Me and my fibroids – Linda’s story

My story started about five years ago at the age of 49. My periods were getting heavier and more frequent. I went to a gynaecologist and after having an ultrasound it was found that I had a 6 cm submucosal fibroid. I discussed options with the specialist and I decided at that time to wait and see what would happen and we would monitor things.

I started taking iron pills as I was now anemic and some tranexamic acid pills to lessen the bleeding. Having the heavy bleeding was no joke and there were times that I soaked through tampons and pads together.

Fast forward 4 years and my fibroid is now almost 8 cm and I show no signs of hitting menopause. I start having bladder retention where I can’t pee! I end up in emergency more than once during a 6 month period having catheters put it and going home with them. The only explanation….my uterus, because of the large fibroid, is causing distress on my bladder and stopping the flow of urine. I have an mri and the fibroid has indeed grown. Time to do something as I don’t know when the bladder retention might happen again. The options are uterine fibroid embolization…which may still have the fibroid grow back…or a hysterectomy. I choose the hysterectomy.

Last summer, July 2018, I had the hysterectomy. My gynaecologist had told me she wasn’t sure if she could do abdominal or vaginal because of the size of my uterus, which now makes me look 3 months pregnant, and is definitely uncomfortable. In I go…scared but hopeful. The operation takes longer than expected but she does do it vaginally. I am home after two nights in the hospital. The pain is manageable and I start my road to recovery. I haven’t had any major complications, but it hasn’t been easy. The internal vaginal cuff stitches took almost 12 weeks to heal and emotionally it was rough.

I did keep my ovaries which I think has helped, but my mind was thinking I should heal faster while my body was saying slow down take it easy. Since the surgery I’ve had issues with my hips and sacrum area, most likely from the legs being up and back in the stirrups, and some bowel irregularity. At 6 months I did feel more like myself and physio and yoga are helping me get my strength and flexibility back. Oh and pelvic floor therapy is the best! The specialist said it could take up to a year for my body to get back to its presurgery shape and now I believe her.

Would I do it all over? Yes…but I didn’t really have any other option at the time. Not having to deal with the excessive bleeding and the bladder retention has been a game changer! It can be a long road to recovery and everyone is different in their healing process. Just know our bodies are amazing and strong!

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