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PraireLakeLady's Journal
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forever since I have written 04-30-2005 - 11:17 AM
Well, I couldn't believe it has been since september when I wrote.

My half-sister had her surgery a loong time ago, is back at work and hopefully things are going to be OK.

I can't believe I am over 10 months post op now. The feeling is back in my abdomen except for a tiny bit tingling. I added testosterone cream and syntest to my Vivelle dot-I have my libido and sensations back, and my energy and sense of well being.
I weigh the same as I did a year ago-which doesn't make me too happy because I was down 10 pounds last fall. The doc said not to worry, that with spring and summer, I should be able to get out more and get more exercise.

A month more of school, then I am off for the summer.

How are all the others doing that were on here a long time ago? I'll check the journals and see!
YOu guys are all great!
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sad news 09-25-2004 - 10:41 AM
My half-sister called last week and her half-sister (my step-sister) (don't ask it is way too confusing) , anyhow our sister has just been told she has cancer of the tongue. She consults with the surgeon next week and the doc told her it is very painful and difficult surgery. The will have to remove most of her tongue, and then she will need chemo and radiation therapy for 6 months. He said she will not be able to talk for that time and will be on a feeding tube.The CAT scan also showed it is in her lymph nodes also.
She went through a divorce about 5 years ago and just started a new job anddoesn't have insurance right now either. And one of her other sisters (another of my stepsisters) has just been through all the treatments and surgery for breast cancer. My SS has always been painfully shy and hardly talks, only in the past year is she coming out of her shell and talking more. Now this will set her back maybe forever. Please send your prayers for her, this is truly awful.
She is holding up pretty good, says "Well what can I do, I don't really have any options and I can't wait for insurance to kick in"

Discuss (This entry has 10 member comments.)
Today is my Birthday! 09-18-2004 - 05:16 PM
Well today I am 55 years old! Wow, I really really never thought I would live that long. What a wonderful gift life is when you stop and think about it. As adults we get to make all of our own decisions about what we will be like, what we will act like, what gifts we will give and receive from the world.

I went to the Y this morning-did 30 sets on the weight machines, did 3.5 miles on the treadmill, then swam 1/4 mile in the pool.
Then came home and DH and I made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with his garden tomatoes. Then my dear daughter called to wish me Happy Birthday and we talked for 2 hours! Then DH and I went golfing in the beautiful fall day that was in the 80's.

Now we have a turkey on the rotiserrie. A perfect day. The hyster is behind me, the healing is almost done.

I am going to do the Triathalon that the Y is having-they said all skill levels and ability levels are welcome, so if I finish two hours behind everyone else, they'd better not laugh!!! First you swim 1/2 mile in the Y pool, then you go out the back door and ride your bike along a planned route for 15 miles that brings you back to the Y, and then you run for 5K (3.2 miles). I am a terrible runner so I spent time working on that today at the Y. My boobs are too big and they bounce too much. I am going to invest in a compression bra for this event!

Discuss (This entry has 11 member comments.)
each new day! 09-15-2004 - 05:12 PM
The greatest thing about life is that each day we get to try again to perfect what we did the day before,etc.
Today when I went to the "mean" school, I talked to the women that I had gotten all teary eyed and rude to on Monday. I told them that my DH told me crying wasn't the best way to communicate your needs at work. We all got a good laugh out of that, and I apologized for taking my frustrations out on them. They told me that everyone has those days at that school and they wanted me to know that they really appreciated me being there, they loved how I worked with the kids, and they were sorry it was such a hard day. So now I can breathe again.
I don't think my crying was a reaction to surgery though or to recovering. I have always handled anger and frustration with tears. I wish I was one of those people that could calmly and pleasantly assert myself. I even went to a shrink for a long time to try and deal with that part of myself. What I got out of 2 years with the shrink was that some people are criers and that is how they handle stress.
WEll, I have been on the site forever, if I don't pay some attention to my DH, I will have lots of time for the computer AFTER my divorce-tee hee!
I hope all my hystersister friends are having a good evening, are healing quickly, and finding support for whatever they need.
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Me?a Triatholon? 09-14-2004 - 09:17 PM
I saw a notice at the Y today that they are having a triatholon. It is 14 miles biking, 3.5 miles running and .5 miles swimming. It said that all levels of skill and abilities were welcome.
Just the thought of it makes my stomach hurt, but also brings a little smile to my face. I am going to go for it, I think. You know what I am the worst at? Running-I am a terrible and slow runner. But I am slow at everything-I am the slowest swimmer at the Y when I do laps. I always try and keep up with the ones on either side of me and I can't do it-EVER. But then I look at them a little closer and they are probably 20 years younger than I am.
My aunt is in her late 60's and runs in races-she says she always wins when she is the only one in her age category! Maybe no one else my age will consider a triathalon. It takes me an hour to swim a mile, an hour to ride my bike 14 miles on flat ground, and I have never run 3.5 miles. I can walk 4 miles in an hour if I really hoof it.

An update on my tearful emotional day yesterday. I have collected my ego and my id, and I am ready to tackle the "mean" school tomorrow. And no, they do not have anyone to do all the stuff-it is a charter school and the janitor is 80 some years old-he gets on his knees to get the dirt in a dust pan. He is hired on a program that hires eldery and the goverment pays for him. I am going to use my DH's advice and remember that crying is not a good way for an adult to get their needs met at work! Neither is anger, so I am left with trying to be reasonable and write down what I need rather than get into a conversation about it.
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bawling at work! 09-13-2004 - 07:26 PM
I fell apart at work today. I actually had to go into the girl's bathroom, sit on a stool, and sob. It was so stupid, I just lost any semblence of composure. Now I am a grown woman, I have a Master's Degree and 20 years of experience working in my career.
But one school I go to made a little room for me this year because they moved me out of the 4th room I had in 3 years over the summer. They took a locker room, put up a wall down the center, lowered the ceiling and were so excited that they made me a room. It didn't have carpet in it yet-just cement floors, but they said the carpet would be put in before school started, and my desk, kids table and chairs and stuff would be all cleaned up and put in there for me. Well, it still wasn't done today, and there are many many crickets all over the cement floor.
Anyhow, to make a long whiney story short, after several attempts to use different keys to open a storage room to get some extra chairs, to find a place to use a phone for confidential calls to parents about special education children, moving the large carpet roll in my room so we could get into the door, getting the key to my room to get the door open, being told that I could mix and use this spray for the crickets (What? I have to find a sprayer and mix up stuff and spray the crickets?) and just generally feeling like a second class citizen teacher, I threw the not working keys on the secretary's desk, and said "Please just bring me some chairs I can't get any of these keys to open the door." And then I went into the girls bathroom and started to sob.

Even after working the rest of the day, going to exercise, swimming a mile, and getting home-I still burst into tears when telling my husband. He listened very patiently, gave me a hug. And he said I need to find a better way to express myself because crying usually isn't very effective at the workplace.
Boy don't I know that.
I just feel very alone, very overwhelmed, and very much like if I dropped off the face of the earth, no one would blink an eye.
I know intellectually this isn't true-it's just how I feel today.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Discuss (This entry has 7 member comments.)
Do you ever get sooo mad? 09-08-2004 - 06:21 AM
This morning while getting ready to leave for work, I could tell some motor in the kitchen was working too hard. I checked the freezer in the side by side frig. My DH (NOT TODAY!) put a Coke in the automatic ice maker sometime yesterday and forgot it. It exploded all over the inside of the freezer. The last time it happened I was so mad while cleaning it out-that sticky stuff was everywhere on every shelf, on the frozen food packages, down the sides-it took forever to clean it out.
At that time I yelled-a lot-to him and told him I would never clean it again when he did that.
So now what? I left him a note to empty and wipe out all of the freezer, but I bet he will just wipe out a little and call it done.
I am anticipating being the "*****" of the day, but I hate to get mad about such small potatoes. I mean he doesn't get mad at me when I mess up stuff, or yell when I do something stupid. He's not a little boy-accidents happen.
Oh, and when I came home yesterday DH was out golfing and the whole house smelled like something was on fire. I looked around and saw that there was a pizza that was in the trash, burnt as black as charcoal. I bet when he fell asleep cooking his lunch that he also left the Coke in the freezer at that time.
I hate being petty, but I want to scream at something!!!!
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exercise du jour 09-07-2004 - 05:37 PM
Today I came home from work and got out the kayak and went out on the lake for an hour and a half. The pelicans and cormorants were feasting on fish. When I first went out there were no boats or skiers out there. I went all the way across the lake when I heard a huge noise. There was a small sea plane tooling across the water with huge splashes on both sides. It was very cool, but I also felt very small in my kayak-I hoped he could see me!
A little while later the plane went to one end of the lake and sped towards where I was and took off. I could even see the faces in the window of the pilot and a passenger. It was so neat-We live on a very tiny shallow lake so hardly ever see that.
Then on my way paddling back to our dock a boat came out and kids were water skiing. The whole thing was invigorating and relaxing- an hour and a half of good strong upper body workout, with the added benefit of stress reduction!

Several people told me today at work how good I looked, and a couple of teachers said, "Hi Skinny"! Some days I love my life!
Of course, tomorrow I could feel fat and like a failure-it seems to change from day to day.
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Labor Day Monday 09-06-2004 - 11:36 AM
Well, this is the day that signals the end of summer fun in my head anyhow. We still have some great weather and days here in Minnesota, but this is when we start thinking of getting ready for fall and winter.
We put gutter guards on the gutters yesterday and today. They are supposed to keep leaves and debris from washing into the gutters and they are supposed to prevent ice jams too. We had those last year really bad, so now are putting in more insulation in the crawl space and getting these gutter guards up.
We don't have the kayak or the dock out yet-I still want to enjoy the lake in September. But the leaves are turning and some are already falling into the yard.
School (my work) started last week, so I am getting back into the routine of things.
I found a really good article about hormone therapy-after the Women's Health Initiative Study-on the site of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists (www.acog.org) I even printed it out because some aides at work are suffering with hot flashes and think hormones are dangerous. At least I can give them the article so they can be more informed.

I am feeling a little down this weekend-I just want to lay in bed and read-not exercise, not do yard work, not wash clothes or get ready for work tomorrow. But I am putting one foot in front of the other and getting things done. I have sheets and pillow cases on the clothesline, the house is cleaned, I cleaned the oven too and scrubbed out the kitty litter boxes, vacuumed, and am doing about 6 loads of laundry. I will look forward to lounging this evening when the work is done-then the coming week at work will be much easier.
I have a ladies fun golf after work on Wednesday, and a benefit golf tournament all day next Saturday for the school athletic programs for the school I work for.

And I turn 55 years old on September 18th! I NEVER thought I'd live that long!
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the first week done 09-03-2004 - 08:12 PM
I made it through the first week of work.
I was pretty tough on myself-mentally telling myself I can do it all. Then I realized I am only 2 1/2 months post op and things are still swollen-I can see that.
My DH said several times this week that the only one putting pressure on myself to do it all perfect at work, at home, with eating and exercise is me and to just stop.
I am afraid to stop putting pressure on myself-then I can see myself gaining all my weight back, feeling crappy, getting fired, my husband leaving me, and living in a ditch with bugs all over me.

Anyone know what I mean about putting pressure on oneself to put one foot in front of the other and just keep on going?

Actually I am very happy with my successes, some parents of my children that saw me this week said I looked great. They said I looked like I had lost a lot of weight and it showed. A couple of teachers told me that I looked younger than before surgery. (I didn't tell them about the tummy tuck-I just smiled and said thank you) I live in a very small town and lots of people have seen me bike riding, or at the Y in the next town over, so they know I have been working really hard to get fit. I don't think it all showed until the tummy tuck though-that skin and fat was just hanging there keeping me in bigger clothes that I needed because of my waist.

Anyhow I am pretty tired by the end of the day, and have to keep reminding myself that I am still recovering. Another teacher at school had a hyster over a year ago and she said it takes a year before you feel totally over it. That seems like such a long time-so I will focus on one day at a time. A year from now it will be interesting to see how I feel.
My brother and his family are coming tomorrow for the weekend, so DH and I cleaned the house tonight after work for a couple of hours to get the spare rooms cleaned and sheets on the beds and stuff. He vaccuumed though-the last time I did that it wiped me out!
Have a great Labor Day weekend all my wonderful HysterSisters!

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Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's back to work I go! 09-01-2004 - 06:55 PM
Started back to work this week full-time after having the summer off. I work in a school so I used my summer to have surgery and recover. This week has been very hard to get my meals planned, my exercise in, and keep my wits about me at school.
I have about 50 kids on my caseload, and did manage to get them into a schedule with the teachers. I will start seeing some kids tomorrow and then next week in full swing.
I feel unorganized, totally inept, and can't seem to concentrate long enough to get any planning done. My files are a mess-that was something I was going to work on this summer while recuperating, but I didn't stay down long enough!

On the bright side, I have managed to exercise everday since Saturday.
Saturday-weight training and cross trainer 3 miles at the Y
Sunday-17 1/2 mile bike ride
Monday-15 mile bike ride
Tuesday-weight training circuit and 3 miles at the Y
Wednesday-swam 1 mile in one hour at the Y

I am missing my time in the morning to get my act together, to plan my meals, to have my leisurely cup of coffee. When I exercise at the Y, with the driving to and from there I don't get home until after 6 pm, then still have to figure out supper. DH has not been doing supper yet for us, I don't know what is going on there. I am just hanging on and trying to get through the stressful first few weeks until the paperwork, schedules, new kids, and stuff is done, and I can get back into a routine.
I thought several times today I just want to go home, have some ice water, and relax and let someone else take care of me!
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swallowed a FOOTBALL? 08-26-2004 - 03:47 PM
Well it is official.
Housework is more demanding on your body than swimming a mile or riding your bike for 17+ miles. Because yesterday I cleaned house for 6 hours straight, and by evening my abdomen got all pointy in the middle. It really looked like a football was in there. So I told my DH that he would have to clean the house the next time - before Labor Day's company comes. He just laughed and said that NO one cleans house like me, and it wouldn't hurt him a bit because he wasn't going to vacuum under the bed or in the corners, or change the wood chips in the potted plants!

I have one more week day of freedom-tomorrow-before I go back to work at school starting Monday. Gone will be the days of "recovering" and doing what I want all day long. Gone will be the lounging around the house in the morning with my coffee. Gone will be the extra time to go for long bike rides or finish a good book.

Some hystersisters have asked me if my sex pain could be the vaginal cuff healing. I am still unclear if that refers to the top of the vagina where it was connected to tissues after the cervix and uterus was removed, or if it refers to the opening to the outside world of the vagina. The doc told me the opening is where it needs stretching because of all the repairs and tightening he did there. He said everything was all healed up nicely at the 7 week exam, but that sex would be a "little" uncomfortable. Well, we have only had actual intercourse twice and I am feeling pretty gun shy now. Then I worry if I don't stretch it and use it that it will not get any better. What's a woman to do?

