Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman

by Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK 

I recently had a hysterectomy; it was the final solution for a vaginal prolapse that had been around for many years, although I had largely been unaware of, until it became too uncomfortable to ignore.

What is a prolapse? Well basically, a weakness in my pelvic floor muscles and vaginal wall, so that what is normally held inside is no longer supported, and begins to protrude on the outside, making walking uncomfortable.

What caused it in me? Many reasons, I suspect. Giving birth is acknowledged as a common one, and new mothers are always encouraged to do their pelvic floor exercises afterwards. I didn’t, so that may have contributed in my case. Add to that was my attitude to what I felt my body could do. I played squash 2 or 3 times a week; that’s a game that can be pretty hard on many areas of the body. Not only that, but I was strong and therefore allowed myself to lift heavy things, and enjoyed the weekly battle with a wayward shopping trolley and all the heavy shopping, not knowing how much lifting heavy things was affecting my pelvic floor muscles.

The prolapse manifested in a big way recently, when I was doing two things: working in a busy café on my feet all day walking about with heavy trays, pushing/pulling trolleys full of used crockery and washing up with a huge pull down dishwasher hood. Outside of work I was packing up my house ready for a move abroad, with boxes weighing up to 20kgs. All because I could.

One evening in the shower I noticed a bulge in my genital area where there should have been an opening, something was sticking out of my vagina and this then happened whenever I spent a day on my feet. Afraid of getting an infection through having what should be inside on the outside, I went to my local GP Surgery.

I was told it was a prolapse and I was given pelvic floor exercises to do and told to come back in three months – they would only operate if it was really uncomfortable. I went back a week later, unsure of the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises in curing the problem and was assured it would be fine.

Conscious of the increasing discomfort and aware of my upcoming travel plans, I called the Doctor’s secretary and asked if I could be referred to a gynaecologist for further advice as soon as possible. They said it would be weeks before I got an appointment, beyond the date I’d planned to leave, so they suggested: What about going private?

Fortunately I had enough funds so I looked up the local private hospital and made an appointment for two weeks’ time. In the meantime I looked up on the Internet about prolapse and possible treatments, which included pessary rings or surgery. In view of the fact I was travelling to start a new relationship, I didn’t feel a ring would be the solution, so I looked at surgical options. They mentioned repairs including using gauze, but these could be complicated by infections so that was out. They also mentioned hysterectomy as another solution, so that got me thinking and aware of that as a possibility.

When I finally met the consultant, he said it was the front wall of my vagina that was weak and that it was the bladder pushing through. This made sense to me and fitted in with what I felt in my body. He also said that once in the operating theatre, if they found a repair wasn’t possible they might need to do a hysterectomy and asked if I would consent to that, which I did. I was a given a date for surgery in two weeks, with a six week recovery time.

I cancelled my flight and left my travel plans open for a later time. I was disappointed, but felt this was important enough to deal with urgently.

In the meantime, aware that nothing happens in our bodies for no reason, I sought advice from Serge Benhayon, asking for a reading on what the prolapse meant. I already knew what had caused it and he agreed, adding that it was me not in my full expression, in fact pushing against being who I naturally am and he also said that it was showing me to ‘…endorse being a woman, and a beautiful one at that, to a much deeper and far reaching level.’

That made sense, I have always seen myself as a ‘person’ and ignored the feminine side, and in truth in recent years had largely been numb to what went on in my pelvic region apart from the bodily functions of going to the toilet. This was calling me to feel my uterus and cervix and vagina. I had been doing some Sacred Movement exercises, but still resisted feeling my sacredness as a woman, so this was all a huge wake up call.

Keen to make the best use of the healing offered to me, I spent the time before the operation preparing my body by eating well, doing the pelvic floor exercises and generally resting. I had already given up work, so there was no more need to be on my feet all day. The boxes were all packed and stored ready for shipping, so I did no more heavy lifting. I came down with a cold and the operation was delayed one more week, and that gave me more time to rest and prepare.

I had asked Serge Benhayon for support during the operation and I found that just before going down to the operating theatre I felt an amazing stillness and felt Serge would be saying, ‘Enjoy it,’ so I relaxed and surrendered to the procedure. The staff were amazing, the anaesthetist who already knew of my anxiousness was so sweet, caring and supportive that I drifted off with no qualms and woke after it was all over to find myself in pain, like a bad period pain. They took a long time and care to get the pain management right, but we got there in the end.

