My periods always gave me problems, I started early, at 8, and suffered for years with bad cramps, passing out, being sick, on and on and on. Fibroids would have stopped me getting pregnant but a major operation to remove them still didn’t make any difference and we gave up after 3 IVF attempts and one miscarriage. So all I had to look forward to was more cramps, flooding, feeling sick and spending 2 days a month in bed. The doctor offered me a way out and I grasped it with both hands. A hysterectomy! Maybe I could have done more research, but I didn’t I just wanted this final op so I could move on, in more ways than one.
I bought a book 101 ways to a Happy Hystorectomy and I completely recommend it. I am a planner and I made lists and list of things I would need, before I went into hospital, while I was in hospital and after I came out.
Due to the way my womb is I was told that the only way would be abdominally, still I wasn’t put off. I just wanted to move on. I had, had my fibroids removed the same way how different could this be??
The date came and I was at the hospital ages too early I was told I would be last (they do all the minor surgeries first) and so I was so pleased I had lots of things to keep me occupied (ipad, earphones, books, mags). And then the time came and I walked down to the theatre accompanied by a nurse.
The operation was a complete success and I was over the moon to hear that I had been able to keep my ovaries.
Two days later after walking on my own and having been to the toilet (in more ways than one) I found myself clutching a pillow and on my way home (the pillow idea came from the previously mentioned book and was brilliant as it sat between my very fragile stomach/groin area and the seat belt).
Something else that came from the book was the advice to look at the recovery time as a gift, time that you will never get again, time to do just nothing.
It all sounds like a breeze, please let me advise you on that one, it is not. I was knocked for six, a walk that would previously take five minutes took 40 and once I got there I didn’t quite know how I was going to get back and my husband had to go get the car. You can’t even get up and make a cup of tea, you do need help and lots of it. Don’t underestimate this it is major!!!!
But I took to recuperation like a duck to water, I made sure I had everything I needed, I love trashy TV and had all the Catch Up channels, LoveFilm etc etc. I got into a little habit of first reading the paper online, in bed, then moving to the sofa, back to the bed, back to the sofa, I think you get the picture. I slept for hours and hours.
The book recommends a gentle exercise programme of walking a little every day for longer periods of time. I did none of this and came out of the recuperation period, 11lbs heavier and very much unfitter than I have very been. It feels like you have no core muscle at allnd this caused me a lot of lower back pain.
Someone said to me or I read somewhere, that you would not feel ‘normal’ for at least a year and they/it were absolutely right. I eventually got round to adding in extra activity about 10 months post op and now another 5 months on I am fitter than I have been for the last 5-10 years with the help of a great Personal Trainer and lots of hard work, my weight has gone down too with the help of a fab eating plan at Slimming World and I’m starting to feel great. Just got to now find a cure for hot flushes and night sweats and the quite frequent bouts of IBS.
One thing I am absolutely clear about is it was the best thing I could have done! I have not regretted it for a second.
I just hope telling you my story helps you.
Now available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.
Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.