Fit for her hospital operation

PUBLISHED: 12:15 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009

Staff at the studio

Staff at the studio

Tina Hammett, a director of fitness studios Hydrashape, recently faced a life-changing choice. And it was a choice she was delighted she made. But it was her lifestyle, of staying fit and healthy, that helped make a real difference. Here Tina tells her

Tina Hammett, a director of fitness studios Hydrashape, recently faced a life-changing choice. And it was a choice she was delighted she made. But it was her lifestyle, of staying fit and healthy, that helped make a real difference. Here Tina tells her story.

AS a director of fitness studios you would expect me to be passionate about staying fit and healthy, but even I didn't realise what a difference this was about to make to my life until it became apparent over the summer that I would need to undergo surgery.

For the past 10 years I have lived with a debilitating condition that affects around one in three women in the UK, Endometriosis.

Unfortunately little is known about why some women develop this condition, but the effects it has on the lives of the women who suffer from it can be far-reaching and treatments often invasive and not very successful.

I had given up hope of a successful treatment and I had been told that even 'the final solution', a hysterectomy, would be difficult to perform and could leave me with permanent, unwanted, side effects such as a colostomy bag.

As is often the case in life, a chance encounter led me to The Mann & Murphy Clinic in Birmingham.

It specialises in a new surgical technique. Mr Chris Mann agreed to perform the hysterectomy for me using a laparascopic technique.

I was briefed on what to expect; a minimum of six weeks recovery. So I braced myself for extreme boredom, even more pain and an enforced period with my feet up in the company of my new 'best friend', daytime TV!

The only bright side I could see to all this was that I was banned from doing the housework.

Worried that my years of keeping fit were about to disappear in that mere nano-second six week period, members of my Ware studio were included in an intensive 'pre-op' workout designed at getting my Abs (and theirs!) as strong as possible and to get my body as physically fit for surgery as I could.

The first good news was that my years of keeping fit showed in my 'pre-op' hospital checks - 'text book' blood pressure (despite some road rage from a two-hour drive up the M6 to Birmingham) and perfect BMI. At the age of 40, I felt a little smug!

The day of surgery loomed for me in October.

Within 12 hours of the operation I was taken off the morphine pump for pain relief and within 18 hours I was walking.

I stopped taking pain relief altogether on day two post-op and took the two hour journey home on day three because I was recovering so well.

I felt brilliant!

So good in fact that I had to force myself to rest a little.

I have walked through the woods at the back of my house every day since coming home, increasing the duration and distance each time.

I walked into the Ware studio day five post-op to see all our members, as I'd missed everyone, and I've been working from home non-stop since.

By week three post-op, I was driving my car and doing gentle Ab work.

Everyone around me has been stunned by the speed of my recovery and how I seem to be 'glowing' since the operation.

I have a couple of small scars on my abdomen that seem to be disappearing and aren't much to show for an operation!

While half of this is down to the skill of my surgeon and the new technique that he uses, the rest is that I gave my body the best possible chance to heal itself, quickly and efficiently, by being fit to undergo surgery in the first place.

If you are suffering with Endometriosis, please don't!

There are other alternatives out there and, because of the Mann & Murphy Clinic's 'excision' technique, a full hysterectomy is a last resort.

I am finally pain free for the first time in 10 years and my normally high energy levels returned immediately after the operation.

I even partied the night away at the Hydrashape Christmas Party a mere five weeks post-op.

So if you are facing surgery of any kind, and you are physically able to, I would urge you to invest in yourself and get exercising to give your body the best possible chance to recover as speedily as possible.

I have to confess there are times when even I don't feel like exercising, when all the other pulls on my time appear to be more important, but this experience has reinforced to me just how essential an investment in my everyday health both for today and the future, exercise is.

However, please remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime and always follow the advise of your surgeon about exercising in your own specific case.

Health, energy and confidence are all by-products of exercising - and I deserve them all!

Hydrashape has studios in WGC and Ware.

* For more information on health and fitness with Hydrashape email info@hydrashapeme.co.uk or log on to www.hydrashapeme.com

* For details about The Mann & Murphy Clinic in Birmingham log on to www.theendometriosisclinic.co.uk

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