I was a bit woozy for the next 24 hours. I’d been eating a pretty light diet and had no medication other than warfarin for years, so my body was a bit in shock from the procedure and the drugs, but the staff were very understanding and supportive. I didn’t eat for 24 hours, just drank water, but, once I had vomited up whatever my body needed to eliminate, I was fine. I was blown away by the chef who followed my requests exactly, providing me with simple dishes of fish, green beans, avocado and salad. No sweets. It meant that I was eating food that supported my body with no resulting bloating or raciness.

I was in hospital only three nights and came home to my housemates who were incredibly supportive. We had already agreed a kitchen plan where things were at an accessible height for me, as I was not to lift or push anything heavy (a half filled kettle was ok), and to avoid bending too low. They also arranged a daily visitor from our local community of friends who would come in and cook me lunch.

I have used the time recuperating to really listen to my body, to rest and not override anything it tells me. The hospital have encouraged me to be up and about as much as possible, building up walking from five minutes a day, and I’ve been doing that, walking further each time. I’ve been doing gentle leg and arm exercises too, to keep my muscles in trim – nothing heavy, just gentle movements. And I’ve been doing the pelvic floor exercises.

A huge change for me has been letting go of my identity with doing and to focus on just being. My whole life has been based on recognition for my intelligence and ability to organise, co-ordinate, be efficient, do lots of different things, and here I was, on a six-week recuperation program with nothing to do except look after my body; what a challenge! I’ve let go of the push on many fronts, I am learning to honour what my body feels, I am learning to be more aware of what I feel, I am incredibly sensitive and can feel changes in energy. In the past I would eat to numb anything that felt uncomfortable, especially as I felt what others were feeling, which was often distressing. Because I am honouring my body in this way, not pushing to do any more than feels ok to do, I am healing very well. The pain stopped very early on, so I am no longer on a regime of pain management; I’m back on Warfarin as before, but my vitality is good, considering I have just been through a major operation.

Natalie Benhayon also gave me a reading in reassuring me that although my uterus and cervix are no longer there physically… ‘Yes they are there energetically — it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.’ That said it all really.

For me this has been a big healing: the medical profession have done a superb job in handling the physical side, and my approach to the psychological side has enabled me to not only cope with losing my womb and cervix (I still have my ovaries), but celebrate the opportunity to connect with myself as a woman more deeply. I have also had support with treatments of Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and Chakra-puncture. I lost a bit of weight but that’s steady now, as I have been eating nourishing meals with protein and vegetables three times a day and the walking is rebuilding my leg muscle strength.

This experience has shown me how much we can support Western Medicine in our health care, we don’t need to leave it all up to the doctors. By taking care of myself I am making the most of the healing opportunity on offer. By continuing to take care of myself I am honouring my physical body, which will stand me in good stead in the future. After all, our bodies are simply reflecting our lifestyle choices; if we live well, that’s how our bodies will be too.

A huge thank you to the staff at the BMI Bath Clinic, the Anaesthetist, the Consultant Gynaecologist, to Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon and all the students of Universal Medicine who have supported me through this opportunity to learn, heal and deepen my connection to myself as a woman.

 

`Read more:

  1. Hysterectomy – a wake up call
  2. An Angel Calls

572 thoughts on “Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman

  1. What has been so lovely about this process is that the lessons go on and on, every now and then I find myself going back into old patterns of pushing and being hard and my body just gives a physical ‘Hey!’ and that reminds me to be more gentle with myself.

  2. Our body gives us constant messages. If we listen and adapt our behaviours it really appreciates this. I too had surgery nearly two years ago and when I find myself overdoing it, my body let’s me know. As you say Carmel, a great reminder to be more gentle with myself.

  3. After reading this, it makes me want to start doing the pelvic floor exercises to make sure things like my bladder do not go south, especially as I am on my feet most of the day at work. Thank you for being so frank and open about your experience, as this I am sure will help many other women.

  4. What you have brought to your healing experience are life skills that will support you long after this crisis or experience. You are with you 24 hours a day the doctor is sometimes with you once in a few weeks. It is so obvious when you look at it like that to see where the bulk of responsibility for our health and wellness lies.

  5. How lovely to read of a whole community supporting someone in hospital, and to feel the appreciation of this journey when the doorway of energetic responsibility is opened as well.

  6. Carmel, the care you have taken with yourself throughout this process is mind blowing. What a glorious opportunity for you to really learn to cherish and love your body.

  7. I so agree with you Carmel when you say lifting heavy things affects our pelvic floor. Last night I lifted a heavy suit case and instantly my right ovary started hurting. It was a great message and I took quite a bit out of the suit case knowing that I would have to lift it again at some stage in my travel.

