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swelly belly still? Disheartened... swelly belly still? Disheartened...

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Unread 02-16-2007, 01:08 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

I had my TAH on Dec 12th and thought I would be past this point by now. I Have been doing all the Dr recommended and have been taking it easy. I started to feel pretty good, like I had finally turned a corner. Still I'm taking it easy, don't lift ect. About a week ago my stomach started swelling again, got tender, but more like a bruised feeling. I have some minor discomfort pulls a few ohhhh ahhhh 'nope not doing that' but nothing that I need to take anything for. What concerns me is my belly, just in the center , a radius of about six inches around my belly button has gotten big and also is kinda firmer. I feel like I have a large cantaloupe in there. I thought the swelly belly issues would be decreasing not increasing at this point.
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Unread 02-16-2007, 01:20 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

Hi Warbler - I hate to tell you this, but for me, the swelly belly and tender tummy issues lasted through about 6 months.

You are still pretty early in your recovery, and the tummy will get better, it just takes time.
Unread 02-16-2007, 01:33 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

I did call the Dr office and I guess my extra disheartening was the nurse told me I shold be fine at this point. I'm into my 9th week of recovery. I feel more like I am about 5 months pregnant like I did prior to the surgery actually. I actually gained 6 lbs this week which also concerned me since my belly is growing again. And I have been eating but not being as physical as I usually am. Thanks tho for th encouragement. I was feeling allot like I was afraid I had done something wrong or something that shouldn't be happening was, and I have been SOooo careful. I wonder too if maybe my slowness is because they had to laterally open me where I had my c section 20 years ago and they say scar tissue takes longer to heal. I had 4 tumors that in the end of oct were the size of golf balls and one large marble and by they time they got in there 5 weeks later the tumors had grown to grapefruit size. All of them. I'm tiny too. Only 5 feet and 120 lbs. Still wearing comfy pants cuz I can't get any of my old pants on and it just still feels kinda bruised. Thanks tho. You at least let me know I wasn't alone.
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Unread 02-16-2007, 01:43 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

Oh my gosh! That nurse obviously doesn't know what is going on! I went back to work full-time at about 8 weeks, and believe me, you are not just fine at 9 weeks!

My doctor told me that most women say they don't feel back to normal until about 6 months, and I would say that is just about right. Maybe even a little longer. Right now I'm 7 months post-op and just this week I can rest a book on my tummy while I'm reading without it being uncomfortable.

Keep your chin up, it does get better, but the recovery was longer than I ever imagined. Plus, at the same time you can be dealing with hormone issues, UTI's, sexual questions, a TON of stuff!
Unread 02-16-2007, 02:09 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

I'd heard that as well from my friend but she had her hysterectomy 20 years ago and vaginally ,not lateral abdominal surgery like I had. Resting a book on my tummy, thats funny. People gave me some hardcover books to read during my recovery but I couldn't even hold one up at first much less rest it on my tummy. Now I can be reclineing and hold it up. Maybe I am making progress. Have to remember the little progress es. I can stand up straight again too. Thanks
Unread 02-16-2007, 07:12 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

Hi all,
My surgery was 8/17/06 and I still have swelly belly and tenderness. Sometimes my tummy actually feels sore. Sounds like it's pretty normal from what you guys are saying; that makes me feel better :-)
Unread 02-16-2007, 10:15 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

I've also got that 12/12 surgery date, 9 weeks ago (abdominal hysterectomy, ovaries, ovarian tumor) and still have significant swelly belly, with some remaining soreness (and some remaining bladder problems). I'm not even close to fitting in my clothes, and boy that is getting OLD! So you've got company.

I'm happy to be getting back my strength and energy, and just got cleared to resume exercise last week. So I figure it's just a matter of time for the stomach to go down.

I'm in Weight Watchers and have kept my weight stable throughout this recovery period -- if you're looking for help with that new six pounds, they are a good healthy program for learning good habits of food choices and exercise. That's assuming it's actual fat weight gain and not the fluids of swelling.

But Warbler, with the nurse telling you you SHOULD feel better, I'm wondering if you want to push a little harder to get in to see the doctor. When something abruptly changes for the worse, as you describe, I'm all for checking it out with the expert. The nurse sounds a little clueless.

Something changed a week ago, and it's pretty hard to overeat/underexercise to the tune of 6 pounds in a week. Especially with the bruised feeling and the specific location, swelling sounds more likely. It'll probably heal by itself, most things do, but personally I would want to hear that from an expert who's examined me.

Unread 02-17-2007, 08:36 AM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

Thanks everyone. I was feeling like I had done something wrong maybe and pushed a little too much, but I truly have been so careful. I had a friend that overdid it and she ended up with adhesions and they had to go back in because something had adheared to her intenstins. I DON"T want to start from square one again !
I was cleared for intimacy and I've been there once or twice. The Dr cleared me for light excercise and I can go back to work for 'light work only' and only a few hours two days a week. He knows that where I work it is a daily occurance that I lift 50 lb bags of sugar or chocolate chips, or 5 gal containers of oil and lots of heavy stuff and work all day on a cement floor. At work they have been very good and understand my limitations. I am fortunate there.
But thanks all for your encourage ment. I was so discouraged when the nurse said I should be healing fine at this point and shouldn't be having issues. If it continues I am calling back next week tho when the Dr. gets back from his vacation.
Unread 02-17-2007, 11:40 AM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...


I agree with HHHope that you should try to push to see your doctor. For someone as small as you a 6 lb weight gain in a week seems insane. The other part of your posts that concerns me is how fast you said your tumors (fibroids?) grew. Perhaps they missed one that was outside of your uterus or you have a fluid buildup of some kind?

I really think you should go see the doctor, or at the very least insist on talking to the doctor directly and not through the nurse. Be sure to write down every symptom before the call so that you don't forget anything that might be significant.
Unread 02-17-2007, 12:12 PM
swelly belly still? Disheartened...

I too believe that swelly belly lasts for 6 months at least. When I had my c-section 4 years ago, I felt pregnant forever afterwards (years really), and I did not feel that way after a vaginal delivery. I ancipate that I will have the same, if not more, of the same after my TAH. With my c-section, the incision was bellow my belly. This was done right across the bottom. Back to the drawstrip pants for a while.

As far as the pain you are feeling- I would go see the doctor and make sure that it is not an infection or irritated incision/stitching. I would imagine too much activity could irritate the stitches inside of your incision and that it could "ball up" on you.

As far as a 6 pound weight gain in one week, and given your history, I would get in there right away. I don't want to scare you, but you will feel much better if he tells you it is nothing and be able to take care of it sooner if it is something!

Your nurses sound as lovely as mine do at my doctor's office. When I got the mssg from my doctor in Nov about having to talk to me about my pap, I knew it was because it was bad again. I also knew that it would lead to a hysterectomy this time, because I had no cervix left to remove otherwise (two prior leeps and two pregnancies saw to that). The nurses were very insensitive to my need to talk to the doctor that day and not wait and felt like "caca" when they found out why.

Be your own advocate!!!

Good luck and keep us up to date,

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