Just by chance – Gail’s Story

Hi my name is Gail and I am 47. I’m currently four weeks post op from having a hysterectomy with everything removed ovaries, tubes, womb and cervix. It all started around 18 – 24 months ago; my husband had fallen ill with M.E., my mother came to live with us with my father who had physical problems and also my kids had caring needs.

I took myself to the doctors and asked if she could do me a physical check up as my family were all ill and I needed to maintain that I was well. At this point I was having bowel problems which was put down to irritable bowel syndrome and was given medications. However on examination of my tummy the doctor told me I had an enlarged womb, so she referred me to the hospital for a scan.

The result was I had two fibroids, one was 5 cm and one was around 2.5 cms. I was anaemic as my periods were heavy, however I had put this down to my age only to be told by the doctor it wasn’t due to my age and I was given iron tablets. The decision from the hospital was to give me the mirina coil as the fibroids would disappear when I was in the change. I had the coil fitted and when I went for my check up the threads were not visible so off I went for another scan; the coil was in place however it had gone up into my cervix.

I persevered with the coil hoping that it would stop my periods or at least slow the heaviness down. However 12 months in I found I was having to wear a pad every day not that it was heavy but it was always present. One day I passed a small clot so I took myself off to the doctor’s again as I had got caught pregnant with the coil so I went to check that it had not moved.

The GP sent me for another scan and I was told ” there is your cyst”. I immediately said ‘what cyst’? It was on my ovaries and was around 2-3cms, this was not present on my previous scan. She gave me a vaginal scan to have a closer look at the cyst, the next thing the GP requested a blood test to rule out ovarian cancer as the scan was inconclusive.

At the time this was unreal so I never really got to grips with what was happening. I never heard anything from the blood test which was positive however I was no longer happy with what was happening as I had come across the enlarged womb, the fibroids and the cyst by chance and there was no mention of monitoring the cyst that I had so I requested to be referred back to the hospital.

At the appointment they arranged to do a scrape to clean out the womb to hopefully stop the periods for a while or slow them down. I went in for the procedure there was a lot of pulling and tugging that was just to remove the coil then they carried on. After about an hour they abandoned the procedure as the fibroids were pressing close to my cervix so they could not gain entry.

The only other option was to have a hysterectomy taking everything away as the doctor didn’t want to leave me with my ovaries and come back with another problem at a later date. At this time I could not eat properly as I felt full all the time and I looked 6 months pregnant.

I was put on the waiting list and within three months I had the op. Everything went okay the pain afterwards shocked me a little, never having a cesarean however I persevered. Up until now I have not decided whether to take HRT as I did have a suspected blood clot scare two weeks post op so I am not sure whether I would be able to go on it.

The good thing is my bowels are still not working perfectly but I have had no irritable bowel symptoms and they told me my womb was the size of a 16 week feotus which was obviously taking considerable space. I can now eat a full meal and am enjoying (not) the hot flushes. The doctor has signed me off work for 12 weeks and I am just starting to go out and it’s tiring although I make progress daily.

I don’t feel at a loss as I have had five children and 5 grandchildren so I do not want anymore. I just hope my mood continues to be as stable as it is, which is a lot better than it has been when I had all my bits, thank you.


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.

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