    1. Yes, suitcases is an interesting one – I packed my boxes for shipment to Australia to a weight of around 20Kg knowing that I could lift a 20Kg suitcase, but after my operation I didn’t touch the boxes again, and had the shipping company repack and move them around. So when I travelled to Australia myself, my daughter helped me pack, assisted me at the airport and then at the baggage carousel in Brisbane, I just asked the nearest man if he could help me, and it was lovely how they were willing to help. I was met at the airport, so that was fine. I had actually split it into two suitcases of 15Kg each, but that weight is still too much for me to lift. My shipped boxes will be delivered in the next two weeks so I will have to take care how I handle them, and then when we move into our house, perhaps we can book two men and a van to support the journey and the lifting. I lifted some boxes the other day and could feel what it was doing inside. I have to take more care.

      1. Lifting heavy objects can have an enormous impact on any area of the body. Strange as it may seem, when I lift something that is too heavy for me, I can feel a tension in my throat…! The whole body literally speaks to us when we push it beyond it’s capability and consequently put it under undue pressure.

  8. What you have shared here Carmel is the stupendous healing that is possible through our own commitment to understand and heal along with the support of conventional medicine and the esoteric modalities. I too have experienced surgery to be a deep deep healing – not the projected trauma I was expecting, but profoundly joyful and enlightening thanks to the powerful support of Serge Benhayon.

  9. Carmel it was beautiful to read about the care you have taken and the healing you received through your growing commitment to yourself, very inspiring. This part of one of your sentences, a message from Natalie Benhayon, stood out ” it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.” It struck a chord with me and I will take it with me as I go out into my day.

  10. Well I wanted to say thank you to you Carmel, your blog has supported me through a bit of a change from seeing myself as a doer to a be-er! ‘A huge change for me has been letting go of my identity with doing and to focus on just being.’ what a simple transition when we don’t fight it!

    1. Hi Lucy, yes, this is still very much a work in progress for me as I uncover deeper levels of identity and how much importance I place on things I think I have to do instead of focusing on the quality of my being. There is this constant anxiety not to be labelled ‘lazy’, feeling that I have to ‘get up off my bottom and do something’ Anything, it doesn’t matter what, and that’s just me not being still enough to feel what actually needs to be done, and I need to be still inside before I do anything, take my time to feel me before I launch myself into any activity.

      1. Yes, I can really relate to that. I have had enforced bedrest recently and had no idea how much would come up – it was a bit ugly! but you know what, such a gift because otherwise I would still be caught in that world of choosing not to be aware of the pattern. I know there is so much more to go but your blog has really helped me.

  11. It’s great to hear how you were supported by your housemates and friends coming round to cook lunch – often I think we can go into the thinking that we have to get through something alone or without being a ‘bother’ to others rather than opening up to the love and support that may be needed and on offer.

  12. “By continuing to take care of myself I am honouring my physical body, which will stand me in good stead in the future. After all, our bodies are simply reflecting our lifestyle choices; if we live well, that’s how our bodies will be too.” Such simple but profound advice Carmel. If we dont feed, water and tend to a plant it will not grow and flourish, just as our bodies will not thrive if we neglect to take true care of them.

    1. Yes, Sandra, and the level of care I need to take is being shown to me this week, as I feel I may have overdone it and caused another prolapse, so my anxiety levels have gone through the roof.

  13. Thank you for this super honest sharing Carmel. I understand how we are selling ourselves short by not embracing our true sacredness, and thereby selling the world short as we live so much less than who we truly are.

    1. The word ‘sacred’ is one I still have difficulty with, possibly from its abuse in the Catholic religion I was brought up with, so I still have difficulty applying it to me, and therefore am not fully honouring it within myself. I know I am still living with a bit of push and drive, and need to surrender more to simply being the woman I am.

      1. Yes the truth of the word sacred has been deliberately obscured under the many corrupted versions in some religions and the new age, but we nevertheless all hold the truth of it deep within. The corruption is to stop us from connecting, living and moving in this multi-dimensionality – the truth of where we are from.

  14. Rallying around when one of us is in need selflessly was once something that just part of being human! We have lost our way a bit, but it is still alive, and well in all of us, all that is required is, choose to let it out and serve once again.

  15. I love how my body shows me my choices and guides me to make different ones, my appreciation ever growing and with this does the loving kindness to my body.

  16. Accepting ourselves as women first and foremost is not something most of us consider. When I was young it was not encouraged and there were no true role models to get a reflection from, so being very active and always doing something was my distraction from looking at what was innately within me. Sacredness is in all women and when we connect to this, we get a greater understanding of what it means to be a woman and connect to a delicate gentle and loving way of being.

