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Hysterectomies - it's gotta be done but over here for hand holding

(994 Posts)
Oddsocksrus Mon 30-Sep-13 00:13:07

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance
I guess I start..
My cervix is on the outside, it can't all hang where it should and no manner of pelvic floor exercises or devises will get it back there.
I'm 41, one fab dd and wanted more but there you are, can't now can I?

This thread, hopefully, will be for those waiting, recovering or supporting

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 07:14:12

Ooo great! It's done! smile

Aaaaw hunni u will b fine.

(((((hugs)))))

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 07:23:58

Sorry, couldn't resist.

grin

I just need some of the sensible advice of MNers in one place.

Ok.
23 cm fibroid for 20 years. It's been v well behaved but bulky. I talked the consultant into embolisation in 1998 and he offered Esmya about a month after it was licensed so I've tried everything except myomectomy.

Soon after finishing the Esmya, I had a gush exactly as if my waters went. Luckily I was at home. I went on the waiting list for a hysterectomy but fannied about.

A couple of Mondays ago, I had another one - at work. Wet from navel to knee blush so my op is now 9th October.

I thought there's be a topic area for this on MN but there isn't (yet - hint) and you have to search around.

Oddsocks that's sad. In my ignorance, I'd have thought there'd be something that could be done.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Mon 30-Sep-13 07:28:58

Can I recommend www.hysterectomy-association.org.uk for tips and advice

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 07:31:05

You can thank you.

The site is great but the forums send my blood pressure up.

I need support the MN way wink

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 07:33:09

I will probably be very told off but I've put threads in AIBU and chat to flag this up.

Seriously, I think it should be a topic area considering how many women have this op.

Crutchlow35 Mon 30-Sep-13 07:45:16

I had mine in February at age 41. For really bad periods. Best thing I ever did. Mine was done abdominally though my section scar.

I think you need to go into it positively. I was driving after 4 weeks and back to work after 6. I do wish I had taken another 2 weeks off but I honestly felt great and that was despite 2 infections (I knew what to look out for re the infections), I have fully recovered.

Yes, you need to be very careful but I think with a positive attitude you will recover much quicker. Some people who had theirs at the same time as me couldn't lift a kettle and could barely get out of bed when I was back at work. I do think some read the hysterectomy advice online and take the worst case scenarios as their own.

Being prepared, getting fit and being positive are good for the recovery process.

It can be harder if it is offered and you are not expecting it.

My periods had been hell for years. I had a failed ablation so I knew mine was coming and I was ready for it.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 08:00:22

Yes this is what I think too. Thousands of women have this op and it goes well for the majority - but, like childbith, relatively few women will say that they had a great experience. It's the horror stories we hear.

I just want to say - because me earlier post was rather harsh - the hysterectomy association is a great site and the forums do an excellent job of supporting women through the op but the tone of them just isn't for me. I've been on MN too long to be able to adapt! grin

Loads of questions later and thanks for your post Crutchlow

Off to work now (late)

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 08:00:55

my earlier post blush

shewhowines Mon 30-Sep-13 08:28:51

I am 3 weeks today, post radical hysterectomy. I also had my lymph nodes removed at the same time, as I had cervical cancer. Fortunately that hadn't spread so I learnt last week that I'm in the clear. Just need regular checks now.

Have to say that my recovery has been very good. I have a vertical scar from navel to low down on my pubic bone, but I have been able to bend down and move well from about day 3. My scar and abdomen was virtually pain free after 2 weeks and was ok with paracetamol and ibuprofen before then. In hospital i had suppositories which were fab. I am still sore in my groin and top of my legs but you won't have that as that must have been the lymph nodes.

I was petrified before the op. was given tremazipan the morning of the op to calm me down. But it went well and the recovery has been better than i i expected. I was in hospital for 3 nights and was taking a short walk around the garden centre a week later.

Day 2 was bad for me but I was exhausted, because I hadn't slept for 2 nights and I couldn't get comfortable. Apart from that it was ok. I moved a lot from the beginning, as they wanted me to.

The woman next to me in hospital, had a keyhole hysterectomy and she was hopping around the next morning as if nothing had happened. She went home that day.

It's a big deal to us, but just routine to the hospital. It won't be as bad as you are imagining.

