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Exercise after hysterectomy – Teresa’s Story

It’s so important to exercise after hysterectomy and Teresa tells us about her experience.

I’d written a story on this website about how I’d had a hysterectomy in June this year. I was starting to get better, but noticed I was having pain in my left side. When I’d seen a friend, who’d had surgery on her leg/hip, she asked me if I’d started physio. I told her no, as nothing had been mentioned about it, so I then contacted the physio department at our local hospital and made an appointment. And to be honest, it was a good idea.

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I know that my aftercare leaflet had mentioned something about pelvic floor exercises, but to be honest I couldn’t feel if I was doing them correctly. They were something I was used to doing before I had surgery, as it was helping with core muscle strength, and was part of my physio for sciatica/intervertebral slipped disc issues. Obviously I was struggling to do these exercises, as I relied on abdominal muscles, and they were completely cream-crackered!

I informed my kind physiotherapist about what I’d had done, and she asked me to attempt several light exercises. I can tell you that I was pleased to have seen her, as there were exercises to perform that I would’ve never thought of! She was aware that I struggled because my back muscles were also in poor condition, so we worked around how to get them both sorted out. Because I had an abdominal hysterectomy, she asked me if I was ok with touching my scar (I suspect some women who’ve had the surgery can be a bit dismayed looking, let alone feeling, the scar above their pubic area). I wasn’t bothered, so she told me to do a deep massage (using bio-oil), using a circular motion. I was also told to do it around the drainage wound area (now that one I don’t like, simply because of the problems I had with it!). The massage is supposed to help with loosening the scar tissue, and hopefully prevent further tissue reforming! I never realised just how deep this scar tissue was – when you consider it’s 3 layers of muscles, then it’s pretty deep! There are lots of hard lumps running along the surgical cut, and although it freaks me out, I will persevere on massaging it as often as I can!

So, the moral of my story is this – if you have abdominal surgery, please see if you can have physio. I’m certainly glad that I’ve started it, as I wouldn’t like to think how it would’ve turned out if I had left it. Maybe it’s something the hospitals should point out to women who’ve had the surgery, as it can be helpful. I’ve got four exercises to do per day, and it looks like I’ll be working on the 3 muscles per session. I’m just looking forward to the day that these muscles are back to good strength, and I can get out on the hills/back on the road bike (managed 15 mins on our turbo trainer, until my muscles told me to stop). Apparently gentle aerobic exercise can help, hence why I’m using turbo trainer rather than going on roads round here, as I’d rather have the problem close to home than miles away!

Best wishes everyone xxx

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in my own words book coverNow 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.

 

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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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