Evening before hysterectomy for PMDD a doctor tries to talk me out of it
22/2/12: I arrive at the Victor Bonney Ward at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital for 3pm. I’ve been allowed to stay the night before the operation only as I live 100 miles away, otherwise I’d have arrived at the hospital for 7am the next day. I’m assigned a bed (in a bay of 4 beds), weighed, and told I’m on the Enhanced Recovery Programme – i.e. I’m to take a Preload sachet (neutral tasting nutrients/carb powder) with water at 7pm, 10pm and 6am; I’m to do deep breathing exercises after the op; am to be out of bed the day of the op; to (normally) leave after 1 night; and do not need to do a bowel movement before leaving. I’m allergic to penicillin so I have red ID wrist bands on each wrist.
There are two choices left for dinner, and I plump for vegetable curry, in the hope that it’ll get my bowels moving before tomorrow morning – in hindsight eating spicy hospital food was a big mistake! I enjoy the bustle of the ward, and hearing what’s said behind the disposable paper curtains (there is very little privacy).
I’m feeling calm and positive. Then a 39 year old female doctor who I’ve never met before comes to see me with a consent form. To my amazement, at the final hour she tries to talk me out of the operation (despite admitting she is not a menopause doctor), saying “woman to woman”:
- It’s too radical
- Maybe if I met the right man I would want to have a baby (!!)
- I could have just my ovaries removed and have a Mirena coil
- I could just wait for the menopause to arrive naturally (!!)
- I should consider delaying restarting HRT until after the oncology (just in case it turned out that I had cancer (??!!), and therefore couldn’t take HRT). There’s never been any suggestion that I have cancer.
I burst into tears and explain that I’ve been considering the operation for 14 months, and why. I sign the consent form. Shortly afterwards a different 30 something female doctor comes in, who I’ve also never met, to double check about the loss of fertility issue!
After getting this far, I strongly resent my ability to breed being considered of more importance than my mental well being!!
A close friend visits, bringing trashy mags and an eerie doll for my collection (she knows what I like!). Her timing couldn’t be better – she is also shocked about what just happened, as she’s known me since my teens and understands how difficult life with severe PMS/PMDD has been. If she hadn’t visited, I might have lost my nerve and gone home that night, setting my treatment back months, which I would have regretted.