I read this forum in the days preceeding my surgery and have to add my kudos to such a great site. I even impressed my doctor with some terms I learned here.
My surgery was six years in the making, which was a gradual progression of bladder/uterine prolapse. Decided last month at my checkup that it was time to get it done. The almost constant pressure of my bladder bulging out was annoying. I'm post-menopausal, so I was not having any issues with periods, fibroids, etc. Just a droopy bladder!
Surgery was scheduled June 20th. Had the pre-op visit with the doctor (and hubby) two days before. She explained what all would be done (no mesh or sling - just removing the uterus, putting bladder back in place, and leaving ovaries if they looked okay). Pre-op tests was just a blood draw, with weight taken and lots of questions answered.
Arrived at the hospital for morning surgery at 8:30, but not taken back until 9:00. IVs and me are not friends after after one failed attempt, asked for them to use the numbing stuff. Got a mild dose of "happy juice", then wheeled into the surgical room. They had me scoot over onto a small "breakaway" table and the last thing I remember is a nurse saying they'd take good care of me and looking at three huge UFO lights! Woke up and the clock said 11:00, so surgery was on target with what the doctor predicted. I was in quite a bit of discomfort, so whatever they gave me before I woke up wasn't working. I think they tried 1-2 other drugs before something finally kicked in. Only then would they let my husband and other family come in (one at a time).
I was in recovery longer than normal, but only because we had to wait on a room to become available. They gave me Toradol (sp?) every six hours in my IV. Tip
- this stuff is a bit uncomfortable when it hits the vein and the first time they put it in was right where the needle goes in. Later they put it in closer to the IV bag, which helped it not be so uncomfortable. You might want to ask if they can do that, no matter what they give you.
Leg compressions were on my legs and I had to use one of those plastic breathing in things to help expand the lungs and prevent pneumonia. They came in during the night to take vitals and drew blood once, change IV bag, etc. Thank goodness for my iPod to listen to spa music to sleep between visits! Hubby spent the night with me and was a huge help the next day.
Next morning, my doctor came to check on me and take out the packing. After reading others take on this, I was NOT looking forward to this! It is a very weird, odd feeling - but it only took maybe 3 seconds. Catheter came out and the nurse, hubby and me went for a short walk. Got back to the room and peed on my own from then on. Took a shower and while the IV was unhooked for that, I was able to put on my own robe and gown. Had gas pains which wasn't relieved with passing gas and had belly bloat. Had minimal spotting and didn't even need a pantiliner. With the nurse's encouragement (I had GREAT nurses), I even went sans underwear to let things breathe.
Was discharged a few hours later, approximately 24 hours after I got into my room. For the short ride home, I had a pillow to put under me and a little one to put between me and the seat belt. I also used a pillow under me for the wheelchair ride down. I didn't even change into my clothes. Hubby suggested I just stay in my robe and gown - which I did.
First night home there was lots of gas pressure and pain was like menstrual cramps. Slept in my own bed even though I need a step stool to get into it! Doctor had previously okayed this. Started taking GasX and it helped, along with walking. Next days were mild pain taken care of with my meds (hydrocodiene/acetaminophen mix) and off and on headaches, which lasted for about 4 days. Throat was a little sore (inside and out) due to breathing tube. I did have to use warm compresses on my IV site for just a day, probably due to that pain med they used.
Had my first BM 3 days post-op and didn't hurt at all. I let my body do the work, not pushing at all. Prunes, lots of water, and coffee helped me. Peeing was different for a while for a few days. It is a little uncomfortable - not in a painful way - just you can tell it has been put back into place and was worked on. It took a few stops and starts to empty it each time I went.
I'm on Day 13 and feel almost like I never even had surgery. Great not to feel that bulge when I wipe!
The things I took that really helped were:
1. Lip balm and peppermint Lifesavers (lips and mouth are very dry after surgery).
2. Fanny pack to keep everything handy.
3. iPhone, iPod and charger.
4. Robe and gown.
I tried not to make this too terribly long (probably failed
) and hope it helps those reading it. Surgery is surgery - not pain free and not without it's moments. But, for me, it wasn't a bad experience and I hope yours isn't either.
Just remember you only get one chance to heal properly. So take care of yourself and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for doing so!