About

First Name
Gail

City
Austin

State/Province
TX

Health Interests
Bone, joint, and muscle disorders, Chronic pain, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Women's health issues

Posts (61)

Wed, Jul 31 2:49pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@kimspr3,
Are you by yourself? If you feel that you are having serious enough side effects to be dangerous, please get to an ER or call 911. You probably know yourself best but if you feel it is necessary, I would definitely not hesitate. We are keeping you in our thoughts.

Wed, Jul 31 1:09pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@gardeningjunkie and @kimspr3,
Definitely there are better pain meds. I think it is off label when they do use it for that. Mainly a BP medicine. I take Verapamil for benign irregular heart beat and BP spikes. I have no side effects from it at all. Nothing like what you describe gardeningjunkie.

Wed, Jul 31 11:04am · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

kimspr3,
I was not given clonidine that I know of. At least not to take on my own or any kind of pain pump. If I was given it in the hospital during or surrounding my surgery, then I don't know as I would not have been aware of it. Did you have surgery already? I would definitely call your allergist or the doctor that prescribed it for you in order to ask about side effects. I believe clonidine is given to adults for blood pressure/hypertension and sometimes for pain. In kids it is for hyperactivity sometimes as well but not so much in adults I don't think. I know about it because of blood pressure as my father had hypertension. It can make you tired and a bit dizzy at first but sometimes that goes away after a while. What are your side effects? Please don't be shy about letting your doctor know and getting your questions answered. But just wondering if you had your surgery yet?

Sat, Jul 27 3:56pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@kimspr3
No I did not have spine surgery. I was told the only surgery they could do because of my curved spine is to put a rod all the way down the spine. I am 64 years old and I just did not want to do that since I had little assurance that it would make things better. I have had little trouble getting off the opiods and in fact, I was the one who asked the doctor about getting off. He has been my pain doctor for years and knows me well. I just retired from 30 years of college teaching and while I have taken norco for a long time, cutting down to a lot less has been really easy. This is particularly true now that I am retired because I don't worry about how changes in medication will affect me. That is why I was able to try the newer medication which is not an addiction risk. As I mentioned, it is called Belbuca and is working great on my nerve pain. Seems like few people have tried it but it has worked miracles for me. It is very new though.
You should ask your doctor about it.

Thu, Jul 25 3:26pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@kimspr3
I am glad you have your prolapse surgery scheduled. I actually have not ever had surgery on my back. Because of my scoliosis, they would have to put a rod in my back after working on the selected areas and I just did a bunch of research and decided I did not want it done. I did dance on point for 25 years and also have ankle and feet issues (I did have an ankle fused and some tendons repaired in my lower leg) but never anything in the back. I just tuff it out. I am transitioning from my Norco/Hydrocodone to something called Belbuca. It has worked wonders on my nerve pain down my legs. Not taken it away but it has sure helped. It is a tiny sticky film that you put in your mouth and it dissolves. It has allowed me to cut from 6 Norco a day down to 2 in a relatively short period of time. You might ask your pain doctor if he thinks it might help you.

You are wise to stay as many nights in the hospital after your prolapse surgery as you can. My doctor was going to have me stay one night but I asked if I could stay two since I live alone and he said fine so that is what I did. Prior to my prolapse surgery I had difficulty urinating because my bladder had dropped down so much. This is very common. After my surgery I had no problem urinating at all. I came home with a catheter in and had to keep it in for a week. But after that, urinating was not a problem at all. The surgery did not bother my back at all either. In fact it helped a little because there was no pulling on the muscles and ligaments in the pelvic area after surgery. My ligaments were very weak and that is why they had to use mesh for my surgery. Just repairing the ligaments would not have lasted as 2 different doctors told me they would not hold and I would be back in a few years going through surgery all over again. So I had the mesh and have had absolutely no problem at all. After your surgery there are a few landmarks you have to cross–one is having a BM. They assume because you have had pain meds in surgery and afterwards that you will be constipated. So they gave me something to combat constipation. But for some reason, I ended up with a little bit of diarrhea. I don't think I needed the meds for constipation as my body is very used to pain meds so the constipation medicine gave me diahhrea. I tried to tell them that but they didn't listen. I took all of my own medications to the hospital with me but some hospitals don't let you do that for liability reasons.

As far as driving, yes I do it every day. I don't like to stand or sit for long periods but that is due to my back and leg pain, not the prolapse surgery. After the prolapse surgery they did not want me to drive for a week until after the catheter came out. I took advantage of it and just stayed home and rested, cleaned out drawers and read. But I drove myself to the doctor to get the catheter out. I was so ready to get that thing out that I was 30 minutes early for my appointment.