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Sex STILL hurts 08-22-2004 - 03:41 PM
Well, sex still hurts-I am 2 months post op-my surgery was on June 22, so it is actually is 8 1/2 weeks, but it sure ain't like the movie

Someone mentioned Astroglide-so did my doc, and we are using enough to raise the company stock
The doc said he tightened and repaired everything and it would just need some "stretching out". Weeeel, I am getting a little gunshy, I consider it my duty now to get it stretched out so it doesn't hurt-the heck with any pleasure out of it. My DH is also tackling this as a goal!

On a more positive note-I got up early and went for a 15+ mile bike ride, then we went golfing for 18 holes, then I came back and did some gardening for a bit. Now I am ready to get comfy and read awhile.

It is amazing how much better I feel just making the committment to exercise for at least 40 minutes every day-no matter what. And I cut out the refined carbs too-so I already feel better. And my size 10 shorts are fitting again today-yesterday the 12's were too tight around the waist. Go figure

I am not getting on the scale until my 55th birthday on September 18th. That will be my birthday present to me-to be happy at what I see!

I love this site, and all the great support from people-I tend to get depressed pretty quickly when things don't go smoothly, it helps to vent and know someone might be reading and understand.
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Feeling good, feeling crappy 08-21-2004 - 02:31 PM
I just read my last entry from three days ago and I was feeling so upbeat and great. I had a great time shopping and bought some of my clothes in the petite store-the sleeves and the length are better. And in the regular stores I bought some size 10 Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Well, I got everything home and last night after being really busy all day, including 4 hours at work getting ready for the first day of school, errands, 18 holes of golf and eating out, I came home and tried on my clothes again.
But this time I felt fat. Now I couldn't have gained any weight in one day-or could I? My abdomen was pretty swollen by my hips, and things felt tight around the waist. I have these two 'lumps' by my hips-the doc said they would go down at 4 to 6 months, so I will just have to hope he actually knows what he is talking about

So today I feel fat, like a failure, like a loser. My eating and exercise has not been as good as it could be.

I did tell myself that the only thing that will help these feelings of failure is to get organized and get going on a more consistent basis. So I got my butt off the recliner, went to the Y this morning, did the strength training circuit, and did 40 minutes and 3.5 miles on the crosstrainer machine in my heart range. Then I weighed myself there when I was done. I was 3 1/2 pounds higher than I was 1 1/2 weeks ago at the docs post op appt. I don't weigh myself often, I follow the idea that if you eat healthy, exercise regularly the weight will come off. But my pants have been feeling a little tighter around the waist for the past day or so.
Then I went to the grocery store and piled on the fresh fruits and veggies and didn't buy anything else-I even bought the low fat cheese-which by the way tastes like plastic or rubber or something.

I still feel fat, but I have the tools to get my act back together. School starts soon, so I will be back at work, and into a routine again.
I just can't believe what a set-back I feel like I have had with my emotions and moods with this weight thing. Here I was expecting that 8 weeks post op I would be down at least 8 pounds from the surgery date-they did remove 2 1/2 pounds of skin and fat with the TT. And I am feeling fatter! Aaarrggh. It is time to get busy again!
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sex-AGAIN!? 08-18-2004 - 07:43 AM
We did the 'big nasty' as I like to call it-again. That is two times since the doc said to go again. He said it would be a little painful until things got 'stretched out' and relaxed because of the rectocele and vaginal wall repairs. Well, he is a very good doctor because he was right-it did hurt and was very uncomfortable again. Poor DH-his job is to 'stretch' things out even if it is uncomfortable.

I kept telling myself to relax, that it would get better each time, but it still hurt. Now in my whole life-sex has never hurt so this is a new one for me.

Just goes to show you-"If you live long enough you get to see everything"
On a more positive note-I went on a 14+ mile bike ride yesterday late afternoon, and it felt great. A little sore when I got done-but it was the same soreness people always get-in the butt and the back. My eating has been on target also after a weekend of camping and s'mores and choc chip cookies. Good thing we don't go camping every weekend!
Surgery was 8 weeks ago on Tuesday, and each week I feel better.

I did a really cool and fun thing yesterday. Went through my closets and tried on all my clothes. Put everything on the bed that was too big to take to a friends and then Goodwill. Now my closets are almost empty. I have no dresses, no skirts, two pairs of pants that I bought this summer, and a few sweaters that I hadn't stretched out of shape. This was a big step for me mentally because now I don't have those big clothes to go back to-I have to stay eating healthy and exercising! And I am going shopping tomorrow for a few things-like a simple black dress to put jackets and sweaters over, and a pair of khaki pants.
Life is good.
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Post op sex 08-12-2004 - 09:09 PM
Well, the doc cleared the sexual intercourse for us on Tuesday. So we got up the nerve to try-the doc said it would take a couple of times and lots of Astroglide to get things stretched, relaxed and working again. He said they repaired the area all around the episiotomy and the tearing I had with my second child, and the vaginal wall had loose skin excised and had been repaired to keep the bowel from bulging into there.

He said it was repaired and would be like it was before I had kids-but was very tight from the surgery and would take a few times to stretch it a bit.

Weeellll, let me tell you-the doc wasn't kidding. I didn't think anything would even fit in there. It was kind of sore-and it did hurt a little, but at least everything works!

Pretty personal, but it was a big worry for me and I am glad to get the first time over with so I can enjoy it again.

On another note, we have the car all packed up and are going tenting this weekend to bike, fish and kayak with my brother and his wife. It will be nice to go away and relax. Not that I haven't relaxed at home-that is all I have done. But now we are going away to relax-can't get enough of that relaxing!
School will be starting all too soon and the relaxing part will be over!
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friend with lung cancer 08-09-2004 - 06:33 AM
One of my friend's just got back from chemo treatments for her tumor in her lung. We golfed together yesterday in a tournament. She is waiting for 3 weeks, then goes back to see if it has shrunk enough for surgery.

She has shown grace, dignity and courage with this. She is sick to her stomach, weak from the 6 weeks of chemo, but loves to golf so golfed all weekend. She had a cute bright red fuzzy hat she wore yesterday because all her hair is gone.
She just said, "Well, I have had many benign tumors in other places in my body, it was about time for me to run out of luck and have one that is cancerous."

I also talked last week with a friend at work that had a hyster the day after I did. She is doing great, said she feels better than ever-not fatigued. She had a vaginal hyster so no external incision and she kept her ovaries so no HRT but she was so positive.

Both of these people made me realize I have been dwelling on the hyster too much-it is almost 7 weeks past, and basically it is over. My life is resuming back to normal-even better than normal because the preop problems are resolved.
Hopefully tomorrow at my check-up I will be told everything is ready for action-if you know what I mean. At 4 weeks I needed some silver nitrate treatments and no intercourse until this checkup.

Oh, I also golfed on Saturday with another woman, who is the most negative person I have ever met. Never smiles, everything is wrong. Someone else asked me how I liked living on the lake now. I said it was wonderful, my hubbie has caught several walleyes and northern off the dock. She said "REALLY? I didn't think there was anything in that lake". She just says stuff like that all the time. Another man came up to me at one point and asked me if I had gotten 'n' to smile yet?

So given a choice, I will choose positive outlook, looking for the best in each situation. It is a much better way to spend our days on earth. Not to say we can't complain and feel rotten, but when given a choice, I really like being thankful and optimistic. Besides it is more fun.
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Not "I'll try", but "I'll do" 08-06-2004 - 03:58 PM
I was reading some of the goal writing information in an e-book I have called Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto. He also has a free online newsletter that is very helpful.
Anyhow, he lists negative thoughts that cause you to fail.
One of them is "I'll try". You see I always thought that "I'll try" was a positive statement. He says if you find yourself thinking that, to say "Switch" or "Next" and replace that thought with "I'll do". He also has some good positive statements to repeat to yourself like, "What can I be doing right now to be more active and to get to my goals?" and "What could I eat right now that will get me to my goals?".

Those have been very helpful to me over the past year to lose the weight I have, and re-reading them really helped me get back on track again this week. There are very powerful statements that give us power and energy, whereas the other kinds of statements like "Why is it so hard for me to lose weight" take away power and energy. He really claims that we become what we think. I know it has changed my thinking, my activity levels, and my eating.

I am feeling pretty normal now. When biking yesterday and golfing today I was able to move very freely and didn't even think about surgery the whole time. No pulls, tugs, twinges or anything. Just clean precise movements outdoors with the sun shining, the breeze blowing, great big white clouds in the sky too.

What a glorious day to be alive, healthy and to have the surgery behind me! I feel truly blessed and very happy to be able to move around and not feel like I am in labor all the time with cramps and stabbing pains.
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6 weeks post op 08-05-2004 - 04:55 PM
Well, this day 6 weeks ago I was home from the hospital with surgery 48 hours behind me. I can't believe how far I have come. It seems almost surreal that I went though all that. Even when I look at my huge incision I can't believe I actually did that.

I just got back from a 10+ mile bike ride today and feel great. No pains, no aches, no pinching or pulling. Even my rear end didn't hurt!

I have been sleeping in though when not working, I don't get up much before 9:30 or 10. I was getting up really early, so going back to work at the end of August is going to be hard on me unless I start training myself to get up early! I mean I am sleeping about 11 or 12 hours a night!

I have been staying completely away from the bad carbs-the white flour, potatoes, rice, pasta, breads, and just eating the good carbs and meats-fruit, vegetables, grilled chicken, salads. It completely takes away the hunger and I do not overeat. It is amazing.

I am still having some troubles with hormones I think anyhow. Some hot flashes, some headaches (but migraines are gone!), some dizziness and some aches and pains. But I feel so much better than before surgery. When I think of my constant 'labor pains', heavy feeling, stabbing pains in my right hip and pelvic area, then I know how far I have come.

How is everyone else doing?
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Back in the Saddle again 08-03-2004 - 03:29 PM
Well, since I decided to take a brutually honest look at what I was (or was not) doing, I have made a good turn around in my thinking and my behavior.
I spent an hour yesterday on the lake in my kayak, paddling all around, and working up a good sweat. And today I am bike riding for at least 40 minutes to get that cardio up there where it belongs.
I worked today seeing patients in nursing homes (speech therapy) for almost 8 hours, ate appropriately by planning and packing my lunch and healthy snacks, and even got a short nap in this afternoon to aid my recovery.
So I feel pretty good now-I like to take action-I used to whine more, but I always have said doing something-anything- is better than doing nothing, especially if you want any thing to change.

If I can do this, then so can anyone else. It just takes one foot in front of the other, and NO EXCUSES!
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soul searching today 08-02-2004 - 11:26 AM
Today I have been really soul searching and trying to be brutally honest with myself. I have not lost more weight since surgery and I had expected to. Then I really looked at what I have done, and I haven't been able to do all the exercise and cardio workouts that I did pre op-of course. But I also kept eating the way I had when I was doing all that stuff. Well, in my endomorph body type that just doesn't cut the mustard!
I have spent two days reading an e-book I have that talks about eating and goal setting and motivation. It has been very good for me.
The main thing is an Excuse Buster question.
"If anyone ever has reached the goals you have, given the circumstances you face, then you can do it too."
There are victims in this world and there are people that just keep on doing what they know is right no matter what-NO excuses. Excuses keep me where I am, excuse busters get me where I want to go.

There is nothing standing in my way today that can keep me from being more active, making better food choices, and doing what needs to be done.

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Dizzy and nausea and other symptoms 08-01-2004 - 08:49 PM
We golfed today in the hot and humid weather-18 holes, but had a cart.
We did a little grocery shopping, then came home to the nice air conditioning and after eating a late lunch I decided to lay in bed, read and doze. Then after getting settled, I remembered I had forgotten to change my Vivelle Dot. I am supposed to change it on Wednesday night and Sunday am. Well, because I am an airhead lately, I actually changed it on Tuesday night-thinking it was Wednesday. So then when I didn't get it changed this morning, it was about 4 pm before I got it done.
After I laid down for awhile I got very dizzy-the room was spinning, and I got a little nauseaus. It is still there some-but not as bad. I took a OTC motion sickness pill too.

I looked up side effects on the Vivelle Dot package and that is one of them-but I have had it on for over 5 weeks and haven't had any problems. My blood pressure is good, so it isn't that.
My DH thinks I got overheated or fatigued from golfing in the heat, but it was hotter and more humid last week when we went and I was fine.
Anyhow, I hate the way it feels and it better go away soon!

I have been having a few hot flashes also that I didn't have before, and some pain in my right lower back. Oh, and having inability to reach an orgasm-this is getting to be a long list, huh?
Good thing I go to the doc again on the 9th for another post op visit. We'll see if these symptoms are a "flash in the pan"
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ball bearings in a hot skillet 07-30-2004 - 07:47 PM
I told my DH tonight that I feel a level of anxiety and impending doom that is like heating up ball bearings in a skillet until they start to dance and pop around. He laughed and said that was a very good description of the anxiety he has felt in his life. I have never experienced this kind of restlessness so it is good for me to know what he had gone through with his bipolar. I imagine it is my body trying to adjust to the abrupt end of life as it knew it will the hormones and other good stuff being put out by the ovaries.

At least I haven't done anything to get arrested or be put into the mental hospital YET!

I worked over 8 hours yesterday and over 6 today so am getting a taste of what it will be like to go back to work. Yesterday I came home and laid around for 3 hours before exercising. Today I didn't need to, and we just got back from golfing too.
So each day gets a little easier and feels a little more normal in some ways.

I got my surgical and lab report today but need to look up a few things. My doc explained it pretty good, it is pretty short and simple. But in the first line, it said a female 54 years old, moderately obese- Boy did that honk me off. Going into surgery I was 5'5" and weighed 154- Not exactly stick thin but since I had lost over 50 pounds, I figured it wouldn't say "moderately obese" What do I have to weigh for it NOT to say that? I mean I am wearing size 10 shorts and pants now- and medium tops and I actually have a waist since the tummy tuck. So what on earth do I have to do? That really honked me off.

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5 weeks to the day 07-27-2004 - 02:54 PM
5 weeks ago I was in surgery and didn't even know what was going on. Now I am on the healing side and very glad it was over. Actually this morning at 11:15 I was having a mammogram and I thought that 5 weeks ago I had been in surgery for over 4 1/2 hours and they were just starting on the rectocele repair. Thank goodness I wasn't awake for that!

I went to the Y today and did 35 laps-the first time I have done laps since surgery. It felt so free, and I felt so alive.

