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Question about Pain & Mobility Question about Pain & Mobility

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Unread 07-22-2004, 02:52 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

Hi All!

I am 40 years old and have just been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. If I pass all of the pre- op tests, I will be having a TAH-BSO in the very near future.

My doctor surprised me when she told me that I would be on an morphine drip, that I would have a control button for, for pain. I generally have a pretty high tolerance for pain and I had an ovarian cystectomy about 13 years ago that hurt like heck, but I'm wondering how much pain to expect and will it affect my ability to get up and start walking around? I'm curious what other people's experiences were.

Also, if you needed radiation, how soon after surgery did you begin. My Dr also told me it can take up to 10 days for the patholgists report to come back (!). That's much longer than I thought it would take. (what can I say I want everything yesterday, lol)

Thanks for your input
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Unread 07-22-2004, 02:59 PM

I had the morphine drip too when I came out of surgery and it was wonderful! It wasn't long before it was gone. You can get up and around while pushing an IV pole but be very careful if you're on the morphine! I had morphine alternating with oxycodone this sping for elbow surgery and when I got up in the morning for the bathroom, the floor was rolling pretty good. The gas pains are worse than the other pains--at least that's what I found. Four weeks after the surgery I wanted to delay my port placement and chemo because I was feeling so good and wanted more time to have fun. It'll be painful at first--but to get rid of the cancer. the TAH/BSO is needed.
Unread 07-22-2004, 04:03 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

I was dx with endometrial ca in 2002 July at the age of 43. We were all shocked as I thought I was going in for a d and c to remove a polyp that the gyn said was causing my in between period spotting....I had a hyst a week later with a wonderful gyn/onc. Are you seeing a gyn or an onc/gyn?
I also had a pain pump to use for a day or two after surgery. It was wonderful and much needed. Dont wait until the pain is out of control to use is much harder to get pain under control once it is going.
I stayed three nights in the hospital and was pretty much house bound for two weeks.....I walked and walked around my house just to get some excersise, which helped greatly.
I would also recommend a private room if possible. We paid extra for that luxury and it was worth every penny.
How was your cancer dx.....through a d and c, endo biopsy? If you had a d and c the path report should tell you at least what grade the cell is expected to be which will give you a clue as to what to expect.
If I can answer any questions pm me. I am on vacation for another week and a half so I would not get an email....but i check in on HS regurely. Take care chris
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Unread 07-22-2004, 04:58 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

Hi, I had the self-administering IV drip, filled with a heroine derivative med due to allergy to morphine, and found it controlled my pain very well. When I awoke in my room following my operation, I would say I actually felt more soreness/tenderness than real pain but everyone is different. I had the drip in for 1 1/2 days and actually walked for the first time on day 2 - not too far just to the in room bathroom but even took a shower by myself. Continued daily walks, increasing frequency and lenght each day, around the wards on days 3 to 5; had a longer stay due to a minor complication and cautious doctors. One thing that really worked for me was an abdominal binder; I put it on religiously whenever I went for a walk from day 3 to at least week 3 or 4. Of course if you want to try one, please get your doctors' OK first.
Please have a gyn/onc at least present during your operation; they are the experts in the field. In my case my gyn was assisted by a gyn/onc during surgery; the latter did the stomach washings, checked lymph nodes, reviewed the initial and then final path report, etc. Let us know how you do.
s, peggiesue
Unread 07-22-2004, 07:03 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility


I had TAH/SBO on 7-17-03 for endometrial cancer --stage 1B--
I did not need chemo or radiation. I was on the morphine drip for 1 day after surgery and came home on day 4 with a prescription for oxycodene? ----Abdominal pain was not too bad ---did not use a binder, but did find panty girdles were helpful when I went back to work after 6 weeks. I did a lot of walking also--in the hospital and up and down my street. A nurse friend of mine told me to put a heating pad on the incision after the 3rd week, which seemed to help immensely, but check with your dr. first. I also had a
GYN-oncologist do my surgery.

Unread 07-23-2004, 06:00 AM
Question about Pain & Mobility

I awakened with a morphine drip post my TAH/BSO this past January for endometrial cancer. I had a pretty bad rash allergic reaction to this med. The incompetent resident MD who was covering for my MD came up to see me, and felt the reaction was not bad, prescribed some Benadryl, but would not prescribe another pain med and advised me to continue with the Morphine. I am an R.N., and in my post op delirium, knew enough not to self medicate any further which would have likely progressed to respiratory involvement since I was already experiencing some intermittent wheezing which the resident attributed to my lungs trying to clear the anesthesia. So essentially, I had no pain med my first night post op!!! When my surgeon came in the next morning he flipped out over this, gave me oral Percocet per my request which was enough for me, and agreed to send me home the next day. Some people do very well on a Morphine drip, but I for sure was not one of them. I found once I was home a 1/2 Percocet with a Motrin would hold me for 4 hours the first few days, then I went to pretty much only Motrin for the next two weeks, then Motrin as needed for those in between tough days.
Unread 07-23-2004, 02:02 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

I had the morphine drip for my hysterectomy too...I also had other surgery at the same time...but the answer is the drip is almost totally in your control. It gives out a certain amount on a regular basis wether you press the button or not(I had help in my button pressing....don't let good friends or husbands get the button away from you ) But, really, if you don't need it it will be apparent to the medical staff after awhile. They finally turned mine off because i didn't want it!!!! You can request that. Your tolerance to pain is everything when it comes to gettting up and walking. i do very well...some don' mom was really bad off. You can do anything you set your mind in with a good attitude and good luck and God bless.

