Hysterectomy and Fibroids – Val’s Story

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy on the 12th September 2013 after years of horrid, painful periods and pelvic pain. I had an undiagnosed  pelvic infection when I was younger that caused a lot of damage and scar tissue. This led to infertility and failed IVF attempts with my husband of 33 years, (my best friend & soul mate).

For a while now I’ve noticed my abdomen was hard, with terrible bloating and bowel problems which I blamed on irritable bowel. I’ve also had ovarian cysts. It wasn’t until I started to bleed from the bowels in July this year that I went to A&E and tests revealed a large 13cms mass in my abdomen.

I just felt I had to tell you that I found your website invaluable in the run up to my operation, (I must say the waiting is the worst bit). It meant that I was well informed by the time my operation was carried out, the specialist even asked me if I worked at the hospital as I was very knowledgeable!!  🙂 I’m now on day 6 of my recovery and doing pretty well.

The operation itself took a bit longer than they first thought, I was away from the ward for around 5 hours. They found out that the ‘mass’ was a large fibroid which was the size of a 24 week pregnancy, (and I blamed wheat intolerance ha ha!). They also discovered a smaller fibroid hiding behind the big one and it was this smaller fibroid that was probably the one that caused the bleeding and made me visit A&E. The large fibroid was attached to my bowel, hence the bowel trouble. The surgeon planned to remove my ovaries but left them in as he said it was too ‘risky’ to remove them because of scar tissue and other issues, (I believe I lost a lot of blood in theatre).

Considering what they found when they operated on me, my recovery has been quite straightforward. I came around and had the usual morphine drip, drain and catheter, plus I had another tube with anaesthetic attached which they called ‘the pain buster’ – not sure what it’s correct name is but it did exactly what it’s name says! It was great and was kept in place for 48 hours.

I was in hospital for three days and my recovery at home is going well. I must have read every story and blog on your site and downloaded the 101 tips book and all I can say us thank goodness you are there for people like me. The whole experience has been less scary knowing that your website is there, it has answered all my questions and soothed my fears – thank you x

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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.

3 comments

  1. Hi Val,
    I had a subtotal hysterectomy just last week (31 October) and I felt inspired by your story. I, too had massive fibroids, hard tummy, bloating etc and always out it down to something else. I already feel so much better and am looking forward to a pain free future. This website will be my oracle!
    Thanks for sharing

  2. I have to have a TAH on Dec 2 and I am scared. I have large fibroids. I am worried that recovery will be long and I want to go back to work in two week.

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