Last night DH and me were sitting in the hot tub and we were getting a Northern Lights show across the lake. It was very beautiful, we don't see them too often this far south.

I also felt good enough to commit to helping do some substitute therapy 1/2 days on Thursday and Friday at some nursing homes so a friend could go to a workshop. Plus with all the extra hospital bills, the extra money will do fine. And I told them I would help them out 3 half days next week too. I also have a toddler to evaluate next week, so I am gradually getting back into it all. I still want to sleep in, roam around the house with coffee, and do all the fun stuff most of the day. But it will be good to get back slowly now, rather than start full time in 6 weeks without any practice. I could do full days now until school starts as busy as they are, but I am going to have fun during the summer too! Money isn't everything.

Now if I can just get the OK for sex my life would be perfect. Oh, that and winning the lottery would help too!
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thankfulness 07-25-2004 - 11:20 AM
AT church this morning (we haven't gone since Easter-another post another time), the theme was prayerfulness.
The first thing was to give thanks and praise, and what to give thanks and praise for. Well, I started thinking and I have so many things to be thankful for that I started getting all teary eyed.

The main thing:
My DH, after 34 years is still the love of my life. I am so fortunate that we found each other- even though he makes me so mad some days I could spit-he is the perfect ying for my yang! Yesterday he asked me if I was ready to go out in the kayak on the lake. We live on a small lake-about 360 acres-that was like glass yesterday.
So we got our fishing poles, our water, our lifejackets, our bug spray and sunscreen, and went out. We paddled around, fished, watched two kingfisher birds stalking fish, watched the pelicans glide along, watched some turtles, watched a waterskier fly by, and paddled a lot. We were out for 2 1/2 hours and it was great. So very peaceful I can't even describe it.

When I was young parts of my life seemed so hopeless that I wondered if I would ever be happy or find peace, or if there were any decent guys in the world. It is so wonderful to know that yes, there are decent guys, yes life can be grand, and I have a whole ton of things to be thankful for. I only hope I can give back to the world a little of what has been given to me.
I hope all my hystersisters out there are finding their peace, and working toward their happiness also. It may seem impossible and you may feel you will never find it, but believe me, it is out there (or in there too!). Just never give up your dreams!
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no sex allowed yet but still a little scared 07-24-2004 - 02:23 PM
I am not cleared for vaginal sex yet, but I am still thinking about it and nervous. Especially when I read that some without a cervix not, are very uncomfortable and can feel the vaginal cuff being hit.

I felt around this morning at the opening of the vagina and there isn't enough room to fit anything bigger than a pencil in there! The rectocele repair has left a huge hard wall there-the doc said there is a big hard wall there for now, but it will go down and be fine.

I talked to my hubbie about my concerns and he said that it is still very early in the healing process and I need to just trust that things will work out, and that he is sure things will.

So I am really writing this mostly to express it because it is nagging at me.

My SIL told me last night that it was the first time since surgery that I looked like I was walking more at ease and more normally again. She was excited for me, and said I looked so good. She had a hyster a little over a year ago and has been very positive and good about it all. I am lucky to have her, she just married my brother in May but they had been dating for a few years.
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back to the weights and machines 07-22-2004 - 03:48 PM
Since I got the Ok from the doc on Tuesday, I decided to get to the Y today and work back into my pre op exercise program. I talked with the trainer there and he said after 6 weeks without exercising much, that I could go back to January's weights and activities and try them. He said they might be too light, then I could add more the next time.

He also said to be sure and BREATHE with each rep-that if you hold your breath that creates the pressure than causes the hernia.

So I did breathe- a lot! I did the whole circuit, then 30 minutes on the cross trainer machine in my heart range.

It was Crazy Days in town, so I also went and tried on some clothes and bought a few things for work in the fall.

I feel soooo good. I didn't fall down, or faint or anything. The only machine I had to go a lot lighter with was the ab muscle one. Pre op I was pushing down 128 pounds, with my chest, today I had to move it to 68 pounds or it was a little too uncomfortable.

I golfed 18 holes yesterday in 95 degree heat, and then played cards until 11:00 with some friends.

She's back-she's on the mend.

Now if she can just get some SEX! (Oh, that has to wait for at least 3 more weeks-darn!)

My goal is to lose a few more pounds before I go back to the doc in three weeks. My end goal is to lose 15 more pounds altogether. But the thing I cannot get over being excited, is that for the first time in my entire life, I feel normal. When I try on clothes, they look good and fit, and when I walk around in stores people are not looking at me as fat. This has been a lifelong journey for me, but I never really thought I would get here! Too bad I can't do anything about the "middle-age" skin and face-tee hee.

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4 week post op check-OUCH! 07-20-2004 - 08:49 PM
Well, I had my long awaited gyn post op check today. I was so excited, I have been doing great! I feel normal for several hours each day-even forgetting that I had surgery.

The doc did the internal exam and OUCH! It really hurt-felt like pinching, pain, he pulled and pushed around in there a lot. It all hurt. The speculum hurt, and all the stuff he did hurt. He said he could tell by looking at it that it hurt. He said that sometimes the stitches "draw down" when they heal, and it felt like he was separating things. Then he asked the nurse for silver nitrate and said it would sting a little. Well that was true, but the other things hurt too, so it wasn't much different.

He said nothing in the vagina and come back in 3 weeks. Now I haven't had any vaginal pain, no discharge, etc since surgery.
Well, the honeymoon is over-now I have the black silver nitrate spotting, and pinkish and a little reddish discharge.

He said there was nothing I could have done to prevent it, it just happens sometimes.

He said I could resume all other activities, aerobics, strength training at the Y, swimming, golfing, bike riding, anything-just to start back slower and at less weights than before surgery and work back up. And to back off if something hurts.

He also said there were lots of ways to have sex, but just not to have vaginal intercourse until he clears it. DH said I should have asked him what all those other ways would be-tee hee. Like DH doesn't have enough of an imagination.

I said I didn't feel much like any kind of sexual activity after all that pushing pulling, pinching and prodding and burning done today.

Has anyone else had this happen at their 4 week check-up?
I am pretty bummed out about this, I thought this was going to be the end of my gyn visits for a whole year!

The gyn also asked me tons of questions about menopausal symptoms and said we have to watch those closely to determine if I am on the right HRT amount and kind.

I haven't had any hot flashes or any signs except back aches and trouble sleeping. Of course that was before the appointment. Now I am having a hot sweaty moment at the computer!

Well one thing, I am really looking forward to getting back into a little more exercise and activity. I lost those 55 pounds in the last two years, I am NOT putting that back on! And I have aobut 15 more I want to lose.

But the gyn said I looked great-nice and trim and a waistline! For the first time in my life! Yay about some things! I wore my size 10 capris with a belt and zipper and no elastic-all day driving, at the movie after without any discomfort. With a silk tank top tucked in, none the less. I could dance on the rooftops, now if I could only have sex!
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Some of the posts are getting my goat!!! 07-18-2004 - 07:47 AM
Grrrr. I can't believe some of the situations we women get ourselves into. What ever makes us think we are the workhorses and household slaves of people? Some of the message board posts are refreshing my memory of what it felt like to be responsible for everything! The way some of the dear ladies are being treated before and after surgery is absolutely mind boggling. How do we get into those situations in the first place. I can't believe when they got married the guy said, "Well, I will work, but I won't give you any emotional support, I won't help with the house, the kids, or ever give you any sympathy or kindness. I won't do anything for you that you could drag yourself out of your surgery bed and do for us. I will never cook or clean or pay attention to the kids. Now will you marry me and do all that and have sex with me whenever I want, but never bug me about anything else or I will leave?" Oh yes, sweetheart, that sounds like a fair deal and a marriage made in heaven?

What ever happened to wedding vows of "in sickness and in health?"

Why do people get married? For help with the dishes? I hope not-

Because they are in love, they want to share a life together, they want to laugh together, they want to support each other in times of joy and sorrow and need. They want to love and have sex, and raise children.

I say if you can't do it all, then don't. I speak from experience-trust me-I was 14 when my Mom died and I took it upon myself to become the household worker bee-I did it all-with two preschoolers, an older brother and a dad that did nothing to help-I mean nothing. Not buy the groceries, cook, clean up, do the laundry, watch the little ones, clean the house, mow the lawn, paint the house-they did absolutely nothing. They would have poker parties, friends living with us, and I would clean up after everyone. I went with relatives once for 2 weeks vacation and came back to 2 weeks worth of party trash, beer cans, dirty dishes, rotten food, a kitchen fire with the burnt steak still in the broiler and black grease everywhere, moldy coffee cups, trash bags not taken out, dirty clothes-unmowed lawn, and a house full of fleas! And I was 15 years old!

I did that for 3 years, then decided I was worth more than that and stopped trying so hard to make everything right. The world didn't end when I quit working so hard. I gave the little kids the love and support they needed, and let the rest go right down the tubes. The house was a mess, the yard was a mess, but I stood up for myself and learned that the world does not fall apart if you quit trying to be the one to hold it together.
I think we women have had a big time guilt trip put on us from the time we were babies, and we think we are responsible for everything that goes wrong. We aren't. I am sorry to sound so angry, but I am. I was there, I lived it-I stopped doing it all and my life and the lives around me became much more balanced.

It is no fun to be a doormat. Others around you that are taking advantage of you are able to do so because you are letting them. If you stop letting them, they will either help you or leave and go find another worker bee. Because unfortunately there are a ton of women out there that think they are worth nothing more and are willing to do it all for a scrap of security.
And if you are doing it all anyhow, you might not even notice the guys are gone. If you are staying because of money, then you have to realize that you have given up the possibility and hope of getting the real love you deserve. You just might be better off poor and alone because at least the messes you clean up are your own!

Does anyone out there know what I am talking about? Why do women get themselves into these impossible, lonely, loveless relationships?
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the friends 07-16-2004 - 08:15 AM
I got back yesterday afternoon from our 'friends' reunion. It is so wonderful to spend time with a bunch of women that know exactly what you are talking about. We laughed, we cried, we shared all our pictures. We talked about all our kids, which all the rest of us knew since they were babies.
They all hugged and hugged me and told me how wonderful I looked. They couldn't believe my surgery was only 3 weeks ago.
I drove the 180 mile trip to the reunion site on Tuesday, which was exactly 3 weeks since surgery. Then I drove back on Thursday afternoon. I went for a good long walk in the evening yesterday before DH got home, then lounged the rest of the evening.

I really feel pretty good. I do have the lower back ache most of the time, I had it before surgery and I suppose it will just never go away! I was hoping it would go away with getting the prolasped uterus out of there, but so far no luck. I think sleeping on my back is really starting to bother me. I can only sleep on my side with tons of strategically placed pillows, for an hour or so, then I wake up and have to turn onto my back.There is still a lot of swelling on my hips at the ends of the incisions.

I still have an almost completely numb abdominal area from my rib cage to my pubic line. My rear end still has a little hemorrhoid or two and I have an itchy outer vaginal area that vagisol helps. I go in for my 4 week post op appointment next week and I am worried that he will say sex is OK, I can't even imagine that anything could go in there, or even fit! There is still a pretty big bulge in the area between the vaginal wall and the rectum, probably from the posterier repair.

Otherwise, I feel really great. It was so invigorating and refreshing to spend a few days with the old gang. But we used to stay up almost all night talking. Now we were all in bed by 10:30 the second night! And up by 6:30!
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my Friend's reunion 07-12-2004 - 12:15 PM
Well I am supposed to meet one of the seven of us tomorrow about a 2 hour drive from here and then travel the rest of the way with her to our annual friends reunion.
She called last night and her DH is in the hospital. He may need heart surgery-she will know more today. It will be his third stent-or else they might do a by-pass, or nothing at all if the tests come back that there isn't a problem. She is so bummed, the stress of worrying about him, about wanting to come to the reunion, everything.
I do have an alternative plan, but it involves me driving 2 1/2 hours to meet up with another friend to make the rest of the trip.

My friend's DH is also our very good friend-he had childhood diabetes and actually has done very well with that, with some surgeries and problems but still doing good. This heart thing is a bigger worry now, his father died of a heart attack in his early 50's and our friend is in his late 50's. You just feel so helpless and they are over 5 hours away, so driving over there is not an option-having extra people around would be more stress.

I will pray for some 's to watch over them.

Life can be so sucky sometimes!

As far as my recovery, I had a little bright red spotting last night after a BM. Only a little and only on one wiping. And after I had a sharp pain in my right front area, but that was only a few pains, then they stopped too. I am thinking a stitch dissolved or something.

I am reaching the 3 week mark tomorrow, and hope I don't hit the 3 week wall that others have talked about.

Oh, and I bought a few summery clothes on sale today-in a size 10! OH MY This is fabulous! I have a waist-still a little swollen but an actual waist. I have NEVER NEVER had a waist in my entire life. This was worth every penny and all the pain would have been there anyhow from the hysterectomy so Yeah!
Now I can die happy-How shallow is that?
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recovering 07-11-2004 - 09:23 PM
I just wanted to add a brief entry tonight. Just in case I sound like I am just out there being normal as if nothing happened. I don't want anyone to feel bad because they feel like a failure at recovery.
I do go out and walk a long ways, and I have been able to do the stairs at home and light housekeeping. I have been chipping and putting at the golf course, driving, and sitting in the hot tub.

BUT, I also have been in my recliner every afternoon for at least 2 hours, or more. And I also lay in the recliner or on the couch all through the evening.

I still am taking some darvoset at night to try and sleep, and I still can't sleep on my side, which is making the nights sometimes long.

So I know even though I may be feeling frisky, that I have a long way to go to feel like I did before surgery.
I still have an entire numb abdomen from my rib cage to my pubic area, and the rectocele repair feels very bulging and hard between my legs.

I just think I need to focus on what I can do, and on what progress I have made, so I can feel like there is an end in sight.

I do not have much patience with laying around so much, and I tell myself many times a day it is OK for me to take a 2 hour nap, or not to clean up the kitchen, or not to want to do something.

I just want to tell all my Hystersisters out there that this was a big deal, and everyone is different about how they handle it. I have always been a "take no prisoners" type of person, and "show no weakness" even to myself. That is how I approach life in general. I have been forcing myself not to do more than I should be. I did start to wash some windows on Saturday, and only did one, then told my hubbie I just thought it might be too much stretching and pushing. So he did all the ones I was worried about, outside and in.