Love, Sally:dragon:
Unread 07-23-2004, 02:29 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

Hi Everdean

I had the morphine pump with my TAH back in 2001. With my ovarian tumor surgery this month, my GYN/ONC insisted on an epidural. IT WAS WONDERFUL.........I was so much more alert in the hospital, i could understand and somewhat remember conversations with health care providers so much better than I could with the morphine pump with my TAH.

My pain was very well controlled, and if necessary they would give Toradol or oral pain meds as needed.

Just my opinion, but I would go with the epidural again in a heartbeat!!
Unread 07-23-2004, 07:45 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

Hi Everdean,

Although everyone tolerates pain differently, I am like you and do have a high tolerance.

After my hysterectomy they also gave me the morphine drip and I hated it. It made me feel stupid and I could not focus on anything. The TV picture, looked to me like it was jumping and I kept falling asleep and waking up with a start thinking I had slept for hours.

Seeing that I was not using the drip, they took it out and gave me some oral pain killers which worked very well. At least I felt human with them.

The actual pain was at a minimum. I had the surgery on a Thursday, late in the afternoon, and was sent home on Sunday morning. I could not wait to get home and actually rest.

Friday morning, in the hospital, I was up and walking around. My IV and I walked the halls all day which is a good thing and very much encouraged. I had had two c-sections so I kinda knew the routine.

Yes, the path report can take a while but they do a frozen section while you are in surgery which gives them a preliminary report.

Hope all goes well.
Unread 07-23-2004, 10:40 PM
Question about Pain & Mobility

I had a morphine drip for the first night -- from around 4 pm when I was put in my room after surgery until around 8 or 9 the next morning. I tolerated it well, and really had no pain that night. Then, they gave me some crackers and oral percocet, which worked fine for me to keep the pain at bay. They had me up and walking around midnight the first night . When the nurse came in to check on me, I was wide awake, so he had me sit up and dangle my feet--when I did fine with that, he asked me if I felt like walking a bit, so I gave it a try and took a short walk down to the nurse's station, with him right at my side, just in case. I did quite a bit of walking the halls in the hospital--every couple of hours during the day. I stayed in the hospital one more night, then went home in the late afternoon the next day. At home, I took percocet for around a week, then started to wean myself off that and over to an 800 mg dose of motrin every 8 hours. Continued to take the percocet at night for a few more days, though. I found that it helped to keep a sheet of paper by the pills, and write it down every time I took something, as I was not very clear-headed while I was taking the percocet. I took the motrin at the prescibed 8 hour interval, and the first few days, found I was starting to feel some pain an hour or so before I could take my next dose, but nothing intolerable.

My first full day at home, I stayed inside, and just walked the hall of the apartment building. The next morning, I took a short stroll outside, with my sister by my side. I lived right on a park at the time, and there were benches along the path, so I knew I could sit down and rest if I needed to. Took several more short strolls outside that day, and the next, gradually increased the distance. Took about a week and a half before I started making it all the way around the park (about a mile and a half, pretty flat). At about 3 weeks, I was outpacing my sis on our walks (she is a "stroller" and I'm a "power walker"). My recovery was pretty uneventful, and I didn't need any radiation or chemo. My pathology reports came back late afternoon the day after surgery, so I had the results before I left the hospital.

Everyone is different in their recovery and pain tolerance, and you do need to listen to your body. I think it helped my recovery that I was in pretty good shape at the time, as I was training for a week long, 400 mile bike tour in the Colorado Rockies (which I of course, missed, as it would have been 2 weeks after the surgery). I did find that I couldn't do as much as I'd hoped. I thought I'd be able to go to a baseball game that I had gotten tickets for before my DX. The game was a week and a half after surgery. NO WAY would I have been able to sit for that long in the stadium seats. I did go to an outdoor concert at about a week after surgery, though--about a quarter mile walk from home. My sis and a friend carried a comfortable chair, pillow and footstool over, and I made it through the whole concert without any trouble, but went right to sleep when I got home. And a friend took me to the farmer's market and out for coffee a week and a half after surgery. She carried everything I bought, and it was great to be out enjoying something that was my normal routine! Again, though, a nap was in order when I got home.

It did surprise me how long it took to start feeling really back to normal. Even several months later, I'd find that I'd overdo, and have a bad case of swelly belly, tiredness, etc. It was about 8 weeks before I got back on my bike, and started out with really short rides--a mile down to the neighborhood Starbucks). Around 4-5 months out, I really started getting my energy back. They say it takes a year to really heal from major surgery, and I'd say "they" are right on.

Good luck with your surgery, and I hope they find that the cancer was caught early, as mine was.

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