Fibroids, Hysterectomy and Facing the Fear: Miranda’s Story

I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the hints, tips, website and personal responses to my emails.  I can’t tell you how well supported I have felt throughout what was a very harrowing lead up to my op.  You may remember I had fought this op for 3 years and was terrified, so much so I had felt like doing something really stupid.  I am 47 and had fibroids the size of cricket balls.

I had my op as planned on 3rd April at 5pm and was back out in Recovery at 7:15pm.  My surgeon said the uterus was monstrous and he didn’t know how I had coped with it as long as I had, it was about a foot long, all knobbly and weighed 2kgs. He had carried out a sub total hysterectomy due to large bulky fibroids but had managed to preserve the lower part of my cervix and my ovaries at my request. Following my initial consultation 10 days earlier, for the first time in about 10 months I stopped bleeding, most likely down to the emotional shock and trauma I was feeling at finally having lost my battle to fight the op.  I then realised I had become urinary incontinent and had been leaking urine.

The constant bleeding, changing and wearing sanitary protection had clearly disguised the fact for some time and I was horrified.  I had put up with indigestion for some 2 years and had put it down to ‘maybe a wheat intolerance’, the bloated feeling I put down to be a ‘bit over weight’!  Who did I think I was kidding?!? My uterus was so large it was wedged under my rib cage.

I experienced some sharp pains immediately post op but the PCA morphine drip kicked in quickly and it became very manageble, so much so they took it down in the morning and removed the catheter.  So 13 hours post op I was out of bed and in the shower.  Yes it was a silly thing to do because I did come over very dizzy and queasy and had to lie on the bed for a few minutes while it all passed off.  I also had some sharp pains to remind me of the surgery but 5 minutes later I was back in the bathroom drying my hair, cleaning my teeth and putting on a bit of makeup to make myself feel better.  The bleeding went to nothing within

24 hours and although a little slow and careful I was up and walking about the ward from day 2. Tramadol and paracetomol seemed to control the pain well and although I had some wind pain which left me a bit uncomfortable on the 3rd / 4th evening, an extra dose of oramorph and a dose of movicol to get my bowels working seemed to help the pain and got me through the night.  Day 5 they wanted to send me home but were concerned about the lack of bowel movement and despite regular doses of movicol not much was happening.  Thankfully one of your website visitor posts had mentioned Lactulose and taking the hint I had purchased some  from the local chemist beforehand and took it with me into hospital.  I took a very hefty dose on top of the movicol administered and finally Day 5 mother nature kicked back in and I could just about say I had ‘moved my bowels’.  I was allowed home.  Two days in bed at home was as much as I could manage and I started pottering about.  I got severe earache from my husband who all but washed his hands of me for ignoring his requests to rest.  I was determined to keep active whilst ‘listening to my body’ and resting if I felt I needed to.  Within 10 days I was pretty much back to normal, cooking, cleaning, washing albeit carefully.  I am now 3 weeks post op and yes I have probably done some stupid stuff, lifting stuff I shouldn’t but the slightest twinge and I stop and resume the well behaved bed ridden post op patient for a rest and so far so good.  Yes I do periodically get a bit of wind pain but it passes if I move about and I haven’t taken any pain killers for about a week.  I feel uncomfortable in my jeans because it puts pressure on my vertical scar.  I had 19 clips removed after 7 days and it appears to be healing well.  I have a very small amount of white discharge but certainly not enough to warrant any pads and is lessening day by day.  I have been warned not to ride my horse for 3 months and not to lift a back of livestock feed (25kg) for 6 months but am hoping for a reprieve certainly on the first point.  I am not driving yet but again hope to get the OK from the doctor in the next week or so.  The indigestion completely disappeared immediately post op and so has the incontinence.

