Alone and scared pre-op - How can I cope on my own?
I thought about posting my story here, but it got to be so long... If you'd like to know about my experience with POP, please see my journal entry at http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/333433/Heres-the-roller-coaster-ride-Ive-been-on-these-past-few-weeks-since-being-diagnosed-with-POP.
In brief, I was just diagnosed with level 3 uterine and cervical prolapse with rectocele and cystocele in December and have been having an extremely difficult time with it on all fronts but I found this forum last night and love it because I've already been learning so much about pre- and post-surgery... The thing is every time I read someone's story of what they've gone through, I cry... I'm so scared! I'm completely alone (my daughter and I had a falling out in August to where I had to tell her to either respect me in my house or move out and she chose to move out and never speak to me again)... My boyfriend is too weirded out by this for him to be any help after surgery... And I don't want to burden my sisters (my one is already caring for my mom and my other has three small children)... As far as my friends go... so many have offered to help me... but really? I think that's just too much to ask of anyone who isn't family... I just don't know what to do! I realize there's really only so much I'm going to be able to do on my own, but is it pride that's making me not want to ask for help? I wish I had someone to talk to... I feel so alienated... I've considered getting therapy, but will a therapist be able to even help me right now? How can they unless they've gone through this themselves? I guess that's why I'm posting here... I'm just wondering if there are others who live alone and how they've coped with POP pre- and post op, what they've gone through in regard to work, family and friends, and would especially love to talk to those who are under 50 and are going through this... although all comments are certainly appreciated!
I'll post some info here and some on the journal Ava, you have quite a bit more info there to discuss. There are many causes of POP beyond vaginal childbirth and menopause, most women have many cause factors (I have 5). Typically women have POP for quite a while b/4 they recognize something is wrong since there is little discussion about it and certainly little screening for it (I feel all women should be screened for it during pelvic exams). There is no doubt that the heavy lifting at work is significant in your case; realistically every woman who is lifting a child or children repetitively is doing heavy lifting. Often damage occurs to the pelvic floor or nerves in the pelvic cavity during 2nd stage labor of childbirth and women typically don't see the impact of this until 15-20 years later. When we start to have pronouced symptoms it gets our attention-by then POP is pretty advanced and needs to be addressed. You fit right in the norm with most other women. Unfortunately women don't talk about POP and the drs seldom do so we don't know about it until it occurs-that's what also happened to me and I'd been researching health for 25+ years and had a best friend who was a dr.
It is very important that you seek guidance from a urogynecologist; they are the specialists for POP and can treat any of the 5 types. Some women are able to utilize treatments, some prefer to get surgery right away (that was me, I knew within one week after being fitted for a pessary that I wanted a permanent fix.)
For comfort sake, know that over 3 million women in the US have POP (that's what the stats say, I'm guessing you can double that since women don't talk about it). Please let you boyfriend know how many women have this and that they just don't talk about it, also let him know that it has nothing to do with STD. Basically the female parts get damaged and come out the bottom end.
I speak with women frequently as young as early 20's, so know that there are others who are very young going through this too! Every situation is a bit unique. Some women use pessaries and are very happy long term, others like me know right away they want surgery to get it over and done with. No right or wrong, its simply personal choice.
It will be important to have someone to help you at home the first week after surgery, and you won't be able to drive for a while. Other than that you'll be able to do things on your own, but you just can't lift anything heavy until your dr releases you and in all honesty I tell women no matter what their dr says to wait 12 weeks to lift if they can. Prior to surgery you can wear support garments when you work and need to lift heavy stuff if you do get back to work but it sounds doubtful. (The support panties you can buy at stores like Walmart, Target).
The most important first step is finding the right dr-then you will be guided with what to do pre/post surgery to fit your particular needs. I'll go to your journal page to answer the things you have posted there. Send your questions in as you get them Ava.
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