July 4, 2019 at 5:47 pm #330497
I’m scheduled to have a TAH on 23rd July and I’m very, very nervous. Not so much about the actual surgery but more to do with recovery afterwards. I’m 44, have suffered with severe PMT/periods and Endometriosis for many years and have been diagnosed with M.E for the past 20 years.
The reasons for the TAH are varied and include ongoing HPV 16, which my body cannot clear (treated 4 years ago with Lletz for CIN3) which puts me at risk of cervical cancer, an unidentified large “growth” in the lining of my womb and endometrial ovarian cysts on my right ovary. All of these problems mean I am in moderate to unbearable pain for almost 4 weeks a month with perhaps a day or 2 symptom free.
Having M.E further complicates everything and my worry is having to deal with a severe relapse triggered by the surgery on top of everything else post op. I’ve tried to keep positive and focus on the benefits of having this surgery but keep having overwhelming waves of fear and anxiety that knock me sideways.
This forum has been an incredible source of information and has been invaluable in helping me get my head around what’s involved and how to prepare for the hospital and life afterwards.
Just wanted to say hi and hopefully offer support and kindness to the other ladies awaiting their surgery.July 7, 2019 at 9:09 am #330518
I’m nearly 4 weeks post op and can tell you it was the right decision.
I was surprised how not nervous I was going in, but as it was my 5th operation date that I finally went in on, I suppose I had got used to the idea!
I had fibroids, one 5cm, and a cyst on one of my ovaries, coupled with heavy bleeding on and off all the time, which only went when I started on prostap injections every month. The pain and pregnant feeling made my mind up, but my ‘sister’ (friend I grew up with who is a doctor) got ovarian cancer a couple of years ago and made me promise to have everything removed, as ‘it can only cause problems from here on in and we don’t need it any more’. Great advice. I’m 52 by the way.
I understand the anxiety, but take each day as it comes and it will be fine
Sandy xJuly 8, 2019 at 5:56 pm #330532
Thanks so much for your reply. It’s very reassuring to hear it was the right decision for you, I hope in time I’ll feel the same way. I’ve been on the list since mid January and was told they’d operate around May or June at the latest which I suppose has increased my anxiety as the waiting game played out.
I got a confirmed date a couple of weeks ago so I know the end is in sight. To be honest for me it’s fear of the unknown as I don’t know if I can retain one ovary and avoid going into a surgical menopause or what the unidentified growth will be in the lining of my womb. I think when I posted it was an outpouring of sorts as I’ve not really discussed the surgery very much with my mum or friends.
I’ll be taking your advice to take it one day at a time and wish you all the best with your recovery,
Sarah xJuly 11, 2019 at 9:57 am #330565
Just to reassure. I am also 44 and 12 weeks today post op. I had a TAH & BSO so no ovaries. I was petrified before the op. The thought of going into fully induced menopause frightened the life out of me.
However, in reality everything is fine 😁 I was started on HRT patches straight after surgery. Which I insisted on. Because I was fit and healthy and promised to mobalise as much as I could my surgeon agreed. (Most surgeons start HRT at post op appt usually 6/8 weeks) I had minimal symptoms just the occasional hot flush, at which point they increased my HRT now I have no symptoms.
Benefits, feeling much calmer. Before the op I was quite a fiesty kind of girl, and could get stressed and irritated quite easily. Now! Nothing I am really relaxed and nothing seems to phase me its bliss really. I am finding life much easier to deal with 😂
My advice would be to discuss your HRT options. If you retain your ovaries there will be no need for HRT initially. The op itself is a big one and recovery is slow, but you will feel better each day and see improvements all the time. Just take it easy and be kind to yourself.
😘July 11, 2019 at 11:34 am #330567
Hi Sarah, I just wanted to add to what the other ladies have said and say that it will all be worth it. The fear and the worry in the lead up to the op is most definitely the worst part, you can’t help it happening but as soon as the op is done, you will be into recovery and dealing with each day as it comes. Far easier than all the thinking about the what if’s and the maybe’s.
I am 7 months post SAH. I kept one ovary (other was removed 2 yrs before due to cyst). The idea was that the ovary should keep working and at 48, hopefully give me a few more years before menopause. He reality was that the ovary had a large cyst which consultant removed during op and so ovary failed. In hindsight, I wish he had just taken it away during the op as I’m sure something will probably have to be done about it in the long run (given I seem to be prone to cysts/fibroids).
I experienced menopause symptoms for about 10 weeks (HRT was delayed while I recovered from post-op infection complications). The hot flushes and lack of sleep were totally debilitating and HRT tablets were a total godsend and have dealt with all symptoms.
It has been a long tough recovery road but I am still glad that the fibroid mass is gone and that I am almost back to normality.
You will be able to cope with whatever your body throws at you, but it is important to take the time it needs to heal properly, and to be kind to yourself as Mich says. It’s not easy to go through this op but it can be done and you will soon be one of those dispensing the advice and handy hints on how to get through. Good luck and join the July group to make sure you get the support from all those lovely ladies xJuly 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm #330575
Hi Mich and Louise,
I really appreciate you both taking the time to respond to my posts, particularly as you’ve shared your experiences of menopause and HRT. Trying to get my head around the surgery and how to prepare before and after has been my main focus so I’ve not really looked at the issue of HRT as I find all the options a bit overwhelming.