We are all healing in our own time, I am really praying that I will continue to heal. Like I said in the last post, I still feel wierd-I can't explain it, like I have been assaulted is the best way I can think of it.
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another good day 07-11-2004 - 04:14 PM
Today DH and me went to the "bigger" town to golf. We have memberships in two places for a variety of reasons, but the bigger town is a town of 12,000 and the town we live in is 1100. We golfed 9 holes, and I was able to golf the whole way while only using my 7 iron and pitching wedge and putter. I am getting better at the short irons too, but it still adds about 20 strokes to my score.
I feel great, was happy to get out in the heat and sunshine, and enjoy the summer day. It was less than 3 weeks ago when I was facing this huge surgery and thinking I would never be normal again.
Yesterday my brother and his wife drove down and we walked all around town, did a small museum tour, and sat in the hot tub before they left. She had a hyster a little over a year ago, so is very good to talk to about the recovery process. She also healed really fast.

I got a little misty eyed today thinking of how scared and all alone I felt right in those minutes before they finally put me under, and how vulnerable I felt. How much we have to put our lives into other's hands, people we don't even know, like the nurse anethsetist, the surgical nurses, the surgeons. I feel weird today, somehow changed by the whole experience. I don't remember feeling like this after back surgery.

It will be 3 weeks on Tuesday. At about the time I was coming to the end of the surgery, I will be in my car, driving to join up with my friend to travel the rest of the way with her to see our other good ol girlfriends. I never thought I would be able to go this year because of the surgery, so I feel extra lucky to be doing so well.

I feel somewhat restless today, I am anxious to get the go ahead from the doc to do more-I am bored silly, even though I am enjoying my resting time. I am ready for some speed-fast bike riding, fast swimming, fast golfing, fast walking, fast boating.

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pictures of uterus, not grandchildren 07-09-2004 - 07:53 AM
I am going next week to a yearly get-together I have with 7 of us women that were wonderful friends when we were in our 20's, 30's and part of our 40's. Then everyone started moving away, or retiring and moving. We have a great bond, we raised our children together and we were all stay at home mom's except for two that had their own businesses. We went through everything together, children's almost fatal car accidents, children's rapes, husband's health problems including deaths, spouse's drinking problems, our own pregancies, and illnesses including breast cancer, divorces, 1/2 of us went back to college and we all helped and supported that. Our children were all the same ages so they all hung around together too. Now we are going through some of the gals have grandchildren with problems, like autism and down's syndrome so we talk and talk to each other about that. We had a ton of fun, a ton of tears, and a lot of really good years together. I think relationships like those come along very rarely-we were just all in the right place at the right time and everything just clicked.

Anyhow we get together once a year at someone's house. It means a 7 or 8 hour drive for some, but it is well worth the 3 days we spend together, sitting up and talking all night, and sharing all the pictures of the children and grandchildren and husbands from the past year.

I told my one friend that I am meeting to ride part way with- that I was bringing pictures of my uterus! She is an RN so she really laughed. She said she can't wait to see my scar too. That means they are all going to want to see my scar, like show and tell. It is pretty low, and very long and might involve being partially nude, so I don't know about that.

They all have grandchildren, but my two kids have not done that yet. I am the youngest of the group, but my kids aren't. My daughter is 34 now, and my son is 29 now. He is gay so there won't be any grandchildren there, and my daughter isn't even sure if she wants kids.

Anyhow, polaroids of my uterus will be very interesting as my contribution this year, and a showing of my scar and my new belly button. Even the RN didn't know I would get a new belly button from an abdominoplasty. They will be very curious. One other of the 7 had a hysterectomy several years ago but no one asked to see her scar! But then she has grandchildren's pictures to show. tee hee
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the great nurses! 07-08-2004 - 01:18 PM
The nurse in charge of my case on the hospital ward called today to check on how I was doing. She said not to sleep with pillows under my knees, it might encourage a blood clot. She said to try my side with lots of pillows all over for cushions to take the pressure off my back. I will try that tonight.

She also said that I can get my surgical and lab records at no cost. I LOVE this hospital and clinic. I have had calls from nurses at both the hospital and the docs office just to check up on me and how I am doing.
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the golf and Thanks to Hystersisters! 07-08-2004 - 11:30 AM
Well, I just got back from golf. I used my 7 iron, my pitching wedge and my putter and walked the whole 9 holes. By the end I was even able to get my own golf ball out of the cup! With not being able to use any long hitting clubs, I golfed a 67-my usual is in the 40's, but oh, was it fun to actually be out there doing something. And I still marvel, I am 2 weeks and 2 days post op. I am going to use today's score to see if I can improve with only chipping and putting. Actually DH said I am more pitching, chipping and putting!

I think those 2 years of eating healthy, exercise, lifting weights, taking nutritional supplements and losing 55 pounds really helped. Yea, medical world for all your research into these. Dr. Ray Strand, who has a website, has been researching this, and also researching the current research for the past ten years, and he is very convincing that inflammation is the cause of most of our chronic illnesses. I feel very fortunate that my hubbie's psychiatrist gave us that reference.

Thanks to the hystersisters that talked about sleeping on your back. I have used some pillows under my knees, but in the hospital the nurse told me not to use pillows under my knees unless I had the inflatable leg things on. So now I am afraid I will cause blood clots. But since I am up and about most of the day, I think I will go back to that again.

Now. what do I do about snoring myself awake!
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the healing process goes on 07-08-2004 - 08:21 AM
I called my ob/gyn yesterday just to make sure the plastic surgeon's OK for the hot tub and chipping and putting around and basically doing anything I wanted unless it was too strenous-was OK with him. His nurse called back-twice-to get more information about how everything was going for me before she even talked to the doctor. I love them there, they are so thorough! And the doc said my hot tub is fine, I can do whatever I am comfortable with as long as it is not lifting over 25 pounds and no sexual intercourse. Well, with a hip to hip incision that feels like a drawstring bag pulled tight, and a hard lump where the rectocele repair was, sex isn't something waving a red flag at me yet. I see the gyn in 2 weeks so hopefully all that will be much better by then.

So this morning I am going to the golf course with DH and just going to chip down the fairway and put on the greens at least for a couple of holes. And then we are coming back and sitting in the hot tub.

My major problem right now is that I am having a lot of trouble sleeping at night. The ob/gyn gave me another prescript for darvoset to take at night. I cannot sleep on my side yet, and sleeping on my back is making my lower back hurt. And also I snore and wake up all night long with a really really dry mouth, then have to pee, then can't get comfortable again. And last night DH decided to sleep facing me all night, and I can't sleep when I am breathing someone else's expelled air! I finally nudged him and asked him to roll over the other way, since I couldn't roll over. I must have been keeping him awake too, because at one point he patted my shoulder and asked if I was OK.

Somedays I think I feel worse now than I did at one week, maybe things were just more numb. I went for two long walks yesterday, but rested most of the rest of the day.
Of course, DH asked me to play Scrabble last night, so even though I was barely able to stay awake, I still beat him-(only by about 10 points though). We have the championship of the galaxy going on now, and I am ahead two games to zero. It kind of goes on for a year though, on New Year's Day we play for championship of the universe winner takes all. But I can't remember who won this year. So much for menopause!
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2 weeks post office visit 07-06-2004 - 04:33 PM
Well, I am back from my day long voyage to the plastic surgeon's office visit.

He looked at my incision and my belly button for about 30 seconds, asked me about 2 questions and said I did not need him any more!He said I could resume all activities that I felt like, except the real strenuous ones.

He said I should take it easy for 2 more weeks, but can chip and putt at the golf course, just not hit the big swings. He said I can sit in the hot tub, and to just take tylenol and ibuprofen at the same time if I am having much discomfort. He doesn't even want to see me for 6 months or so unless I want to come in.

He just said to follow the ob/gyn's guidelines for lifting and activities like that, but I go back there in two weeks, so that is great.

Ain't modern medicine a miracle?

He told me the puckering at the end of the scar is because from the incision down that is all still very swollen and will gradually decrease. That all the area is somewhat swollen and that is part of the healing process. And that the hard ridge I feel under the incision is part of the healing process and will go away in time, up to 4 months it could take, but not to worry, I will be very happy with my new stomach very soon!

Now time to recline since I am a little achy after spending 5 hours in the car, and other time out to lunch and shopping for household stuff at Sam's Club. DH did all the driving, pushing the cart and lifting all the heavy stuff though-that's what he is for! teehee
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Heading off to the City 07-06-2004 - 09:38 AM
Hard to believe that exactly two weeks ago this morning, at this time I was in the operating room getting all kinds of things done to me!

Boy am I glad that is behind me.

We are leaving this morning for the more than two hour ride to the city where I had my surgery. The plastic surgeon wants to see me for a 2 week post op check. It's an awful lot of driving for what will probably be less than 5 minutes of office visit!

We are going to go shopping too, we went to a movie yesterday so I'll probably pass on that today.

I did my first driving this morning-to town and back-30 miles round trip, to take the cat to the vets for her checkup and shots. DH holds the cat while I drive because he thinks it is mean to make her be in a car carrier. It's his baby!

It was so cute yesterday. I have been doing my resting on the couch the past few days rather than the sofa bed in the breezeway. And DH's recliner is right next to the couch. So every so often DH reaches over when I am resting and holds my hand. I don't really like a lot of constant attention, I like my quiet time. But this is just right, and so cute.

The biggest problem I am having right now is the rectal repair. It feels like something is pinching once in awhile or when I am sitting in a certain position.

Also, my scar is hip to hip-it is HUGE! And it puckers on the ends, so I am going to ask my PS today if that will get better. I also can feel a hard ridge under the entire scar, I feel like a drawstring top of a duffle bag-I hope that goes away! I suppose he will think I am criticizing his artwork. I know before surgery he told me it would take up to 4 months for all the swelling to go down. Since when have I ever been patient in my entire life! NEVER!

My biggest decision today is going to be where to eat a late lunch!

I hope all my hystersisters are having a peaceful and healing day.

Otherwise, I feel very fortunate to be recovering as good as I am.
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July 3rd 07-03-2004 - 09:32 PM
WEll, here I am on July 3rd, 11 days post op and recovering just fine from this surgery that only 2 weeks ago I was sooo worried about all that would go wrong.

And this is my daughter's 34 birthday today. She is going to see a band tonight where she lives now. It is 1000 miles from where she went to college. And her college friend (a girl) is playing in a band in a bar tonight in DD city. She is so excited that she gets to go out on her birthday and hear her old college friend in this band that has a CD out and everything. They are playing in Denver the night before and then her city tonight.

DD was asking me a lot more details today about my surgery. DH told her I have a new belly button formed by the plastic surgeon that is shaped like a heart. I mean, really, do DD's need to know this stuff about their mom's? I don't think so.

DD was asking me all about everything I remembered from the surgery and afterwards and how I feel now, and what I am doing all day. She was utterly amazed that I was resting for several hours every day. She said she has never seen me sit down that long, and had a bet with DH that I would never make it through recovery sane. Hah, Hah, that's all I can say.

I can remember the evening she was born, at 11:30 at night on July 3rd. While in the recovery room, fireworks were going off all over town right at midnight. I just thought, wow, they are celebrating for me because I just gave birth to this perfect little person. She was 5 1/2 pounds and 18 inches long and looked like a little featherless wrinkly chicken, but she was perfect, I tell you!
So every year when the fireworks go off on the Fourth I like to think the world is still celebrating with us!

Now for my recovery today: I was more sore today in my middle area. It feels like I am burned there just above my new belly button. The infection around the middle of the incision had lessened, it is not as angry red looking and doesn't have any "stuff" coming out of it anymore. So that is very good. The clindamycin must be working. The only thing I don't understand is that the medication instructions say "don't lie down for 30 minutes after taking it" Why not? I have never seen that on an antibiotic before. Weird, I'll have to ask the PS on my two week checkup on Tuesday.We are going to make a day of it-the two hour drive there, the doc appointment, and a movie, then the two hour drive home. I am so bored I could scream, so I will do my sleeping in the car to get my rest in!
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Baby brother part two 07-02-2004 - 09:38 PM
I have to finish my thoughts about my baby brother that I started in the last journal.
While he was working on his teaching certificate at a college close to us, he met a girl that was about 5 years younger than him. She was cute, funny, and liked to party. Well, my BB (babybrother) has never had a drink of alcohol, a smoke, never speeded, never stole, he basically has never done anything that would be considered wrong. While he was getting his teaching degree, he was so poor that he would take a yardstick around the college and sweep it under the vending machines and collect coins that people had dropped under there. Then he could get 5 hamburgers for a dollar on some nights at fast food places.
This was after he already had one college degree, and Dad had spent BB $10,000 of inheritance $$ that he was counting on to get started after college.

Anyhow he fell in love, and they were married while she was still in school. Did I mention she liked to party and dance and go to bars? Did I mention he didn't? Within a few years they had a beautiful baby girl, she was staying out for 3 or 4 days at a time, he didn't know where she was, and he was taking care of the baby while working too. He came to visit us-by then we lived very far away from him, and told us she was not coming home. And when he called his girlfriends house to talk to her, she was always in the shower. Did I tell you my BB is very naive? He just doesn't understand that people are not always honest and nice-he is missing the cynic gene. Well to make a very long story short, they got divorced and he had custody of his little girl while she is in school and she goes to her mom's in the summer.
Years went by, and he just couldn't find a mate. He paid off all his debts from college, got out of debt that his wife had put him into when they were married. (Including her boyfriend would go into BB apartment when he was working and run up $100's of dollars of long distance phone charges)
Then two years ago, he got a phone call from someone that said she had seen him out working in his yard and she lived behind him and wanted to go out to lunch with him. And they hit it off. She is absolutely his other half. They think alike, bargain shop together, she is wonderful to his daughter, and he is beaming and happy now. They got married this spring in our yard by the lake, and life is good. Now he is buying the rest of the business he has worked for for many years-the owners want to sell and they want him to buy it because he has done such a good job. They are even helping him with the financing. BB was so surprised at his wedding that the whole town came and brought gifts. He just can't believe that all these people like him and that his life is so good now. He just bought a new car-one that he wanted even.
Now they are on a long weekend for a honeymoon. I am just so happy that BB has a good life now. I was so worried for so long that he would be alone or find another wrong person. I mean he lost his first mom when he was two years old, his second mom when he was 14, raised himself and his two younger sisters through high school, had two nervous breakdowns, had Dad steal his money, had a cheating sneaking wife, couldn't find a job after college for a couple of years, tried teaching and failed at two jobs-he was too nice for the kids!- almost was bankrupt. Now he has a daughter that he has raised that is a straight A student, active in everything, a new car, buying a business, has a little house he loves, and a new wife and companion that truly is his soul mate. See, fairy tales can come true!

I was just thinking about all this on this weekend because for the past several years he has spent the Fourth with us, and this year is on his honeymoon!
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Friday morning 07-02-2004 - 07:00 AM
Hey, I slept in my own bed last night with my DH right there snoring beside me-tee hee.
I left the sofa bed and went upstairs where it is much more sleep enhancing with the fan and the noise machine and a door to keep Kitty out!

