I will feel like a 17 year old again – Paula’s Story

I am now day 9 post Total Abdominal Hysterectomy, to remove fibroids. I’m 45 years old, and hadn’t expected anything like this to happen to me. I’d never really had any major gynae problems, and I’m not one to go to the doctors unnecessarily, so it all came as a bit of a surprise.

However, over recent years I’d felt like I had something heavy inside me, like being pregnant. I was beginning to worry a I was getting pains and pressure on my other organs, so decided to go to my GP. I’d firstly thought that I may have problems with my ovaries, so my GP referred me for a scan.

Luckily I have Private Medical Insurance through work, and was able to contact a very good Gynaecologist who a number of friends had recommended. She examined me, and straight away knew from the large lump in my tummy that I had fibroids. She recommended further investigation which involved a laparoscopy under a general. I was surprised that even this op, meant I felt unable to return to work for 2 weeks post op.

Between myself and my consultant we decided to leave it for a few months to see how I was able to cope. At 45 heading towards Menopause the thought was that my fibroids would eventually shrink. We did discuss the Marina Coil, but I’d heard a few nightmarish stories from friends, and decided if I could live with out it then great.

I actually left it a whole year. I had good months, but when I look back the bad months far outweighed the good ones. I felt that although I’d joined a gym and wanted to get fit, I was struggling with the pressure on my tummy. I was getting increased bloating, and pain in my back. I was also struggling with indigestion and felt like I was 7 months pregnant.

In February, I went back to see my consultant. When she examined me, immediately she could tell that the largest of my fibroids had grown. She looked at me and asked me how I’d feel about a Hysterectomy. I had expected as much, and knew from out last meeting that it could be on the cards.

Luckily for me I have a very supportive husband, and work for a large employer, so the recovery time is not an issue. A part of me did think! OMG, I am now officially old! In my head I am still 17! However, I knew it was for the best, and that I’d never feel totally well until I’d got this sorted out.

As I didn’t have any ovarian problems, I was able to keep my ovaries and tubes, but we decided on removing my cervix as I had a loop cone procedure in my 20′s to treat CIN3 pre cancerous cells.

As I was going to have the operation Privately I was able to chose my date, to coincide with a less busy period at work. I also ensured it was after my birthday!

The operation went well, even though my consultant said it was a very difficult op, as a lot of the fibroids were attached to various bits of my insides, she was pleased. I was offered an epidural along with my general anaesthetic, and as I’d had one before during child birth (C Section), I accepted. Although I’d not remembered how uncomfortable this was! I assume the pain of childbirth meant the epidural was a walk in the park! This did help the post op pain. And I was also given fluids and antibiotics through a drip, as well as paracetemol! I was surprised that paracetemol was so effective intravenously!!!

I was in hospital for 5 days (4 nights). Initially I struggled with pain the first day. The hospital had also given me Oxycontin, which is a 12 hour pain relief tablet. It’s a strong barbiturate, so I wasn’t keen on keeping this going, although it did work very well! However, for the first few days I took some co-codamol which helped. The biggest issue for me was constipation! I didn’t go for 5 days, which was excruciating. However, I have increased my fibre intake, taken some gentle laxatives, and it seems to be improving.

Day 9 and I am still very sore, and finding it hard to go the whole day without sleeping. However, I am moving about much more, and am taking it easy. I do feel guilty watching my husband run around like a headless chicken all the time, and just getting up from my dinner, and sitting in front of the TV. I feel like I’m being lazy! He’s back to work tomorrow, so my parents are coming round to pick me up and I’m spending the day with them. I am hoping that in 6-8 weeks time, I will feel like the 17 year old again!


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.

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