21 Days Post Op and No Pain – Samantha’s Story

Hi ladies, I thought i would share my story with you as I feel I am extremely lucky and for those of you who are worrying just like I was, it’s not always pain and more pain. Unlike most of you ladies my journey to my hysterectomy was a bit of a whirlwind and I did not have to go through years of suffering and waiting.

I am 46 and thought everything was fine until July 2012 when i was rushed into hospital with really heavy bleeding. I was kept in overnight and after having a scan was told that I had fibroids and a bulky uterus and at the time I didnt know what they meant.

I was sent home with transemic acid tablets which I was told to take as soon as my period started to help control the bleeding these worked great and in fact stopped the bleeding within a day.

Then in October I went to the toilet one morning and found I had this large lump poking out of me, thought I was turning into a lady boy and was scared stiff. I went to the doctors where my worries weren’t helped when she said she had never seen anything like it. So, off to the hospital I went where the consultant told me it was a fibroid on a stalk that had prolapsed through my cervix.

He said it was approx 8cm long and 6cm in diameter. When I got to the hospital it had gone back inside me slightly. The consultant said that my uterus was also the size of someone 22 weeks pregnant and that the best thing, having also looked at my previous scan results, would be to have a total abdominal hysterectomy.

Slightly shell-shocked I was sent home with some new tablets that had just finished their trials called Esmya. I was told they should stop the bleeding altogether which they did and start shrinking the fibroids.

My date came through a couple of weeks later in Dec 2012 and I started looking online for information and speaking to friends who had also had hysterectomies and i found this site, which is amazing and so helpful. But, the more I read and was told the more scared I got about the amount of pain I would be in.

I am on my own so didn’t have anyone to share my fears with. The day of the operation came and I trundled off to hospital. I met with the consultant again who went through the operation. After reading and speaking to others I had decided to keep my ovaries.

I then saw the anaesthetist who told me he would give me a spinal tap before the anaestheticc to put me to sleep for the operation. When I woke up in recovery I was in some pain but no where near as much as I was expecting. I had a catheter and drip, but no drain and I also wasn’t on patient controlled analgesia which I had expected.

The oxygen made me cough constantly and because of this I drank loads, the nurses were quiet shocked by how much I was drinking. I had to stay in recovery for three hours due to no beds on the ward, and just before I went up I was given some oral morphine.

Once on the ward, apart from the constant checks from the nurses, I slept. I was given painkillers as prescribed but was still quiet numb from the spinal tap and to be honest was dreading when that wore off. The next morning the doctor came and saw me, he said they had to remove my left ovary due to a cyst, but that everything else had gone OK.

The catheter was removed and I was taken off the drip, the spinal tap had worn off and surprisingly I was still in little pain. The nurses got me up and after going to the bathroom I went off for a little walk; the nurses again were shocked at how good I was and how I was walking completely upright, although a bit slow, as if nothing had happened. This surprised me as well as I am not the fittest of people. Everyone had said how the pain was so bad that they walked hunched over.

Friday was spent mostly dosing again with painkillers only at prescribed times and when Sat morning came I was told I could go home. But then, the dreaded trapped wind got me, I can honestly say I have never been in so much pain in all my life. Going home was put off although the first nurse I kept speaking to did nothing leaving me there for hours doubled up in agony.

When another nurse found me in pain she immediately gave me a Gynae cocktail, which is warm water peppermint and other things; within 15 minutes the wind was flowing from both ends and the pain finally went away.

On Sunday, three days post hysterectomy I returned home; the only painkillers I was on were paracetamol and ibruprofen. Apart from the strange grumblings and feelings inside my stomach which I still get occasionally there was hardly any pain. In fact, by the end of the second week I was off the painkillers altogether.

Sleeping is a bit hard as I usually sleep part on my side and part on my belly; I have tried sleeping on my back and now wedge a pillow under both sides of me so if I do turn on my side my belly is supported.

My scar stared weeping in a couple of places but I have been to the doctors who swabbed it and dressed it and have confirmed there is no infection. Apart from that everything is going remarkably well. I only had slight bleeding aftter the operation and this stopped by the saturday. I have not been tired or weepy.

My biggest problem now, because I am not in pain, is remembering I have had major surgery and not to do too much. I have a friend who walks my dog for me and she, with a couple of others, pop in and out and do stuff for me. Being on my own, I am used to doing everything and I keep having to stop myself.

I do have a swollen belly and am living in my pjs as thats about all I can get on. I find if I do too much my belly goes numb (bit like when you’ve been for a tooth filling) and swells even more, but I feel so very lucky not to be in pain.

I would just like to say to all you ladies out there waiting for your operations, good luck and its not always pain.

My advice is take Arnica, I did and had hardly any bruising. If the oxygen mask makes you cough, ask for the one that goes in your nose rather than the mask over your mouth. Although it tickles to start with it is so much better than the mask and makes drinking etc so much easier.

Drink loads of water, and if you have trapped wind ask for a gynae cocktail, it doesn’t taste nice but works wonders. Be prepared for the first time you move your bowels afterwards; I was in the toilet for ages once I started.

If you are in pain take everything you are offered, if you’re not in pain remember what you have had done. Invest in big knickers, either from this site or I bought maternity support knickers, and they really do help And lastly, I hope you all have a speedy and good recovery. xx

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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.

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