Usually on the Fourth weekend we golf in a couple tournament, my younger brother and his (now wife) come for the weekend, we kayak, go out to eat and picnic.

This weekend is a quiet one since I am not 2 weeks post op yet.

My brother got married in May in our yard, and they just kept on working and didn't go anywhere. His daughter stays with him during the school year, and spends summers with her mom, so they waited for a little honeymoon get away.

They left to get on a train and go to Chicago for a long weekend. They were so excited, talking about all the things going on in Chicago this weekend. This is so wonderful for him.

Let me tell you about my baby brother: He was born when I was 12 years old- 2 years after my sister. The day Mom went into labor with him, we couldn't find my Dad. (Dad alway liked to socialize and drink-he's a stereotyped happy Irish guy). So Mom told me to think about boiling water, getting some newspapers together. I was getting a little panicky. She said she would not go to the hospital in a taxi, and she would not go without Dad. So I got on the telephone and called every bar he was known to stop at. He was not at any of them, but he often would tell them to tell anyone that called that he wasn't there. So I told each one that if he came in, his wife was having a baby and he'd better get home.
Sure enough, after a bit, he came strolling in, all cheery and grinning from ear to ear, telling us all , Hey Mom's having a baby, bet it will be a cute and smart as all of you!

So off they went and she had my baby brother. The day she came home from the hospital I started my period. Looking back on it, I can't imagine how she felt trying to deal with all of that in one day!

Six months later, she had breast cancer, and by the time baby brother was 2, she died. While she was sick, I took care of baby brother and baby sister that was 2 years older- changed him, played with him, got him ready to go out in the snow.
I read them stories at night, gave them baths and tucked them in bed while Mom puked her guts out in the bathroom from the radiation. She also got burned really bad once, and I would help her put cream on this really black skin under her arm. Then fluid filled up in her stomach and she started wearing maternity clothes. So when we would go to the store, I would be handling the 2 and 4 year old and people would tell her she had a beautiful family and ask her when she was due. She would tell them she had cancer and was afraid she wasn't going to have a baby with this.

Well, after she died, my baby brother would sit on the couch and bounce and chant that "Nobody loves me, nobody loves me" over and over. He did that for years no matter how much attention I gave him, or how much I tried to be his mom. He was always so sensitive.
Dad remarried when baby brother was 5 and she was wonderful to baby brother. But she had ideas about boys and girls and my brother was a writer, not a football player. He wanted to play the sax and she wouldn't allow it because 'boys don't do that'. Well time went on, and when baby brother was 13, the only mom he ever knew got breast cancer and after a year of bad suffering, she died. By then she and dad had two girls of their own, one that was 9 and one that was 4. Dad went over the edge then, and was basically absent after that, he lived with a girlfriend within a year and never lived at home after that. So baby brother made his own way-scrounged around for money and some stability. In high school he had some kind of breakdown, and was found running down the interstate by the police. They asked him where he was going and he said he was running to Florida where all his adoring fans were waiting for him. Needless to say, he didn't end up in Florida, but in a hospital. Where he became pretty nonfunctional for a few months. He had one more epidsode like that when some classmates were killed in a drunken driving accident, he went over the end then.
Somehow he graduated from high school, and went to college. When he turned 18, the family was allowed to sell land that had belonged to my mother, so all of us kids received some money-about 10,000$ each. Dad got 20,000$ because of the inheritance laws in that state. Well, babybrother was in college, and Dad got his check in the mail, took it to him and said, "This is way too much money for you to be responsible for, we will put it in a joint account, then I can help you with it.
Can you see this coming? Yep, baby brother scrimped and worked and got little bits and pieces of money from dad through college-100$ here to fix his car, etc. Then when he was done with college, he asked Dad for the money, and Dad said it was all gone. Baby brother was furious, he asked for some kind of accounting of it, and Dad came up with about $500 of proof of what he had given baby brother-"Well you know I bought you those glasses you are wearing. etc. "

He looked into taking Dad to court, but decided that he didn't want to go that way. Baby brother is very very kind and nice-did I mention that? So he was done with college, couldn't find a job, and was living very much in poverty. He came out west to be by us and job hunt. He decided to go back to school and get a teaching degree, and that is where he met his first real girlfriend that became his wife. This is the end of Part One-baby brother.

The reason I am telling this now on this journal is because it defines who I am now, and my relationship with baby brother.
And as I tell it, I am also able to excise some old wounds I have from growing up.
Wow, I didn't know I had all of this packed up in there about baby brother.
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Day 9 post op 07-01-2004 - 05:10 PM

This is what I feel like right now. I feel very good for just having had such major surgery. I have some pings here and there in my abdomen. I feel like I have a sunburn on my abdomen on the inside. I feel like the entire incision area is packed tight and could pop if I don't rest a couple of times a day. The swelling above the belly button has gone way down and I can see a waist evolving. I feel a hard area between my rectum and vagina that is hard as a rock. I wonder how sex will be possible ever again-nothing could get through that hard area!

I feel lucky to be alive, to have people that care, to have my own strength and good humor. I sent fresh fruit platters to the gyno floor at the hospital today to thank them for their wonderful kind compassionate care. I feel blessed every day that I have been able to be part of this earth and all the wonderful people on it. I also feel very lucky at times like these that are loaded with stress that was able to live to be 20 years older than my mother had-to see my children grow into fine adults, and to see my brothers and sisters grow up, get married. That I was able to go back and finish college, get help when I needed it, and survive some scary times when my DH was first diagnosed with bipolar figuring out what was wrong. I feel very lucky to have had good shrinks to help me sort out my childhood and my mom's death and my father's alcoholism. That I have come out of it all with a deep abiding love for life and for having fun rather than coming out of it bitter and angry. The one thing that got me through were kind and caring people along the way. I hope to be able to give that back in some way for my years left on this earth.

Wow, that was a little mushy, now it's time for Chili-dogs and corn on the cob and fireworks!
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The journey of my life 06-30-2004 - 12:51 PM
My drain came out today at the local GP's office so I didn't have to go 240 miles for a two minute procedure. It was a big OUCH, then relief. The site of the stitch and the insertion hole was so reddened and sore, and it wasn't collecting that much anyhow.
I had never seen a drain before, it was a plastic oval shaped cup with a valve opening, attached to a foot long tube that went into a hole in the front of my thigh. It had another foot long white hard plastic tube attached to that that went along behind the incision. The two drains collected that blood and fluid buildup after surgery so that it didn't build up under the skin. Anyhow, it is gone and feels great.

This journey: For the first time in my life today when we went out to lunch I felt normal! My entire life I have felt fat, I always had a large waist and belly fat, even as a teen when I was not that overweight. My hips, breast and waist were always the same size. I could never tuck anything in or buy things with a waist.
I have spent the past two years losing this 50+ pounds. Now I have done the next step of the journey, getting rids of the chronic pelvic pain, the stabbing pains, the bladder pressure, getting the hysterectomy, the abdominoplasty. This has been my journey with me called the shots about what and when to have things done. The first ob/gyn didn't think having the TT and the TAH at the same time was a good idea. My local GP said that a lot of surgeons don't like to do two kinds of surgery at once. But he was very encouraging that I get another opinion, and said it made sense to do both of these at once, with the same incision, and the same healing times, and thought the excess skin removal would help healing faster without that overhang.
He was delighted today when I went in that I was healing so nicely and that things worked out so good for me.

Some have expressed that they kind of wished that they would have pursued both. I think each of us has to make our decisions based on our past lives, what we are dealing with now, and what we have now. I do not feel guilty even though it added a LOT of expense. I have had some really really crappy, soul wrenching things in my early life. I had a counselor tell me years ago, "All this bad stuff happened to you so young in your life, now there is only good stuff left for the rest of your life." So now I get some of the good stuff. Of course it doesn't mean I didn't work hard to get here. I love my life right now, and for the first time in my 54 1/2 years that I can remember, I feel normal: normal looking, normal feeling, just plain normal (My DH said don't worry I'm not-tee hee).

And I am so utterly grateful for this hystersisters site. It has helped me work through each of my decisions, and 8 days ago when I was feeling very lonely many sisters reached out and gave me love and support. It meant so much to me. I join in Moonchime's chime' Thank heavens for this site and all these wonderful women traveling down the road together. We are a special group because of this!
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One week ago 06-29-2004 - 09:59 PM
One week ago I was in the hospital room with the surgery behind me, and not too alert.
Now I am alert, and doing pretty good. I had a lot more pain today-it felt like a burn on my abdomen above my navel and the entire incision. Just like a sunburn would feel. I think from the tummytuck the upper abdomen. The one drain that is still in is pretty sore, reddened around it, and still collecting about 80cc's of gunk. Yesterday was 135 cc's so at least it is improving toward when I can get the dang thing out. The other hole where he removed the drain on Monday is still reddened but it doesn't hurt at all, and looks better and better.
I used an ice gel with a cloth around it at times on the incision and the belly button and the upper abdomen and it really felt good. I slept more today but it was very restful sleep.
There is a lot more pain, I suppose some of the numbness from the abdominoplasty is wearing off.
But over all I was able to do more, feel more alert, and at one week am able to function a lot higher than I ever imagined.
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DAy 6 post op 06-28-2004 - 03:44 PM
Well, DH and I left this morning at 8am to go to the City of Surgery for the substitute plastic surgeon to look at my drain tubes and see what if anything was wrong. We got there about 10:15 and after a short wait Dr. O came in and looked at my incision, the drain tubes, the belly button stitches, everything.
He said, "I am so glad you came in today, after you called yesterday I was very concerned that you might think it was nothing and not make the drive." He said there was infection but didn't know if it was just at both drain sites or further in. He thought it was just at the drain sites because I don't have a fever, or any big lumps anywhere. He pulled one drain out that didn't have much output, and he said he was glad he could do that because that site was the most reddened all around. He had to leave the other in because it is collecting 140 cc's a day and said it needs to do it's job. He cultured that one and will let us know withing 48 hours what it is. He started me on amoxicillin (geesh I hate that stuff!) until they find out exactly what the bacteria is.
They also removed all the rest of my staples, and all the visible stitches. The nurse said that was good too because some of them were getting imbedded and scabbed over.

They all thought I looked really good, and was moving around very well for being less than a week since surgery.
Then I went to the OB/GYN's office to discuss my epic BM the dayafter I got home with his head nurse. He is gone all week, but the nurse practioner and nurse took very good care of me. When I described my contractions and hard stool and the subsequent slightly swollen pouch in the rectal area, they decided I needed to use Tucks wipes with hemmorroid creame !% hydrocortisone, and hemmor suppositories to get the swelling down. They said it might be possible that because of the force of evacauation that there is still some in there (believe me, there is NOTHING left in that area!) so the suppositories would get the swelling down more.

So I have body work to do for awhile-peroxide drain holes and take antibiotics, and use suppositories and tucks wipes with cream and measure drain cc's. I think I can be a nurse now-tee hee.

But the best part is the staples are all gone, the visible stitches are all gone, and I feel so much better knowing I did the right thing by 'bothering' the PS and going all that way today.

Then we ate at Red Lobster-my DH's favorite. Then when we got back to the nearest big town, got the prescriptions filled, all the over the counter things I needed, DH got some food at the grocery store, and we came home and are relaxing. We got home at about 4pm. I slept all the way there and all the way home in the car-reclined back. Poor DH is used to getting a nap and since he had to do all the driving, he was exhausted when he got home. Kitty was meowing and running all over the house until DH settled into his recliner so they could nap.

My tylox runs out tomorrow and so they switched me to darvoset after that. Apparently they don't give you tylox(percoset) for more than 30 pills.
I was able to walk all over, the only thing that hurts in the drain tube hole. It even leaked onto my shorts and ran down my leg before I got home to empty and clean it all up.

This journal is a wonderful way to express all that is going on, and for a record I can look back at later to see how things went.
I feel better each day, so that is good.
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a talk with my older brother 06-28-2004 - 12:46 AM
I had a long talk with my older brother this morning. Of course all talks with him are long. He is long winded-tee hee.
He is 57 years old, and is still trying to deal with his childhood issues and pain. He is still trying to control what our dear alcoholic dad drinks and how he lives his life. He is very angry and afraid that the other siblings don't like him. He has said he feels like an orphan. He lives close by the majority of siblings, while another brother and myself live 1500 miles from the rest. There is such an age range between us that are the oldest and the youngest that we could be parents of the younger ones-age wise.

I felt so bad for him-I have fought those monsters from childhood 20 years ago, and just don't have those feelings. He said that some of the younger siblings told him that he is too bossy and they don't want his advice. He felt hurt by that and didn't think he was too bossy, he just knows more and wants to help. I told him that whether it was true or not, if that is how the younger ones feel, then just NEVER give them advice. Unless they specifically ask. Then the best answer is "What do you think will work? What do you want to do?"
He said he is back in Al-Anon and still trying to deal with the anger. He is worried that Dad is getting older and we will have to make decisions about his care some day-Dad has lived with a girlfriend for 25 years after being widowed twice and does not want to marry her. His girlfriend is crazy and does not want him to spend any time with his 6 kids or grandkids. He does anyhow, but she makes it hard. She is a hateful vengeful person, who has gone for years at a time not speaking with one or the other of her children because of some slight. She will not be in the same room with most of my siblings-but for some reason likes me. of course living 1500 miles away helps!
How do you help a sibling that is suffering so when we live so far away? I wish I lived closer, we could go out to lunch often, have coffee and I could listen. My older brother and I were the only children for 10 years before Mom and Dad had more. Our lives were the most alike, and we had very good times in those early years, before the new babies came and mom died. That sent Dad over the edge he was already sitting on. I was too busy then taking care of babies (a newborn and a 2 year old when mom got sick) to pay attention to my older brother. I always knew he was lonely, but I had too much to do with the cooking and housework, the little ones, and trying to be a teenager and take care of myself too.
I told my brother today that he was part of a great big crazy family, and he wasn't going to change anyone just because he was the oldest. I told him that at 57 years old, it was time for him to make peace with his past, and bury that anger. That if something happened to Dad, there were 6 of us to help make decisions, but he had to realize the decisions might not be what he thinks. I told him I loved him, and that he would find peace, to let go of Dad. That he wasn't going to control anyone, just to love and worry and take care of himself, his wife and his children. Dad has made it for 76 years without listening to anyone, to just let it go. Also my brother second guesses and tries to figure out Dad. I told him that he will never figure out an alcoholic because it is all crazy. That Dad's motives are never going to make sense. But that Dad always loved us, and now his only pride in his life are his 6 children and how well they all turned out. He wants to think he had something to do with that, and I say let him have that-he really believes it. My brother for some reason wants Dad to suffer as much as he made us suffer. I say let Dad feel that he did a good job raising us because he did love us and did what he could considering he was a happy irresponsible alcoholic. Who knows how any of us would have turned out if we had lost our spouses to cancer when we were 35 and then another at age 48?
Wow, this is way too long. I was hoping it would put me to sleep. Hopefully it has helped do that for someone!
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Post op Day 5 06-27-2004 - 09:26 PM
Today was another good day. I rested when I needed to. I did do some loads of laundry, but had DH do the parts I didn't think I should. I walked 8 blocks outdoors twice today, and then had to lay down and stretch out after each one. My back hurts when I am up very long. I still am a little hunched over from the TT and can't completely stretch up.
My drains are maybe a little infected. The PS wants to see me tomorrow in his office in the city, so in the car we go for our 120 mile trip one way. He just thinks he would feel better looking at what is going on. There is some white drainage and reddened and burning area around each skin place where the drains go in. My local doc was going to take the rest of staples out tomorrow and one drain. But since I still had a lot of cc drainage I called the PS office. He wants to look at it before taking anything off or out. So he will take out the staples and any drains tomorrow that he things he should. He asked me if I was still on anitbiotics, and I only was in the hospital, so I bet that is going to happen.
I don't have a fever, I feel really good, so am glad to go and have him look at it and do his doctorly duties. My PS is gone so his office colleague is going to look at it. Two opinions are always better than one!

