Suffering before, during and after a total abdominal hysterectomy – Debbie’s story

I am 7 days post op of a total abdominal hysterectomy. I am looking for support and to be able to share my story as at the moment I feel very alone even though I’m trying to be positive. I’m not good at resting as I have always kept myself busy. Being out of control and relying on time to recover is really hard. At times I’m emotional and feel my life is on hold and other times I accept time is a great healer and I should enjoy the opportunity to sit with my feet up cause I’m allowed.

I have been peri-menopausal for approx 4 yrs suffering with flushes, heavy prolonged periods and bad mood swings. I was prescribed HRT which helped my mood and flushes. My periods became so heavy I became anaemic and very unwell. I was prescribed ferrous sulphate which increased my iron levels and I felt much better, although my periods remained the same.

My periods were getting me down so I decided it was time to seek help. My GP prescribed metformin acid which after 3 months made no difference. I was sent for an ultra sound scan which showed fibroids. I was prescribed tranexamic acid which helped with the bleeding.

I was referred to a gynaecologist who suggested a coil or endometrial ablation. I opted for the latter as I thought it more permanent solution. They were unable to perform a colposcopy as they were unable to insert the camera. It was decided they would carry out the colposcopy during the ablation.

March 2015 I had the ablation and biopsy. The operation was straight forward and the biopsy was benign. Great I thought no more periods and nothing sinister.

From March – May 2015 if I wasn’t bleeding heavily I was losing a watery fluid which felt like urine but it wasn’t. I was wearing pads day and night 24/7. I thought it will settle down, it didn’t it just got worse. I was getting worried.

I went to the sexual health clinic as I thought I had PID or something, but not an sti as I have a regular partner. An internal was performed and I bled heavily. I was treated for 4 weeks for PID taking numerous antibiotics and injections. I had an ultra sound scan which showed something which they thought was a 3.5cm blood clot. 2 weeks later a further ultra sound showed a 4.5cm ? Polyp. An urgent referral to gynaecologist was made.

MRI scan showed a 4.5cm polyp/ fibroid in the cervix. Colposcopy was unable to be performed as again they could not insert the camera. A colposcopy was arranged under general anaesthetic in Aug 2015.

Colposcopy revealed an inverted uterus. Total abdominal hysterectomy was arranged for Sept, 2015.

During May – Sept I hemorrhage, lost clots as big as my hand and had a prolapse. I went to A&E on one occassion they sent me home and when I had a prolapse I saw an out of hours doctor who told me this is what happens to older ladies!

1st Sept I had a 2 hr total abdominal hysterectomy including ovaries. It was described as major surgery. The discomfort was bearable and to be expected. 2 days after surgery I had a blood transfusion due to anaemia.

Day 5 I was discharged home. The surgery went well and physically I’m doing fine. Emotionally I’m struggling, but I don’t want to tell anyone as I know it’s part of my recovery and it will pass.


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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