Jo’s Hysterectomy Diary

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Day 10

Day 10 – had a visit from this superstar today – Mel is one of my oldest friends- we were at school together but hardly saw each other until I moved back to Suffolk 12 years ago – Mel then disappeared to Australia for 4.

We have been friends for nearly 30 years – we may not speak all the time but things always pick up where we’ve left off when we are together. The Wednesday before my operation I called Mel and asked her if she could teach in my place while I was recovering as our cover plans fell apart – she didn’t hesitate for a second and has picked up my classes and made them her own – as I keep saying it’s the incredibly lovely things people do when you’re feeling at your weakest that make all the difference.

Today she reassured me my pelvic floor would be ok! That I had to take things slowly and not expect to feel normal 10 days after a major op and that I wasn’t being lazy when I felt knackered. She also brought me chocolate – best personal trainer EVER!

In other news I’ve started Vikings


Day 9

Day 9 – a day of conclusions.

Last Clexane injection! Seriously happy about that – every evening at 9.30pm I’ve been having to inject myself to reduce the risk of DVT after surgery – I have so much respect for people who have to do this every day – it stings like mad!

I’ve also smashed up my phone and finished Game of Thrones but that seems a bit trivial in comparison to the Clexane!


Day 8

Day 8 – hugely excited about leaving the house to get my stitches out.

I said on Sunday how much this whole experience has made me realise how great my friends are – loads of people have done some really special things but Josie has been AMAZING- chauffeuring me today, visiting me and bringing me the best gifts ever in hospital and collecting me and bringing me home – she’s bloody awesome – Josie, just wanted to say an official thank you after getting totes emosh in the car this morning xx


Day 7 – 1 week post-op

Day 7 – one week post op (BOOM) .

Loads of people have messaged and asked how it feels not to have a uterus, do you feel less feminine? Is it heart breaking? Do you regret it? Am I very depressed about it and reminding me it’s OK to mourn. One of the emails that has really affected me told me I had underestimated how much hysterectomy would affect me emotionally- that positivity was a negative thing.

Life is not fair! Things happen that we don’t want to happen – we may not be able to control those things but we have a choice as to how we respond even when these hurdles are massive.

The reality is I have no choice. Positivity is my only option. No one wants to lose their womb. With it went a version of my future which may have never become a reality but was an option, it was a dream I clung onto. Now i have to make different dreams. .

Humans are loss averse – we focus so much on what we are scared of losing rather than what we might be able to gain. .

In this scenario it makes no sense to cling to a fantasy when the facts dictate a different future . .

The way I see it I can choose to be sad for losing a diseased organ which was stopping me being a mother to the children I have, the athlete I aspire to be and the CEO of a company that will change our community OR I can choose to be happy because I’ve been given a chance to get well again and have a new future.

Whatever, you have to make the choice to live your reality not mourn a fantasy.


Day 6 Continued…

As I close the door on an emotional Sunday night – WTF is that about I’ve been super tearful this evening – I just wanted to say thank you to those that have looked after me so well this week.

People I never expected have sent me really lovely messages, people have held my hand at the most pivotal moments and made them all seem ok.

It’s been a tough week but I have some truly fabulous friends and I’m so very grateful for everything you’ve all done- thank you for making things so much better – I won’t forget it x

Day 6

Runners everywhere see Sunday as the day to do a long run.

Last Sunday I ran 5 miles through the forest and today I walked to the shop. Today felt like a far bigger challenge – I obvs put it on Strava!

Day 6 post op and the pain is pretty much under control – but no one can prepare you for the energy sapping exhaustion as your body utilises everything it has to heal itself.

This recovery lark is a full time job – working out how to strike a balance between not being too sedentary but not over doing it. Making sure you drink enough and eat the right food to not make you feel sick or get constipated. Every time I get too tired I get light headed and tearful which I find really hard as it makes me feel like a bit of a pansy and in the interests of remaining “authentic” I decided to tell you all that rather than being “too positive”

The truth is recovery is a mission, it’s different for everyone and shouldn’t be compared. There are highs and lows and shitty bits and stuff you didn’t expect but there are also really lovely moments when you realise how lucky you are.

