"I feel totally let down by the whole experience"

About: Salisbury District Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

My appointment came. It said I should take 2 paracetamol an hr before the procedure, so I did just in case as it said mild cramps and maybe some spotting if I needed the Hysteroscopy.

I went to my appointment at Salisbury district hospital with my husband. First I went for an abdominal scan but when they called me in they said we’re not going to bother with that, we will just do a transvaginal scan. My embarrassment level was so high because a male staff member called me through where I had to get myself onto a tilted pillow on a bed with my strained stomach already hurting my face as red as a beetroot, they were kind though and polite but I would have much preferred a female staff member.

The scan showed I had thickening of the womb. I asked what does that mean but they just said that’s all I can tell you, you will have to go up for your Hysteroscopy .

I went to find my husband and we went straight there.. I was so worried in the waiting room. The Dr called me through and asked why I looked so worried. I replied I don’t want to die and leave my son who I care for he needs lots of medical things doing for him as he has Serious medical conditions  - who will do it if I’m not here. Then I cried.

They said "oh you have got a bit ahead of yourself". We went to the next room I didn’t know what they were going to find. The next 20 minutes were the worst of my whole life. I have had children, mostly grown up now apart from my teenage son. I lay on the bed with a nurse standing either side. They were making general chit chat about children and pets trying to make me calm, but nothing could of prepared me for the pain. I was not offered an injection or pain relief and have only found out since that you can actually be put to sleep to have it done. 

The Dr said they could not see anything wrong but that they would just take some biopsies to be sure. Oh the pain! It felt like someone was actually cutting away at me inside, a burning ripping agony. I was crying a lot by now and one of the nurses said in an abrupt voice why are you crying, to which the Dr replied “I expect it's because we cannot find anything and all looks well. It’s the relief isn’t it?” This kind of made me stop for a minute, sort of like feeling relieved, but then they carried on.

The last cut or whatever they did was the worst. The nurse was talking about how many pets I had by this time. I remember shouting yes, a rescue dog, in between trying to breath through it. You should be used to this they said having that many children. Then it was over the Dr said "When you stand up you will see quite a lot of blood but it’s mostly water mixed with blood if you look down there, try not to”, meaning on the bed. It definitely was not mostly water!

I stood up on wobbly legs back to the cubical to get dressed. “Your results will be sent to you in three weeks” the Dr said, then they were gone. The nurse said don’t lock the door in case you feel dizzy. I got dressed. I couldn’t get out fast enough. I didn’t feel dizzy. I wanted to run far away from there. My husband and I walked to the car park. I cried all the way home. The pain was really bad. The letter had said I could go back to work after but there is no way that I could of done that.   

This wasn’t the end of it. That night I was in so much pain my heart was racing and I could not sleep. My daughter came the next day to take me out we went for a drive but couldn’t look around the garden centre. I was in too much pain. I had to keep bending over the cramping was so bad. Let’s just go back to the car I said. We had to go home. The rest of that day the bleeding got worse and by the next day I had to be taken to the Drs because I was losing too much blood. I was given blood clotting tablets and needed antibiotics. That night was the worst.

Slowly over the next three weeks I got better although I still had pain on and off for over a month. I waited for my results and after 3 weeks came and went, I rang my Drs. The worry and waiting was driving me mad. The receptionist said, oh you should of had a letter by now. They got my notes up and said you poor thing, oh my dear everything is ok, we have a copy of the results everything is fine,I just broke down and cried with the relief. I was exhausted.

My letter never arrived and still hasn’t. Even though all this happened, my results were good which I am thankful for. 

I always thought I had a high pain threshold. Apart from check ups I had not been to the Drs for 8 years before this. I have broken two legs and had children but the pain and experience of this has left me traumatised. I don’t think about it all the time anymore, but there are days when I go over and over it all and sometimes cry that it is allowed to happen. I won’t ever go back, I couldn’t. My heart races just taking my son to his hospital appointments when I have to walk past the building.

I feel I am a private person but I have told my family and closest friends in case they ever have to have this done. The only thing that has helped me is reading about other women that have suffered this and knowing I am not alone and they feel the same in a group I found when I searched as to why am I feeling so bad after Hysteroscopy. I have not written to my hospital yet. I was not given a feedback form although I did see some women being given a form as they left. The leaflet I was sent did not give a truthful picture of what would happen, what pain would be felt and how long I could suffer after. Maybe some women do not suffer like some of us have. I feel it was like medieval torture. I just feel totally let down by the whole experience.


Update posted by RoseJ19 (the patient)

I was just wondering if any one concerned had read what happened to me as I see other stories usually get a response but mine has not had one ...

Response from Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

We're sorry it's taken us a while to respond to you directly. We're very sorry to hear about your experience; we’ve told our patient advice & liaison service who are keen to talk you on 01722 429044.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful