To set the scene, I should explain two things – one, although I am only 52, my husband, in his sixties, lives with Alzheimer’s disease and, for myself, I have had some periods in life with quite serious mental illness, most notably a post puerperal psychosis following the birth of our son, now 16. These two things together meant that the time of my operation was never going to be easy.
After suffering from heavy bleeding for a number of years, I discovered in summer 2017 that I had fibroids by having a scan. Since they are thought to ‘shrink during the menopause’ I decided to cope with the bleeding using a “belt and braces” approach of towels and tampons. I was coping until about May this year when I realised that, lying down, I could actually feel my enlarged womb. After another visit to my GP, I was referred to gyny. In short, after an evening in A and E following a ‘flood’ in August (having returned early from a camping trip to help with my husband at home! – thank goodness), I saw a consultant privately and then through the NHS and then was delighted to have my hysterectomy in October.
I have to say a big thank you to the hysterectomy association for holding my hand all the way through.
My greatest concern was the upset of my hormones following my frightening experience after childbirth where I was so unwell, I had to have a spell in our local psychiatric hospital. After reading the 101 handy hints and doing some investigation, I decided to keep either or both of my ovaries if I could and, indeed, in the end, I kept just my left one. It’s good to know I have some natural oestrogen and so far, no need for any extras through HRT though I’m open to the idea later on if necessary.
I can’t pretend the first few weeks were easy – particularly as I got an infection. The pain at first was really horrible but the helpful hints about wind relief and even how to sit in the loo to empty my bowels were really helpful. After the first 3-4 weeks as I turned a big corner in my recovery and came through a particularly anxious time where I wasn’t sleeping, things went from good to better, particularly as I continued with the gentle walking exercise.
Seven weeks on, I feel really well and am keeping up with the walking and pleased to be able to think about getting back to swimming in the new year.
I really am so grateful for the emails that came every day at just the right time, answering questions as I was thinking of them. It was good to get back to driving as, the day before my operation, my husband discovered he would no longer be driving!
My story is a success story but I am so glad I did some research and reading beforehand. So thank you Linda you’re doing a great job!