Three Operations in One Year – Sally’s Story

My name is Sally and this is my story.

I’d suffered with my periods for many, many years; I had tried the pill, the coil & many various tablets to combat the pain & discomfort, nothing worked. Finally in August 2013 I was admitted to have the ‘Novasure’ laser treatment & was to be sterilised at the same time. Arriving at the hospital with high hopes that this would end some of the pain I had every month. After the operation I waited to see my gynaecologist before I was discharged home. She told me that she couldn’t use the laser treatment as my womb was tilted & was shaped like a heart but she still went ahead with the sterilisation. My heart sank as I knew the pain would still be there.

In October 2013 I went back to see my gynaecologist & she recommended that I had a total abdominal hysterectomy but keep my ovaries because of my age (39 at the time). I gladly agreed & on the 30th October 2013 I was admitted to complete the procedure. The hospital had given me some leaflets to read up on to be prepared for afterwards. I had decided to have an epidural for pain relief afterwards but that was a big mistake, the anaesthetist had so much trouble getting the needle into my back by the end of it I was in tears lying on my side& this was before I had anything done. Waking up in recovery was ok couldn’t really feel much pain as I had the epidural.

Back on the ward in my room I was very tired & sleepy & didn’t have visitors till the next afternoon. Unbeknown to them I had a chest infection & my stats weren’t great so I was on oxygen; tubes & wires everywhere. I was having a lot of discomfort from the epidural something was wrong, nothing was going numb so I asked the nurses to take it out as it was a waste of time. I was eating well & moving around after a few days.

Finally I was allowed home; great I thought as you can relax more at home. I returned home & took it easy & let my family look after me.

No-one really told how much pain & discomfort of the wind etc I would be. It was horrendous. I had an infection in my scar so was prescribed antibiotics, then my scar popped open slightly. Was all this really happening to me?

It got easier as the weeks went by & the week before Christmas I went back to work as the doctor said I was fit enough. Months passed but I still had pain & discomfort on my left side. I decided to go back to my doctor; he sent me for various scans & referred me back to my gynaecologist.

In May 2014 they had found that I had a 7x6x6cm cyst on my left ovary. I went to see my gynaecologist & she advised me to have both ovaries removed as well as the cyst. She was aiming for keyhole surgery but as before there were too many sticky adhesions to contend with but she would try.

On the 17th July 2014 I was admitted to hospital for the 3rd time within 1 year. I was completely fed up as I had felt ill for so long now & would like all this sorted out once & for all. Waking up in recovery I knew she couldn’t do the procedure by keyhole as the pain was bad. I had morphine as my painkillers as I opted not to have the epidural again & the morphine was far better. I wasn’t feeling great but they sent me home after 2 days with no painkillers. I was just relived to be home.

I had a good night sleep which was a good start to the day, but as the day wore on the pain got so bad I had to call an ambulance. I couldn’t keep any tablets down, as soon as I took them they would come straight back up. I was admitted to hospital to find out why I was in s much pain. They told me that a 1 hour operation had turned into a 3.5 hour op & a bit of my left ovary was left but would die off eventually. I had an x-ray on my bowel as sometimes they become lazy & refuse to work. I had the pleasure of the nurse giving my rectum an internal which was an eye opener to say the least. I had intravenous fluids & painkillers but still could not have tablet as I felt so sick. I was discharged home as they said I was ok.

The next day I called the ambulance again as the pain was really bad again & not being able to sit or stand. I had gas & air, a shot of morphine & away we went again. I was admitted again to the ward where I had to wait to see the doctor before I could have any more pain relief. The doctor came to see me & she said that during my operation my bowel was stuck to the sticky adhesions & it was a very bad op & another gynaecologist had to be called. She said I could have some morphine & some suppositories for the pain.

I had a reasonably good night sleep & was discharged with pain killer in liquid form & some suppositories. Great I thought at least they are trying to help this time. Friday morning the pain was really bad so I decided to ring my doctor to see if he could give me some liquid morphine for at night to help me settle; he said no. By Saturday I was in agony & didn’t want to go back to the hospital so I rang the out of hour’s doctor to see if they could give me something. After having an assessment from the nurses the doctor called me back & prescribed my some liquid morphine for the pain. Great I thought someone was listening to me now but what a mess, 4 hours later my husband returned with the medicine. I took the prescribed dose & settled on the sofa. This was working; I had taken my suppository & my morphine & was calm with only a bit of pain. I am still using the suppositories which help a lot & try not to use too much morphine throughout the night.

My experience has been one I will never forget in a hurry as it has really taken its toll on my body. I am 40 in a few days but will not be celebrating as I am still feeling unwell. To anybody that is having a hysterectomy I would advise to look up on the recovery stages, be prepared & make sure you get the right pain relief before you leave hospital.


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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