I have always had painful periods they made me physically unwell. Sometimes I’d have this irritating right sided pain resting on my shoulder blade. I’d been in hospital and seen many consultant with multiple mysterious illnesses.
At 45 yrs. I was diagnosed with endometriosis to my bowel with treatment my symptoms were manageable. Until I was 48, when it came back and worse, I was referred back to a gynaecologist, his care was terrible after tests, I was told I had a bulky uterus, and the Mirena coil was inserted. I had awful side effects, vaginal pain and discharge, I begged for its removal, it took a year of arguing with the consultant to get it removed I was disheartened, after chatting to my GP I sort a second opinion this time I chose someone who was experienced in endometriosis, I found him on the GMC website. My new consultant did the same tests as I had done earlier and I was diagnosed with adenomyosis, fibroids, uterine polyps, ovarian cyst and endometriosis. I cried as I knew I was unwell. I was offered injections or ablation, and a hysterectomy with removal of ovaries due to ovarian cysts. I was terrified even though I knew in my heart I needed the hysterectomy.
I went away to think and researched everything especially the da-Vinci robot as this is what was recommended for me, I could have had the traditional laparoscopic method, but I was reassured when I met both the surgeons who were to do my surgery, and agreed to surgery the da-Vinci robotic surgery needs x2 surgeons one watches the 3 d image of your insides on a screen and gives instructions the other operates the robotic hand. You have three puncture incisions were the robot arms go in to your abdomen. (How freaky is that)
The complications and recovery rates are the same as that for laparoscopic surgery, if not better, and in my case it was done so they could see inside clearly and this helped the surgeon to eradicate all my endometriosis safely without cutting me open. One of the good things about this surgery was I didn’t need a catheter in. (I had a history of UTIs).
Pre op I wasn’t well, I ate healthily plenty of protein to promote healing, but I was so stressed I wanted to clean the house and prepare the family for me being out of action. Yet I was working fulltime I ended up being put on the sick, 1 week before my surgery. Now in hind sight I’m glad, as it may have slowed my recovery if I was exhausted.
With my bag packed with the usual, but nighties instead of pyjamas and plenty bottled water. On the 27/01/2016 I had a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and ureterolysis. The surgery went well. However they found an endometrioma (ovarian cyst) it had grown outside my ovary and attached itself to my abdominal and stomach wall. The penny dropped this was why I had been so unwell. Any how my surgery was about 3 hours. The consultant and the theatre care was outstanding. The ward was a bit distressing, buzzers going and wondering confused patients, I had little pain until early hour’s 3am ish the nurses acted swiftly and gave me an injection. I was so glad to go home the next day as I had not slept that well, I remember walking so slowly to the car I felt everything would drop out. But I just kept on walking.
On discharge I was told to keep ted stocking on for 6 weeks and I was given pelvic floor exercise
(I have been so strict and done these as I was told). I was told to expect a lot of wind pain, due to the gas pumped in to your abdomen during surgery, I’m a wimp so I dreaded it, but it wasn’t too bad I sucked on multiple packs of spearmint sweets and walked up and down trying to pass wind. My family laughed. My biggest challenge was to open my bowels, normally I go every day, I became obsessed as it was 4 days before I eventually started to go I drank well and ate buckets of fruit, I tried suppositories/Senna /dulcolax but ended up buying Movicol at the pharmacy (you don’t need a prescription) I was told your bowel is paralysed after surgery and it will start when its ready and it did.
Pain wasn’t too bad, I took naproxen 250mg x3 per day with paracetamol for break through pain and occasionally codeine. Boredom was a big issue, so I down loaded all of Downton Abbey and joined a hysterectomy group to keep track of others.
At four weeks I was walking half an hour morning and night. My GP cleared me to drive and I got back the freedom to see friends.
At 6 weeks the ted’s came off and socialising a few hours only at the pub. Light housework, dishes, cooking a bit of house work, (but not standing for longer than 20 mins). I got frisky with my lovely husband we did everything but IT!
I have always showered daily and bought some feminine body wash its gentle for down below, but now I can have a bath I added some mineral salts, but no bubbles, resulted in a few stomach cramps, I ended up taking extra painkillers.
8weeks. I’m still napping in the afternoon. I achieved ultimate intimacy with my lovely husband; yes sex with help of KY Jelly. It went well and things will improve.
Yesterday my histology reports came back all clear. Now I can move quickly forward. I still have my return to work to tackle and I’m holding out for 12 weeks and a phased return. I believe once you’re at work you’ll go back to the way you used to be and that means running around not having lunch and not having time to drink, lifting bending, squatting, all the things I’m not to do. Yes you’ve got it, I’m a nurse, so I’m taking no chances with prolapse or vaginal cuff dehiscence.
My three puncture wounds to my abdomen are noticeable but totally healed. Yet I think the biggest hurdle is that menopause is here .I am suffering, I think I’m going mad so I’ve started Menopace plus and using Replens for vaginal dryness (check them out on the Boots reviews).
At this point I will bid you well and good luck on your health pathway hope all goes well. Lynnann, surgery age 52ys.
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