21 Days Post Op and No Pain – Samantha’s Story

Hi ladies, I thought i would share my story with you as I feel I am extremely lucky and for those of you who are worrying just like I was, it’s not always pain and more pain. Unlike most of you ladies my journey to my hysterectomy was a bit of a whirlwind and I did not have to go through years of suffering and waiting.

I am 46 and thought everything was fine until July 2012 when i was rushed into hospital with really heavy bleeding. I was kept in overnight and after having a scan was told that I had fibroids and a bulky uterus and at the time I didnt know what they meant.

I was sent home with transemic acid tablets which I was told to take as soon as my period started to help control the bleeding these worked great and in fact stopped the bleeding within a day.

Then in October I went to the toilet one morning and found I had this large lump poking out of me, thought I was turning into a lady boy and was scared stiff. I went to the doctors where my worries weren’t helped when she said she had never seen anything like it. So, off to the hospital I went where the consultant told me it was a fibroid on a stalk that had prolapsed through my cervix.

He said it was approx 8cm long and 6cm in diameter. When I got to the hospital it had gone back inside me slightly. The consultant said that my uterus was also the size of someone 22 weeks pregnant and that the best thing, having also looked at my previous scan results, would be to have a total abdominal hysterectomy.

Slightly shell-shocked I was sent home with some new tablets that had just finished their trials called Esmya. I was told they should stop the bleeding altogether which they did and start shrinking the fibroids.

My date came through a couple of weeks later in Dec 2012 and I started looking online for information and speaking to friends who had also had hysterectomies and i found this site, which is amazing and so helpful. But, the more I read and was told the more scared I got about the amount of pain I would be in.

I am on my own so didn’t have anyone to share my fears with. The day of the operation came and I trundled off to hospital. I met with the consultant again who went through the operation. After reading and speaking to others I had decided to keep my ovaries.

I then saw the anaesthetist who told me he would give me a spinal tap before the anaestheticc to put me to sleep for the operation. When I woke up in recovery I was in some pain but no where near as much as I was expecting. I had a catheter and drip, but no drain and I also wasn’t on patient controlled analgesia which I had expected.

The oxygen made me cough constantly and because of this I drank loads, the nurses were quiet shocked by how much I was drinking. I had to stay in recovery for three hours due to no beds on the ward, and just before I went up I was given some oral morphine.

Once on the ward, apart from the constant checks from the nurses, I slept. I was given painkillers as prescribed but was still quiet numb from the spinal tap and to be honest was dreading when that wore off. The next morning the doctor came and saw me, he said they had to remove my left ovary due to a cyst, but that everything else had gone OK.

The catheter was removed and I was taken off the drip, the spinal tap had worn off and surprisingly I was still in little pain. The nurses got me up and after going to the bathroom I went off for a little walk; the nurses again were shocked at how good I was and how I was walking completely upright, although a bit slow, as if nothing had happened. This surprised me as well as I am not the fittest of people. Everyone had said how the pain was so bad that they walked hunched over.

Friday was spent mostly dosing again with painkillers only at prescribed times and when Sat morning came I was told I could go home. But then, the dreaded trapped wind got me, I can honestly say I have never been in so much pain in all my life. Going home was put off although the first nurse I kept speaking to did nothing leaving me there for hours doubled up in agony.

When another nurse found me in pain she immediately gave me a Gynae cocktail, which is warm water peppermint and other things; within 15 minutes the wind was flowing from both ends and the pain finally went away.

On Sunday, three days post hysterectomy I returned home; the only painkillers I was on were paracetamol and ibruprofen. Apart from the strange grumblings and feelings inside my stomach which I still get occasionally there was hardly any pain. In fact, by the end of the second week I was off the painkillers altogether.

Sleeping is a bit hard as I usually sleep part on my side and part on my belly; I have tried sleeping on my back and now wedge a pillow under both sides of me so if I do turn on my side my belly is supported.

My scar stared weeping in a couple of places but I have been to the doctors who swabbed it and dressed it and have confirmed there is no infection. Apart from that everything is going remarkably well. I only had slight bleeding aftter the operation and this stopped by the saturday. I have not been tired or weepy.

My biggest problem now, because I am not in pain, is remembering I have had major surgery and not to do too much. I have a friend who walks my dog for me and she, with a couple of others, pop in and out and do stuff for me. Being on my own, I am used to doing everything and I keep having to stop myself.

