Fibroid Blocked My Bladder – Rachel’s Story

Thanks very much for all the emails which were very useful enhanced by the 101 hints in the book and the website.  I didn’t have long to get my head round having a hysterectomy – the first time it was mentioned was 15 days before it happened so your emails, website and book provided much reassuring advice and information.

I went into urinary retention for the second time in the space of 7 weeks at the end of June.  The GP I saw wanted to know why and very quickly found what she thought was a large fibroid which was confirmed by the emergency clinic at the hospital the next day.  I had had my son by C Section over 16 years ago due to the presence of a large fibroid which was blocking his exit. Having now reached the age of 50 I hadn’t expected fibroids to start troubling me but by blocking my bladder I had turned into an emergency case.

I am now two weeks post op and feeling well if still a bit sore.  I had a subtotal abdominal hysterectomy with my ovaries removed.  Having been catheterised for the two weeks prior to the operation the consultant wanted to keep my catheter in for a week afterwards to give my bladder a chance to recover from the battering given it by the fibroid.  After 23 days of being catheterised I was worried how easy it would be for my bladder to start functioning properly again.  It has been fine ; I went back to the hospital after a week but they wouldn’t finally discharge me until I had emptied my bladder three times confirmed by a final bladder scan.  I am now back to normal on that front and it is a real relief in every sense of the word. It would be useful if this positive message could be shared as most of the readily available information  about bladder function after weeks of catheterisation is of the worrying variety.

The information that was most helpful to me was the warning about the wind and the recommendation about the mint tea.  In hospital I got into the habit of having one cup of tea and one cup of hot water to turn into mint tea each time the tea trolley came round (which had no consequences for me as I was still catheterised!). The worst day of wind was the day after the op.  My bowels started working on the day I was discharged.  The mint tea really did seem to calm them down but I did ask for a laxative on night 3 to help them on their way.  The discharge doctor said that few women managed to move their bowels before they left hospital.

I was disappointed on day 2 to have made it out of bed into the chair only for my blood pressure to take a dive and end up back in bed again.  On Day 3 the same thing happened but this time it was put down to a low haemoglobin levels following a blood test.  I was discharged after three nights in hospital and it was great to be home.  This was when the big pants and the support pillows really came into their own (there was a certain irony that the cheapest way of buying a wedge pillow and a V pillow was as a mother to be gift pack from Argos!) I did later add to my Argos cushion collection as my back and coccyx became painful possibly from holding myself awkwardly and I’m now using a coccyx cushion to provide relief.

I went into menopause on the night I was discharged – internal hot flushes rather than night sweats and so have now started on the HRT and am feeling OK.

Thanks for all the good work you are doing.


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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