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Well meaning intentions Well meaning intentions

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Unread 07-23-2005, 10:44 AM
Well meaning intentions

I am at 2 1/2 weeks post op TAH and I am being besieged by well meaning advise as to my recovery time. Women who have had "C sections" saying recovery was a snap! And my favorite and always a man speaking "my wife was up and fine in a week!" I am a high performing executive and I feel very stressed out and anxious because I just don't have it in me to go back full tilt boogie yet. I plan to start back next week 1/2 days...am I being lazy or am I being reasonable?
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Unread 07-23-2005, 10:50 AM
Well meaning intentions

You are totally being reasonable. Be your normal assertive self and tell them you'll be back when you're ready.

I just started back last week after 6 weeks off.
Unread 07-23-2005, 10:56 AM
Heal On Your Own Time

Extremely reasonable, those c-sections didn't have a huge functioning organ removed from their bodies! Yes, I endured lots of those who felt so much better so fast & I learned quickly to ignore them & pay attention to my own body. Good thing I did as I had a life threatning staph infection that went systemic, by ambulance to hospital at 7 days post-op, embarrassing except I couldn't even walk let alone drive.

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Unread 07-23-2005, 11:14 AM
Well meaning intentions

Take it easy and ignore those people! I had two C-sections, and it is not the same! Similarities, yes, but not the same. I had a lot of trouble with my bowels getting back to normal. I don't remember that much trouble after the babies. I think maybe bcse with C-sections I had an epidural and not a general. Plus, the hysterectomy took longer, so I was asleep longer.
I go back to work Aug. 1, which will 8 weeks, and I am worried about being too tired. Even half days for you this soon sound like asking a lot of your body.
I came down with viral vertigo. My mother said that the immune system can't fight off other things as well since you are recovering from major surgery. Think about that. You want to be strong in lots of ways before you go back into the germie office!
Take care.
Unread 07-23-2005, 11:17 AM
Well meaning intentions

Hi gcbaeo,
I think half days at 3 weeks is very early. I couldn't help but put my in here. I hope you won't let anyone push you into this. The average time for the initial healing phase is 6 to 8 weeks. Some take longer. You'll continue to heal for months. We say it takes 6 months to a year to fully heal.
If you go back to your normal activities too quickly it could actually slow down the process. It takes a lot of energy for your body to heal. This is why you need to rest and not over exert yourself. Your body will let you know if you push it too far, but you could find yourself at work and really miserable.
What you had done is nothing like a C section other than you have an incision with both. Your TAH was a much more extensive surgery.
I hope you will stand up to all of them who are making you feel like this. You are not being unreasonable. Listen to your body and don't do anything you aren't ready for. s, Rita
Unread 07-23-2005, 12:01 PM
Well meaning intentions

I can so-o-o identify. My mother's dearest friend, a retired RN, keeps telling her that I need to push myself more...she (the friend) had a hyst 30-some years ago and withing a week had push-mowed her lawn and left for a 2 week driving vacation across country with her MD husband! I told my mother to tell her that, #1) I don't have a 'live-in' MD with me 24/7, #2) I know what my body is telling me and #3) Maybe she really hurt herself at that time and that is why she is so bitter and judgemental all these years!! Yeah for me!!!!!!!! I will get over these infections and I will feel great soon!!
Unread 07-23-2005, 12:06 PM
Well meaning intentions

Hi gcbaeo
I am also in an executive position with a staff who depends on my decisions and direction, so I thought I'd address the non-C section part of your post with my experiences for your information.

I had TAH/LSO on April 7th. I had an uneventful recovery except for an annoying vaginal/bladder infection at 8 weeks post-op as soon as my husband and I started having regular sex again. This is now slowly resolving.

I was able to write short emails as soon as I got back from the 3 day hospital stay. Concentration and focus were very hard (impossible) but I could do light mental work on laptop for up to 3 hours a day. Nothing technical or complex. I cancelled all my business trips and as many tasks as I could, and I'm glad I did. I let my staff do everything possible. It's difficult.

