The Forty Year Wait – Andi’s Story

Every since I was 11 years old I had terrible periods. My mother used to sit me on the lawn with a towel and told me only to come inside when the towel needed changing. When I talk about a towel I mean a bath towel – not a sanitary napkin!!

Eventually I was taken to the doctor and despite my mothers support the doctor always said it was “in my head”, so all my growing up years I was plagued with these terrible periods. So I limped on through the years until finally times changed and my issue was validated, and the response – oh “you’ll be right”, it will all clear up when you have children. I was so “not coping” with the whole period thing, and then they expected me to have children?? I just knew that within myself, if I couldn’t cope with periods, I was “no way” ever going to cope with children. So I didn’t have children.

Time marched on and I was forty – I was hoping that I would be able to have a hysterectomy – “oh no, you can’t have a hysterectomy because you might want children”, however I did finally get a hysteroscopy and a large flock of fibroids was found and removed and a marina inserted (hormonal IUD). Wow this was amazing for a while, my periods went from 12 days each month to 5 days – I felt soooooo free and actually had some energy to do stuff!

Four years later all had turned to custard again – the marina had previously been swapped out with a new one, but the five day “wonder periods” were gone. Back to 12 days it was. I trotted back to the doctor, and this time it was an endometrial ablation. Again I had asked for a hysterectomy, again it was no “oh you might want to have children” – not at 44 I didn’t. While I did get treated very well medically, why wouldn’t they believe me when I clearly uttered that I didn’t want children because I just couldn’t cope with these awful periods, and that all I wanted was a hysterectomy.

Again things went along swimmingly well for a few years and then custard again at 50. I dreaded going to the doctor again and asking for a hysterectomy, and if they mentioned to me again that I might want children, I would scream!! So finally, I went along to a new gynecologist and had a laparoscopic hysterectomy (retaining my ovaries). What really did my head in, was he kindly said to me, you should have been able to have this done years ago!!

So here I am two weeks post op and have already completed a 20 km bike ride. I feel glorious and finally free. I am very grateful that I now have been given this new opportunity at life, and finally my 40 year “prison sentence” is over. I am really hoping now that things will only get better. I haven’t had the test results back yet – will get those in a another couple of weeks, but whatever the case, I finally feel like I am going to get to live life like a real human being. Years of anemia, tears and depression and awful periods will finally be gone. I am truly grateful for this new opportunity at life.


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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