Now that I’ve given it a bit more thought, I’m definitely going to discuss my options when I go into hospital the day before my surgery. As I mentioned in my first post I think I’ll have enough on my plate with the TAH and a possible flare in my M.E and the last thing I’d need is a hormonal storm in the midst of it. Anything that can make life easier and my recovery less stressful is certainly worth exploring.
I’ve taken a lot from both your posts in terms of positivity and the belief that whilst recovery is slow, it’s manageable and will hopefully improve my quality of life overall. I feel much more settled now about what’s ahead of me and I’m so glad to have benefitted from your personal experience.
Thank you ladies and I wish you health and happiness in the future,
Sarah xJuly 14, 2019 at 11:52 pm #330611
Gosh you have a lot going on there and I can hear your anxieties.
I too had waves of panic before surgery. I was having a laparascopic hysterectomy for fibroids causing heavy bleeding and pain, prolapsed uterus and i had a grade 1 front and back prolapse. The bleeding was well controlled by the progesterone pill so for me my main reason for the op was the prolapsed uterus. (i don’t want to touch the other prolapses unless i have to) I had lost some trust in the hospital and was unsure if I was just exchanging a prolapsed uterus for a vault prolapse down the line…(ive got three so is it a question of time?).So my question to self was should I bother with the op and just live with everything as it is or go for it.
I had a teary conversation with one of my gp’s a week before the op and she clearly said if i’m not sure/convinced/don’t trust the hospital, I can cancel, even at the point of pre op.
This gave me an amount or control and reassurance to jump off the conveyor belt and look again at my reasons for this op. i literally wrote down all the reasons why I was contemplating the op, physical symptoms and emotional and it was a surprisingly long list . I then asked myself how would I feel if I walked away now I had got so far and could i live with all the op reasons on my list?
For me, I decided the ‘risk benefit’ ratio for the op was in my favour and I should go for it. i didn’t want struggle on with all the symptoms. I was adamant though that I needed to talk through with the consultant surgeon, who I was only meeting for the first time at pre op, my concerns and priorities. I had even rehearsed my polite requested for this if i was faced with any other member of the team.
i had surgery on 3rd July and all went well and to plan. I did see the consultant surgeon pre op and she was fabulous. she listened to my story and concerns and we discussed all aspects of the op. Only then did i really relax and was able to accept she would make decisions in my best interests in surgery.
I have physically recovered really well and quickly so far with lots of support from family and friends. I still have waves of anxiety re the prolapses but at this time its in check. I feel the op will improve my quality of life overall long term, the fibroids have gone and the pain and bleeding and I am one prolapse down as well. I needed to take control of the decision and so own the outcome. I feel more prepared to deal with what ever comes next now re the prolapses .
I will stop waffling now. I hope that is helpful. It is a really big decision and you need to feel comfortable with whatever you decide.
All the best and I can see you’ve posted on the July 2019 stream so see you there,
Catriona xxxxxxJuly 17, 2019 at 5:01 pm #330626
Thanks very much for sharing your experiences, I’m so pleased your surgery went well and that your recovery is going in a positive direction. You certainly had a lot to consider pre surgery with the different prolapses and were courageous to go ahead despite your fears. I had a major wobble a month ago where I considered just carrying on as I am and like yourself drew up a list of pros and cons for going ahead with the surgery. Even though I knew in my heart that I wasn’t really in a position to pull out due to the different issues I’m dealing with, it did bring some clarity amongst the fear/panic when I reflected on the list in favour of the TAH.
I still have a lengthy list of questions for my surgeon who I hope to see the afternoon before my op but something has settled in me recently as though I’ve come to fully accept that this is the best road for me. I think you summed it up perfectly when you said ” I needed to take control of the decision and so own the outcome”. It’s amazing the strength we can gather when we’re faced with such important matters.
I hope the anxiety regarding the other prolapses lessen and that they stay in check for the foreseeable. You’ve enough on your plate right now and I’m glad you have a good support structure around from family and friends.
Wishing you all the very best,
Sarah xJuly 17, 2019 at 8:17 pm #330630
I’m so glad your feeling more at peace and strong with your decision to go ahead with surgery. It seems so much more difficult to keep the surgical team on track with your own priorities and needs when there is more than one issue on the table. I know the list is old school but I kept referencing it when I wobbled and it helped.
I’m really pleased you have the opportunity to discuss in full the op the afternoon before.
I was that patient who had copies of pertinent reports, my list of questions and what I felt I needed to say, all bundled in my consent form, and I clutched that all morning pre op. But I got it all asked, said and agreed. Exhale.
Recovery here is all on track and going really well. I’ve got a date through for the Urogynae in October and my anxiety is in check so far. I’m honest now when this bubbles up and friends and family go into quiet acknowledgment or distract mode, they really are super dooper.
Wishing you well Sarah and I hope your anxiety stays in check or is manageable when it rises. Keep on talking and asking for what you need to get you through.
All my best wishes
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