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TVH - Gillian's story "Nothing to fear but fear itself" TVH - Gillian's story "Nothing to fear but fear itself"

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Unread 04-21-2006, 07:38 PM
TVH - Gillian's story "Nothing to fear but fear itself"

Periods for me were always easy, I didn't start until I was 17, much to my mothers horror. When I got my period it would only last for 2 to 3 days and be so light it was uneventful. I couldn't work out why everyone else complained about their periods.
When I got into my late 20's my periods were still light but I was experiencing pain during ovulation, it would only last 24 hours and then I'd forget about it for another 4 weeks. Sex was painful whilst I had this pain and even walking caused pain. Kinda of like having a heavy bag of cement in my stomach. I went to many doctors and then just looked at me as if I was making it up. A few doctors ordered ultrasounds but it never showed anything. I then felt that I just had to put up with it as there wasn't any medical reasons (going by the doctors) for this pain. One doctor even berated me when I said it was happening whilst I was ovulating. He looked at me as if I had two heads and ask "how on earth do you know when you are ovulating, you must mean mid cycle". Correct me if I am wrong but don't you ovulate around day 14???
I am now 40 and for the last couple of years my periods had become full on, with heavy clotting,flooding and only in the last 3 months extreme cramping pain.
I had been to see a gyno and we tried birth control pills to stop my period all together, this would only last for 3 months and then I'd start bleeding again. Or I'd miss one pill and get my period for 10 days.
I put up with it for many months and then couldn't stand the pain any more. Why was I going through this, I didn't want children so I came to the descission that I was going to finish this, my mind was made up even before I went to make another appointment with my gyno.
When I went to see my gyno he did an internal ultrasound and showed me a huge finger like shadow on the screen, he explained that it was inside my utureus and was probable adenomyosis. I had never heard of this before, when I got home I googled and found this wonderful site, with so much information and support.
Prior to leaving the doctors he had suggested my alternative, that was to have a Myrena iud inserted but he didn't recommend it as I have never had children and it was more than likely that my uterus would reject it. He also said that the pain would continue.

So that was it my mind was made up, I was going to have a hysterectomy. I went back to my office at work and was apprehensive to tell my DH as we run a very busy business and I wasn't sure how he'd react to me not being around for 6 weeks. This scared me more than the operation.
I needn't of worried he was an angel, we just had to let the news sink in and then we would work out how we would do this together.

My op was booked for 6 weeks time and the waiting was proving to be hell. I would check into hyster sisters daily and learn more about what I was about to experience and the time was ticking by very slowly.

Then I got my period early and knew that it wouln't be the last one prior to my op, so I rang the gyno's office and they said sometimes they can't operate when you have your period, so we rescheduled the op in 10 days time. This threw me into a panic but also a huge relief that I was going to have the op sooner and didn't have to endure more waiting. Easter was right in the middle and this made the time fly past. Tuesday 18th April was here before I knew it and at 7.00am we made the trip to our local private hospital. I was due to arrive at 7.30am and we got there about 10 minutes early. My DH and I were then taken to my room and we waited. My op was due at about 9am.

I was not told to do any bowel preps, just told not to eat or drink after midnight. I was so thirsty the morning of the op but there were other things occupying my mind, so it wasn't too bad.

The nurse came into my room and gave me my id bracelets and measured my legs for the TED stockings. I was given a gown to change into and a nice white terri robe to put on. No need to worry about my butt hanging out of the gown.

My sleepy doctor came in to introduce himself, he certainly was lacking a bedside manner and I had to stop him from walking off. I made sure to insist that I needed something for nausea after the operation and also asked for something to calm me down prior to the op. He mumbled something and walked off. I had also asked if I would have a morphine pump and was told yes.
About 10 minutes or more passed and I was then asked to come down to the op waiting area. I kissed my DH goodbye and told him to go to work and come back later.
I was then placed onto a bed and snuggled up with lovely warm blankets, I felt calm and wasn't nervous. My doctor came in with a lovely smile and said he was ready, I asked if he was going to look at my ovaries during the surgery and he said yes. I was wheeled into the operating room and remember seeing the 2 huge lights. Everything looked clean and orderly. I shuffled over to the operating table and placed my arms onto the padded supports, my grumpy sleepy doctor put the iv in. I remember complementing him on doing a good job and that was it.

My memories of the recovery room are very limited, I just remember someone annoyingly trying to wake me up. And then I was being wheeled into my room, just as my DH arrived. I even remember getting up and moving over to my bed.

I dozed in and out for the next few hours and every time I woke my hand was being stroked by my DH. I felt guilty for not being able to talk to him.

All in all I remember how good I felt. No sickness from the general, amazing, as I am usually really ill. But best of all no pain. Now speaking of that I remember looking for my morphine pump and not finding it. I felt very upset as I was looking forward to pressing that button and being in control. It was hours before the nurse came in and I asked if I could have a shot of morphine so I could stay in front of the pain. She gave me a shot and I after that I was only on 2 panadeine tablets.
I just couldn't believe that I was feeling so good. That night my doctor came in and told me that they had to remove the right ovary due to a tumour. This floored me a bit as I wasn't expecting it. He said that the tumour looked benign and the test would come back soon.
So I had a TVH with removal of my cervix, uterus and right ovary.
One of my fears prior to surgery was how my vagina and labia would be after. I can now say that there isn't any of the pain or swelling that I was expecting. I had seen some pretty graphic pictures of a TVH and they showed the opening of the vagina pulled and stretched open with these metal clamp things. This freaked me out as I didn't want to end up having a loose vagina after this operation, as I hadn't had any children I was still nice and tight down there. Might sound silly but it was worrying me.

All in all I worried about everything prior to the surgery. This site was wonderful but I will be totally honest, it had also hightened my fears. There was a lot of information on pain and things going wrong etc. I went into this surgery expecting the worst and maybe that ended up being a good thing as I didn't experience any of it.
To all the ladies coming up for surgery read and be informed but dont' do as I did and expect all of that to happen.

Anyway the next morning after surgery the catheter was removed, painless and was out in a few seconds. Next the packing was removed and my male nurse was joking away and asking where the flag was on the end of all the bandages. Again just a weird feeling but not painful. My darling nurse even leaned over and kissed me for being brave when the packing came out.
From there I got up and had a lovely shower and changed into my pj's. I walked and walked and was ready to go home the next day but had to endure one more night in hospital.
In total I spent 3 nights in hospital, it is my second day home and I am trying really hard to be good and stay still but when you have a TVH it is hard because you don't have the external scares to remind you.

I did have gas pains and took peppermint teabags and De Gas with me. This did help a lot. Walking was also a help with the gas pains, as was lying on your left side.

To all the ladies waiting for their operations, relax and know that you will soon be on the otherside of all this and think of all the wonderful advantages. Good luck with your surgeries.
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