I’m celebrating each achievement – I’m just gutted there wasn’t a medal or a technical T-shirt waiting for me at the end of my epic walk today!


Day 5

Day 5 in the Big Brother House (totes feels like that – I’m used to working a stupid number of hours and running around after 3 kids – it feels like my world has just stopped)

Any way day 5 post op – visit from my youngest Edward who is staying with Daddy until I can look after him again and a major excursion to have a coffee outside the house!

It was great but now I’m exhausted and sore. A timely reminder not to run before you can walk and never compare your recovery to others.

Back home to series 5 of Game of Thrones- I’m totally smashing life goals today!


Day 4 post-op

Day 4 – I got a letter from my consultant today confirming I had an adenomyotic uterus and a marked amount of omental adhesions – but no Endometriosis 🤩 – the relief that at last I have an official diagnosis in writing is huge

The thing about Adenomyosis is that it cannot be diagnosed without surgery – it’s speculation until that point and it’s not well known and the symptoms are generalised so it’s hard for a non specialist to diagnose – a GP has to rule out a million different things first.

Diagnosis of this condition takes years – in that time health slowly declines- I went from running 80 miles a week to barely being able to stand up in 2 and a half years – throughout January I often couldn’t teach a physical class.

In that time you have to deal with the scepticism- all the people who think you should man up, work a bit harder, stop wallowing, just learn to manage it and you don’t look ill.

On top of that today it’s the official certificate that I will never experience another flare up – I will never have another period that lasts 3 weeks, during which time I would be in agony from pelvic pain, bowel pain have all the symptoms of a UTI, I also got pain under my diaphragm and shortness of breath, cramps so bad I’d be sick, sudden haemorrhages and in all that time you have to cope with the people who think you are making it up – I saw a meme the other day which said “you spend 75% of your time trying to convince the world you’re fine and 25% of the time trying to convince the people who really matter that you are not – that was certainly my experience

So today I felt huge relief that it’s all over, huge relief that I’ve got my life back, huge sadness that this disease affects so many people whos voices are unheard but delight that taking action has given me a future without pain. I’m lucky I had Adenomyosis- now it can never come back- I don’t have any adhesions caused by Endometriosis- those women live on borrowed time- each surgery reducing the symptoms until the adhesions grow back like the weeds grow back in your garden when you fail to pull out every tiny root

We owe it to one in every ten women to talk about these conditions


Day 3 post-op

Anxiety!

Anxiety and fear are often the reason behind pain. I had a really shitty and very painful first night post op. The thing with laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy is that they inflate your abdomen with gas to get a clear view of the pelvic organs – that gas has to come out post op plus you have the internal bruising, and the wounds from any adhesions and the removal of your uterus to deal with. It hurts and I had LOADS of morphine but in the end peppermint tea and movement were the things that made me more comfortable.

Today is day 3 – it’s really early days but I got myself in a stew about not having enough pain relief at home – I’m scared of being in intense pain again – I’ve got Neproxen & Paracetamol but I woke up in pain mid dose and freaked out because everything hurt. My immediate plan was to call the hospital and get something stronger- my consultant didn’t want this as it can lead to constipation and increase the pain rather than relieve it.

So – I’ve given myself a little telling off and remembered my own advice to the thousands of women who’ve prepared to labour with me – I’ve taken a deep breath, moved around to reduce my adrenaline and boost my oxygen and shift the gas bloating my abdomen – I’m going to drink a shit load of water and eat my apricots.

The truth is my body has been through some trauma and the cocktail of drugs I have is enough – the discomfort I’m feeling is a reminder the rest is in my hands- I need to create the conditions to heal well and pain relief is only a small part of that. My recovery is my responsibility – the pills are tools- not the be all and end all

Trust the process, listen to your body, don’t forget the basics, move, hydrate, nutrition and rest my body is a miracle – it’ll do the rest if I let it


Day 2 post-op

They are letting me out because I’ve been good and passed lots of urine and had a poo- nurses have an obsession with wee and your bowels I’ve decided

Off home to sleep, drink peppermint tea and watch all 7 series of Game of Thrones

Really couldn’t have received any more support- what an incredible team of people – it’s at the times when you feel your worst than human kindness makes all the difference

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