The unexpected third surgery

“I know the Lord will never give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Theresa

Since this past Friday’s surgery I have to admit I had been feeling so much better. I finally felt as though the worst was behind us and that I was going to be able to resume everything I’ve been eager to get back to doing. In fact, I had been feeling so well that today was the first day I planned to be back on campus to get caught up with grading and to return to class to teach for the first time in about 2 1/2 weeks. I was pumped, excited, and thrilled to finally feel as though I was returning to a sense of normalcy. I actually did make it on campus for a few minutes today.


Only a few minutes after arriving on campus I had a pretty traumatizing experience dealing with more complications from surgery and ended up leaving campus quickly after bleeding pretty excessively. It frightened me and I instantly called the doctor. This afternoon I was seen by the same doctor who performed my surgery on Friday and underwent two ultrasounds. Both ultrasounds determined that I was still bleeding and that tissue still remained inside of me. As you all heard in my last blog post, doctor’s informed me that a third surgery is not common. The doctor’s who have been practicing for 25-30+ years in the practice had never performed three D&C procedures on one person for the same pregnancy. So when I arrived at the doctor’s office we were all stumped as to what in the world is going on with me. The doctor said he believed it could potentially be remaining pregnancy tissue, fibroids, or polyps. The ultrasound also showed that my uterus is slightly different shaped, rather than being the shape of a pear it is more like the shape of a heart which they believe made it tougher for the tissue to the be extracted. The doctor gave me the choice to again take the medicine as I did last week to see if the tissue would pass on it’s own but he said from what he saw in the ultrasound that he felt it was attached the uterine wall and that’d it’d be best to go through a third D&C, even more so because of the extent I had been bleeding earlier in the day. They feared more risks of infection and continued excessive bleeding. The doctor also informed me that they would use a scope during surgery to take pictures to help the doctor’s find out what was going on inside. So we headed back to the hospital late this afternoon for a third surgery.


I have to admit this has been a very nervous experience for Jason and I. I suddenly feel as though I’m some sort of medical anomaly where the doctor’s are still unsure of the cause of all that has happened. I was quite frightened to go through surgery a third time – I seem to have the worst luck lately and I just feared what could go wrong.


The nurses at Winnie Palmer have all come to know me well. Several of them recognized me and after they learned of my experiences they were so supportive and caring. They helped ease my fears through these traumatic times. I think they were equally as shocked that it was my third surgery in just two weeks.


I made it through surgery safely. I’m still in quite a bit of discomfort. The doctor believes she was able to get the remaining tissue but at this point there’s uncertainty if the tissue is from the pregnancy or possibly polyps. I imagine in a week or two we may learn more answers. Based on the things we’ve learned today there will likely be more exploratory procedures moving forward to find out exactly what is going on within me that for some reason it’s taken this long to learn about. They believe that the shape of my uterus may have had an impact previous pregnancies and though they can’t say for sure it’s the cause of the miscarriages it potentially could be the reason for miscarrying three times.

Hopefully I haven’t completely overwhelmed you all with too much personal news. At this point I realize I have soooooo many of you who have come to care and are truly concerned about me and my family and in just the few short hours I have been home from surgery I have had many of you continually questioning me so for me this will hopefully help address all the concerns you all have. Thank you all again for all the support and care you’ve shown my family over the last few weeks. It’s amazing to see so many of you caring during such challenging moments in our life.

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October 19, 2009 - 11:53 pm

Lisa Macon - Thanks for updating us and don’t worry about overwhelming your friends. Maybe we are overwhelmed… with caring for you… that’s a good thing Hang in there my friend.

October 20, 2009 - 12:21 am

joleen - i love you!!

October 20, 2009 - 1:08 am

Diana Turk - Okay Amanda,

Now is the time to get better! I am joining Kristy’s club to to have a “small talk” with your doctor. We are going to go “in mass” to encourage him to make you better. We all love and miss you and can’t wait for you to feel better and come back to school!

You know that you only need to ask and I (we) will be there to help you with anything you should need.

Even if it writing some cheesy jokes!

Take care and see you soon.

