Hysterectomy recovery advice

(25 Posts)
kissmybumandsaychumchum Fri 01-Apr-16 16:36:00

Bear with me as I may be a bit rambly... Had my op just over a week ago and realised today that every single thing I have read regarding recovery relates to housework.
Examples: my hospital paperwork "on your return home you will not be able to resume your usual housework straight away "
From advice sheets online " by week 3 you can do some light dusting. ....you can resume vacuuming and bed making from week 6-8"
There are many many more examples like this.
My husband had major abdominal surgery some years ago and didn't get told any of this, just when he could drive and return to work.
I'm recovering nicely but not lying here yearning to be able to get on with the ironing. ...because it's 2016 and DH is perfectly capable of doing all that stuff and we share household stuff equally when I am fit and well.
This is a double rant though. ..on some of the support groups I am on, women have put themselves back in hospital by "having to hoover as he won't do a proper job" or spent the weeks leading up to their operations batch cooking meals complete with written instructions on how to use the microwave etc.
Is it me? I am still a bit drugged up and waiting for surgical menopause to kick in but I'm pretty pissed that because I've had female reproductive organs removed the emphasis is on when I can resume "normal female functions"

VestalVirgin Fri 01-Apr-16 17:09:05

Wow, I can't believe the sexism.
Like, did they never consider that maybe you'll be more interested in when you can walk, and when you can do desk work?

It's so woman-hating - all they're concerned about is, apparently, how long your husband will have to do without a housewife.

Maybe you should complain when you're better. After all, they can't attribute your anger to hysteria, now that you've had a hysterectomy. They may be forced to respect your opinion! wink

MatildaBeetham Fri 01-Apr-16 17:17:20

Is it me?

Nope. Not you.

flowers hope you feel better soon.

MatildaBeetham Fri 01-Apr-16 17:18:05

Maybe you should complain when you're better. After all, they can't attribute your anger to hysteria, now that you've had a hysterectomy. They may be forced to respect your opinion!

Ha! grin indeed they can't!

kissmybumandsaychumchum Fri 01-Apr-16 18:04:42

Aha but I've had my ovaries out too so am officially menopausal. ..another handy label to dismiss women withwink
The advice does talk about return to work but that comes at the end of the 6-8 weeks, so whilst you're signed off it's all about getting up to speed with your household duties.
I had one person tell me how lucky I was to have a husband that could do everything and how she had to explain to hers how to do a supermarket shop. Erm no, we're just normal and frankly you've made a rod for your own back by letting that state of affairs exist for the last thirty years!

kissmybumandsaychumchum Fri 01-Apr-16 18:10:19

Oh and sex, that's week 6-8 "if you feel up to it" (nice concession there, as a rule I only have sex when it's mutually desired) That coincides with vacuuming and bed making though so I'm sure having a nice clean bedroom and bed will put me in the moodgrin

VestalVirgin Fri 01-Apr-16 18:13:38

I had one person tell me how lucky I was to have a husband that could do everything and how she had to explain to hers how to do a supermarket shop. Erm no, we're just normal and frankly you've made a rod for your own back by letting that state of affairs exist for the last thirty years!

True. While there are many mechanisms in place that discourage women from staying single, and from getting a divorce if they stepped into the trap of becoming a housewife, it is not exactly a lottery game.

Sadly, many women are not even aware that the best alternative to a great boyfriend or husband is not a bad boyfriend, but no boyfriend at all.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Fri 01-Apr-16 18:15:13

I think you should name and shame the hospital that did this.

Because it's not universal practice, and it's really Not On

scotsgirl64 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:15:26

i was very well looked after by my husband when I had my hysterectomy (aged 44)...for first week at home i didn't even get out of bed much before 12!!...I'd then have a very gentle walk before watching daytime TV/reading!!....didn't ever feel the urge to do any cleaning, my dh and dd were more than capable of doing that!...im lucky he is also a v good cook so had lots of nourishing meals
I took 12 weeks off work- work as nurse ( started driving at 5 weeks- check with insurance/GP...)
menopausal symptoms didn't really kick in till about 4-5 months later ( I had endometriosis so had to wait till it had all 'shrivelled up and then i started HRT which has been brilliant - still on it 8 yrs later!

Heathcliff27 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:20:09

I'm in scotland and got the same recovery sheet home. I threw it away. I was off work for 3 months in total due to having a physical job. In fairness I was told by my surgeon that he didn't want to see me back in for repair surgery because i did too much too soon. I certainly didn't do too much too soon, there are 5 of us in our family and all are capable of wielding the hoover.

PalmerViolet Fri 01-Apr-16 18:42:43

I'm hoping to sweet talk my GP into sorting a hysterectomy for me, does that mean that I have to start doing housework afterward?

If it does, I might have a rethink.

