Please help - realistic expectations? | HysterSisters
HysterSisters Hysterectomy Support and Information
Advertising Info HysterSisters Hysterectomy Support Tutorial

Go Back   Hysterectomy HysterSisters > Hysterectomy Support Posts > Hysterectomy Recovery (post hysterectomy)


HysterSisters.com is a massive online community with over 475,000 members and over 5 million posts.

Our community is filled with women who have been through the Hysterectomy experience providing both advice and support from our active members and moderators.

HysterSisters.com is located at 111 Peter St, Toronto, Canada, M5V2H1 and is part of the VerticalScope network of websites.

With free registration, you can ask and answer questions in our HYSTERECTOMY forum community, get our FREE BOOKLET, access Hysterectomy Checkpoints and more.

You are not alone. The HysterSisters are here for you. Join us today!
join HysterSisters for hysterectomy resources and support
Reply

Please help - realistic expectations? Please help - realistic expectations?

Thread Tools
  #1  
Unread 09-16-2006, 09:56 AM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Thanks everyone for the great advice and support. This is a really long post, but I could really use some input from anyone who has time to read and respond.

I know everyone is different and no one can give me a concrete answer, but I sure would appreciate your perspectives. I am typically a quick healer. I have had other surgeries (from minor D&C to complete jaw reconstruction) and I rarely finish the pain meds given. I had an exploratory lap/hysteroscopy in April on a Thursday and was back to work (from home) full time on Monday. I still had a lot of pain, but that was because I had pain from my adeno/endo/fibroids/hernias and nothing was fixed in that surgery. But, other than swelling, I bounced back quickly.

My current issue: I read stories from LAVH sisters who take months and months to fully recover, then I read stories from the TAH sisters who take one advil the day after surgery and are back to normal in days (Ok - a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.) Given that I usually recover quickly, I expected to be in that latter group. I thought that since all my problems were fixed, and I was having the less invasive LAVH, I would not have any post op pain. I thought I would be up and fully recovered in no time. Ummmmm... not exactly!

Admittedly, I feel pretty good. I can take the dog on 4+ block walks a couple of times a day and don't seem to be any worse for the wear. My PA says to walk all I can and want - it will help the hernia repairs to heal. Emotionally, since the addition of a second Vivelle patch, I feel okay. I know the hormones still need some adjustment, but I am coping. I have even managed to quit smoking (can't take credit - it was accidental) and have not had a cigarette since the day before surgery. So why am I complaining? I STILL HURT LIKE HECK AND AM TIRED ALL THE TIME! I am having a LOT of pain where they put tht mesh patches, and at the small incision sites. My back hurts like crazy. No matter how many stool softeners I take and water I drink, having a BM brings me to tears and feels like passing ENORMOUS razor blades, and also causes bad vaginal pain during and after. I wake up during the night and in the morning in pain. I cannot tell if the pain is from doing too much or doing too little.

I think I should be feeling better than this. Am I being a baby? Am I too sensitive to the pain? Or, am I just expecting to heal too quickly? I started back to work (from home) after one week. I developed a problem with my ear that surfaced immediately after surgery and had to go to the doctor's 4 times this week. I drove myself to all but one of the appointments, and 2 of them were in one day. The pain was much worse after those trips. That makes me think I might be doing too much. BUT - the doctor says to walk, walk, walk. So, why would walking from the parking lot into and around a doctor's office cause more pain and fatigue?

Finally - the underlying concen (my big question): As I said, I started back to work after 1 week for financial reasons. My boss scheduled some important meetings next week and wants us to be in the office for these meetings. I "think" I could handle going in, but I am concerned about whether this would set me back in healing, or if it would simply be a matter of discomfort (which could be managed with pain meds.) If I don't go, I fear losing a big promotion which I have already earned and is just waiting to be signed off on.

If you have managed to get this far - wow! Thanks for being so patient! So - 1. Are my healing expectations unrealistic? 2. How do I know the difference between normal pain, and pain that is caused by overdoing it? 3. Could I do any real harm in going to these meetings 3 days in a row (just 2 weeks out from surgery.) Yes, I will ask the PA these questions when I see her Tuesday morning, and will make the final decision then. But, the first meeting is right after that appointment, so I need to go to the doc's office planning to either come home after, or prepared to go straight to the office. Your input and insight would really help! Thanks!
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Unread 09-16-2006, 10:30 AM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Sweetie,
You are still very new in your recovery. Please give yourself a break - and during that break congratulate yourself for quitting smoking. Now for your questions...

