Robyn, New Zealand
I’m 63 years of age and had a hysterectomy at the age of 50. My resident grapefruit-sized fibroid was removed from my uterus, along with 1 fallopian tube and ovary. My bladder was stitched back into place after a few years of being knocked around by the resident fibroid. The surgeon said the remaining ovary will help with aging, but the bladder may need correcting in 10-15 years. He was right.
Over the last 3 years urinary incontinence became an increasing problem. I was getting up 3 or 4 times in the night – often “dribbling” before I reached the toilet. I always had to visit a loo while supermarket shopping and was unable to carry heavy bags up 10 stairs to the front door without wetting my pants. I often passed urine 4 or 5 times in the morning before going to work. I attended a “Urinary Workshop” at the local surgery centre where I got some really good advice and learned a few things but decided my pelvic floor muscle control ability need surgical intervention.
Vaginal surgery is brilliant! I had an anterior repair for anterior compartment prolapse and was on the table for a short 30 minutes. My bladder was stitched back to where it should be. I had very little post-operative pain compared to hysterectomy recovery. I took post-surgical advice seriously – be VERY kind to yourself. You need a lot of time to heal internally. As we were teaching my bladder new tricks, I left hospital with a catheter and learned the art of self catherization, thanks to a visiting District Health Nurse. I was also shocked at the internal texture of my vagina while it healed. No-one tells you this! I felt like an overstuffed sofa inside. Very funny while applying Ovestin cream. Then when little stitches started appearing on toilet tissue, I nearly lost it. I was also concerned about the possible loss of vaginal sensation. After 7 weeks I am happy to report all good! I healed well, my bladder works – sometimes it’s not perfect – but I’ve got my life back. I can walk up and down hills, I don’t wear sanitary products around home. I can play with my grandson and lift him without thinking about incontinence embarrassment.