I had a TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) five weeks ago. I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 30 after a laparoscopy. Up to then what I had thought of as ‘the norm’ for periods was revealed to be exactly the opposite (awful pain, bleeding between periods, discolouration). My consultant stopped my periods after that op for 6 months and after that I considered myself one of the ‘lucky ones’ for years; living a relatively pain-free existence.
However, the endo started to creep back up on me and when I returned to my GP last year, at the age of 43, I was already thinking a hysterectomy seemed to be the right option for me. I read up on it (a hysterectomy may not a magic bullet cure for endo) and after a second laparoscopy revealed severe endo (to the point where my ovaries had fused behind my womb) I decided to go ahead with a total abdominal hysterectomy and oophorectomy in June.
I was in a lot of pain when I first work up and the morphine wasn’t taking the edge off as fast as I could self-administer it! I had a rough first night and was sick due to the morphine. But then I was switched to liquid paracetomol (amongst other many tabs) and got the pain under control. I was more comfortable, and able to sleep, but zero appetite.
The catheter came out at about day 2, the drainage tube on day 3. The removal of the latter was a bit of a painful shock, but over in seconds and it all meant I had the freedom to get up to go to the bathroom. That first shower I took post-op felt great. I went home on day 4 and slept a lot, moved very slowly and developed an annoying thickly cough. You truly don’t appreciate stomach muscles until you can’t use them!
I am now 5 weeks’ post-op. I am up to 25 minute walks. I am moving much more freely. My scar is a thin red line that whilst long is very far below my bikini line. I still get very tired.
Because my ovaries were removed, and because there are microscopic traces of endo left in my pelvis, I will be on a non-hormonal drug for 3-6 months to alleviate the hot flushes, etc. then I will have to go on HRT until I am 50. I have my fingers and everything else crossed that the endo will not grow back, but I am taking things one step at a time, and have no regrets that a hysterectomy was the right choice for me.
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.