    1. Sacredness is innate in all of us women – yes, this is still something I need to connect with at a deeper level – sometimes I feel a beautiful stillness, and I am certainly living with acceptance of vulnerability, and as for being more loving – I am looking at changing my self criticism to be an attitude of understanding – understanding why am I resisting surrendering to what is already within, surrendering to my body more deeply.

      1. Great point Carmel, if we can bring understanding to why we resist wanting to surrender, then rather than the self bashing that is often the first place we go to, we can look at what is causing us to resist. I have found that first I have to accept that sacredness is a possibility and the only thing that is between me and sacredness is my willingness to go there or not.

      2. That is a good point you make there, Alison, accepting first of all that the sacredness is a possibility. The unwillingness to go there is interesting, it feels like a deliberate configuration in my body that takes me into my head and it’s not something to over-analyse – it’s as if I have created an image of what sacredness might be and am looking for that rather than allowing myself to feel the quality that is naturally within.

  17. This is a very beautiful blog Carmel and a reminder about my worth as a woman that I will embrace deeply. I too ‘sort of’ valued myself as a human being, but never as a woman. Although I didn’t hate being a woman, I didn’t ever regard it as being something precious and dare I say…sacred. I have been on a slow path of restoring my womanliness as the centrepiece of my life, but I have been very slow indeed, and I have been too eager to push it aside when life gets challenging.
    You have reminded me that there is no slow path. To value myself, as a woman, cannot be delayed without me paying the price in my physical health.
    I value deeply the reading given by Natalie “…it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.” This I will borrow and work on for myself from this point forward.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Rachel, I didn’t know you in your previous life, but what I know of you now is as an inspiring and beautiful woman, and I like the way you say ‘there is no slow path’ because we do tend to put things off. I’ve been happily trundling along thinking all is well after the hysterectomy when the prolapse situation has continued to worsen. All is definitely not well as my body is still clearing my old way of being. I am now living in a different country, in a beautiful relationship with a man I love very deeply, and my whole identity is changing as I let go of the push and drive that has been with me for years. I am still struggling with the ‘must do’ instead of surrendering, and my Soul, through my body, is steadily showing me The Way.

  18. What an experience Carmel and undertaking, your body clearly was making some enormous shifts, which you so lovingly just went with. No judgement, no critique, just seeing what was occurring and allowing yourself to feel what it was that needed to be felt and cleared. Very amazing.

    1. It is still a bit tricky to see what is happening and not to judge myself, but to accept it is the result of choices I’ve been making for centuries probably. Nothing can be fixed in five minutes or even this lifetime, but I can make sure it doesn’t happen in the next one by how I choose to live from here on.

  19. Thanks Carmel, it’s quite a journey to reconnect to who we are as women and to our bodies, and to how that then translates into how we would interact with the world. In Australia being tough is really valued, even towards women there can be a dismissive or demeaning attitude for being openly fragile and delicate. I’m not sure how toughness got equated with strength since we override how we truly feel, when I feel it takes more strength to be honest about how we feel and openly share who we truly are. Being tough also means completely ignoring the body and being rough with it, when we would never act tough and use that as an excuse to do the same thing to our cars. I find that when I examine what’s normal it often makes no sense at all. If we took the time to really consider things we would uncover the huge faults inherent in such ways of being and discard them. As a society we go along with things instead of deeply examining and questioning what’s “normal”.

    1. And I am discovering, Melinda, that even the way we walk about can be with a ‘tough’ attitude. I am learning a whole new way of walking because my body is now reflecting back to me if I go at all hard.

  20. You took the option of addressing what was going on Carmel, rather than trying to slip a ring on to distract yourself. What beautiful role modelling of pulling out all stops to going deeper and embracing yourself as a woman.

  21. As I read what Serge Benhayon shared with you “‘…endorse being a woman, and a beautiful one at that, to a much deeper and far reaching level.’” I could feel that this was a message for me and many other women as well; I could feel it resonate throughout my body with the realisation that there is still so much more for me to embrace and appreciate as a woman. How many of us really know what it is to be a true woman and how to live this? Natalie Benhayon has been a very bright shining light getting this message out to women of all ages and as a result all around me I can see women who used to have no idea of the beautiful beings that they naturally are beginning to shine their own unique light in this world.

