I am now officially one week out from my Davinci surgery. I'm going to be honest and sometimes a tad graphic, so hold on to your hat
The main reason I had a hysterectomy was because of painful, heavy, prolonged periods. I have struggled with this for years, and it really amplified after I had my son 5 years ago. In the last year, it got to the point where I was bleeding 20+ days out of the month and was in bed 14-18 of those days because of the pain. I had an ultrasound which showed fibroids, although they weren't large enough to cause these problems, I knew they eventually would be, as my mom, all my aunts, my grandmother, and many of my cousins ended up either hemmoraging or having hysterectomies because of their fibroids. The doctor suggested other alternatives to hysterectomy, but I felt my uterus was just collecting dust at this point (I'm 33 and done having children), so I decided to have the surgery, to improve my life and to just get it over with.
Okay, so once that was decided, my doctor recommended the Davinci. It sounded great (although I'm a sci fi nerd and the thought of a robot freaked me out, I've seen too many movies..lol). From the time I saw the doctor to the date of my surgery was about 3 weeks. HOLY MOSES!
I had my surgery the day after Thanksgiving. I was not allowed to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes at all the day before surgery and couldn't eat or drink after midnight. I lucked out & didn't have to do a bowel prep.
My surgery was the first of the day (thankfully!) so I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am. Right away, they brought me back, got all my vitals, and inserted the IV. I then had to answer about 8000 million questions, but the time flew by and they kept me busy, so I stayed pretty calm. At about 6:30, the anesthesiologist came in and went over what he'd be doing. He explained that his only job was to make sure I stayed breathing & didn't wake up. Oddly, that made me feel better. At about 6:45, they moved me to the pre-op area and put the weird gauzy hat on my head. This is when I started freaking out. I began to cry and get very nervous. Having to say good bye to my husband was tough, but everyone was really, really nice to me.
The wheeled me into the hallway right outside the OR. I walked into the OR, they swabbed my back with rubbing alchohol and I layed down on the table. Everyone said hello to me, they put oxygen on my face and the anesthesiologist began putting meds into my IV. I felt my eyes getting really, really heavy, but I knew if I closed them, they'd cut me open. The nurse told me to blink my eyes, I did and when I opened my eyes back up, I was in post op. I was literally in the OR less than 5 minutes before I was knocked out.
Waking up in recovery was really hard. I was very, very confused. I tried to sit up, felt fire through my belly, and began to sob, screaming "I don't know where I am!!!!" The nurses calmed me down & the only other thing I remember about recovery is begging to see my husband. The next thing I remember, I was in my hospital room and my husband was there.
They had me on a "push button" morphine drip, meaning, Morphine was only administered when I pushed the button. The Morphine made me feel horrible, so I stopped using it within 5 hours. They offered me Demoral, which I refused, then they offered me Oxycontin, which I also refused. I took Motrin and Tylenol and I did okay with that.
I drank tons and tons and tons of water (2+ gallons) the first day and that really helped. I still had a catheter, so peeing wasn't an issue. I didn't have any edema (swelling) and I attribute that to the water. I was very, very, very tired and slept off and on (you can't sleep solid in the hospital, they bother you too much). I don't remember a lot of the hospital stay, which I'm grateful for honestly.
Saturday I came home. I mostly slept, was sore, and my belly was really swollen and gassy. I also had an air bubble in my shoulder from the CO2 they pump into your abdomen for surgery. That air bubble was my worst pain, hands down, but it did go mostly away within 2-3 days.
Sunday was a really good day, I slept really well, and was starting to be able to pass gas. The downside of being able to pass gas was that as the swelling in my belly went down, the more the pain in my pelvis increased. Sunday night was rough and I did end up taking an Oxy they had sent home with me. My body was very sore and tired, my pelvic region really hurt, and my gas hurt to come out.
Monday I woke up feeling a lot better & it was a pretty good day. I had my first BM on Tuesday and I'm not going to lie, it hurt. It wasn't awful, but it hurt mostly in my vaginal area (weird, I know), but it was quick and didn't require me to strain (Miralax & fruit juice are awesome for softening stool!)
The rest of the days have been pretty good. I've been sleeping as I feel the need and I have learned that if you are tired, sleep, sleep NOW! I waited too long one night and I ended up being in a lot of discomfort, not really pain, just really uncomfortable.
As I said, I am only a week out from surgery. Is it minor? No. It's not a breeze. It's not like getting 1 stitch in your finger. There is pain, there is discomfort, and there is exhaustion. It is not a walk in the park, but it is completely do-able. Even at the worst of my pain post op, it has been easier than a "good day" before surgery. I don't regret the surgery in the least. I'm very happy I did it. I am emotional from time to time, I am getting hot flashes and night sweats, but overall, I'm doing okay. Tomorrow I am going to try going to the store for a little while, but I will undoubtedly come home and sleep for a few hours afterwards. I also don't have much of an appetite and have been sticking mostly to toast, cereal, and soup.
Tips for people? I would say buy a heating pad, I practically live with mine, buy a snug tank top or 3, it feels good to not have anything rub on your stitches, a pilllow on your belly feels good, and shower as soon as you can, it feels great. You CAN do this. As I said, it's not a walk in the park, but it's not horrible either. Just know that you will be TIRED and that the pain might be a little bad here and there, but you can get through it.