Bathing after vaginal hysterectomy

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Hallo.  In a couple of weeks or so, I am having a pelvic floor repair (my bladder dropped) and the consultant has said that they may well take out the uterus, too, as that has dropped also, and at 65, obviously I don't 'need' it and it makes it easier to repair other things.  I have read that baths shouldn't be used for several weeks after a hysterectomy because of infection - presumably that applies to abdominal OR vaginal - and in fact I generally prefer showers anyway, as I have an arthritic hip and often find it difficult getting up out of the bath as well as finding it awkward to bend over the bath to wash my hair.  My square bath taps don't take those 'hose' things that you can buy and I tried two different types.  However, for almost 4 months, my shower has been out of action in my rented house.  I managed for a while as I didn't think it would be for long but then I got my date for my op a couple of weeks ago.   I have badgered away at the house agency to get their plumber to do the job - he has visited twice over the past 4 months, taken a photo, made promises he never, ever keeps, and I have now had to make a complaint about him as he promised to come today and when I phoned he seemed to put the phone down on me.  I am getting so stressed at the thought of me having my op and coming home, not able to wash properly, or to have to resort to the bath and stretch my stitches and risk infection.  Or even worse, for the plumber to decide to do it the week that I come home - I simply don't want strangers in my home when I am having to rest and possibly need the toilet a lot.  I am so upset but wonder if I am over-reacting and I guess just need someone to tell me that, no, it is IMPERATIVE that I get the shower fixed and DEMAND that it is an emergency.  I don't have access to my landlord directly, unfortunately. I just have to rely on this terrible agency and their 'tradesmen'.  The agency owner listened to my plea today but hasn't contacted me about what will be done, if anything.  As it happens, I am going to my 'pre-med' meeting tomorrow at the hospital.  I suppose I could get them to intervene?  I feel like withholding my rent, but don't want to give them any reason to give me notice because I am 'difficult'.  (I'm not, in fact I have paid for lots of things and repairs myself in the house over 5 years (including spending £2,000 on gravelling the front garden professionally when I moved in), but now I am out of money and can't pay for a private plumber to do the shower.  So, I guess I just want reassurance that I am NOT making a fuss!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to learn you're going through this at a time when you must already been massively stressed!  You're correct.  You should not bathe after this type of surgery.  Your doctor will let you know how soon you should be able to bathe.  I'd take his word for it.

    Is there any way you can look at the property tax records and discover the name of the owner of your house?  Is there a governmental propererty authority that you can call to complain about the landlord/agency, such as a local housing authority? Sometimes the agency doesn't bother to let the landlord know about what's going on with the property their managing.

    Best of luck to you, and let me know how the surgery goes! 

     

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    • Posted

      Hallo Lynda

      Thank you for your reassuring reply, in that I now have 'hard facts' to back up my case.  I have met the landlord and know his name (unfortunately a very common name, if I wanted to trace him) a couple of times or so but he lives about 60 miles away so relies on the agency to sort things out.  Unfortunately, on the few occasions I've seen him over the past 5 years, I never got his phone number as I assumed the agency would be doing their job and I'd never need his number.  He owns the house next door also, which is empty and being refurbished, and over the time I have waited to have my shower mended or replaced, a whole new bathroom suite has been fitted in there, which is rather galling!  Unfortunately, I didn't take notice of their name as never thought I would need it - this was before I knew about my operation (I believe that he has some tradesmen that he sends himself from his neck of the woods and the agency uses 'local' tradesmen, like my so-called plumber).  I think my landlord did know that the shower needed repairing, though, as the agency normally has to ask for the landlord's permission to spend money on local tradesmen.  But he probably thinks that it has all been done weeks or months ago.  I will wait for tomorrow, after I have been to the hospital and phone the agency owner to see what, if anything, has been arranged - I won't hold my breath, though - and will impress upon him that he either gets a proper plumber to make it a priority or he gives me my landlord's contact details.  Thanks, once again.  I never thought I could get so stressed over a shower!

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    • Posted

      It does sound very stressful when your already stressed. Hopefully something can be done in time. Is there an charitable organisation that could help you negotiate with him?

      A slightly weird idea but my elderly mother uses a small sprinkle watering can over the toilet a makeshift bidet which might temporarily help.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, Tracy.  I will get on to the agency yet again tomorrow to see if they have come up with a solution - either to get another plumber in or tackle the plumber who's been full of promises for months but never delivers.  I shouldn't have to discuss my private medical problems with them in order to get the work done, but that seems to be what I am having to do.  Thanks for the suggestion about the make-shift 'bidet'.  If they still don't get the shower sorted, I think that washing my hair is a really awkward thing as I have to lean right over the bath with a jug as none of those tap hoses fit my taps, and that must put an awful strain on any stitches that I will have.  I don't feel human if I leave my hair unwashed.  I'll just have to stand up in the bath and pour jugs of water and shampoo/shower creme over me, but all that bending to the taps won't do me much good!

