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Best Thing I’ve Done! – Lindsay’s Story

I am writing this story to let ladies know that having a hysterectomy may not be as bad as you imagine. I have suffered with painful, heavy periods since I was a teenager. I am now 46 years old and married with two children and have never had a confirmed diagnosis, although most doctors saying it was endometriosis. Over the years I have tried various treatments such as D & C’s, thermal ablation and injections into my stomach to shrink the endometriosis.

Nothing has really worked but I have always avoided having a hysterectomy as I am petrified of hospitals, needles and anesthesia. My patient husband and children have put up with me being ill each month for more than two weeks which has greatly affected our family social life. This year my periods and PMT became increasingly worse and I went back to my consultant in August sick and fed up with barely having a week a month of feeling well. My consultant said what I was expecting, a hysterectomy was the only option left. I reluctantly agreed and was given a date of 21st October.

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In the weeks running up to the operation I was a nervous wreck, not sleeping and anxious about everything. I read anything and everything about having an abdominal hysterectomy and tried to prepare myself. Most stuff I read made my fear worse, the horror stories of pain, infections and long recovery times. I considered myself fortunate that I was having my op in a private hospital on the NHS with a great consultant who eased my anxiety. I would have my own room and bathroom.

When the day arrived I was in a heap and if it wasn’t for my kind and loving husband with his gentle encouragement I don’t think I would have gone ahead. My op went ahead later that day and they removed the lot, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

I am allergic to opiates so couldn’t have the usual morphine and expected to wake in a great deal of pain and I didn’t. I had paracetamol and diclofenac and was fine. I ate later in the day and the next morning was encouraged to get a shower which wasn’t easy. I remained in hospital for four nights which was relatively uneventful. I was just extremely tired and slept for most of it. I was given an enema so that I emptied my bowels before discharge and I left hospital on paracetamol only.

The first few days at home I slept but didn’t need pain relief. Getting in and out of bed was a challenge as was the stairs. I had 17 staples across my wound and was dreading their removal on the tenth day post op. But that wasn’t too bad and was definitely not worth the worry. I am now 23 days post op and have been round the supermarket in a wheelchair as I can’t walk that far and have started doing light chores round the house. I feel great just tired, my wound is healing well and my jelly belly is reducing. I saw my consultant and they found I was suffering from adenomyosis, something that had never been discussed. When I looked it up, the symptoms listed matched what I had suffered from exactly.

I was given an HRT prescription in hospital but to date not used it. I have had a few ‘warm’ do’s but nothing too bad and I am looking to take natural supplements. I can honestly say that the whole experience has been massively better than I could have ever imagined and I wish I had known before hand. All I can say to anyone who is waiting this op and is worried is to take each day at a time and not to expect too much of your body and above all to rest. Good Luck.

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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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