Good luck.

shewhowines Mon 30-Sep-13 08:43:11

Just to add that, after 3 weeks I am cooking, loading the dishwasher and washing machine and can do most things. Don't worry I am taking it relatively easy, but i am able to do these things some of the time. I am leaving attempting the hoovering and ironing for a few more weeks. My biggest fear was a DVT, so I've made myself move more from the beginning.

I have to give myself blood thinning injections for 4 weeks and the surgeon told me that new guidelines suggest leaving the surgical stockings on for 6 weeks, although the nurse said 2. I am viewing my first glass of wine as the finish point. I shall have one the day after my last injection.

shewhowines Mon 30-Sep-13 09:48:34

If they give you lactulose for constipation. Take it. I didn't but I was ok until my catheter came out after 10 days. Then I needed both the lactulose and senna to sort me out. That was much worse than the pain.

I don't know if you will have that problem. They had to move my bladder to get to me but I don't know if that is standard for just a hysterectomy.

oddsocks is there nothing they can do to help you have another child first? That must be very upsetting. I have said that to friends recently, that it would be so much worse if you hadn't completed your family. I feel for you.

shewhowines Mon 30-Sep-13 09:57:23

I've also avoided the Internet like crazy. I didn't even read the leaflets I was given. They have to tell you the potential risks of the op. I closed my ears and didn't listen. I have no idea what has happened to me, but in my case ignorance is bliss.

I'm being careful not to lift anything. Apart from that I'm just doing as much as I feel able and 3 weeks later I feel good.

Don't worry and just go with the flow.

I've posted loads on this. Can you tell I'm housebound and bored? Get loads of books in and record loads of your favourite tv shows. Roll on when I can drive.

Oddsocksrus Mon 30-Sep-13 13:12:59

shewhowines sadly not, a 10lb babe in a hurry and an emergency manual extraction of the placenta has pretty much done for my child bearing ability. I did question if my cervix could have a stitch but the issue is more where it all sits and essentially my uterus is inside my vagina with the cervix peeking out! I have had big issues in the past staying pregnant and we have one really wonderful daughter for whom we are extremely grateful.
I now need this done as I cannot chase after her and she is very cheeky grin (and it hurts, means I cannot run, lift, exercise or stand for very long)

Thank you for the positives, I have two acquaintances who have really wallowed in fear, their post operative issues and have made me really anxious.
I am usually the kind of person who 'gets on with it' and I know I need to get my mind in gear, have a plan and make sure that I get up and make myself work at recovery.
thank you for the pointers, keep them coming please
thanks cake

Crutchlow35 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:22:20

Just a wee addition from me, the worst bit for me was constipation. Much worse than the surgery and staples. I went the morning of my op but couldn't go again until 12 days later and that we only when the hospital told me to up my lactulose to the maximum. I did that the night before and had a clear out (it took me all day to do it) the next day. Sorry if this is TMI but it is one of those things that happens post op.

The first stools were quite painful to pass. After all (and sorry to be blunt), it was 12 day old shit - smelt like it too. But once the first deposit was done it was easier. Took about 6 or 7 trips to the toilet to be completely cleared out and I felt so much better after.

shewhowines Mon 30-Sep-13 13:48:35

Sorry about that odd. It must be hard to accept your childbearing days are over.

I agree my worst post operative issues have been the constipation. Be aware of that. I thought that because I was ok for the first few days, that I would be ok. I wasn't! The lactulose softens the stool and senna makes it move. I needed the senna because it seemed to get "stuck". Movicol does both these jobs. Wind was also a big issue. One day nobody would stay in the same room as me! My poor family have also been subjected to constant bowel movement reports.

As crutch says, a positive attitude does help a lot. I expected to get better quickly as I am relatively young - 46 and fairly fit. And I have.

I have had anxieties mainly about DVT but that didnt stop me from expecting to recover quickly - it probably helped because it spurred me on to move more. I had another moment when I realized my catheter was leaking when I pooed - that's normal apparently. Also my stocking wasnt pulled down far enough with the heal bit under the heal and I had a ring of swelling around my ankle. i panicked at that. But generally it has been a much easier ride than I expected.