A funny thing. I totally forgot to replace the HRT patch this morning like I was supposed to. It wasn't until tonight when I felt flushed that I remembered. So I did my first own HRT patch application tonight. The nurse did it in the hospital. It is a vivelle dot-that wasn't what the prescription was for, but the pharmacist said he didn't have the other one, and this is exactly the same thing. He is a really good pharmacist and I know they only do what they are allowed. So I will go with it and see how it goes. I can't tell anything because I am flushed now, probably because I waited a half day longer than I was supposed to.

WEd evening and Sunday morning, wed even and sund morning. I will have to get into that ritual now. On the calendar it is going. Then I just have to remember to look at the calendar!
To bed, long day of riding in the car tomorrow.
Wish myself luck!
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a really good day 06-26-2004 - 10:20 PM
The end of my 4th day postop is near. I did stairs a few times today, slowly and without any trouble. My doc's post op notes on care says that stairs are ok, just go slow and be careful not to fall. I have not spotted at all, just a tiny little on the first day.
I am not even wearing a pad.
My second BM went great after walking for 4 blocks with DH. I am taking stool softeners and drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water as per doc's recommendations. My doc post op instructions said you could drive after one week if you checked out that it was comfortable and your reflexes were ok. I really don't plan on doing that because I don't have anyplace to go! tee hee.

DH was completely different today-he is just moody with his bipolar and he thinks I do everything too fast. I think waiting for toilet paper for 5 hours is too slow, and running out after asking for hours is too frustrating. But I am asking him to do the things I cannot.
I made him take my whole bed apart today, shake all the down mattresses out, turn them over, and remake the whole thing. Then it was sinking into heavenly comfort! I made sure I let him know how wonderful it felt too. I am going to put a new picture on the photos section. We took some pictures around the yard today since it was so nice out.

I have one drain that is putting out 140 cc's a day and one that is only 75 a day. The one that is more is sore and hurts all around the insertion point. But then it will feel better for awhile, then hurt again, so I figure the drain is doing its job. I put an ice pack on that area of my leg and hip and that really felt good. I am also sleeping with a heating pad on low on that side of my back. That left side must have taken more of a beating during surgery!

I have to go back to the City in two weeks to see the PS. I plan on taking two big fruit baskets, one for the day nurses and one for the night staff at the gyn wing in the hospital for all their wonderful care. I also want to take a little something for the doc's nurses, they were there for me on the phone before surgery and visited at the hospital, and the PS nurse was in surgery too.
Well time for bed. I am just so glad for all the wonderful comments and support on this site. It is truly like having a big sisterhood that really knows what we have been through-a mini assault on our bodies!
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a bright new day 06-26-2004 - 09:02 AM
Today is the most beautiful bright new summer day we have had. Everything that looked so dark and gloomy last night is like a dream. Hubby is in a great mood, he went to the hardware store and is installing a fountain in our new flower bed area. He is like a little kid out there digging in the dirt and making it look really great.
He is all smiles and asking me what I need.
I got up a little teary eyed because the incision was pretty tender this morning, but the tylox and more sleep helped that. Now I am going to get some breakfast, get dressed and sit on the deck and watch him "fountainize". tee hee And the one really sore side with the sore drain tube feels better today too. Healing just doesn't happen in two days! I'll have to make a note of that!
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the first whole day home 06-26-2004 - 01:16 AM
Well, I made it through the first whole day home today. My DH went to town for prescriptions, and groceries, and to run some errands. My body chose that time to decide it was time to have my first BM. So the waves of cramps and the feeling that it was all right there but wouldn't come out started. I would sit on the toilet, and have to push-it was like having a baby contractions. Then I just rocked, walked all over the house. I couldn't sit in a chair it was too uncomfortable. I am sure I did some begging, and some sweating. Oh, and my left leg went completely numb for awhile with the effort. It wasn't like I had a choice, I relaxed, but there were just waves of contractions. Finally after 1 1/2 hours I did it. There was very hard large stool there, followed by what the stool softeners helped. Wow, did I feel good after that. I was so proud of myself, it really was like having my children. My labor with my 8lb11oz son was only about 20 mintues long with about 10 contractions-this took longer and was more painful!

Anyhow, I am glad no one was home because I needed to be alone to relax enough.

When DH got home I took a shower by myself, washed and dried my hair, ate some lunch, walked around, then napped.

I walked around the inside of the house several times, and went up and down the sidewalk in the afternoon. DH and I walked all around the yard and I showed him how to cut off the dead heads on the roses and geraniums. He showed me his tomatoes and peppers.

I have napped off and on all day, am taking the tylox (a percoset copy) about every 4 hours with ibuprofen in between. I am not really in pain, but when I don't take it the incision is sore. I have two drains in and I counted the staples today. They took out half of them on Thursday before I came home. Altogether I have about 45 staples, and then stitches vertically for a few inches. Then stitches around my 'new'belly button. I have two drains that I have to empty once in awhile and keep track of the cc's of fluid. My local doc is going to remove the rest of the staples and one drain on Monday, and then the other drain on Wednesday if it is draining less.

I have a HRT patch on from the hospital. And my mood and emotions were very positive and good all day. However, I could see we were running out of toilet paper in the main floor bathroom. I asked DH several times to please get some from the storage closet and put it in there since I hadn't done steps yet. And he was going to cook dinner for us too. WEll, he fell asleep and it was after 6 pm and I was getting hungry, so I started to get the vegetables in the steamer and the potatoes in the oven to roast. Then he got up and said, "I'm going to make dinner." I said I was hungry and was just going to start because it would be close to 7 before we could eat. He acted all miffed that I hadn't waited until he was ready. I just smiled and said I needed to move around. But then he was playing a video game and I ran out of TP and I lost it. I started crying because there wasn't any tp. How pitiful is that? So I went downstairs and got some, brought it up and asked DH to do a few things in the basement. And I said, "I got the TP because we ran out. " He didn't say anything, but was pretty quiet the rest of the night.

I am not sure what this is all about-he is very helpful, he does lots of stuff. But he hates to be told what to do. He thinks if I ask him to do something that I am trying to control him, so then he rebels like a little kid. He did everything I asked him all day, but the TP he just didn't do. It was like a game to see how many times I would ask him, then he could get mad at me for not being patient. It was a little weird.

I can see that this healing process is going to be a little more stressful than I had thought. Nurse DH is rebelling and it has only been one and a half days! And I have hardly asked him for anything. We will have to talk this one out-he could be going through some bad time emotionally himself. He was really more stressed out about the surgery than I was, and he might be having the aftermath of that.

He is acting a little confused and irritated, which he can get before a manic episode. I will pray he doesn't do that right now, because there is no way I can handle him in a psychotic state and get him 75 miles to his shrink's hospital. The ambulance won't take patients that are psychotic- the police have to with a doctor's order because they can get so agressive and jump out of the moving vehicles. The police took him several years ago to the hospital about 75 miles away, and DH started a fire in the back of the police car. He wanted the car to stop so he could run away.

This is turning into an epic, but it is in the back of my mind that DH could be reacting to all the stress of my surgery and his fears from that. Hopefully he isable to recognize what is going on and will take the antipsychotics then will be fine. I sure don't have the stamina to drive him anywhere at this point, I am counting on him to help me out.

Well, if anyone is still reading, this is like a soap opera. I am sure things will be fine, I just am a little touchy today and extra sensitive. A good night's sleep now will help that and tomorrow will be a gorgeous summer day to walk around town.
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glad to be home 06-24-2004 - 10:20 PM
It feels so good to be home. I didn't think I would be able to sleep here because I wouldn't have the nice adjustable bed, but I have been dozing off and on all evening, and very comfortable.
I have 2 drains to empty and keep track of output until MOnday, then my local doc will remove the rest of the staples and one drain with the less output.

My hospital stay: Remind myself in the future, always go to a University teaching hospital. The nurses are teaching student nurses how to be good nurses, so they are super duper nice.
I got constant care and back rubs, and lots of kind sympathy.
At one point I told the nurse I really felt like I had to go to the bathroom even with a catheter. She checked and said that sure enough the tube had a kink in it. She straightened it out and got lots of output. I know others have had that problem but the nurses didn't check it. I was able to tell that it felt like a full bladder, not pain from the incision somehow.
I was in an end room and it was very quiet. I had told them I get sick from the meds, so they put me where it would be more quiet, because what I get is like motion sickness and gets worse with noise.
Anyhow, got to go back to bed. I have been walking and drinking water, but no BM yet.
Here's a riddle? How many stool softeners does it take to make a BM? Answer-We don't know yet!
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leaving on a jet plane and a new and better health report today 06-21-2004 - 06:59 AM
Well, how about not a jet plane but a black Jeep? We leave this afternoon. I am amazingly calm, I slept pretty good last night-just got up a couple of times with pain and took some darvoset and went back to sleep.
Now today, one last dip in the hot tub this morning, then to the post office, then to hair cut and color, then to rent a tray table like Clementine recommended, and buy a reacher. Then to the City for the fun times to be had there.
I am eating pretty light today, I am not very hungry anyhow, due to butterflies, but that's good.

Oh, I just got back my exit health assessment from the Healthy and Lean for Life program. I did blood work at the beginning and at the end after 3 months. In three months I lowered my total cholesterol from 275 to 234, lost 15# and 4 inches off my waist. I lowered my body mass index from 30 to 26. Normal is from 19 to 24.9 so I have a little work left. I am so happy, 50 pounds to date total weight lost since my heaviest. My triglycerides went down and the ratio of tris to HDL improved too. And that was with lifestyle changes like increasing exercise, and eating good carbs and good proteins, not bad. I am so pleased with this-I have fought losing the middle fat my whole life and though I could lose weight, I could never make the waist go down. Now the medical community is learning so much more about insulin resistance adn abdominal fat, and this has helped me tremendously.
I was hoping I would get all this back before surgery, so I would have the extra motivation to go through with the tummy tuck. Since I have all this loose skin hanging around that isn't going anywhere.

Well, bye bye ladies, bye journal, bye sense of humor. You are about to be put down for a while. This has been such a wonderful experience for me-and I thank God that caring people have developed and maintained this site so that people like me can come here to make these decisions.
I will be posting again ASAP/ If I can't sit down, I will dictate and DH can type-except he is a two finger typist and goes so slow it makes me crazy. Of course everyone in the world goes so slow it makes me crazy. There needs to be a fast forward button for some parts of life and a slow down button for others. Like fast forward through surgery, healing and cleaning the toilets. And slow down button for sex, time with your babies, hugs, an time with your friends.
I'll have to work on that thought when I get back.
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Ok, over the very edge now! 06-20-2004 - 11:06 AM
Ok, This is too much. I remembered that the intake person told us to use the valet parking at the hospital early (5:30 am) Tuesday morning. So, being the absolute idiot I am, I have just spent 2 hours cleaning the car, washing the windows, the inside, vacuuming it all out so the parking valet won't think we are slobs.
I mean, at 5:30 am, if there is one there, will he be thinking at all?
My DH just laughed and went golfing in a father-son tournament. At least he lets me be crazy when I want to.

We got my recovery "nest" all ready this morning in the breezeway room. There is lots of light in there, it is on the main floor with only one little step up to the rest of the house, and has the digital cable all hooked up in there now. I can see the town and the lake from the windows and some of my flower boxes.

I put 2 down mattresses on the pull out sofa bed for extra comfort, a tray next to it, the phone, the remote, and lots of pillows. My DH said it looked comfy enough maybe he would sleep there and I could manage the stairs! Now I just need a big horn or Vikings call so if I need help in the middle of the night, he will wake up!

Now time to pack the overnight bag.
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Wonderful women! 06-19-2004 - 05:43 PM
We golfed today with my brother and his new wife. She had a hyster a little over one year ago, and is so wonderful about all of this. She told me that I would do fine, that I know what to expect and to do exactly everything the doctor said, even if I felt like I could do more. She said she feels great now and I will too in a year's time.

Then a friend at the golf course came up and gave me a great big hug. She said she was surrounding me with love and light and peace from now until I was healed. It even brought tears to my eyes. She did this journey a few years ago-we are the same age-and said she has never felt better. But it took about a year to get all of her stamina and energy back. Too be patient, and to call her anytime I wanted to whine or get some sympathy. She is wearing a climera patch and has never had a bit of trouble.

And I wasn't going to tell anyone-then I would have kept all of these wonderful people from sharing their experiences and their kindness. Go figure.

Oh, and I had a vodka tonic after golfing, so I am presently pain-free-and pretty happy.
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cleaning 06-18-2004 - 04:28 PM
We golfed today-18 holes in the cold and wind. It didn't get above 63 degrees. But I keep thinking, have some fun now...have some fun now... I told my hubbie that we have to be tough in Minnesota to enjoy the outdoors. Think of those people in California with that nice weather all the time? How do they do it? tee hee.

I cleaned out the frig and freezer too. I HATE that job, but did a really fine job! And I told my DH that he would be doing it the next time. He got a little defensive and said, "I've done it before." I'm going to work on putting another base coat on the deck, and then I have ironing to finish. Then some house cleaning, and then packing and that will be it.

I have a feeling I am forgetting something. Or that I should just change my mind and not even do this-just wait for menopause to shrink the nasty fibroids. Or that I am forgetting to do something very important but I can't think of what.

I am pretty relaxed though, just a little uneasiness.