Miss you,

Diana Turk

October 20, 2009 - 4:24 am

Amanda Kern - thank you guys. And trust me Diane – I’m anxious to go back to school but after today I’m equally fearful to until the doctors are able to give me an indication that I will be okay so that this doesn’t happen again.

October 20, 2009 - 9:02 am

Ann OKeeffe - I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I will pray for your full recovery.

October 20, 2009 - 12:23 pm

Marcos Crespo - Sometimes we don’t know why things happen. We certainly don’t know why certain things happen to us in particular. They just do. Trust me, I know. You just have to take it one day at a time. “Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans”. I cannot say I completely understand what you are going through. But I can say that I understand what it is to have to deal with something going wrong with my body, seeing a lot of hospital, needing multiple (very painful) eye surgeries and not seeing a whole lot of progress (but quite the opposite). Something has been taken away. It’s tough and often dark. But remember, you are not alone.

It’s great to receive so much encouragement from others. I’m sure you deeply appreciate all the sympathy, consideration, words of encouragement and all the warm wishes you get from so many through email, your blog, in person or written. Their faith in you, especially those nearest to your heart, mean the world to you. That, is what keeps you going. You remain positive as much as you can. After all, that’s what your family needs. Being the true soldier that you are, you keep trucking along as you always have. But remember, you are not alone.

Through all this, despite so much expressed love and sincere support, there remain unanswered questions, lingering feelings of inadequacy and possible silent fears. After all, what is happening to you is not normal. As you go along, you have some good days and sometimes you just don’t. You go through it hoping things are going to get better, but you just really don’t know if they will. You hang on to your faith and to the hope that tomorrow will be a better day. You pray you have a better week, a better year. Sometimes that’s all you have, hope and prayer. You are not alone.

Oh! But how powerful that hope and those prayers are! Speaking from experience, they matter. They are not in vane. They are not empty. Hope truly moves mountains. Your prayers are certainly heard, even those your very lips cannot clearly express (but are deep within your soul). I’m not trying to sound profound or poetic. I’m just speaking what comes to mind as I reflect on my own experience, some of which you witnessed as I struggled to make it through school with the endless eye surgeries and the long and painful recoveries I faced (and still struggle with). You are not alone.

I used to have 2 well functioning eyes. I lost one. It’s basically blind. I used to have vision in it. But I see better now. I see that life is precious. I see there is so much to be grateful for. I see that I’m loved, appreciated and I make a difference. I better learned that their will always be things in my life that will try to take my focus away from all the great things life has to offer. I realize that life is much bigger than any medical condition I have. I more clearly see, that there are others who struggle with conditions much more complicated than mine. It may be tough, but what I struggle with is not the worst thing that can happen to me. There are so many things I will miss out on in life if I only focus on me and my struggle.

I continue to learn that it’s OK to feel, to hurt, to cry and to, once in a while, have a pitty party for myself. (I just have to make sure I keep’em vert short so that I can move on). It’s OK, and often very good, to be open about my struggle, pain and fears. That’s why I so much respect and appreciate your openness about your battles through your blog.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned (and continue to learn) is to enjoy the NOW. I’ve learned to enjoy where I am at, despite hardship (or because of it). I better appreciate what I do have and not worry so much about what I don’t. I work hard towards what I want to achieve or acquire. But I enjoy the process more and not let challenges rob me for missing out out fulfilling moments or from creating great memories. I’m learning to, once in a while, stop and smell the roses.

Amanda, you are a great inspiration to so many. You are a tremendously courageous woman, a true soldier. Thank you for sharing with us your knowledge and creative talents, your joys as well as your struggles. You are a great instructor in school and a wonderful teacher beyond the classroom. You are a great performer on the stage of life. Keep it up. You’re doing great! Hang in there, because you are not alone!

October 20, 2009 - 2:06 pm

Aunt Deb - My girl – three D&C is at least two too many. I will continue to pray that through all of this God will lift you up. Hugs,

October 21, 2009 - 12:46 pm

Danna - Amanda, I have just spent some time reading through your recent blog posts and my heart is breaking. I am so sorry for all that you have been through. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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