  22. Carmel, thank you for sharing this.
    I too found the line about Serge’s feedback as important “I already knew what had caused it and he agreed, adding that it was me not in my full expression, in fact pushing against being who I naturally am and he also said that it was showing me to ‘…endorse being a woman, and a beautiful one at that, to a much deeper and far reaching level.’ This pattern of pushing against who I naturally am I have been running with also. It makes me wonder how many of us are / have been and for example in my workplace what I have perceived others to be based on their behaviours and actions is not always a true reflection of them and how badly needed the full endorsement of being a woman and embracing our beauty from within is, without any need to overextend or compromise ourselves.
    This week I have had a cold and struggled to simply surrender and rest and be without judging myself for not getting things done. It has been very revealing indeed for how much deeper I need to go with myself, and the importance of building a stronger commitment to walking, pelvic floor and strength based exercise.
    Your blog also is a call for me to begin writing some of my own experience, observing that what we are learning in life, and the rich wisdom we receive – whether it be through Serge, Natalie, Universal Medicine, other practitioners or people in our life or from ourselves in connection – this is for everyone.

    1. Hi Susan, yes, please do write, the world needs to hear from all of us who have learned a different way of being. As for us being in our full expression, I have been learning recently how confused other people are when we do not express ourselves in full – we feel energy all of the time and other people are reading us – what we express may be different from what we actually feel and others can feel the disparity, we are sending out mixed messages, because our body says one thing, our mouths say another. Examples are, ‘I’m fine’ ‘Yes, that’s OK’ and ‘Yes, of course I will’.

  23. ‘It is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.’ What great advice. This is something I am working on myself and continually being shown that I want to do in order to satisfy a deep lying agenda that actually has no true merit but keeps me in the illusion that I am ‘making’ it in the world and in relationships.

    1. Elaine, I have found this aspect of life particularly challenging to learn because my whole life I have been identified with activity, my self esteem has been based on feeling useful, helping others. Now, in a different country, in a new relationship, I am on a visa that does not allow me to do any paid work, I am in a relationship that is requiring me to spend time with my new partner (not something that happened a lot in my previous life) and I am feeling that I’m not doing enough and feeling ‘bad’ as a result. What I have to appreciate is the quality I am bringing to everyone I meet, whether it is in the supermarket or my partner, and to value that I am being given this grace time to feel my body, and develop a more tender way of being. The prolapse is continuing to develop despite the hysterectomy so that is telling me I need to take more care and to stop pushing myself to do more.

  24. Pelvic Floor exercise is something we all know about but often not in any depth or detail. I recently had the experience of a physiotherapist who conducted an internal examination whilst inviting me to move certain groups of muscles, and that showed me the individual deeper muscles that are weak, some of which I had no idea at first how to move. She was very gentle and it was a beautiful education in exercises I can do to support myself internally.

  25. Carmel your approach of supporting surgery and maximising your opportunity to heal is one which we can all learn from. I’m sure you have inspired everyone you have been in contact with throughout this process. It would absolutely change how medicine is viewed and practised if we were all to take such a responsible and active part in our healing process.

    1. What is so beautiful, Lucy, is that some of the medical professionals who supported me appreciated how I have helped the healing process with my lifestyle choices and said they would share it with their patients.

      1. How wonderful Carmel. Simply by living what we know is true for us is all it takes to inspire another in any walk of life, which clearly shows that when we know this, the responsibility we all have to live it all the time.

  26. It is mentioned in this blog about how we ‘push against who we naturally are’.
    This is an awareness that can change the way of our world. The question is, what do we push against, hold at bay and at times down right ignore? Our divineness, our grace, our glory. All qualities, that once lived completely change every interaction we have, every move we make and every choice as to what we use our bodies for.

  27. “This experience has shown me how much we can support Western Medicine in our health care, we don’t need to leave it all up to the doctors.” This is a very important point. One we all need to ponder deeply on and begin the process of taking responsibility for the part we play in illness and in healing.

    1. Yes, Leigh, we are all aware of just how stressed the medical profession are and much of their caseload could be reduced by us patients taking more care of ourselves in the first place. It is irresponsible to assume our bodies can take such abuse and that a few pills and the medical profession can fix everything afterwards – like Type 2 diabetics drinking beer and taking Metformin, when exercise and no beer could considerably reduce their blood sugar.

  28. Carmel, thank you for this. What a great way to approach surgery. Imagine what would happen if more people would take as much responsibility as you did for your health. We would have a very different health service.

  29. ‘After all, our bodies are simply reflecting our lifestyle choices; if we live well, that’s how our bodies will be too.’ and how empowering it is to know that our health is in our hands… and our choices.

  30. What a beautiful sharing Carmel. I love the way you deeply honoured yourself through the whole process, the responsibility you took and the choices you made.
    This blog is so supportive and encouraging of women who are inspired to learn, heal and deepen their connection to themselves as women; me being one, thank you.

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