I am happy to answer your questions. That is why we are here. Please keep me posted on how you are doing. Tell your husband he must catch some fish on his trip if you are putting off your surgery so he can go. If you think of any other issues, however minor, please send them my way.
Take care.

Wed, Jul 24 5:42pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

kimspr3,
I had been meaning to respond to your post as I also have a spine issue myself. I have scoliosis, stenosis and several other abnormalities. I do not have a lot of pain in my back but do have it severely down my leg in what presents similar to sciatica. I have tried a lot of things and like you have been told that the only fix is what would amount to a very life altering surgery that may or may not help and could possibly make things worse. I also had a stage 4 bladder prolapse before I had the surgery that I have described here many times. I am very glad that I had the prolapse surgery. I had a bunch of tests prior to it and even though I have some nerve issues in my left side/leg and ankle, I did not have any complications from that when I had my surgery. I felt like you that I needed to have my prolapse addressed because it was a surgery that would likely improve my quality of life. Of course there are never any guarantees but indeed the prolapse surgery has allowed me to be much more mobile and active than I would be otherwise. I still have a severe limitation due to my spine but it did not cause any complications when I had my prolapse addressed. Since it seems we have similar issues, I am happy to communicate with you more as you go forward toward your decision. Are you approaching a decision about your surgery soon?
I will be watching for your posts and wishing you the best.

Mon, Jul 15 8:40am · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

The different stages of prolapse range from 1-4 for the bladder which is what I had. I had a stage 4 bladder prolapse prior to my surgery. I have previously gone through my experience and the type of surgery I had on this forum so if you search for my posts you will see them. But briefly, I had a surgery called sacrocolpopexy with hysterectomy. The hysterectomy is usually done with this procedure because the uterus is basically in the way and it is a much simpler and shorter surgery if they remove it. I am 64 so I am post-menopausal and so there wasn't an issue of having future children, but I still was a little concerned at first when I was told it involved a hysterectomy. But after I thought about it and got used to the idea, I was okay with it. It is done with the DaVinci Robot and laproscopically. There were 4 little holes in my tummy below the belly button where I suppose instruments, etc. were inserted. I say "were" because you cannot see them anymore and my surgery was about 1.5 years ago. I am very glad I had it as it had gotten to the point where there was rubbing and tissue abrasion from the rubbing just from daily activity. At the end, I was having bleeding and soreness and just could not hardly move around because I would start to bleed.

They measure bladder prolapse by how far the bladder descends into the vagina. Mine was so extensive that I don't think anyone ever measured it or did a test as it was an obvious stage 4 (the most extensive). Stage 1 is the least extensive so it might be the case that your procedure will be different. But definitely see a urogynecologist and make sure you look into reports from patients who have had the procedure with them. I found 3 in my city (Austin, TX) and went to two of them. They both told me exactly the same thing and the procedure they intended to use was identical. It was just a matter of who I liked the best and felt most comfortable with.

Just take the time to do your homework and find a doctor that you are comfortable with. If you have issues with incontinence or frequent urination, your doctor should ask you about that as well and even if you don't, he/she should test you to see if you are likely to have such problems once your bladder is fixed. This is because sometimes bladder prolapse can mask incontinence due to the fact that the bladder drops down and gravity makes it harder for the urine to flow out when you have the prolapse. But if the bladder is raised as it is in surgery, then the urine can flow more readily and any incontinence issues may show up. The study my doctor did for this was called a urodynamics study and he determined that once my prolapse was fixed that I might have some incontinence. As such, he did some fix for this during the surgery in hopes that I would not have to have a second surgery to have this done. He must have estimated correctly because I have not had any problems with incontinence since my surgery.

So hopefully you can see that you definitely need a specialist (not just a OB/GYN or a urologist). There are just lots of things to consider. The mesh they use these days is not the same kind you hear about on the TV commercials with the lawyers. My doctor actually showed it to me and it is more like a piece of nylon than what I had envisioned so it is softer and more pliable. I don't feel it at all.

Please keep us all posted on your progress and any questions, concerns you have. You are right to ask questions and do your research. We are definitely here for you.
Best to you.

Tue, Jun 25 7:45am · scheduling sacrocolpopexy and cystocele repair...more than a little scared in Women's Health

@veronicat
I hope that your experience is as good as mine. I assume you have seen him already.

I am happy to stay in touch with you here on Connect.

When are you planning to have the surgery?