A catalogue of disastersBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6957.814 (Published 24 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:814
A year after the caesarean birth of our second child my uterus became palpable and I experienced dyspareunia. My general practitioner referred me to the consultant who had managed my last pregnancy. I was working for the consultant's wife and I went to the outpatient appointment confident that I would receive good treatment. The consultant decided immediately that the problem was a fibroid and that a hysterectomy was necessary. We had completed our family so what was the point of a uterus? Despite the minimal symptoms and the lack of menstrual disturbance, the operation was to take place three weeks later. There wasn't an NHS waiting list for general practitioners' wives. We did not question the decision, mainly because my husband was sinking into a severe depressive illness and neither of us had the strength to argue. I was trying to keep his moods from upsetting our children and was finding it hard coping with my job.
The operation was technically difficult because of adhesions but I made an uneventful postoperative recovery which was not surprising as I had not been ill to start with. I came home after five days as my husband was getting worse and it was clear that he needed me at home. At the six weekly check only …