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    • Posted

      I feel for you there, as those rubber shower taps don't fit my taps either. I hope you get somewhere with it tomorrow although its unsavoury to have to discuss your private health with them it might motivate them also fingers crossed.

      My only other thought on the hair problem is dry shampoo for a bit if all else fails :-)

      Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hallo Lynda.  Just to update you on developments.  After a lot of 'to-ing and fro-ing' and insistence on being given priority now after 4 months wait, between the plumber, the agency and me, I have now got the agency insisting on him doing my shower this coming Monday.  I went to the hospital yesterday for my pre-op session, and the Admissions nurse was horrified at the lack of efficiency and did confirm that I must have the shower.  Someone on here was rather scathing as to my (over) reaction as she managed to clean herself by kneeling in the bath, but she probably isn't 65 with severe arthritis in her hip and the nurse was adamant that I should not do that and that I wasn't over-reacting at all. She was appalled at my treatment.  I can barely get out of the bath NOW from a sitting or kneeling position and that's without having had a hysterectomy!  Anyway, thought I would let you know - I just have to cross my fingers for Monday now!  Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cara

    Whao!  Take some deep breaths and have a sit down.  You are getting way too stressed over the shower when you should be approaching the op in a calm way.

    Yes, it's true that you will probably told not to bath for a while but hey-ho it's not such a problem.  When I couldn't shower I just filled the bath to just around a quarter deep and just knelt in it so my bottom wasn't submerged and washed all over that way.  Simple.

    I would advise you to just step back from the problem of getting the shower fixed. It will be done eventually and it's just getting you very worked up which is not a good way to be when you get to hospital.

    Good luck and deep breaths.  Everything will be fine.

    On a plus note - I had a vaginal hysterectomy and bladder repair and it was a breeze.  I had virtually no pain or discomfort even from day one and was taking short walks at one week post op and back to running at 6 weeks.

    Good luck and don't worry.

    Best wishes

    Shani wink

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    • Posted

      Hi Shani.  Yes, you are right - I know that I am probably over-reacting about all this but it seems to be just another example of what I had been having counselling for - a self-esteem problem.  It's almost like saying, 'She's not important enough to bother doing this for' - crazy, I know, in my more 'reasonable' moments, but it all adds to the stress and I get that depressed, frustrated feeling.  Yes, there are ways and means of getting clean - but my immediate reaction was that their attitude is, 'So what?'

      Though I do think that having to wait 4 months for a simple shower to be repaired or replaced is disgraceful, when I pay rent.  

      I'm glad you recovered very quickly.  What I didn't want was for them to decide to come when I come home from the hospital and the humiliation of needing the loo urgently to change a pad or go to the loo urgently or something, while they wait outside, or be here when I really want to go to bed. 

      I expect I'll live!

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  • Posted

    I had a total hysterectomy 7 weeks ago.  If you are in trohble with washing your hair still, do it in the kitchen sink, a kitchen sink is higher so you don't have to bend so far.  I did it a couple of times after my surgery and also when I had a hip replacement 2 years ago.  Take it easy when you get home and get help if you can.  I had everything removed including my appendix because I had a large cyst on my ovary and the ovary had wrapped itself round my appendix.  Everything went well, all the "rubbish" was analysed and no further treatment or examination is required.  I have a check up on the 25th November and am now beginning to feel like my old self and starting to do some light housework again.  My tummy is still puffy and I have a nice red line down the middle but I am not worried about that.  I am 73 and fit and healthy for my age.  I am now waiting for the green light to go swimming again, which I love.  Have been doing the exercises as instructed.  Hope you get on okay.

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    • Posted

      Hallo Barbara

      Thank you for your reply.  It sounds as though you did 'go through the mill' with your operation and am glad that you are starting to feel better.  Mine will be a vaginal hysterectomy (which doesn't need as much convalescence, as my bladder has fallen as well, so they thought they may as well 'get the uterus out of the way now.  They will not take my ovaries.  So I am getting away with it quite lightly compared to you.  

      I have to admit that I hadn't thought of using my kitchen sink to wash my hair - it now seems the obvious answer!  Thank you.  No leaning right over the bath.  However, things have come on a bit now with regards to the shower, and - success - after some stronger 'demands' by me and to the agency, the shower chap actually came and replaced the shower unit last Monday.

      Then the hospital postponed the appointment until 1st December! However, at least I can enjoy the luxury of just standing under the shower instead of fiddling around with jugs, and trying to haul myself out of the bath.  And (touch wood), it is one less worry after the operation.  

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  • Posted

    That's good news about your shower.  Glad it is fixed now but sorry to hear your op has been postponed.  You will be okay, don't worry, they know what they are doing, just keep positive.  I had a very nice and excellent Surgeon and remember to do as you are told as you certainly recover more quickly that way.  Good luck.

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