Natalie’s Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 50
Location: TasmaniaI had heavy bleeding for nearly 5 years. I had an ablation done and that worked for a little while. The bleeding started again, and I made the decision to have my hysterectomy. I had a bulky uterus, fibroids, and polyps. I really did everything to avoid having a hysterectomy. My doctor had advised it after the ablation. I have one ovary my right one twisted and had died 3 years ago.I had to travel to the mainland to have my hysterectomy and stay there for 10 days following surgery before flying home. I had an epidural for my operation which was decided when I got into theatre, so that was a big shock to me, but I didn’t have time to think. The procedure took 6 hours, and I was in recovery for 3 hours. I had bp problems. The pain when I was in recovery was horrendous; I vomited continually. I will never forget that first night. I stayed in hospital for 4 days. I couldn’t use the morphine pump because of vomiting, so I had Endone and panadol. I spent 10 days in the motel before coming home, and that was really hard. I had my wonderful husband with me, thankfully.
I think the biggest thing in my recovery is how much I underestimated this operation and how much it has knocked me around. I was exhausted, and the pain was so much more than I thought. I had bleeding for 6 weeks that I had no idea was going to happen. My bladder felt so weird when I did a wee and and did for months. And I put so much pressure on myself to be right by 6 weeks, which is what everyone had said. I was nowhere near right by then. I needed to rest and listen to my body. I was cleared at my 6 week checkup. Everything was going great. Healing was good, bruising was starting to go. My Dr was pleased, but wanted me to still rest and take it easy. He explained all the healing on the inside that needed to happen and there is no time frame on that.
I am 11 months post op, and I am still in some discomfort if I overdo things or lift something to heavy. It’s tummy muscles. And I still have a swelling belly most days depending on what I do. I get very anxious about the pain and the swelling, but my doctor has checked me out, and it’s fine. It’s normal for me. Everyone heals differently, and I am just going to take a lot longer than most. Some days I seriously regret doing this operation, but then I think about how bad the bleeding was, and I am thankful I had it done.
Please be kind to yourself after you have this done; rest and recover. I truly thought I was going to hit the 6 week mark and be fully healed and recovered. I was so very wrong.