A Very Happy Hysterectomy – Fe’s Story

Hi Ladies (and gentlemen) I had a TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) and BSO (bilaterial salpingo oophorectomy) on 3rd December 2012. As with many of us my route to a hysterectomy was long, painful and at times frustrating. I had been suffering with heavy periods for some years and had tried, unsuccessfully, to get some sort of relief with my symptoms.

Following an ultra sound scan, I was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. I was then referred to a consultant gynaecologist, who was very reluctant to perform a hysterectomy. After several appointments with my GP and re-referral’s to the hospital, I asked to be referred to another consultant. I was admitted to hospital on 3rd December for the above operation. I have nothing but praise for the treatment I received. Everyone was fabulous. My new consultant was so kind, gentle and professional. I was given all the information I needed to make an informed choice and at this time we both agreed a hysterectomy was the best decision for me.

I have a very low pain threshold and can’t take morphine so a pca pump was a non starter! Plus I am the worlds biggest coward when it comes to pain! It did hurt when I first came round but after that the rest of the day and night seemed to pass in a blur. By Tuesday I was able to eat and drink, so I could take ibuprofen again, which was the best pain killer for me.

By Wednesday I was up and about – sore, but nowhere near as painful as I thought it would be. Everything went very smoothly with no complications. I came home on the Friday.

Within a week I was out and about – a short walk to the local shop was exhausting but manageable. I was amazed at how much I could do so soon after. I was sensible and have a very caring partner who nagged me constantly about doing too much! I even managed to cook Christmas dinner!

Four months on and I am back at work, still tired but am so happy with the results of my surgery. I am pain free, period free and feel like I can actually start to live again after years of debilitating pain and bleeding.

I am having a few problems with the menopause – it hit me like a brick on the 1st January, with all the usual symptoms – severe night sweats, mood swings, depression, joint pains. Although it is difficult, I try to remind myself that I am very lucky to have had such a great experience with my surgery.

If you are reading this and thinking something along the lines of “who does she think she is?? Superwoman???”! Please let me explain that I was 48 when I had my operation. I have type 2 diabetes, arthritis, hypothyroid and depression. I am also obese – one reason why my first consultant didn’t want to perform a hysterectomy. I had lost some weight, having being diagnosed with diabetes, but will always struggle with food.What I wanted to say here was that I have read some very sad stories on this site, and I know how lucky I am to have been treated so well both in hospital and at home.

So what have I found out about all this? Ladies, we are all different, unique individuals. Although we may be having the same or similar types of surgery, be kind to yourselves. Your body and your mind will heal in their own way and at their own pace. There is no right or wrong way to feel or to recover – just take time to find your own way through it. And don’t be hard on yourself – take your time to find what works for you. And if you’re not happy with the way your treated, speak up. You wouldn’t take your car to a garage where you didn’t trust the mechanic, so why put your body in the hands of someone you aren’t comfortable with?

And to Linda – thank you so much for the 101 Handy Hints book – it really did help. As did the fabulous, if less than glamorous support pants. The nurses loved the book. And I still wear the support pants when I go for a long walk or a trip to the gym – my scar is still a little sore at times. Plus they keep the cold out – very important during the long Cumbrian winter!! So, that’s why I have called my story “A Very Happy Hysterectomy” and I hope yours will be too.

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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.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. 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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14 Responses

  1. Corinne McKay says:

    Hi I am having my op on Friday (18th October 2013). Have chosen to go private because of NHS waiting time. I can’t wait, having been diagnosed with 11cm septated cyst on right ovary, MRI does not suggest cancer.
    All the stories on here have been so helpful. I am “large” so know the recovery might be difficult, but I can’t wait for the op!!

  2. Don’t worry about it, a hysterectomy affects everyone differently just because you don’t have the physical problems doesn’t mean you should be feeling guilty 😉

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks for your reply. Am feeling very emotional at the moment! Feel like a bit of a freak because I’m not suffering ( physically at least ) when i should just be grateful. To all of you ladies still recovering-my thoughts are with you xx Sorry, i didn’t mention i am 50yrs old-or will be in couple of wks!!

  4. It will be between now and a couple of years earlier than you might have done – there is no way of telling when it might actually occur unfortunately.

  5. Christine says:

    Hi to you all, had an abdominal hysterectomy ( removed ovaries, fallopian tubes but kept cervix) on Tuesday 10th September. Can’t believe how well i have recovered! Was expecting to be in agony for weeks. After a week of pain i started to feel better and better, but know i need to be careful. Am appreciating how bad i felt before; blood count 3,womb size as if 4 months pregnant. Haven’t started menopause YET!! Just wanted to let you know that it can be a really positive experience. I am very aware that i have been extremely lucky. Could i ask how long it could be till the menopause starts please? Xx

  6. I’d strongly suggest grabbing a copy of Marilyn Glenville’s book the New Natural Alternatives to HRT: http://shop.healthyhappywoman.co.uk/new-natural-alternatives-to-hrt/

  7. Geraldine says:

    I am 4 years post op … my tiredness and fatigue are getting worse .. blood test all show normal – I take hrt but feel like it has no effect – Dr said I need to stay on it because of my previous spinal surgery. I have tried all sorts – Evening primrose – vitamin b’s etc but no improvement this is really getting me down can anyone help please

  8. Amanda says:

    Hi i am waiting for my op, i have got a large cyst on left ovary and also suffer with endometriosis. My ca125 levels are raised, so they have recommended a total hysterectomy. Obviously i have to make an informed decision of my own.

    I dont have children (my choice not to). A biopsy will obviously be undertaken after surgery and then wait for the results of the biopsy.

    I find this story very reassuring, thank you

  9. linda cooke says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I had my tah bso on the 18th June 2013 and today miss 23rd June. I came home two days ago and have been feeling mixed emotions wanting to cry one minute then OK the next but I am told this is normal. I am suffering really bad constipation is this normal? Thank you for sharing Fe, I really found your story helpful. I am going to take it one day at a time u til I can be fully recovered. Hope you are back to normal now xx

  10. Jo says:

    Hi i am 3 years post op and have never felt better. I just wish i had had it done sooner. i suffered with severe endometriosis. I had my TAH at the age of 38. The op was fine and recovery was slow but i done as i was told and all was fine. good luck all xx

  11. I’m glad that Fe’s story helped you Lesley 🙂

  12. Lesley says:

    Hi I am waiting for results of biopsy to determine if I need a hysterectomy, and you have put my mind at rest thank you x

  13. Wendi says:

    Really helped me in my recent journey, had hysterectomy and LSO on 4/4/2013 early days but gave me positive reassurance.

  14. Christine Hil says:

    Thanks so much for this positive comment. My op’s tomorrow …

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