Were your healing expectations unrealistic? Maybe, but I tend to set unrealistic healing expectations for myself too... just remember that you only have one chance to recover right from any surgery. It sounds like your recovery was made more difficult by your problems with your ear (isn't it great when more things start to act up during recovery?). As far as the pain associated with going to the bathroom... I had a very uncomplicated TVH and bathroom pain was probably the worst ongoing pain I had. I was afraid at times that I was about to pass a battleship. I would get constipated and then the gas started. It HURT. My DH would ask me each time I went to the bathroom "did I have any success"... bowels became quite the topic of discussion at our house. I think it probably goes hand and hand with this type of surgery. You had a lot more done than I did so it would make sense to me that you are having pain in this area. As far as being tired goes, it took me probably three months to quit dreaming about naps in the afternoon after I returned to work. I dont nap... so this was different for me. When I was tired my brain would hurt and I tried to find something easy to do so I would not wear myself out. I almost think being tired is one of the ways our body has to tell us that we need a time out. I think that our bodies heal faster if we manage to get some good rest. Dont be a hero and not take any pain meds when you are hurting. I tapered them down, and got to where I only took them at night... then I got to a point where I only took motrin at night. I wanted to be sure that my body got some pain free rest.

The difference between normal pain and pain caused from overdoing it... now this is a hard one to answer. The saying goes "listen to your body" but the trick is to not give your body any reasons to talk harshly to you. Take a good look at when you are in pain. Is it after you have been active? Being active is something that I made a point to ramp back up to. After a burst of activity I would make a point to rest. Over time I found that I could be more active with less rest in between.

Now, your third question... Here are some questions I have for you... Are the meetings all day long? How long is your commute to work? Will you be able to rest after the meetings? I started going to some meetings about two weeks out (my doctor said that I was healing nicely and if I was not on pain meds it was ok). I was cleared to drive. The meetings I went to lasted two hours at the most and when I got home I became "one with the couch". If you go to the office is there a place where you can lie down?

I am glad that you are going to discuss these questions with your doctor. Whatever you decide, please try to incorporate getting more rest in between your activities. It will help your body heal. And dont compair this surgery to your other surgeries. You had a lot of things attached that have been removed. This is different. Be kind to you... OK?

Please keep us updated on how you are doing...
Best wishes,
  #3  
Unread 09-16-2006, 10:33 AM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Back to work after a week? No way on earth could I have done that. I thought it would take 3 weeks and I would be fine. Wrong. I figured I heal pretty quick I'd be on the road soon. Nope. You should give yourself more time, especially if you are in pain. That's your marker - no one else can tell you what's really going on in there. Tiredness can be caused by the afteraffects of anesthesia - which stays in your body for weeks. I remember watching my sister, the twenty-something jock, recover from a laporascopic ovary surgery. Totally tough cookie and she was knocked for a loop for several weeks. A lot of it was the anesthesia, I think.
I could tell the difference between tension and pain in the body caused by not doing much, and that caused by too much. You can always do a little more but you can't undo. Take it easy if you can and maybe you could try to build a little uncertainty into your schedule if you can. Yes?
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Unread 09-16-2006, 10:41 AM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Anna,
Thanks so much for your input! The meetings are in different locations, but the commute would be between 20 - 40 minutes depending on the session and time of day. Not too bad. The first meeting on Tuesday is between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours. I could go in for that and come right back home. No biggie there. Wednesday is 3 hours long. Thursday is a 6 hour meeting. These will all be one session, with no or very limited breaks. I think my biggest concern is if I go Tuesday, will that make Wednesday harder, and then how wil I ever be able to handle Thursday? I suspect I may have to prioritize and pick one or two but not all. I just know that doing that puts me at risk for losing what I spent a year earning. (That just stinks!)

My doctor had told me 2 weeks before driving, but I already had to drive this week because of the other doctor appointments. I know the concern is the pain meds, but I have been on these same pain meds (hydrocodone) for 6 months, and do not get the narcotic haze from them anymore. I also take only the minimum I can and just for safety sake, only drive when it has been 3 hours or more since taking any. I used a folded towel (thanks, hystersisters for that hint!) between my abdomen and the seat belt to buffer any tightening.
  #5  
Unread 09-16-2006, 11:27 AM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Ready2Go,

I can totally relate. I went back to work at exactly 2 weeks post-op (LAVH). My first week back I worked three full days, but they were mostly sitting in meetings. I could tell that my healing was not quite complete. My tummy pain increased and I was weak and skaky just standing up by the third day. I knew it was more than I, idealy, should be doing so I went right back to bed each night and my dh took care of me and the house, etc. After the three days working I had a 4 day weekend and spent it laying in bed. By the end of the 4 days I could feel my strength coming back and I actually got dressed but would then lay on my bed.

I agree with previous sister's advice: pain is your marker. Take every opportunity to rest, preferably in a horizontal position. Go to the meetings, but plan on laying down when you are at home. Let others do the stuff around the house that you are tempted to do.

