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Just Wondering.. Just Wondering..

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Unread 06-12-2003, 12:36 AM
Just Wondering..

i know pain thresholds are different for everyone, however i would like to know what type of pain/feeling do you have after a vaginal hysterectomy/recotcele repair/cystocele repair/vaginal wall repair?...i'm in the process of being scheduled for all of these procedures (during the hysterectomy) within the next 4 weeks so as you can probably relate, my imagination is running kind of wild....i keep imagining myself feeling like i did after giving birth vaginally..however, when i researched the actual procedure the uterus is nowhere near as big as a baby so i then think its not going to be so bad...am i fooling myself?...as far as the rectocele/cystocele/vaginal repair i dont think i really want to know..those repairs are what scare me the most...again, i'm not really asking for how bad the pain is going to be, just WHAT TYPE of pain am i looking forward to having?...anyones input is greatly appreciated....i would ask my dr but he's male so he's not going to know first hand........thanks in advance for your input..........stay well......diana
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Unread 06-12-2003, 12:52 AM
Just Wondering..

Hi Diana, as you say, everyone's threshold for pain is different. I didn't have a vaginal plus all the other procedures, but I did have a tummy tuck and tht added additional pain and discomfort. For the first two weeks I was told not to stand up straight! Of course sitting for you will be delicate but if you can get past the initial pain immediately after the surgery, I think you find that the pain meds will really help a lot. My doctor told me to continue taking the meds on schedule. Having the pain reduced by the medication will make me feel better and then I would be encouraged to more around more, and the more I felt able to move about some, the more I'd recover quicker. No don't get me wrong when I say "move around." I wasn't house cleaning and making dinner. I was walking around the house in short laps and walking outdoors sloooowly and increasing each walk by another driveway. I would rest on the couch in between for the first week and a half. I believe you will really be surprised at how you will feel. Many say it's not as bad as the had imagined and the waiting is far worse! (for sure)

Unread 06-12-2003, 01:56 AM
Just Wondering..

Hi diana I had the same surgeries you're going to have plus a bladder repair and BSO (removal of both ovaries). Since I had them all at one time, it's hard to be sure, but I think most of the pain came from the A&P repairs (the vaginal walls) plus the bladder suspension. I've also had two vaginal deliveries of very large (first one was 9 lbs 2 ozs and I am not a large person) babies.

I'd have to say that I think the pain from the A&P repairs is similar to but more than the vaginal delivery. Reason is, in the delivery, there was a big episiotomy (actually in my case I tore all the way through and had to be repaired) but it's all on the outside; in the hyst with A&P repairs, they basically cut up the front wall, across the top (where the cervix is) and down the back wall and then sew you back together after removing the uterus and cervix (and in my case ovaries too, plus doing the bladder lift). So you have way, way more stitched areas.

However, the good news is, the surgery is a major surgery and so they will keep you supplied with pain meds afterwards, which you should not hesitate to take. The best way to handle it is to stay ahead of the pain. For the first few days, take the pain meds whether you think you need them or not, because if you don't, and what's in your system wears off, you will wish you had.

With the meds, the worst pain I had was the first day, and it felt about like the worst cramps I ever had, or moderate level labor pains, until I got it under control, and then it was manageable. I have since had two other surgeries and learned much better what pain meds work for me and which ones don't, so if I had it to do over again with my choice of meds I think I could feel a lot better than I did.

Talk with your DR about pain meds before the surgery. There are threads around here about which pain meds and delivery methods have worked for some of us, although everyone's body is different. Make sure your DR knows of your concerns; most of them will try hard to make sure we are kept comfortable, as a comfortable Princess heals much better than one who is in constant pain.

And when you're in the castle, if you're on a schedule to receive pain meds, don't be shy about requesting them. Sometimes the nurses will wait until you ask before bringing them. It's best to take them on schedule even if the last one isn't wearing off yet... again, keeping ahead of that pain. If it gets ahead of you, it's much harder to get it back under control.

If you want to see what is actually done in the surgery you're having, you could go to www.pelvicfloor.com and see actual photos of a vag hyst with repairs. But please don't look if you're at all squeamish. If you're curious, though, it can help you to understand what happens and where the pain comes from.

Best of luck with your surgery, I hope everything goes great for you! I'll look forward to hearing about it over in Post Op.
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Unread 06-12-2003, 05:46 AM
I am one week post op

I had similar repairs to yours except mine was TAH, with a vertical incision. During the first few days in the castle I had an epidural for pain. (General A during surgery), the epidural provided good coverage for pain. Then I started oral Tylenol 3's with codiene. I agree with the other post about taking the meds when scheduled to provide constant coverage. Otherwise you will be "chasing pain" (as my doctor calls it) and waiting for an hour for the pain meds to kick in.
Pain thresholds are different, and I am learning what affects my level of pain. I find that a full bladder increases my level of pain.

