Friday, November 10, 2017

Surgery Update

In April 2016, while out for a long run, I suffered a uterine prolapse. I had to have an unplanned hysterectomy, cystocele, rectocele, and bladder repair/sling. The recovery was pretty tough. And what followed the next year was even tougher. It first began with constant urinary tract infections. At one point I was on antibiotics everyday for four months and then antibiotic shots as well. Then came severe hematuria - macroscopic blood in the urine. I also had painful bladder stones. And severe bloating that made me look 9 months pregnant.
I had visits to the ER. I had several ultrasounds and a CAT scan. I went to my rheumatologist, an allergist, a nephrologist, and two urologists. I had 3 cystoscopies and a kidney biopsy. And after 8 months of bleeding and pain, I finally got an answer.
Macroscopic Hematuria
Severe Abdominal Bloating
After the kidney biopsy, the neprologist referred me to a second urologist, The second urologist did yet another cystoscopy. He found what looked like a suture thru the bladder wall that had formed calcifications around it. This caused infection and bladder stones which led to hematuria. This meant another surgery. He hoped to do what he could thru a cystoscopy, but said he may have to make two small incisions arthoscopically.
The Dr said I could run the NYC marathon. He said it wouldn't cause more damage that I would just continue to suffer as I had for the last several months. So I ran. 4 potty breaks and hematuria, extreme RA pain, but I finished! And I am so very grateful for the opportunity! I ran Sunday, flew back Monday, and had surgery on Thursday.
Bladder Packed with Bladder Stones
Surgery unfortunately didn't go as planned. They anticipated the surgery would take 30 minutes, but it ended up taking almost 3 hours. There were a lot were more repairs than they were expecting, but fortunately they were able to fix everything. They had to go in thru a cystoscopy (urethra), vaginally, an incision in my belly button, and 5 more incisions in my abdomen. They found and had to remove multiple sutures and calcifications, repair bladder, place fat between vaginal wall and bladder. And they found a significant hernia they had to repair both laparoscopically and openly. They let me come home from the hospital, but sent me with a Foley Catheter. I was told recovery would be 4 weeks and now it's going to be a minimum of 6 weeks. 😢
Abdomen filled with air, 6 incisions, and bruising.
Feels like I have been repeatedly kicked in the belly by a horse. And eww that belly button.
Got to come home from the hospital but was sent home with a Foley Catheter.
With RA it seems my body is always at war with itself. And that's what it was doing here. I had permanent sutures from my hysterectomy and my body did not want them there. So it attacked and built calcifications around them. This led to a year of constant infection, severe hematuria, and bladder stones. I am hoping that my body being in this state for a year is what has kept me in an RA flare, and perhaps after recovery I will see a difference there too! I don't know if I'm hoping for too much here, but I sure am praying!


  1. You really are Iron Jill!! So sorry you are dealing with this. Your positivity is something really special and something that i’ll Always remember when struggled happen. Love you girl!

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