Okay, on April 05 it was confirmed I had a very large uterine tumor that was causing circulatory issues with my legs and was affecting my left kidney, the left ureter, my bladder, bowel and small intestine. My left ovary also had a large cyst. Apparently, up until the swelling began in my legs a few weeks ago, my body was coping with the problem. It was clear due to the size of the tumor, removal of the uterus was necessary. My surgery was April 24. I am 47 and since my tubal ligation in 1998 it was clear I did not need to preserve my ability to reproduce. We were hoping to do an LAVH but I was told that if the tumor was in a position where it could not be broken up internally before removal, a TAH may be the only option. My dilemma was whether to have the ovaries and tubes removed as well. I was not experiencing any signs of menopause yet. At my pre op appointment I decided to also have the BSO and hope that the TAH was not going to be necessary. Well, the TAH was done. I have a small incision just below my navel where the laproscope was inserted, and when I awakened from the anesthesia, I was told I had two incisions. The TAH incision is a bikini line incision about 7 inches across. My Husband was great support but was concerned about my good nature turning to something he was afraid would be untenable for both of us with surgical menopause causing hormone havoc. I can say that so far, the one and only hot flash I had was in the recovery room. I have never felt so overheated in my entire life! The HRT so far is working like a charm. The anesthesia was scary for me as I have only had one prior experience in 1984 with general anesthesia. I had a massive headache before slipping under the anesthesia in 1984 and I actually broke down in tears in the pre op prep room when I was talking to my anesthesiologist as to how frightening that experience was for me. He assured me the methods and the drugs used today are vastly better and more patient friendly today. Thankfully,, he was right. I remember being wheeled away after saying good bye to my Husband and just falling asleep on the way to the O.R. The next memory is waking up incredibly hot and sweaty in recovery. The pain was not too bad. The nurses immediately addressed the temperature issue by providing an air conditioner tube under the sheets to allow cool air to relieve the discomfort,, a cool washcloth to the forehead, ice chips so I could speak instead of croaking whispers also helped. They gave me a hormone push and after a brief nap, I was on the way to my room. I was lucky to have a private room where my Husband could stay over night with me. Day one was rough, the morphine pump was there to keep on top of the pain. I used it to keep the painful incisions tolerable and to allow me to take some naps every few hours. Night number one again not much sleep as nurses constantly changing the IV, morphine had to be changed out 12 hours post surgery, the leg message wraps to prevent DVT stopped working around 4 am so the nurses were trying to fix them and finally at 5 am my DVT machine was pronounced unrepairable and another was brought in. Day 2 I was more awake, felt a lot more discomfort as I was up and took a walk in the early afternoon with the IV and foley catheter in tow. The most pain for me was getting out and back in the bed. My legs were pretty sturdy but I used the IV as a stabilizer to walk. If you can manage it, drink a lot of fluids and walk as many times as you can. Better to do more small walks, than just one long walk per day. Your bowels will wake up quicker, you will do better with those terrible gas pains by passing gas easier and avoid the dread of constipation. Day 3, the catheter came out in the morning. Still alot of pain moving in and out of bed. Walking to and peeing in the bathroom was good progress and I did it oftern, like eight times per day to empty out 10 ml to 18 ml of urine per trip. I had alot of gurgling and movement in my bowels but nothing was coming out. I think that because I was proactive in getting my bowels to wake up by getting out of the bed, I got zero resistance from the nurses when I asked for gas medication, I got several doses of mylicon and started on Milk of Magnesia every 6 hrs to head off constipation. 1am on the third day I had my first BM and another later that morning, whew! It was so easy, no pushing which was near impossible for me. After a third night at the hospital, I was out by lunch time on day 4. A third BM on the morning of day 4 and a nice long shower and I was wanting out of there! My ride home was 2 hours long so I was exhausted when I got home and slept most of the rest of day 4 and most of day 5. The Ultram rx I was sent home with for pain on day 4 caused me problems with itchy skin all over by late night on Day 5 so I stopped taking it and switched to taking OTC Tylenol for pain Day 6. I was also sent home with an rx for HRT which is working good so far. Day 7, back to the hospital to meet with my Dr. and get my staples removed. 4 hour round trip, so again exhausted when I got home. I could feel and control my pelvic floor muscles better by Day 7. All was checked out and okay. The cantaloupe/large grapefruit size tumor and the ovarian cyst were both benign. Day 8 was better than 7, Day 9 a little better than 8. I have been drinking 8 oz of prune juice per day, taking a stool softener daily, drinking juices and vitamin water, eating lightly and often when hungry or to take meds. The BMs have been tame and so far my pain and mobility are improving as long as I do not over do. Rest when you need it! This site has been a wonderful support system for me. A lot of good advice and experiences to rely on. So far, my recovery has been very predictable based on what others have experienced here. I have quite a ways to go to get back to being me again but I feel like I am on a good road to total recovery and a better, happier healthier quality of life!