I had a whole routine I had to go through. In about 6 months I had gotten working tone up to almost 15 and resting down to almost zero. I was still having lots of retention problems but the worst was the constant infections I was having. Either I had a UTI, was getting a UTI, or was just getting over a UTI. They were sending out cultures of them and many were either strep b or staph. This was getting VERY OLD! About this time I was given a TENS unit. I wore two patches above my bladder almost all the time. This helped tremendously with the pain.

The Dr wanted to do surgery again. He wanted to cut the TVT. I knew that was not the problem and he did not think it was really a problem either but something was very wrong and that was the only thing he could think of to do. June 30, 2004 I had a third surgery. When he went in and looked around that time he found lots of thick scar tissue surrounding my bladder, holding it stiffly in places it should not be. He removed all that and cut the TVT. I wished I could have been awake. I’d have asked him to leave the tape in place. About a week before surgery I called his office and told them I suspected another infection. I was given Leviquin and had not finished it by the surgery date. I was pumped full of more Leviquin during surgery. About 2 weeks later I had another infection. I suspect it was the last one that had not totally cleared up, because since than I’ve not had another one.

Six weeks after surgery I went back to PT. I had lost almost all of the ground I had gained with all my hard work. I started over again and it was like 2 steps forward 1 step back or 1 step forward 2 steps back. I worked very hard. She spent lots of time massaging and breaking up scar tissue. It was incredibly painful.

Around October/November I met a woman who was telling me how much the Chiro guy had helped her family. I asked the PT what she thought of it and she suggested I try Acupuncture. I was not ready to try that yet.

The week after Christmas I decided to try the Chiro guy. I went to his office and got x-rayed. The x-rays were really shocking. I wish I could post pictures here, but they have gotten lost by his office staff. I tried to collect them to show them to another DR and found out I’ll probably never see them again. I have created this picture to give you an idea of how it looked. One side looked thin because it was turned so sharply toward the center and the whole thing is tilted what would read at 28mm sideways. The Chiro guy said he could straighten me out and I decided to give him a try. OUCH! He crunched and pulled and pushed and I limped out. After about 3 weeks of seeing him 3x per week I started making amazing progress in PT, only going forward with no going back. At some point I showed the x-rays to the PT and she showed me that along the lines where my spine and hips were out of alignment was the thickest scar tissue.

In April I was feeling frustrated with my progress again and I decided to go try acupuncture. The Dr I saw was lovely and wonderful but OUTRAGIOUSLY EXPENSIVE! I went about 5 times than I could not afford it anymore. I was happy with the fact that I was making progress. A few months later I decided to find another acupuncture provider I am currently very happy with the person I see. In June I quit going to the Chiro guy so much. MY hips had gone from 28mm off to 8mm off and I was in much less pain. I was able to stop cathing my self and I was much more mobile. I had to go back to the pelvic surgeon’s office for some problem or other and I saw the PT. I told her I was doing pretty well except for my hips were still bothering me. She told me to schedule an appointment with her and she’d help me. OH MY GOSH! She worked me over HARSHLY! I got a whole new set of exercises and stretches to begin doing twice a day. I learned that I had only about 15% of normal mobility in my left hip, the right one had about 35%. It took about 6 months of hard work to get my hips loosened up. I still must be very diligent about stretching my hips or they ache. I started taking 600mg of Alpha Lipotic Acid, 1000mg of flax oil, more things that helped.

Almost 3 years had passed and I still was frustrated with the way it took 10 minutes to pee. I did not like having to spend so much time in the bathroom. I decided to go and have my urethra dilated. WOW! Things worked so much better after that. The good results lasted about 2 months. I went a second time and had good results but not as good as the first time. Something was up. I needed to figure out this puzzle. It was about this time I was sitting in a room and eavesdropping on some midwife friends who were saying that toward the end of pregnancy they suggest their clients use Evening Primrose oil to help the cervix become stretchier. I started thinking humm, cervix stretchy – urethra stretchy? The third time I went back to have my urethra dilated I asked the surgeon about Evening prim rose oil. He said he did not know much about it and suggested I google it with smooth muscle. I was surprised what I found. Many cardiologist recommend it to their patients. I started taking it and about 2 weeks later all slow flow problems disappeared.

Now it has been a year of good health.



Monica said...


mom said...


I remember what a tough road that was for you back then. What a wonderful praise to say you've had a year of good health :-)

Tammy ~@~

Dee said...

Hi Marla, I am so sorry for what you had to go through. I remember a lot of that. I'm glad you are past all of that! (((((((((Marla)))))))))love,

Marye said...

It has been a long road but you have done so well. I admire you Marla.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Marla - Boy you did have a long haul and a tough time! My stuff (except for the kidney stones) looks like a day at the beach by comparison.

I forgot that you had mentioned evening of primrose and since I am having a bladder issue other than what I was going through I will ask him if this could be an alternative to surgery.

I am glad to hear about having a year of good health and wish you many, many more. :) All my life I took my health for granted and right now it seems like one thing after the other. I just posted about my recent trip to the ED the other day and may come back and post a more humorous aspect of the visit.

Thanks for stopping by my site and who knows - maybe I was meant to hear about the evening of primrose right at this time?

That is why I had a cysto the other day so he could evaluate my bladder and maybe this herb can help.

Have a great weekend! :)