Did I make the right decision to have the op?  You betcha!  Was I a complete and utter wuss who should be totally ashamed of her lack of backbone?  You betcha!  Maybe I was lucky and got away lightly, maybe the worst is yet to come and maybe I will be my own worst enemy and not listen well enough to my body and undo some of the good progress I have made – I don’t know.  All I do know is I am very grateful for all the emails from you, the hints and tips, the website and the support I have received.  It was so helpful getting the facts and not just relying on forums which sometimes only seem to post the horror stories.  Thank you so much Linda, and your team and all the amazing ladies who post what it is really like to go through this.  Without you I may well have not gone through with it and would still be suffering both the symptoms and the agro from my husband, both of which were only set to get worse.

I’m not sure how helpful my story would be to others but if you want to share it, please do.  I hope it might help someone like me who is pre op and terrified.  The after is so much better than the before!  I have already been on the organisation’s facebook page and responded to a couple of posts to try to reassure a couple of people pre op.  I know we are all different and experience it differently depending on the op we have and us as individuals but sometimes the fear is worse than the actual reality and when you’re frightened all you seem to read is the horror stories.

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7 thoughts on “Fibroids, Hysterectomy and Facing the Fear: Miranda’s Story

  1. Susan

    hello I am due to have a hysterectomy in September, due to fiborids. I am due to have a prostap injection tomorrow, did anyone else have this? I have also been left to decide on whether to keep my ovaries or not.
    when I was 15 I had an ovarian cyst removed and then went on to have two children, one natural and one caesarean section. I am now 46 years old and feel a little anxious about it all…any help/comments would be great.

    thanks

  2. Julie R

    I too had large fibroids and had my total hysterectomy at 4pm on Tuesday 28th February – I was scared stiff to the point of wanting to cancel the operation. My hospital offered an ‘enhanced recovery programme’, basically liquid drinks taken the night before the operation and on the morning and a spinal block instead of the Morphine PCA. I woke up in recovery and thought they hadnt been able to do the operation as I felt so well!! I was up out of the bed the next morning and home on Friday morning. I had my staples taken out the following week and its been slow but sure progress since. The actual waiting for the operation was worse. I had my ovaries removed so have gone into the menopause (apparently) and on HRT patches, I’m 48 and so far so good. Its understandable your anxious I was terrified but honestly try not to listen to all the horror stories of operations that people had years ago as its not like that now. Good luck!

  3. Petra

    I too had huge fibroids, apparently some of the largest my consultant had seen, size of a six month gestation. I had a total hyserectomy, from ovaries, uterus down to th cervix, as cervical cancer seems to run in my family. I had suffered for years and after confronting my GP with my findings on the net regarding symptoms I was referred for tests and was in and out of hospital within three months. I had the op on a tuesday, off morphine on thursday and they tried to send me home on friday, which i declined , but was sick of the remarks of blocking a bed by saturday. Being a self employed professional driver, I had to get back up and running asap and started to wotk after four months. I had no problems with recovery, but the menopause hit me quickly and hard, so went on HRT, feeling great, but I put on three stone, and being a hefty girl to start with, this has not helped. Emotionally and physically I have no regrets about having the op, I am a new woman, a huge one, but new non the less.

  4. Lisa

    I have been told this week that I will need a hysterectomy in the next few weeks. I was initially going into hospital as a daycase for removal of polyps but the biopsy showed pre cancerous cells. I am only 45 and the thought going through such a big operation terrifies me! I don’t know yet what type of hysterectomy I will have, I don’t want to go through the menopause yet! I have been told it will be done vaginally. I have read of some people’s experiences, which has helped a little but am still very anxious!

    1. Siobhan

      Hi Lisa.
      I had a hysterectomy in November 2010 at 44 years of age. I can honestly say it was the best move I could have made. I had huge fibroids and had a total abdominal hysterectomy. I was in hospital for 2 nights and I have to say I had a really easy time of it. The op went very well and I was up and out of bed 8 hours later. The initial movement of getting up was really painful and I dreaded having to get up again but each time it got easier and easier. After six weeks of taking it easy I was back to work, riding my horse, mucking out the stables and doing everything I usually do. 10 weeks after the op I went on a skiing holiday and felt no after affects at all. I have no regrets and hope you have an equally good experience.

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