I do have a swollen belly and am living in my pjs as thats about all I can get on. I find if I do too much my belly goes numb (bit like when you’ve been for a tooth filling) and swells even more, but I feel so very lucky not to be in pain.

I would just like to say to all you ladies out there waiting for your operations, good luck and its not always pain.

My advice is take Arnica, I did and had hardly any bruising. If the oxygen mask makes you cough, ask for the one that goes in your nose rather than the mask over your mouth. Although it tickles to start with it is so much better than the mask and makes drinking etc so much easier.

Drink loads of water, and if you have trapped wind ask for a gynae cocktail, it doesn’t taste nice but works wonders. Be prepared for the first time you move your bowels afterwards; I was in the toilet for ages once I started.

If you are in pain take everything you are offered, if you’re not in pain remember what you have had done. Invest in big knickers, either from this site or I bought maternity support knickers, and they really do help And lastly, I hope you all have a speedy and good recovery. xx

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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.

16 comments

  1. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy on Thursday and came home today Saturday. I was convinced I had a bladder infection yesterday because I needed to empty it a lot and it was crampy. It’s apparently sensitive because I had been catheterised. I find these blogs really helpful so thank you. I’m still at the getting out of bed dread stage but hoping things improve each day.

  2. Am on 4 weeks of surgery and I only got my uterus removed left the rest!! and I also have that pain when peeing but no infection either! Hope someone can let us know what it is!!

    Yolanda Rios

  3. OMG, I am so glad I read your story – I had a total hysterectomy on the 19th August, where they removed the remaining ovary and tube (right side came out in 2014), uterus and cervix and also a large fibroid, along with lots of endometriosis !! It is now 2 weeks today since my operation and I feel remarkable fine (sort of) as I have no ovaries anymore, my emotions have been up and down. Today I have felt like my tummy is really bloated and uncomfortable – after reading your story, I realise it is because I have done a bit too much. As I feel ok, I forget that I have had major surgery and forget that inside I am still healing. So reading your story has made me feel so much better.
    The only real pain I have now is when I go to the toilet, towards the end of weeing I get an ache and like a dragging feeling – I have already had a urine test and there is no infection … has anyone else experienced this and have any idea what it might be ???

  4. OMG I am so grateful for your story. I am 11 days post op (age 42) and had a vaginal hysterectomy. I giggled when you wrote about the wind pain as I was too embarrassed to tell the nurses. My belly goes numb when I do too much and I could have high fives you when you put that in. I am virtually pain free except for a little discomfort if I wake up on my belly! Pillows…..good idea. Thank you so much for your post. Xx

  5. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy (am aged 45) after suffering from endometriosis and with a very large fibroid that had attached my womb to the bladder.
    I don’t want to add much to the very comprehensive messages above except to say that the anticipation for me was far, far worse than the operation and recovery. I would not have believed in the immediate post op that I would have been able to get up and walk to the bathroom the following day and shower the next.

    This site has been incredibly helpful. The most helpful was the call to take things extremely easy for the full 6 weeks. The only pain I experienced after the operation (from day 2) was easily managed with paracetemol and ibuprofen – unless I overdid it. I learned not to stand for too long or to do too much walking. Listen to your body and stopping painkillers at week 2 helped with being more in tune. Each day mobility and flexibility increases and I’m so glad to have had the operation.
    Am now having HRT patches and have been told I can only have then until I’m 50. Well, we’ll see about that 🙂 I know there are risks and some women can’t take it but tit can also bring back a quality of life and after years of endo pain, surely we all deserve a little more of that…

  6. Samantha thank you for sharing your story. I realise now that the pre treatment I have been offered GNRH injection lasting 3 months is similar to the Esmya you describe in your story. I am relieved to hear that your experience was that it helped with your bleeding as I am so worried about the flooding and bleeding returning (cerezette birth control is the only think – apart from Mirena some years ago) which has stopped the bleeding – been on mefanic acid, tranemanic acid etc and nothing worked. I was really worried about this hormonal treatment to shrink the fibroids as I realise it will shut down my ovaries and bring on potentially menopausal symptoms. Your story has given me some hope that the injections will work quickly enough to shut down ovaries to stop bleeding. Here’s hoping. Step one of my journey to I think a sub total hysterectomy which is what was suggested at my appointment and then the consultant will see me at surgery – eek I thought there would a chance to speak to someone about all of this before then in preparation – within 12 weeks as the injection will stop working after that. I am very grateful for this forum and for all the lovely ladies wiling to share their personal stories. What a support it is. Thank you.

