I had a myomectomy 8 years ago because of fibroids – I was supposed to have keyhole surgery to have them removed but in the end they had to do an abdominal myomectomy. I lost 4 pints of blood in the process and was signed-off work for three months (I have an office job, nothing too strenuous).
When I started to feel pressure on my bladder in the summer I guessed that perhaps the fibroids were back – despite having had a coil fitted. The GP thought it might be a prolapse but the consultant confirmed my suspicions. A number of fibroids, the largest being almost 10cm in diameter.
I opted for a hysterectomy this time and was advised to go for the abdominal option. I knew what was in store for me in terms of recovery having been through something similar. I was told that one option would be to do nothing and put up with the symptoms until the menopause which would likely clear them up. But I’d had a couple of occasions where trying to pass urine was almost impossible even though I really needed to go, which was quite scary – so I decided to go for it. I do a fair amount of travelling to distant places and didn’t want to risk having any problems whilst overseas in the back of beyond.
Reading other people’s experiences always helps – it’s a bit like reading the product reviews before buying, knowing the best and worst that could happen.
I had a spinal injection as well as the anaesthetic this time – I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up post-op as I was in less pain than last time, which I attribute to the injection. The physio had me up, out of bed and taking a short walk, the next day and I was discharged on the fourth day. I stayed with my dad for a couple of weeks and have been at home on my own since.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and well I have recovered. One day in week four I travelled to London on the train and tube (to replicate what it would be like to do my daily commute). I have done a fair amount of walking, building it up gradually and today I walked around the shops for over three hours without a rest. I’m sure I will be perfectly ok to go back to work in another couple of weeks, which will be six weeks exactly from the op date.
Everyone is different of course, but both of my experiences show that the operation is only a short-term blip in your life compared with putting up with the problems for years. Since my first op I regained full fitness – I could easily run a couple of 10kms a week and had completed numerous cycle events, including one of 112 miles in the Lake District (in one day). I hope that I will get back to full fitness once again over the next few months but am mindful that I need to be careful and not push it too far (and that I am 8 years older!). I would say that I am pretty sure being fairly fit and having reasonable core muscles helped me, so would recommend doing what you can pre-op.
And one of the best tips I read on the website was a lady who suggested taking in a water bottle which has a drinking nozzle – that was fabulous to have in hospital for the first couple of days as it meant I could drink easily without having the effort of having to get into a seated position, and so helped me keep properly hydrated.
Thanks again, Sandra.
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Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.