Hope everyone else is doing good today.
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menopausal and other musings 06-18-2004 - 06:31 AM
Well, I had my first hot flashes yesterday. What is this going on here? I have been waiting for menopause for 4 years, and hoping it would shrink my fibroids and I wouldn't need surgery. Now that surgery is 4 days away, I start hot flashes? Well, it is of no use, I am still going through with this. I still have the enlarged and prolapsed uterus, and the shooting pains. I just feel like suddenly I have to make another choice because maybe menopause would take care of everything.

We watched Extreme Makeovers last night, and when you see how those people come out of surgery, all puffy and disoriented, and wearing bandages for months, it is an awakening of what is to come. The surgeons all seem to look at it as a challenge of how to help the person and don't seem to notice the pain. I guess they would have to be like that or they'd go nuts. They all said the swelling and puffiness would take several months to completely resolve. And they do this all the time so they know.

Trying to get in a little golfing today, but it is 50 degrees and the wind is blowing. It had better get better. We are supposed to golf with my friend. She has this week off from work-we golfed Wednesday per her schedule. It rained the entire time we golfed. We were soaked through and through. We were hoping for a beautiful day today with some sun.

I also got the deck all ready last night so I could put another base coat of deck treatment on it today. But it has to be above 55 degrees with no rain for 9 hours. We have been trying to get that done all spring but we haven't had two days of good weather yet. Grrr. I have all these projects to keep me busy. I guess I'll have to finish my ironing-don't need good weather for that.

As far as physically, my lower back really really hurts. My right hip and front of my leg hurts too. My abdomen feels full, is hanging down, and has a lot of pressure feelings in it. There are some stabbing pains in my right front quadrant. I am writing this so that after surgery I will be reminded why I am doing this. I can only walk a short distance before the pain gets bad enough that I start limping.
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last minute shopping 06-17-2004 - 03:01 PM
I got my Father's Day gift mailed today, and a birthday gift and card for our son, who was born on Father's Day weekend 29 years ago. He will be 29 on June 20th this year. He is a true gift-one of the most kind hearted, original, smart, creative and generous people I have ever known. At an art gallery show a few years ago, some of his friends came up to DH and me and said, "Aa has parents? We had to meet you-he is one of the most amazing people we have ever met. We can't believe he had parents-he doesn't have any hangups and he is just really really nice." That was fun to hear. He has degrees in computer science and art-he scuba dives, rock climbs, does balloon sculpture art, is nerdy enough to be involved with science fiction conventions every year, has travelled all over the world, reads all the time, is a vegetarian that smokes cigarettes, goes camping with his parents, gives money to street people, and leaves balloon sculptures on public buses because he wants to make people smile. His fantasy is to buy land in a deserted area, build computerized huge dinosaurs that take a few steps a year to roam the land, and have an art colony there. Did I mention I love him a lot? tee hee.

Our daughter was born on July 3rd in 1970 when I was just a child of 20. She is fiesty, smart-has a Master's in Creative Writing. She has been engaged a few times, but broke them off because the guys were just not right. She bought her own house, and has three guy friends living there to pay rent and help her pay the mortgage. She learned how to get up on the roof and fix gutters, and chop down trees, and take out cement posts. She is very independent, and wants to know if I am disappointed in her because she doesn't have children. She isn't sure if she wants them. I told her she cannot compare herself to anyone else. That she has her own mind, and knows what she wants. Also, I never lived alone, never supported myself, always had someone to fall back on. I told her how much I admire her for living her life the way she wanted, and being able to make her own decisions. She is very funny, and very pretty too.

Boy I am getting pretty sentimental here-their birthdays are coming up, and I always remember the days I had them, and what my feelings were when they first popped out.
I would love some grandchildren since I love kids so much. But that is their decision-my son is gay and although he may adopt, he won't have any of his own. My daughter may or may not have children, and I am a little sad because I think we have great family DNA and would like to see the family line go on. But I can't live their life for them, so we will wait and see.
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now hubbie's beginning to get scared 06-17-2004 - 06:28 AM
My DH was pretty quiet and crabby yesterday. When sitting in the hot tub, I said I wasn't nervous or scared or anything right now. Just very ready to get this over with.

Then he said, "Well I am getting scared right now" He is just afraid something will happen to me and I will die. He had never had general anesthetic because he is so afraid of that. He had spinal blocks for his surgeries on his private parts. That is not an option for this-I have had general A in surgery a few times, and I am not worried.
I asked him if he is scared for me everytime I get in the car and drive to town-about 15 miles away. That more people die from that. He said, "Don't tell me that, now I will have to worry about that too!" He has said to me a few times that if something ever happened to me, he would blow his brains out.

I told him it was OK to be scared and worried, but to be careful not to obsess on it too much and end up all anxious and depressed and withdrawn. That I need him to be his funny and chipper self right now so I can go into this surgery being calm and confident. That seemed to help him lighten up and start to tease and flirt with me again.

It is hard to remember how we used to act with each other before this surgery necessity came up. I think we are both a lot more tense and wary than we were a few months ago. It doesn't help that I am in considerable pain, and that makes me on edge and crabby at times. Since I have talked about it endlessly to him, I am going to spend the last few days before surgery talking about other things, and being more lighthearted myself. It can be harmful to take myself too seriously.

Well, off on some work adventures-and some chores-gotta buy that betadine douche you know-can't live without it!
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another good day 06-16-2004 - 07:49 PM
The hospital admitting nurse called today-I am feeling pretty popular by hospital standards. She asked me millions of questions about what meds I was taking and lots of history, etc. I don't have much history, and I am pretty healthy so that was simple. Then she asked me what I hoped my experience was like during my hospital stay. I didn't know what to say. So I said, "I just hope that everyone is nice to me, and I don't get any mean nurses!" Where did that come from-I am 54 years old for crying out loud, I certainly can stand up and speak for myself and I don't take crap from anyone. There I was sounding like a 10 year old!

But the woman was very nice and as we talked I did say that I hoped if there were any questions about my condition, or medications or pain that I wouldn't have to wait for hours while they found a doctor. I hate that. She said that that would not happen, it was a research and university related teaching hospital and there were always plenty of doctors around. I didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't want a resident that hadn't had any sleep for 3 days! tee hee.

I am calm right now, kind of surreal. And realizing that I'd better get my butt in gear and clean up the house, the frig, and get my clothes and stuff ready. And my recovery area. I talked to my hubbie about some stuff, like I will have to sleep downstairs for awhile, and should I bring my clothes downstairs. He said, "Don't worry about a thing, I will take good care of you." The PS nurse said I will not be able to do stairs for quite sometime, they don't want pulling or straining for awhile.

Anyhow, I still have a ton of stuff to get done at work, hopefully I can get it all done tomorrow afternoon. I have golf dates for Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Then a hair cut and color on Monday before the 2 hour ride to the city. Then the bowel prep and the betadine douche. What excitement!
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a very good day 06-16-2004 - 06:53 AM
Yesterday was a very good day. I got an evaluation done that had to be done this week before my surgery.

We went golfing in the afternoon and I got a 43 on the front nine-didn't do too good on the back nine, but hey, I am in some considerable pain. Then we went to the grocery store, came home, I cooked dinner, took a darvoset, and enjoyed my evening. I even felt like my old self for almost the whole day without huge pain, or without excessive worry about the upcoming surgery.

I had a call from the Plastic surgeon's office about what to do this week before surgery. It was a good thing they called because I had forgotten about not taking any aspirin, aleve or advil products or ibuprofen. Only tylenol and the darvoset as long as I don't get too much of them. I only take one darvoset at night so I can sleep, so then I can do a few tylenols in the day. Wow, I sound like a drug addict figuring out how much I can safely consume!

The PS surgeon's nurse was wonderful. Asked me some questions about medications again to make sure nothing had changed. My preop was a long time ago. And when I told her I was alittle nervous, she said I wouldn't be normal if I wasn't nervous. That if you think you will enjoy surgery you might have some other problems! She also told me she was looking forward to seeing me next week, and caring for me. And they would help me get my attractive body back. (I didn't have the heart to tell her I had lost that when I was in my teens, if I ever had it!)

I am so proud of my efforts to lose weight-50 pounds over the past two years. Since I am in my mid-50's, that loose skin is not going back in. I have lost several inches around my waist in the past 4 months through healthy eating, exercise and taking nutritional supplements. So I am looking forward to having this extra skin and pouches removed.

My regular GP gets so excited when I come in for check-ups since I have lost weight. I think he gets more excited than I do! I don't think it is easy and not very many people are able to lose weight and keep it off. I have been struggling with this my whole life. All I can say is that all the times I tried until 2 years ago were practice in doing what wouldn't work. Until I had an open mind and was willing to listen to scientists, fitness experts and doctors that researched and knew what really does work, I wasn't ready to lose this belly fat and weight. Now that I know what to do and know that it is not that hard, I am not afraid that I will gain it back. It really is a lifestyle change.

What a long and ramblin' note this is. I seem to be waxing more philisophical as I get closer to my surgery date.
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the simple things in life 06-16-2004 - 06:40 AM
This morning when I poured myself a cup of coffee before I go in to see some little ones for therapy, I had a warm and fuzzy feeling. I had my coffee in a cup I just bought when we were up north for a little mini vacation with my daughter and her boyfriend and our son and our niece. I got a big smile on my face as I drank my coffee, thinking of our camping trip, the gorgeous weather we had, the bike rides, the pontoon boat and fishing, the campfires and good conversation with everyone.

Just having that simple cup of coffee could bring back those great times-I love it. Life can be full of nasty pain, fibroids, prolapsed utueri (is that a plural?), apprehension about upcoming surgery- and yet one simple cup of coffee can wash it all away for awhile.
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One week from today 06-15-2004 - 06:28 AM
At this time in one week, I will be 6 mintues from the surgery-and will be glad to get it over with. I thought it was great that I had part of June to enjoy the wonderful weather before surgery.
Well, it has rained a lot. But the worst thing is when I go golfing or biking, or work in the yard, I have to quit after a short time and rest with a heating pad on my abdomen for a few hours. I had to take a Demoral yesterday afternoon after working at school, then in the yard for only a an hour.

We have several golf tee times this week, I want to enjoy the outdoors while I can, now I will just have to be sure I am taking ibuprofen before I go-if I take the Demoral I will be napping, not golfing!

I have so much to do around the house to get ready, but haven't done anything.

Well, off to work today for a few hours to do an evaluation and see one tiny tot. Tomorrow morning I have 3 more scheduled, and then after the report writing, I am done for the summer.
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my daughter has gone home-boo hoo 06-12-2004 - 04:19 PM
We took our daughter and her boyfriend to the Cities yesterday-a 4 hour drive. We spent last night and today at great restraurants and at the Mall of America with them. Our son lives there so he came to the motel also, and swam and sat in the hot tub there. My DD and her boyfriend left today to fly back to Colorado, and then DH and me drove all the way back home.

I got the whole surgery thing discussed with the kids, and even my daughter's boyfriend was in on the discussion. He told me his mother had a hyster a few years ago and he was amazed at how quickly she recovered-up and walking that evening, and home and recovering quickly. He was so sweet.

Anyhow we are finally home again, my pain level was about a 7 the whole time in the car, and walking around. I didn't want to take demerol and be a slug, so I kept with the ibuprofen but it didn't help that much.

I feel like I have things I need to do before surgery, but am achey, headachey, pelvic achey and generally achey.

This is the first we have had any time alone since school is out for the summer, and it feels very calm and peaceful. The kids were fun to have around, but I am known as the 'activity director' and had lots of fun things planned so they would have a nice vacation.

Next week I still have two tiny tots to evaluate and 3 kids to see for speech therapy, then I am really done for the summer-someone else will have to pick up the slack, or else it just won't get done. After Wednesday, I am not going to do anymore. It already hurts too much to get on the floor and jump and dance around, so I am not even sure about this week-I will just have to wait and see.
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the calm before the storm 06-11-2004 - 07:05 AM
Yesterday I got on the phone and called the hospital and asked to talk to the Anesthesiologists group. I wanted to talk to at least someone and find out some details since I was worried.
The switchboard put me through to one number and no one answered, so I let it ring. It must go through a loop, because the switchboard picked it up again. Then they put me through to the surgery desk and the woman that answered said she would find someone and have them call me. Well a few minutes later a Dr. -- called and he was soooo kind and considerate. I told him I had two worrisome thoughts and questions and hated to take up his time, but just had some dumb questions. He said there weren't any dumb questions and to ask away.

I told him my history of being violently sick and puking and dry heaving all day after surgery 23 years ago. The first thing he said was "23 years ago" may I ask how old are you now? I said 54, and then he calmed down a little. I told him that it was a tubal and everytime someone walked in the hall, or the phone rang, or I heard a voice or saw any movement that I started to dry heave. I was concerned because I would be full of stitches and staples and the TT incision and didn't want to rip things open. He said that would be scary. He said that there were a lot of advances in the past 20 years and they had a wide variety of choices of medications and drugs to use. He also said there weren't any guarantees, that 30% of women with hysterectomies have nausea and about 5% vomit. He said it is higher with hysters than some other surgeries. Then he said to be sure and tell them the morning of surgery that what I had was motion sickness so that they could use a more appropriate drug for that.

Then I asked him about being strapped on the table and having arms and legs strapped down. I said I really didn't like that idea while I was conscious and he said they wouldn't do it when I was conscious, that they never do.

Then he was soo kind, he said the best thing I could do is to relax and go into the surgery with a positive frame of mind, that would help me the most. Then he said, "Well we are looking forward to taking very good care of you while you're here."

Now I feel better about the whole thing. There isn't anything else I can do to make this a better or worse experience. I have asked and answered all the questions that can be asked and answered, and now I just have to live my life the next week and 1/2 and have as much fun and relaxing time as I can so I can be in a calm and positive frame of mind. I am SO glad I called yesterday-the thoughts about the anesthetic were really bugging me.
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Shake, Shake the worries out! 06-09-2004 - 03:55 PM
I figured I should list my worries quickly, off the top of my head, then get them out in the open. Then I can do it again in a week, or after surgery and see how my perspective changes.
My current worries:


Smaller worries:
1. The surgery and recovery time will get me off target and I will never get fit again.
2. I will gain back all the weight with the time laying around since I won't be getting my current intensity of exercise.
3. That I will have such a hideous scar I won't be able to stand looking at myself.
4. That I will be forever numb in the abdominal area-the PS said this probably could happen.
5. That I will have a headache the rest of my life.
6. That the tummy tuck will make my front look good, then it will make my large sagging boobs look really bad.
7. That I will be permanently disabled after surgery and never be able to work again.
8. That I will never want sex again.
9. That I will have a back ache the rest of my life.
10. That I won't be able to sleep for months or more.
11. That my back will hurt so bad after surgery that I will go crazy.
12. That I will be conscious when they strap me down-I can't stand the thought of arms and legs being strapped down.
13. That I will lose control and just start screaming at some point during this.