Looking back on it I wish I would have had the nerve to stay home for 8 weeks instead of 6. I wasn't ready to go back at 6 weeks I realize now. I was doing OK working from home and getting better. When I went back I said I was going to come home every day at 2 PM and then work later after I'd rested/napped, but I never did. I got sucked into the work thing, and gave in to the pressure of others, and it set me back. It was one reason (besides honeymoon cystitis) that I had such a hard time with bladder inflammation. I'm sure if I had a job that required light mental activity I could have done it without any problem. But I was not up to the mental activity, competition, managing staff and facing the firedrills everyday. I was very discourgaged because my mind was not performing up to the level I expected or needed to do my job. The body seems to come back before the mind.

So, now, even now I have a strict "energy budget" (something I've never really had before). But I'm starting to have fun beating the boys again at work. So it does come back, in fits and starts. Summary: stay home, get better, give it the time it needs, give in to it and let it have it's way. Come back when you can and titrate your energy on a weekly or daily basis. Set a do-able energy budget, annnouce it and find some way to stick to it.
PM me if you want more details.
Unread 07-23-2005, 12:10 PM
Well meaning intentions

I absolutely agree with PreciousPearl. Going back half days at 3 weeks is very early in my opinion. I returned to work half days at six weeks, and I lasted exactly 3 half days. I had to take the next two days off. Then I did another week of half days, and that was a little better, although I still needed a nap as soon as I got home. By week 8 I was able to do full days, as long as I went straight home after and didn't do anything else!

Mind you, my female boss acted like I'd been on vacation while I was recovering, as did a few of my coworkers. But I knew (largely thanks to Hystersisters) I had exactly one chance to heal right. For the first time in my life I listened to my body and blocked out everyone else's (except my doctor's) opinion.

Are you sure everyone's intentions are well-meaning? In my case my female boss was worried about the work getting done in my absence, since before surgery I always put in 200% every day, which allowed other individuals to get by with doing little to nothing. I learned something - the place did survive without me, and I am not irreplaceable in the workplace. And it might not be a bad thing for other folks to carry their own share of the workload for a change.

However, I AM irreplaceable in my own life! There's only one me, and I'd better take care of me. Fortunately I had good friends (and some coworkers) who pushed me in that direction, and when I tried to do too much they reminded me that I needed to put my energy into healing for many months, not just the first six weeks.

The people who really truly mean well will support you and encourage you to take the time you need. They will know better than to compare you to anyone else.

Since I've returned to work I have found a real balance in my life. I do 100% every day, not 200%, and I put my health above all else. My stress level has plunged, and I enjoy life much more.

Sorry this is so long, but please do give yourself all the time you need. You and your doctor are the best judge of this.

P.S. Every time a man gives you advice about recovery time, ask him when his hysterectomy was.

Good luck.
Unread 07-23-2005, 12:28 PM
Well meaning intentions

Hi, gcbaeo!
We have the same hyst. date! I had a TAH-BSO and at this point, can't even imagine driving, let alone going back to work!! I am doing well so far, thankfully, but even a dose of visitors wears me out...I still can't sit upright for long periods or walk for long times...I go back to work at 6 weeks if all goes well (teaching) and hope that I can do it with all of the standing and running around, wheeee...I know, people keep comparing to a c-section, but I just keep trying to smile and continue to "listen" to my own body...I am usually a pretty high energy person and had no idea how this would knock one out, so to speak...I still find that I have better days, and then need to really sleep a lot other days...I guess I am saying that I really understand and hope that maybe there is a way for you to stay out of the workplace for a few weeks more...I have heard over and over on these boards that once we "go back" we are expected to be 101% by co-workers, and that is just not how we are feeling...good luck with this decision and hope that you can stay home and pamper yourself awhile longer...sending hystersister-hugs!!
Unread 07-23-2005, 03:59 PM
Well meaning intentions

First, in no way, shape, or form, is a TAH the same as a c-section. Nor is it like an appendectomy (I got that comparison several times, also). I really didn't feel in the swing of things until right at 4 weeks, and I had a good recovery with no setbacks. I still get tired often, so I'm taking it in spurts.

What I do when people question my recovery is say, "Well, I did have 7 internal organs removed." When they give me a weird look, I say, "Uterus, cervix, appendix, left ovary, left tube, right ovary, right tube." And I just keep on looking really innocent.

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