Anyways take care and good luck
Unread 06-12-2003, 08:42 AM
Just Wondering..

Just to let you know, the doctors do not order the pain medicine on a schdule like other meds. They order them prn, which stands for as needed in latin. When it says every 3 or 4 hours as needed, it is not scheduled every three hours. That is just the minimum time between having your pills that you are allowed.

Many times people do not need their pills that often or are too sleepy from the anesthesia still for it to be safe to administer the meds every 3 or 4hours. What a lot of nurses do, is try to ask the patient every 3 or 4 hours if they are ready for anything or at least when we first meet our patients at the beginning of the shift let them know how often they can have their pills and to let us know when they are ready for them. I know there are nurses who never check with their patients and that is a big dirty shame to me.

It is important to not wait too long inbetween and that is when it may be wise to stick to a "schedule" of taking them as often as you can have them. But if it knocks you out we will cut back on it because it is not safe for youto be that ovesedated, as good as that sounds.

We will ask you what your pain level is on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst. If you are comfortable at a 3, then when it starts to climb to a 4-5 you should ask for your pain pills. Even if it isn't time yet your nurse should somehow work with you to see what can be done or given to make you comfortable until they are due (and you may be able to wait it out if it is only 15 minutes away).

You need to let your nurses know if your pills are effective. And by effective that does not necessarily mean you will be pain free. For most people pain free means youare back under anesthesia again. But you should be failry comfortable with at least just an ache or mild to moderate pain..the edge should be taken off. We all have different tolerances to pain but we all have different chemistries when it comes to what works for one person over another. If you are getting something and getting no relief, let them know, they may have an alternative med to try or they then need to call the doctor for you.

Linda >^..^<
Unread 06-12-2003, 10:30 AM
Just Wondering..

My LAVH/BSO wasn't like labor at all. During my one and only pregnancy, I was in labor over 24 hours and there wasn't much anyone could do about it since the contractions have to go on. During my hyst, I was completely knocked out during the worst of it (general-A) so I wasn't aware of any pain at all.

The worst pain I felt through all this was a crushing headache the day after my surgery. I thought it was caffeine withdrawl but it was actually a side-effect of the morphine. It built-up, peaked and passed all within a half an hour. Later that morning they took me off the morphine and I was ready.

The other pains I had were from gas - which was VERY momentary. By the time I could think, "Oh, that's uncomfortable!", they had passed. The other pain, which I'm still peeved about was in my left arm because they left my IV in too long. It was a constant dull ache that lasted for a week but it was never so bad, once they took my IV out, that I needed to take anything for it. It was just annoying.

But pain in my abdomen from the actual hyst? Nothing! I told my DR she took out all the bits that hurt.

I'm sorry I can't address the other work you'll have done. I have a GF who went through a bowel resection the same time I was having my hyst done and she definately has been dealing with more side effects than I have.

DO keep in mind that the hyst is being performed for a reason - you have a medical problem that must be dealt with. If the hyst cures the problem you WILL feel better, even with the effects from the surgery.

I'm reminded of my dad who underwent two heart by-pass surgeries. After his first surgery I asked him how he was feeling. He said, "Much better." I considered that a little odd considering what he had been through and how much healing he still had to do. He pointed out that before the surgery he felt awful all the time because his heart couldn't pump enough blood and oxygen. Now that's fixed so by comparison he feels great. The hyst is like that. I didn't realize how much constant pain I was in until it was finally gone. I WILLINGLY put up with the post-surgery recovery discomforts because they were MINOR by comparison.
Unread 06-12-2003, 11:49 AM

Thank your so much for replying to my post and shedding some light on this for me....i am so full of nerves at this time every little big of encouragement helps..its nice to hear that the pain isnt going to be too too bad...i expect it to hurt, thats only logical--i guess it's like everyone says, the worst part if not knowing...all of my problems, atleast to the point that they are now, came on me almost overnight..i endured the not knowing what was wrong with me for 4 months--running back and forth to my primary care dr 4 times, back and forth to a urologist for 2 months, then finally getting myself in to the gynecologist who had my problem diagnosed in no time flat...it was/is so relieving to actually know what is wrong with me and that there is a treatment plan to help me-thank God for wonderful dr's!!!...........i'm glad i found this website--i've logged on atleast twice since finding it a week or so ago..its nice to know i'm not alone (not that i thought i was realistically, but everyone, i believe, thinks theyre the only one suffering until they hear other's stories).......thanks again to everyone who has, and everyone who will, shared their stories...everyone of them is individual and yet everyone had helped me tremendously....i cant wait unti i'm in a position to help other women who are going through this..i guess my time will be here soon........keep posting as i'm looking forward to reading..............stay well everyone!..*diana*

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