Since she was a little girl watching The Dukes of Hazard, Hillary Lankay liked Daisy Duke's style. While she doesn't own a Jeep Wrangler yet, she sees it in her future.
She'd have the opportunity. Hillary works at the Milham auto dealership. She's been there since 1992. She started as a bookkeeper, became an office manager and now serves as Controller.
"I oversee the accounting for the dealership, help with maintaining the computer system and all of the ‘fix this now' stuff that can happen in the day," she says.
One thing she couldn't fix? Her menstrual cycle.
"It was never-ending," she says.
While it wasn't painful, heavy or horrible, it was just consistent. She lived with it that way for several years. While oral contraceptives should have helped regulate it, it did not work for her.
She finally decided to ask her OB/GYN for solutions.
For over twenty years, Hillary has been seeing Richard Baker, MD, a member of the Easton Hospital medical staff.
"Dr. Baker is great," she says. "I would recommend him to anyone. Some doctors have no personality or decent ‘bedside manner', but he is funny and down to earth and never condescending."
Dr. Baker presented Hillary with various options to treat the bleeding.
"We discussed many treatments," she says. "A few I didn't consider. I narrowed it down to two."
One was a thermal ablation, a technique that destroys the uterine lining to prevent it from bleeding. Hillary wasn't convinced that it was a guaranteed fix.
Another option was hysterectomy. Her mother had one at age 50, so Hillary was familiar with the procedure.
She and her husband Ted discussed all the options, and since at that time their sons Alex and Connor were already 19 and 15 years old, Hillary decided on the permanent solution that a hysterectomy gave her.
The surgery can be completed in various ways - open incision, laparoscopic, robotic-assisted and vaginally. Easton Hospital does perform single site robotic-assisted hysterectomies that leave no visible scar.
For Hillary, Dr. Baker removed her uterus vaginally, without an incision. Her ovaries remained untouched so she can move through a normal menopause.
When she woke up from surgery, she had no discomfort or pain.
"I could have gotten up and gone home," she says.
But she stayed overnight in the hospital. "Everyone was very kind and pleasant, and I didn't need anything in the way of painkillers or physical assistance, so it was more like staying in a hotel for the night," she says.
When Dr. Baker visited her that evening, she remembers asking him if he did anything. "I just felt so good that I couldn't believe he actually took anything out!"
Hillary was supposed to take two weeks off and not drive.
But Daisy Duke didn't always obey the law, so neither did Hillary. She drove herself back to work in less than a week.
"I really like my job and the people I work with," she says. "Plus, I felt great."
At her follow-up appointment, Dr. Baker asked if she was ready for work. She surprised him with the truth that she had already returned the day before.
"He looked shocked," she says "and just laughed and shook his head."
So off she went, feeling better, cruising again with the top down and dreaming about that Jeep.
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Easton, PA 18042-3892