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Please help! Was it too soon to go back to work after hysterectomy? Please help! Was it too soon to go back to work after hysterectomy?

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  #1  
Unread 09-15-2020, 07:23 PM
Please help! Was it too soon to go back to work after hysterectomy?

Hello,

I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy on June 25th, 2020. The doctor released me to return to work the first week of September. I was very excited and ready to go. However, I am finding I can only get about 4 to 4 and a half hours into my workday and then my lower back and abdomen become so stiff and painful that I can hardly walk. If I push through I end up in tears. I am a retail manager in a very large department store located in a mall and my job is very physical. On my feet all day, bending, stooping, reaching, lifting constantly. With Covid we have limited staffing and bankruptcy concerns. There is no room for dead weight and I'm feeling the pressure to pick up all the slack. My question is: even though my doctor released me to return to work (we never discussed what type of job I have) could it be too soon or am I just out of shape and need to suffer through it and suck it up?
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  #2  
Unread 09-16-2020, 05:47 AM
Re: Please help! Was it too soon to go back to work after hysterectomy?

and

And yeah... one of the hardest things to wrap our brains around is just how long this recovery takes. There's nothing magical about our 6 or 8 week exam, or our release date. Even after our release, full healing takes 4-6 months, maybe longer. I didn't fully buy into it either, until I had a few more months in the rear view mirror. At two months, you're healed enough to resume activities - including returning to work - but going from full rest to full on can take its toll on a body which has gone through major surgery, especially with a physically active job. Our article How Long Will the Pain Last After Hysterectomy? is not really so much about the pain, but rather the view from 36,000 feet about this recovery. Another good article is Returning to Real Life After Hysterectomy. The second half of each article is where you are right now.

We're often instructed to resume real life gradually and listen to our bodies. I'd get dull aches and swelling through 8 weeks, and beyond that whenever I did more than my body was ready to handle. Sometimes it was activity specific, like power washing the front porch or shoving a 24-pack of soda over my head on a high shelf. One time it was an 18-hour day of working, driving, attending an outdoor concert and driving back home. Last time at the mat with those symptoms was after kicking up the intensity of a core routine, and that happened at 5 months.

Upon returning to work, lower back pain, abdominal aches and fatigue are a frequent complaint. Keep ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand - and use them if needed. You don't have the luxury of a desk job, but whenever you can, try to sit. Get coworkers to help with the heavy lifting - be honest, let them know that right now, a full day of heavy lifting is causing more pain than you expected. You likely get breaks at work. Take advantage of that time in the employee break area - recline on a sofa with a heating pad against your back, or go to your car and recline in the driver's seat warmed by the sun (I loved this, it was like an instant spa treatment). Round out your back or stretch on the floor to release the tightness in your back muscles. During lunch... get away from the job site - going home or to your car - so that you don't feel obligated to cut your lunch time short and get back to work. After work, go straight home (skip the errands), put your feet up for 30-45 minutes, and forego any off-time projects or volunteer activities. For other tips, suggestions and what to expect upon returning to work, check these two links:At this point, two weeks after returning, it may be difficult to get more time off but if your condition is worsening, do talk to your doctor about the physical demands of your job and the symptoms you are experiencing.

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