My positive hysterectomy experience – Veronica’s story

I have suffered with horrendous menstrual bleeding due to a huge fibroid over the past seven years. I researched fibroid problems and was gladdened by the fact that they shrink during the menopause. As I grew older, heading towards 56 my very heavy periods showed no signs of stopping. The bleeding became heavier as each month went by and my stomach would swell making me look pregnant.

In February this year my stomach swelled as usual but my period did not start. Menopause could be starting? The fibroid got so huge that it congested my pelvis to the point where I could not pass urine due to it pressing on my bladder and ureter. I attended A&E and was given a scan which confirmed the fibroid was now around 10 cms and there were also some smaller ones adding to the problem. I was fitted with a catheter which enabled me to empty my bladder which made me feel more comfortable. The day after the catheter was fitted I started my very late period which as you can imagine was an absolute nightmare to manage. I bled for four weeks and my stomach settled back down and the catheter was removed.

My care was taken up by a fantastic gynaecologist who understood my concerns and worries about my career and future health. She put me on GnRH injections monthly which would damp down any further activity from the ovaries and hasten my menopause. I was scheduled for a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral oopherectomy in June. The hormones did their job and I did not have any more periods and my pelvic congestion calmed right down.

The operation went ahead as scheduled and I could not believe how well it went. I felt really well and on day two was up and out of bed. I went home on day three and continued to progress at home. Perhaps I felt too well, I pottered about at home and started to do a few household chores such as washing the dishes, one at a time, tidying the odds and ends away (very carefully).

On day day 10 I began to bleed. Very alarming, it was bright red blood with quite big clots. My husband took me back to A&E and they assured me that some bleeding was normal as at this time the internal sutures were beginning to dissolve. I was sent home and I had a restless night but no further bleeding. All seemed to be settling down.

I went to the toilet the next morning and I could feel the blood starting to flow again. It was trickling into the toilet and huge clots were on the toilet tissue when I tried to wipe myself. As fast as I put on a heavy duty sanitary towel, the blood went right through it. I was in a terrible state I was covered in blood and feeling really faint. My husband rang for an ambulance and I lay on the floor on a pile of towels and tried to calm down. I was taken back to the hospital and given fluids, antibiotics and tranxaemic acid to stop the bleeding. I was admitted and kept under observation overnight. All worked well and I was told it was a common infection of the internal wound. Apparently the edges can break down as the stitches begin to dissolve.

I was so scared in case it was anything I had done but the gynaecologist assured me I was just unlucky and it was nothing I had done. I have been sitting or laying down and being very,very careful since coming home from hospital. I feel a little better each day and I have been so impressed by the care I have been provided with from our wonderful NHS.

I hope my experience will help other ladies in the future as the forums have helped me over the past weeks. I have read lots and lots of other ladies experiences and they have really got me through. Please rest up following your surgery and try to ignore the dust and bits on the carpet. You need to take lots of care and recover slowly but surely. Looking forward to returning to work in September all being well!


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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