I have been working full time since three weeks and feel pretty good, except for some minor pain and I know that means I am slightly over doing it. I spend evenings and weekends resting. I go to bed very early. I felt that I turned a significant corner at the three week mark. Hang in there, you're going to make it!

Cathy
  #6  
Unread 09-16-2006, 12:59 PM
Please help - realistic expectations?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by cyber.cat
Ready2Go,

I can totally relate. I went back to work at exactly 2 weeks post-op (LAVH). My first week back I worked three full days, but they were mostly sitting in meetings. I could tell that my healing was not quite complete. My tummy pain increased and I was weak and skaky just standing up by the third day. I knew it was more than I, idealy, should be doing so I went right back to bed each night and my dh took care of me and the house, etc. After the three days working I had a 4 day weekend and spent it laying in bed. By the end of the 4 days I could feel my strength coming back and I actually got dressed but would then lay on my bed.

I agree with previous sister's advice: pain is your marker. Take every opportunity to rest, preferably in a horizontal position. Go to the meetings, but plan on laying down when you are at home. Let others do the stuff around the house that you are tempted to do.

I have been working full time since three weeks and feel pretty good, except for some minor pain and I know that means I am slightly over doing it. I spend evenings and weekends resting. I go to bed very early. I felt that I turned a significant corner at the three week mark. Hang in there, you're going to make it!

Cathy
Cathy -
Your situation sounds very similar. It seems as though you pushed too much, and felt it, but did not cause yourself any harm. At least I know that if I do go on Thursday, I can really take it easy Friday through Monday to recuperate. I have no problem letting the house go - I had to learn to do that pre-op because my pain was so bad. I will take it really easy tomorrow and stay horizontal all day.

Thanks again everyone - I really appreciate the input.
  #7  
Unread 09-16-2006, 01:02 PM
Please help - realistic expectations?

I had a LAVH/BSO and had virtually no pain from the surgery, but had lots of exhaustion! I could not have gone back to work when you did, but I lost a lot of blood during the surgery, so that contributes. Did you have a lot of blood loss? Large fibroids themselves have a very large blood supply, so just by having them removed, you've lost a lot of blood. I agree that increased pain means you need to lay down and rest.
How about some ideas to help with the tiredness. Eat well! Especially protein which is very important for healing (meat, cheese, milk, yogurt). Make sure you get lots of iron to help build back your blood. Coffee and tea decrease your ability to absorb iron from your food, so limit them. Keep well hydrated, drink lot of water. Take a multi-vitamin-mineral. Eat iron fortified cereal, like Total, with fruit that contains Vitamin C - it helps you absorb iron - like strawberries, or drink orange juice.
I'm afraid that all three of the meetings would be too much for me, but you have to judge your own strength and energy. Just remember that doing too much can delay your healing.
  #8  
Unread 09-16-2006, 01:13 PM
Please help - realistic expectations?

Ready2go-adivice from someone who pushed and is truly suffering now-if you must do it, do it right. Don't linger. Go straight home and go to bed. Drink water during the meetings. Take ibuprophin to help with swelling. Good luck to you. Let us know what happens.
Reply

booklet
Our Free Booklet
What 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy: Information, helpful hints as you prepare and recover from hysterectomy.
Answers to your questions
Register




Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
From This Forum From Other Forums
6 Replies, Last Reply 11-24-2009, Started By valpal2
6 Replies, Last Reply 10-20-2009, Started By Tortellini
6 Replies, Last Reply 02-19-2009, Started By alking
4 Replies, Last Reply 11-06-2008, Started By lifegetsbetter
1 Reply, Last Reply 03-28-2007, Started By kamakazekisses
7 Replies, Last Reply 01-29-2005, Started By iamkellogg
4 Replies, Last Reply 10-04-2001, Started By DanaTW
4 Replies, Last Reply 10-03-2001, Started By Nancy Jo S
11 Replies, Last Reply 10-01-2001, Started By Nancy Jo S
3 Replies, Last Reply 05-23-2001, Started By DeenaDL
4 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
84 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
9 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
12 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
20 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
3 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
12 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
8 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
8 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)
5 Replies, Preparing for Hysterectomy (pre hysterectomy)



Advertisement

Hysterectomy News

January 26,2021

CURRENT NEWS

HysterSisters Takes On Partner To Manage Continued Growth And Longevity
I have news that is wonderful and exciting! This week’s migration wasn’t a typical migration - from one set ... News Archive

TODAY'S EVENTS

Calendar - Hysterectomies - Birthdays


Request Information


I am a HysterSister

HYSTERECTOMY STORIES

Featured Story - All Stories - Share Yours

FOLLOW US


Your Hysterectomy Date


CUSTOMIZE Your Browsing  


$vbulletin->featuredvideos is not an array!
Advertisement


Advertisement