It all started several years ago … fibroids. A wait and see approach was taken by my doctors. Eventually due to bloating, painful nauseous periods (having to take time off work) low iron count and feeling very constantly tired, I decided to see a gynaecologist.
A total hysterectomy was preformed on me at 51years of age. I had wanted to keep my ovaries and discussed this with my gynaecologist and we came to an agreement – should he find anything nasty while operating he would remove them … there was nothing wrong with them (“unremarkable” was the term used in my medical report) but he took them anyway. I have since learned that even if my ovaries were left in blood supply to them may have been hampered causing them to atrophy so who’s to know if that was a good or not so good thing to do.
Post operation was a nightmare – 2 weeks after I went into full menopause, dreadful sweats, hot flushes (several an hour!) headaches, foggy head, balance problems … toughed it all out without medication ( I tried over the counter products to no avail)
A complication caused by the actual operation (keyhole) has been peripheral nerve damage to my upper left thigh which manifests as slight numbness to the touch and occasionally a little weakness – I am only vaguely aware of it now.
Five months on I feel better especially in the lower back tummy region, have more energy but the head feelings are still a bother … better if I get good sleeps.
Some nights I have had to resort to a sleeping tablet as symptoms have overwhelmed me but I take each day as it comes and pay more attention to my emotional and physical needs.
I am a bit of a nervous nelly and had post- natal depression with my first son (24 years ago but not with my other 2 sons). These symptoms have returned but as I recognise them for what they are (hormonally induced) I can cope better now.
Overall menopause for me (surgically induced) has meant like a kind of death but with sites like yours (which have helped tremendously in verbalising how we all feel) and mentoring with friends, there is life on the other side of it and I can see it as a renewal or perhaps a stock -take of how to move forward.
I was completely naive of menopause and it was like my first period and having my first baby – shocking … but I have gotten used to it like all great changes in our female life!!
Thank you so much for all the information you have provided and to all the women that have shared their experiences.
Now available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.
Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.