There it is, all on the table now-all the fears I currently am having.
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really tired 06-09-2004 - 03:49 PM
I had to get up early today and see some wee little ones today for their summer speech services. I will see them one more time, then will be having surgery and won't be doing that again this summer.

Today I was reminded why I am doing this, once again. I was on the floor with the 3 year old at his home visit, dancing around with a song, and had to get up and down, roll around, jump, dance, etc. By the second verse I was ready to quit. And I usually can outlast the kids. Just that ol' stabbin feelin' in the right front.

I love my job, I love the kids, and I love that I can be silly and get kids talking that are reluctant communicators. And get paid for it-how great is that? One of the mom's today told me that she is so pleased with her little one's progress. She said that now he is talking more, and becoming his own little person now. Since one week ago when I saw him, he was saying all kinds of things today, whole sentences with lots of expression. It makes my heart sing to see a child that had less than 20 words just blossom. Now if I can just get him to put the front sounds on the words so we can understand him better! tee hee.

Then when I came home I had to take a demoral, which zonkered me out. Before this pain got so bad I was exercising 5 or 6 days a week at the Y, and outside. I have lost 50 pounds in the past 2 years, and don't eat bad carbs anymore. I take multivitimans and am very healthy. I am very excited about all the changes I have made. Lately, I have not been doing all the resistance training, and all the swimming and exercising like I was. I think the pain meds just take the steam out of me, but I can't do anything when the pain is there either.

Every day even if I don't think about the upcoming surgery too much, I do the little count down in my head. 12 days to surgery now, 12 days to go. There's 12 days to surgery now, and then I've got to go.
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Queen of "overdo" 06-08-2004 - 06:04 AM
Well, now we are back from camping. What an absolutely wonderful 5 days. We biked around the lake (17 miles) two times! We rented a pontoon and spent almost one day in it, fishing, eating sandwiches, visiting. We tied our kayak to it, and went off on little kayak trips. We have had nothing but rain and cold windy weather for most of May, and the weather was so wonderful. Which is a good thing for camping!

I wondered how I would do since I have had stabbing shooting pains for a few months. I took my limit of tylenol and was able to do everything. However after the second bike trip of the weekend around the lake, I developed a very sharp pain in the area of maybe the right kidney. Most of my pain has been on the right ovary-the front side, but this was on the back area. I had a very difficult time the last night in the tent getting off the air bed to go to the bathroom, and then getting back down again. I had some spasms, and could hardly stand upright or pick anything up.
I considered it practice for post-op!

My daughter and her boyfriend are visiting from Colorado, and our son also came camping. We had such a good time. Lots of good food, great weather, fantastic sunsets. Biking on the trail with the sun dappling through the trees, and the spring flowers in the woods. It smelled so wonderful, and I was so glad to be alive and able to be there.

But I did pay for all that exercise-and demoral is the med for the day.

I had a lot of time to think about the surgery and come to terms with this. I feel absolutely certain about my decision now, the pain is ever present, and affecting my life.

I am having some trouble with the business office and the prepay for the abdominoplasty. I put it on a credit card and it was one I have never used and the authorization was declined-I will have to make some calls today and find out what that was about. What a pain. They probably didn't know what to do with a large charge when it had been inactive.
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time to pay the piper 06-02-2004 - 02:00 PM
Well, since the preauth has come through, there are phone calls to make and things to pay ahead. The hysterectomy and all those procedures are paid for. The abdominolplasty and related charges are not. So here is the cost: plastic surgeon-4800$-paid. Anestheiologist part of the tummy tuck part-$1200-paid. Waiting for the billing at the hospital to call when they get it figured out for their share of the operating room, etc.

The woman in the business office, said, "Boy, I'm glad it's not me". But she was cute and we were having a good conversation it wasn't insulting or anything. I said I was glad it wasn't her too, because then my problems would still be here!!

My husband is starting the worry thing a little about the expense, the ordeal, just the whole thing. Did I mention he has bipolar-or manic depressive as some know it by? He does really well and we have been married for almost 35 years. His medications work pretty good, although there have been some breakthrough times where he has had to be hospitalized to get things stable again. Let's just hope this pressure of my surgery doesn't cause that to happen. It can be a pretty wild ride if he gets over the top!

Or else he is just tired because of the long list I left this morning to get ready for camping. Right as we speak we are 'seasoning' new cast iron skillets and griddles on the outdoor grill. First you heat them to melt off the wax they put on them for shipping. Then after you wipe that off you put oil on them and turn them upside down and cover them and they heat for a hour over the charcoal grill. Then the oil goes into the metal, and you just rinse them with hot water and scrape them to clean them. No soap or abrasives and they stay slick and clean. Cool, huh?

Now this surgery seems very real to me, especially since some of it is paid for in advance-my decisions are in, the die is cast!!

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some fun 06-02-2004 - 05:19 AM
It's time for some fun! We are getting ready to go camping!

My daughter flew in from Colorado and has her new boyfriend with her-she says he might be the ONE! (She has said this before, but they weren't THE ONE!)
They are with our son in the Cities for a few days.

We are meeting them at the Headwaters to the Mississippi state park on Thursday night. We are taking our 9th grader niece with us too, so this should be a blast.

My DH asked if I would make a list because I started fretting that everything wouldn't get done. I have to see some kids today for summer services, and I still didn't get all my paperwork done from the school year yet. And I lost my reading glasses, and have an eye dr appt today because I can't get new ones without an exam. Grrr. The over the counter ones don't correct my type of vision. So last night I typed out a list for packing and getting the house cleaned before we leave tomorrow at noon. It was a long list-my DH doesn't work in the summer either so he said he has time. I might have gone overboard on the amount of things to do-can husbands clean out a refrigerator-or is that a genetic impossiblity? I know the toilet paper roll can only be renewed by a female person!

My daughter and her new boyfriend are coming back here after camping to spend some time, so there is plenty to do with clean bedding, bathrooms cleaned. We already shampooed the carpets and did some yard work this weekend. I still have several plants and bushes sitting outside waiting for some dry weather to plant. The friend with a tiller will probably come tomorrow morning, and we don't have time to plant now. Oh, fret and worry, that is what I am good at. Filling my mind with mundane things to keep it away from the big H!

It will be so much fun to see her-she lives a long ways away and we only see each other a few times a year. I haven't told either one of the kids about the surgery yet. I thought it would be better to talk about it in person so they could see me when we are discussing it.

Oh boy, 5 days of biking, hiking, fishing, cooking over a campfire, sleeping in a tent, golfing. I hope I have enough pain meds! although I just am getting over my period and some of the abdominal pressure is lessened. Anything to keep my mind off of this for some time.

Off to work I go.
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this is happening 06-01-2004 - 04:00 PM
Well, I got the preauth for the hysterectomy and other repairs, they approved up to 5 days in the hospital before I would have to get more approvals. Of course I want to have less and be a star but knowing what I have authorized without having to jump through any more hoops is comforting.

Since I got the approval, I went ahead and paid the plastic surgeon. They get their money ahead of time, which is a little weird.

I am sooo glad I went for a second opinion, because this hospital and clinic staff is absolutely wonderful. The first clinic and hospital were not so wonderful-the ob/gyn told me I had to get my own preauthorization. I left crying because I didn't have a clue how to do that. When I called the insurance company and told them that, they had never heard of such a thing. They said no, that is the doctor's job-the clinic. There are ICD-9 codes, and medical information that needs to be filled out. So after I was done crying, then I got mad-that is my usual progression of emotions when frustrated. (After the shopping part I forgot to write down!)

Then I called and got an appointment in a big teaching hospital and am so glad I did. Also I called the first gyn to ask some questions, and the nurse was very rude and said there wouldn't be anyone back to answer any questions for 3 days. At the second place they call back the same day.

So now things are falling into place.

All I have to deal with now is the constant pelvic pain and feeling sick to my stomach. I'm not even taking any pain meds, i am still yucky. I think the enlarged uterus and fibroids are pushing on everything in my abdominal area.

I started my period on Friday, so as the other hyster-sisters have said-that will be the last one. They are 41 days apart, and my surgery is scheduled in 21 days-so goodby tampax-finally-I am 54 1/2 ******* years old-all my friends are completely done with all this, I am the last holdout.

The total abdominoplasty is costing me 4800$ for the surgeon alone. Who knows about the operating room time and the anastheioligist )-boy who knows how to spell that one!!

But the 50 pounds I have lost over the past 2 years deserves the chance to show up on my body, not hidden by the loose and extra skin. Signed: Nervously waiting.
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the days march on 06-01-2004 - 06:50 AM
My last day of official work today because I am off for the summer. Although I will be seeing some little tykes 3 times in June-it will make the time go faster.

I have about 5 times a day that I think, "Oh, this is stupid, I don't need this surgery-I will just wait for menopause and all my problems will go away." But I started my period on Friday, and my problems aren't going away. Darn. And the pain is there all of the time now, and making me very very uptight and crabby.

So this morning before work, I decided to go and read stuff in the hormonal jungle to gather more information since I am sure I am doing this now-if the preauth insurance goes through. I have gathered quite enough research and information about the hysterectomy and those decisions. Now I wanted to see about the hormonal decisions, although both gyn's and my GP already all told me the same thing. That I will need HRT, and should take it the rest of my life-I always thought you just took it for a few years, but that's not what they are saying. I mean I am almost 55 years old-I feel very fortunate that I haven't had to make these decisions yet-so many on this forum are very young. I feel young though, have good skin and bone density and good vaginal walls! tee hee-we love those vaginal walls in our house!

But now I can see it is still a decision that needs some thinking and needs to be made.

My first visit to the hormonal jungle was a little scary. There are a lot of very strong opinions, a lot of "I know I am right" and who knows where anyone gets their information? I did visit another doctor's site, and there was very good research articles cited. And he talked about bad research and how you can't conclude anything from research that isn't done correctly.

I talked to my very special aunt-my mom died when I was a teenager. This is my mom's sister. She had a hysterectomy in her 40's. She said I should not read so much because it just makes you worry, but just go for it. She said it was the best thing she ever did, and that I will be surprised at how much I have been suffering silently with these fibroids and pain. She said sex was better (yes, my aunt did say the sex word, and she is in her 60's- OHMYGOSH!!).

She just sent me a picture yesterday in her e-mail of her and her "old" lady friends with their medals after running in a 8 K race on Memorial Day. They all looked so healthy, alive, happy, and vibrant. It helps me to see that life after a hysterectomy is not only possible, but is possibly great!

It's funny, I am not worried at all about losing organs-but I am worried about the hormone thing. I probably have already started some natural menopause-so I am hoping my body won't be as shocked as it would be if I were younger. And my doc says the HRT patch can go on the day after surgery. But I am worried that they will find endo after they rip everything else out, and I will be stuck. I asked the doc how they can tell if I have fibroids and not cysts, or endo, and he said the ultrasound showed the fibroids as solid. And I don't have spotting or abnormal bleeding, so maybe he does know what he is doing?

Even if no one ever reads this journal, I am finding it very helpful to ramble on-my husband has been a great listener, but I am repeating myself with him to sort it all out. I know it drives him crazy.
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brief-=haha herstory 05-31-2004 - 05:53 AM
I decided to start a journal so I can keep track of what is going on. I started having lots of trouble-pain, more bleeding, etc about 2 years ago. I had a vaginal and a regular ultrasound done, and it showed three fibroids, and an enlarged uterus. My regular GP sent me to a OB/GYN, the closest was 75 miles away.

He told me all the implications, he was very very good. Since I was 52 years old, we decided the best route would be to start on the lupron shots, and hopefully by the end of the maximum 6 months time that you can take them, I would be in natural menopause. The idea was that everything would shrink, then menopause would help them shrink more. So I did the shots, and it did work. I didn't have any side effects or hot flashes or signs of menopause, but did get some relief from the painful pelvis (does that have something to do with Elvis?)

The next six months were ok, but I did go to my GP about 3 times, just sure that I had a bladder infection, or appendicitis because of the lower right quadrant pain. Every month waiting for menopause-like it was a magic bullet that would zap me at any time. Then this spring the pain was constant-and shooting and stabbing pains where both ovaries are, and feeling really sick during periods-sick to my stomach, crampy, etc. I went back to the ob/gyn and we talked about more alternatives. They were: waiting and doing nothing, and various kinds of surgery. He would only do the abdominal hyster and explained all the reasons why the others wouldn't work on me-mostly because of prolapse. He also said if I was going to do this, I should have everything out, then I wouldn't have to worry about cancer, and I can take HRT. I have also been plagued with atypical migraines and he thought those would go away also. I asked what would happen if I just waited for menopause. He said that would shrink the fibroids. He thought by about a third, and how big things would be would depend on how much longer the estrogen supply enabled them to grow. I said let's schedule this surgery and get it over with, I am in agony-I can hardly walk upright most of the time, and I am up all night with pain and peeing. So May 5th 2004 was my surgery date when I left that day in April.

I immediately went and spent lots of money on clothes, shoes, etc to relieve the tension. It didn't help.

I had started eating healthy at the beginning of all this, and exercising, and taking vitamins, and doing strength and flexibility training. So I lost 50 pounds, and got some good muscles in my abdomen, my arms, and legs. But a big flabby stomach won't go away, no matter how many crunches I do, or laps I swim! But I needed some clothes for spring for work anyhow.

So I went home all set for May 5th. Then DH said, "Won't that ruin your summer?" " What about when DD and her boyfriend come the beginning of June? They have had this trip planned for 6 months, and have their tickets and all. "

So I decided to go for a second opinion in a bigger hospital about 110 miles away. I got an appointment, cancelled the surgery, and went to that guy. Well, he told me the same thing, except that I needed a rectocele repair also. He said, "What are you waiting for?-this isn't going to go completely away, and you may be in this much pain for months or even a year or more. You can wait, but I think you will need this done eventually because of the prolapse, and the fibroids are getting very big." So then I asked about a tummy tuck at the same time. He said that could be done and referred me to a PS.

Anyhow, now the surgery is scheduled for June 22, with the PS and the OB/Gyn. My insurance wouldn't let them file for preauth more than 30 days from surgery date, so now I am waiting for that. The business office at the hosp sent that in on Monday May 24, and the insurance called them and wanted more documentation-any conservative measures done that failed? Diagnostic tests and x-rays, etc. This is making me very nervous. I am a speech therapist in a school, and need the summer to heal, if this gets put off too long, then I will have to use up all my sick leave in the fall, and then feel the pressure to get back to work so I don't lose $$.

Hopefully will know next week. I can't stand this waiting-I wish I was a billionaire, then I would just forget about insurance.
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