Fill the freezer with easy things to cook. I had no pressure to do more than I felt able to. Good support is vital.

Oddsocksrus Mon 30-Sep-13 15:43:40

grin constipation again, deep joy lol

AthelstaneTheUnready Mon 30-Sep-13 15:51:35

Hi, came to look for you. I'm two years post op. - have to go out now, but will be back to see if there's any information I can help with later.

brainwashed Mon 30-Sep-13 16:47:31

Had an abdominal hysterectomy in June for fibroids and am so glad I had it done ...though I was really worried about the recovery process and what I would and wouldn't be able to do. Was in hospital for 48 hours and once home walked on a daily basis building up gradually. Yesterday I ran 5 miles :-)
Constipation and wind were probably my biggest problems in the immediate post op period...I recommend prunes and peppermint tea!
4 months on I still have a ridge under my scar and still occasionally get swelling in that area but absolutely no discomfort.
There is a lot to be said for a positive mindset and also to being as fit as you can be preop.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Mon 30-Sep-13 17:01:16

LetsFaceTheMusic I didn't think your post about the Hysterectomy Assoc was harsh, it's probably accurate.

I'm much more open on that site and post more mundane things a bit like chatting to my RL friends, I mainly post on the forum with others who had their op at the same time as me we talk about what we have done during the day and our aches and pains. On MN I only make relevant posts and only when I feel strongly enough to express an opinion or can give advice.

As for advice, I'd say take it easy, don't do too much to early, walk as soon as you can it will make you feel better. And be prepared for the rest of your household to not understand.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 18:30:24

Well after the day I've had, I can't wait to go in for the op - for a rest! smile

Thanks for all your input. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have your innards out of place like that Oddsocks. It sounds so strange. I hope you bounce back quickly and enjoy running around after your DD.

Sooo. Constipation. I'm hoping it won't be too bad after an epidural rather than a GA but I'm stocking up on that Cambridge Diet lifesaver - ladies, I give you - the glycerin suppository! I learned about them only after I'd learned what the words 'manual evacuation' meant and I never ever ever want to have to do that again. Not never. grin

Wind - I've got peppermint tea, peppermint capsules and I'm getting peppermint cordial too.

If anyone fancies a packing list to scrutinise, I can type mine up.

Crutchlow35 Mon 30-Sep-13 18:39:03

Arnica tablets will help with the bruising.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 30-Sep-13 18:45:13

I will admit to being hmm about homeopathy. And I think it probably helps if you believe it will.

One thing I'd love to know, though, is what to expect. I've only been in to have my babies and they were very uncomplicated deliveries. I'm chasing a pre-op assessment where I can ask questions but I don't seem to be having one. shock

I just don't know what to expect.
Or whether I need to get rid of the top part of my pubic hair. Do I need to shower before the op? Complete novice!

Ooh hello you lot! wink

It was the best health decision I have taken and I should have done it two years ago but was scared.

I was up on my feet and walking within two days, in some pain admittedly but within a week I felt great and as long as I rolled out of bed and elevated myself using my arm strength the wound didn't hurt that much. Take as much help as is offered, really , take all offers to do everything!

For hospital be prepared:

Own pillow.
Bottled water, preferably small bottles [hospital water that sits in a jug all day is rank!]
A nightie with thin straps so that your drip and cannula isn't restricted by arms or tight sleeves.
Eye mask and ear plugs [ the ward was noisy and lights didn't go off til gone 11]
Big comfy pants for afterwards; those that sit on the waist to avoid the wound being touched.
Snacky food, like crisps and nuts; my hospital food was dreadful.

My worst pain was when the drain was taken out, bloody hell shock so painful! but only for 10 seconds or so.

I chose not to use HRT and take a daily supplement which seems to work really well although I do have some night sweats, nothing major though.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Mon 30-Sep-13 19:13:13

I can't answer your questions because it seems it varies so much between hospitals. My op was a total abdominal hysterectomy done privately.

I didn't shave before the op, they shaved me during it, I had a long horizontal bikini line incision that was stitched conveniently, all under a GA.

I was given surgical stockings to wear during the op and for 6 weeks after.

After the op I had a catheter for 2 days, and didn't get out of bed until this was removed.

I was discharged on day 4.

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