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9 days after, my experience 9 days after, my experience

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  #1  
Unread 03-09-2002, 01:01 PM
9 days after, my experience

I had my surgery 9 days ago on Feb 28,2002. I had total hysterectomy, including ovaries and cervix. I was so grateful to have found this site pre-operation. My main worry was the pain, and then I wanted to know how fast recovery would be. Here's my experience so far:

Pain

If somebody had told me beforehand to expect the day after surgery to be like the worst flu I'd ever had, that would have been pretty accurate. There was pain, but it was like deep, bad menstrual cramps or a migraine headache type of pain. In other words, it wasn't excruciating, unbearable pain. In fact, I think the pain medication caused more of a problem than the actual pain because it made me throw up continually until they switched it to Demerol.

After the first day the pain got better and was just discomfort underneath the Percoset. The discomfort is around the incision. Sometimes it feels like burning, or an aching underneath the incision. It hurts to cough, sit up from lying, or laugh because it pulls on the abdominal muscles.

By the third day I was on Motrin and that was really all that was needed. I stopped taking the Motrin on day 8. The incision is still tender to the touch and sometimes I get a pulling sensation under the incision if I get up from a chair quickly, but that's about all that's left.

Recovery

I am lucky to have a computer job that I do at home. I was able to start working again 4 days after surgery and worked the whole week without problem. Would not have been able to do that with an out-of-the-house job.

I was walking normally, not bent over or waddling, by day 5.

The discomfort was gone by day 8 and I stopped the Motrin

The deformed, 6 months pregnant, swollen belly slowly went down to flat with a bump over the incision by day 8. It's flat in the morning and swells to about 3 mo. pregnancy by supper time. I hate this the most. I still can't wear normal clothes because sometime around 3pm my stomach would bust out of them like The Hulk.

I don't always get a full-bladder sensation when I have to urinate. Sometimes it's just a little cramp. Right before my bladder is completely empty, while urinating, I get pain that feels like my insides are falling out. Sometimes when I get up from the toilet after urinating, I get a false urge to urinate.

Bowels are screwed up too. I didn't get constipation like the dr. predicted, but instead, every time I eat I get cramps that bend me over - the kind you get with food poisoning. I have to race to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. This is especially bad in the morning. I have to avoid eating before leaving the house.

I was a runner before the surgery, but that's out for 6 weeks. Instead I'm walking an hour a day, which is boring. There is a weird, but not painful, sensation when I walk. It feels like there is a hammock with a softball in it stretched between my two pelvic bones and sitting way down in my pelvis. I can feel "the softball" heavy and swaying when I walk.

Emotional

The hospital stay was the hardest part of this for me. I was in the maternity ward and did not see anybody else in my situation, just women who had given birth. I never had children, and maybe never would have anyway, but the hysterectomy finalized it before I was ready.

The biggest irony was looking and feeling 6 months pregnant after the surgery. It was bizarre. My waist was completely gone. My abdomen started going out right underneath my breasts. It was tight and extremely heavy. I had to bend backward a little to balance it out when walking. The extra larger sweatpants I bought to go home in didn't fit by the time I had to leave. I had to stretch them on anyway and they were pressing on my abdomen the whole way home. I had to wear hospital mesh underwear and long t-shirts in the house for about 4 days because I couldn't get anything else on. That was pretty depressing.

Each day is a marked improvement over the one before. I feel relieved that it's over. The anticipation built the operation up in my mind to be worse than the actual experience turned out to be.
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  #2  
Unread 03-09-2002, 01:09 PM
9 days after, my experience

Hi Gretchen,

I had my surgery one day before you!

I'm sorry that they put you in the maternity ward. That was my fear as well. But sometimes you just have to wonder what hospital folk think!



Doesn't sound like you had a rough recovery at all...about like mine actually. I too got sick in the hospital with the pain meds. They had me on a morphine pump. Bleck.

Sorry to hear about the cramping, have you been drinking water? I have and I still get this...but I'm not walking as much as I was last week, so I have to get onto myself about this.

Sara
  #3  
Unread 03-09-2002, 01:30 PM
9 days after, my experience

Nice to meet you. We're at the exact same stage.

I've been trying to do the 8 glasses of liquid a day and mostly making it but it doesn't seem to help the cramping at all. Very effective diet since I know the dire consequences of putting anything in my mouth.

Some sadist didn't slow down as I was crossing the street today and made me run. Felt good, but I don't dare. Don't want to hinder anything that might be trying to grow back together.
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  #4  
Unread 03-09-2002, 01:35 PM
9 days after, my experience

Hi Gretchen!

Your experience with your TAH/BSO sounds SO much like mine. My surgery was just a couple weeks ahead of yours. As you've found out already - it gets better every day. You can move better, stretch, walk, pain with urinating/bowel gets better every day. I'm a little over 3 weeks post now, and feeling good. No longer on pain med Demerol (gave me constipation) and now I just feel a "pulling" sensation. I have the urgency to have a BM too after I eat - esp. in morning. I've learned to "breathe through it" - take deep breaths from your tummy with any pain. It really helps.

I don't have any children either...I was infertile from endo, adhesions, fibroids (I'm 33 yrs old). I wasn't put on the maternity ward like you were, but at my hospital, they played a "Rock-a-Bye baby" tune every time a baby was born. Needless to say, this made me sad when it was played. And I was in the hospital for 3 1/2 days. Ugh. And the swelly-belly. I'm a larger person anyway so I can hide it a bit with the weight, but I do feel when I go out that people might think I'm pregnant. Depressing right now, but I know this will get better. Both the swelling and the emotional side of it. I'm so happy with my decision. NO MORE PAINFUL CRAMPS AND NO MORE BLEEDING!

Gretchen, big and hugs to all princesses out there - pre and post!
  #5  
Unread 03-09-2002, 03:51 PM
9 days after, my experience

Gretchen -- great post. My castle visit is in 4 days, and every positive story I hear helps.

Thanks. And I hope that bowel pain clears up soon, and the rest of your recovery proceeds smoothly!

Melissa
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