Peyia Fri 01-Apr-16 18:43:28

That is shocking but the upshot is that the several online literature available I have quickly read is far from archaic - except the NHS compared heavy lifting with 'shopping'! That made me laugh. Just stop at heavy lifting, we understand what that is.

I would definitely give them some feedback on their literature.

Frequenting this board has made me so much more aware of the subtle sexism, unfairness in our society. I was reading through my MAT policy at work and apparently only men are entitled to support their partner once she has given birth adopted. It made me realise how closed off that would be for gay people. Anyway, sorry to derail!

Hope your recovery is smooth flowers

megletthesecond Fri 01-Apr-16 18:48:34

Not just you. IIRC there were similar recommendations in the post hysterectomy leaflets I was given 6yrs ago.

MatildaBeetham Fri 01-Apr-16 18:56:58

Slight derail maybe, but how different is a hysterectomy from a cs? I've had two of those, and had fuck all advice about taking it easy. In fact, was forced to do stuff like changing sheets and lifting heavy lid of light treatment cot thing in hospital.

slugseatlettuce Fri 01-Apr-16 19:59:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slugseatlettuce Fri 01-Apr-16 20:01:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PenguinVox Sat 02-Apr-16 13:37:12

It sounds like the advice I was given after having c sections. It is terribly sexist but unfortunately I think it's necessary for the society we live in at the moment. I know there are lots of families where women would be expected to get on with hoovering and laundry stuff after having surgery. Having this information in writing could help women in those situations. I don't think there are many households where the man would be expected to get on with household duties after having abdominal surgery.
It is maddening but the problem is with society. A lot of people think that traditional women's work (hoovering, laundry) are nothing. It's invisible work so it wouldn't occur to them that people recovering from surgery shouldn't be doing them. Awful but true. TBH, until I'd had surgery, I didn't realise just how physically demanding doing things like hoovering is!
But yes, to make the advice less sexist, they should put the housework stuff on information leaflets for all major surgery, not just on female surgery.

megletthesecond Sat 02-Apr-16 13:48:23

matilda it isn't really sad. I had 2 cs's prior to my hysterectomy and my gynea nurse had a slight rant about how badly post cs mums are treated. It's essentially to clear beds nothing to do with speeding recovery.

In my post dc1 birth debrief I heard the same thing from the midwife, who wasn't part of the maternity team I had seen. She admitted post cs care was basically winging it. Obviously I remembered this for dc2 and refused to move from my bed for the first 24hrs and got the midwives to help when XP wasn't there. I was polite but not up for shuffling in agony and sobbing like with my first cs.

Kilmeny Sat 02-Apr-16 13:59:32

I don't remember anything about housework in the leaflets I had after mine, I was told not to lift anything, not even a kettle. The older ladies on my ward were all insisting they couldn't rest unless their house was spotless and fretting about housework. They must have thought I was a terrible slattern.

scallopsrgreat Sat 02-Apr-16 20:07:33

That is shocking kissmybumandsaychumchum. You really wouldn't believe it was 2016. It's not so much that the advice is bad, it's that you know it would never be put on a leaflet targeted at men's recovery.

Peyia Sat 02-Apr-16 20:58:45

Very good point penguin my suspicion however is that if those women need something in writing to relieve them of their duties they're living with an arse anyway and she would carry on for a quieter life.

I do see your point, it's sad.

SilverBirchWithout Sun 03-Apr-16 00:47:08

I can remember a similar leaflet many years ago after I gave birth by CS.

It said the the main priority for the patient was healing well and looking after the baby; heavy housework and cooking big family meals could wait until I was fully recovered after 6 weeks! DH thought it was very funny, as he is the one who does most of the cooking. For years afterwards he would joke about whether the 6 weeks was up yet.

FFS it's 2016,.

kissmybumandsaychumchum Sun 03-Apr-16 09:35:41

I think Penguin makes a very good point but Peyia is spot on that in the worst cases it wouldn't make any difference.
My ex for example...I had baby number four at ten thirty on a Saturday night and came home the following morning. Ex went back to bed as he was "tired from being at the hospital all night" whilst I had to do a full Sunday dinner.
A few years later I was sterilised and had to do everything as soon as I was home.
I had a loop excision and obviously told no sex for six weeks due to risk of infection, woke up four days later being penetrated from behind.
Now obviously an extreme example (and you'll be pleased to hear that he is not only well and truly an ex but that he also went to prison for some of what he put me through) bur I think that a lot of women could be helped by having "proof " from HCPs in this way.
Perhaps the answer is to make the guidelines broader, including things like mowing the lawn, washing cars etc so that it doesn't come across so horribly 50s.

slugseatlettuce Sun 03-Apr-16 10:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

howmanyairmiles Sun 10-Apr-16 19:40:11

I tore up their post op advice letter saying what I could and couldn't do and was back to work two days later.

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