Not the ‘nightmare’ I was expecting – Shelia’s story
I am 45 and required a TAH due to two large fibroids. The TAH was done under an epidural quite a weird feeling during the procedure but absolutely no pain and recovery was so much better than a general anaesthetic. My hysterectomy was not the nightmare I was expecting.
I had the procedure 3 weeks ago (6th Jan 2016) and was up and walking (albeit rather ‘gingerly’) after 24 hrs (when the catheter was removed). There was quite a bit of bleeding afterwards but this only lasted for 48hrs and there hasn’t been any since.
Staples made it quite uncomfortable to move around but I tried to walk as upright as possible from the first day. Staples came out after a week. 3 weeks on I am walking fine and able to cover 2 miles a day. I would say get out and about, no matter how short a distance as soon as you can as the fresh air makes you feel better.
Another tip I found useful was to keep a normal routine so even though off work I have still been getting up an my usual hour, showering and getting dressed. I’m fortunate that my job allows me to work from home so I have been able to keep unto date with the office.
I heeded all the advice that my consultant and nurses gave me and thankfully needed very little pain relief after the first week. But I think it is more about positive attitude and listening to what your body is telling you – rest as much or as little as you feel you need. My scar tends to let me know when I’ve done too much!
Haven’t yet experienced many symptoms of the menopause, thankfully no hot flushes. Only side effect is sleep can be a bit elusive, dropping off and wakefulness during the night, consequently some days I feel tired and irritable but it’s about resting during the day. The consultant did prescribe diazepam if needed – have only needed it twice in 3 weeks. Have cut down on caffeine and also no alcohol which is helping.
Drove for the first time after 3 weeks, but only a short distance and in an automatic car. No adverse effects.
I would say if you are going to have a TAH do as much research as you can, I found the hysterectomy association a great source of information and also a publication by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists – “Recovering Well – Information for you after an abdominal hysterectomy”. talk to your consultant and people you know – everyone’s experience is different do what works for you.
Now 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.