Almost 20 years ago, Sylvia’s “routine” doctor visit quickly became an emergency that would require months of recuperation — and alter the course of her life. She recounts the experience here and offers some advice for facing adversity.

Identifying the Problem

Sylvia Recovered from an Unexpectedly Difficult 2003 Hysterectomy

I walked into my doctor’s office for a routine office appointment in 2003. My doctor took one look at my face and immediately knew I was losing blood. She saw the paleness [and] weakness. I was told that I was internally bleeding and an emergency surgery would be necessary.

The condition was [uterine] fibroids. I needed a hysterectomy.

I didn’t have time to ponder — it was now or never. I had to muster up some courage in order to go through with it. I had [only] heard about women having this surgery and I had no idea what [lay] ahead for me.

Recovering from the Solution

A surgery that I thought would be simple ended up [with me] under nursing home care [with a] collapsed lung. [I needed a] blood transfusion. This would change my entire life.

This journey brought me to a greater level of faith, trust and hope. I know if I had not had my faith it would have [been] so much harder. I needed courage that would sustain me, especially when things turned for the worst.

My recovery was not an overnight thing. I had nursing care for nine weeks. My intestines became challenged. I had to strengthen my lung capacity. I had to learn to walk with confidence and adjust to having blood transfusions.

Learning to Be Resilient

We never know what we can endure until we have to face it.

My advice is having something or someone to lean on. Meditate and pray. I would even go as far as saying have a prayer partner. Trust in knowing that we all are vulnerable in one way or another.

Always think [of] a good outcome.

Sylvia F.
Woodbridge, VA
Diagnosed with uterine fibroids in 2003

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