  7. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy on 19th May 2014. I decided that this procedure would be the best way to deal with heavy bleeding caused by a number of large bulky fibroids that were described to be similar size to being 22 + weeks pregnant. I was prescribed Esmya to reduce bleeding and size of fibroids for 3 months prior to op. It was a blessing that the Esmya stopped my periods although following the surgery I was informed that the fibroids had not reduced in size. I had elected to keep my ovaries and luckily my surgeon had no reason to remove. I recovered quickly from the anaesthetic and managed the post surgery pain with ibuprofen and paracetamol. The hospital (Calderdale) offered me an enhanced recovery programme and I can genuinely say my recovery has gone extremely well. I was discharged the following evening and stopped pain relief at day 13. I was taking short walks during week 3 and by the end of week 5 was walking 30-40 mins twice a day. I have been careful with lifting and housework but feel the gentle exercise with rest in between has helped my speedy recovery. Six weeks post op tomorrow and I am returning to work, my scar is healing well and I have virtually no pain.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story Samantha, I had an abdominal subtotal hysterectomy on Tuesday and terrifyingly was discharged from hospital yesterday after only one night. I suppose at least that means all went well & I am better off in my own bed. I had similar symptoms to you, fibroids, heavy bleeding etc and considered my options carefully before committing to this major surgery and I am viewing the whole experience as a positive but trawling through the Internet brings some scary stories so it’s nice to hear that not everyone has a bad experience. I am in a fair bit of pain at the moment, the car journey home from the hospital was torture & last night I was finding getting in and out of bed very painful. Luckily i have a very sympathetic partner to look after me (although after all the wind he might change his mind) Today I have the dreaded wind, sharp pain in my shoulder blade & feel very undignified (better out than in!) peppermint tea for me all day. My stomach is very bloated and tender but less painful than yesterday. Your experience reminds me that each day will bring improvement so I will take each day as it comes and I wish you all the very best x

  9. I had a vaginal hysterectomy this morning and am writing this to say thank you as I have been very worried about recovery & wind pains; will send my partner a message to being me mints & mint tea tonight!

  10. Hi samantha, I had a very similar recovery to yours and also posted my story on the website. After about 3 weeks I suddenly realised the constant pain I had suffered had gone…. My journey to the op was a bit longer than yours, I was diagnosed 12 years ago with severe endometriosis. I had 7 laparoscopies and various treatments over the years before having the ‘big op’ in january this year. I was back at work part time after 8 weeks, full time at 10 weeks and have today following my post op check up been discharged from the clinic. My life has been transformed and I have now applied to volunteer with the endometriosisssociety to try and help others. Good luck with the rest of your recovery x

  11. I have just been reading your stories as i had mine almost 4 weeks ago . I was very scared at having my op , i had fibroids one was the size of being 15 weeks pregnant so i was told ! All of your comments i can relate too especially the trapped wind ! my friend said keep plenty of mints you will need them how true it was ! My pain is minimal now and i only take the odd paracetamol . Its the best thing i ever had done and well worth waiting for a full recovery . Its funny yo do know when you have overdone things your stomache does tell you with that dragging feeling . After suffering a few years of heavy periods and not being able to arrange holidays because you are worried that your period will arrive and have i had a few of those ! Its nice to know that i can go anywhere and not have to think about it . I wish every lady all good wishes in your operation and to getting our lives back ! xx

  12. Having been told recently I will have to have a hyserectomy I am now reading as much as I can about them to prepare myself. This story was such a good and possitive one so thank you x

  13. Samantha, it was lovely to read your story, I am 3 weeks into my hysterectomy recovery monday coming and have a similar story to tell, no real pain so you are not unusual, the main pain was from wind 🙂 Like you I am struggling to remember to not do things, though I have been lucky enough to have my mother in law down for the last fortnight. I have a bikini line incision, which has not caused me any real issues luckily.
    I back up your advice, big pants, loose clothes (leggings are a must) and be prepared for the first bowel movement, mine was 5 am…. 🙂
    The other strange thing was my first bath, had only been showering till I felt confident enough to get out the bath alone, but in the bath my stomach felt very odd, like things were moving about and slotting back in to place, my own personal tetris!!!!
    Good luck with your recovery, mine is going so well I am sure I will be back at work in the minimum 6 weeks, which of course is the miserable bit
    Again lovely to read your story
    Rose

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