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Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008 Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

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Unread 02-12-2008, 01:43 PM
Good for the soul

Thanks for the advice on my first post. I am thinking now that I am nice and normal (hey thats a first for me). It is great to just hear what everyone is doing in their day to day right now as I am at a loss of what I should be doing. I have not taken any pain meds since the last day at the hospital. They took me off the pump and I refused the oral meds. I would rather be a bit uncomfortable than puking (quite literally my guts out). I do have pain/tenderness at my incision and in the general area but I am sure it should be that way so I am not worried. I have not had anymore of the terrible cramping pains (thank god). I am eating somewhat normal but I swear all I can think about is cupcakes and potato chips!

I have had no bleeding at all I am hoping this is the blessing I am taking it as. My first post op doctors appt is tomorrow and I am looking forward to asking my 500 questions to make sure all is ok.

I have not been out of the house but have been seriously thinking about going and getting a mani and pedi. I had to remove all my poish before surgery and my toes feel nakie!

I have seen a a few people mention the number of staples they had and they seemed like a small number. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy and I guess I assumed that most of us did. I had 28 staples. My incision seems kind of long but my uterus was quite enlarged due to fibroids. The doctor said it was the size of a five month pregnant uterus. I knew my pants were tighter and it is good to know it was not from me overeating (which I do, I love my food).

It is 76 degrees here in Phx today and I so wish I could just go out and do something physical.

Ok I blabbed on and on and what I really wanted to say was I am feeling good so far today and seem to be on track as do most of you ladies as well. It is great to have a place to come to and see people that know exactly how you are feeling.

For those that are workers who are upset with your co-workers.... I think that people really don't know what to say or do about women who have just had hysterectomys. I don't work but even my friends have been honest enough to say they feel weird about discussing it. I would not take it personally at all. Some people are just too uncomfortable when it comes to the female body and it's girlie parts. I am not shy about it at all and think when I get all better I am going to throw my uterus a going (gone) away party and definately drink to much wine to celebrate it's leaving and taking it's monthly visits with it!!!

Feel well sisters!!
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Unread 02-12-2008, 04:29 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

To all of you in colder climates, I know what it feels like. I grew up in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Illinois. I had an aunt living in Hinsdale, IL, so I had a chance to feel the cold breeze off Lake Michigan. Last February 18 I flew to Seattle to attend my cousin's son's wedding in Gig Harbor. I also spent 30 years in the Aerospace Industry doing software development, and had many trips to Denver and Washington, D. C. In fact I was even snow-bound in D. C.—twice!!!!. The first time was in the 70's (I think) and I was staying at the Arlington Hyatt House in Rosslyn. I had gone to the Smithsonian on Sunday and was lucky to get a cab back to the hotel when I came out as the museum was closing. I think that was the #2 record snowfall for D. C. The #1 dated back to the 1920's. The next time was about 10 years later and I was at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn. I was back for some dry run briefings and when it started snowing on Friday, I decided not to attend the dry runs, since I had done my dry run on Thursday. So I picked up a book to read—Le Carre's "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" and cracked up when I read the first sentence—Snow covered the airfield. That storm turned out to be the #3 record snowfall for D. C. and I learned later that the dry runs had cut off early because of the storm so people could get back to their homes or hotels.I have not been back to D. C. in February again. As I recall, both storms occurred on President's Day weekend.

Got tired of all the bland stuff I had been eating and opened a pack of hot dogs—much tastier than yogurt for lunch. But haven't accomplished much today. Didn't get showered til noon. Did get dressed and put my contacts in. But couldn't get up the energy to tackle my aunt's state income tax. Maybe tomorrow after I go out to lunch. Haven't even started looking at the DVDs I bought when I thought I would be having a traditional hysterectomy and laid up for a month or more. Monty Python and The Prisoner can wait. But I just read about a Spike Jones DVD set than came out recently and am seriously considering getting that. My folks took me to a Spike Jones concert when I was in 7th grade. But that's before your time.

Did get a get well card from some of the gals I used to work with in the 80s. They had gotten together for lunch on Monday, but I passed as I didn't know if I would be up to it. The restaurant is only about 4 blocks from my house, but I didn't want to walk, and they said don't drive for a week, or not while you're on pain meds.

As for male sympathy, I'm fortunate that one of my work friends from the 70's lives nearby and we have lunch once or twice a year. Last year we had lunch around Memorial Day, when my neighbors were out of town and I was looking for a "responsible adult" to provide taxi service for my colonoscopy. He said he'd done that for other friends and would be happy to do it for me. When he had had prostate surgery in January of last year, I had offered to do grocery shopping, etc. if he needed help. But his sister came up for several weeks to take care of him while he convalesced, so I didn't have to do anything. I sent him an e-card to say thanks, and his response was that it was his pleasure. Since I was a math major in college, that got me thinking and I came up with Mitzvah Mathematics to describe the Pleasure and Satisfaction one gets from helping someone. Never got much beyond Pleasure tending to be inversely proportional to the amount of time and effort required to to the good deed, while Satisfaction in doing the good deed tended to be directly proportional to the amount of time and effort involved. But he agreed I might be on to something.

He was out of town when I had to have my D&C in October, so relied on the neighbors for that. But he was more than willing again to provide service for my hysterectomy. He was amazed at how perky I was getting out of the hospital, getting out of the car to take the prescription into the pharmacy and again after I had got home and picked up my checkbook and went to pick up the prescriptions. His sister had had a traditional hysterectomy 10 years ago, and she said her ride home from the hospital was pure torture. We got to be fairly good friends back in the 70's when we were both stuck in D. C. for about 6 weeks making a software delivery at the Pentagon. And he seems to understand me pretty well. When i told him to remember that George Washington was born in the square root of three, he immediately responded 1732. So I told him where that # would come in handy if something happened to me during surgery. And another time when I was explaining my unconventional behavior being due to the fact that I marched to a different drummer, he looked me straight in the eye and said "I can't see you marching to the beat of any drummer."

I think I'll go lie down and read another chapter of "The Queen's Fool" before the news starts and I want to watch TV for a while.
Unread 02-12-2008, 04:33 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

I had my supracervical abdominal hysterectomy a week ago today, and spent three days in the hospital. So far, things are going pretty well. I'm managing the pain with just motrin and some percoset. The biggest problem is I still wake up every couple of hours at night, which I think is because of all the water I'm drinking. But if I stop that, I get constipated. Also, I have trouble getting any real walking in--my house isn't set up for walking and I have to go down two flights of stairs to get outside. And its really cold right now, so I'm reluctant to try to walk in the cold.
Because of the stairs, I'm also stuck up in the bedroom until dinner time (no bathrooms on the same floor as the kitchen. ) probably good for my waistline to be limited to whatever DH brings up before he leaves for work...
My doc just emailed me pics of my uterus. I'm planning to tuck them away--if I ever start second guessing the decision to have the hysterectomy all I need to do is look at them--my uterus is so clearly not healthy at all that should take care of this.
One thing that I wanted to mention is that for me the first 6 hours post surgery were really awful and my doc says that is because I had general anesthetic. She says they can leave the epidural in till morning, but with a general you basically have no anesthetic at all as soon as you get off the general, and so once the pain gets ahead of you its much harder to manage. The morphine pump was very little help. I had no problems like that right after two c sections with an epidural, but for this surgery I was too anemic for the epidural.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 04:51 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

Fia -
It sounds like you have had quite the adventures here in DC. I live about 3 miles south of the Pentagon in Old Town Alexandria. We are having a big ice storm tonight and it looks crazy out there on the roads with cars spinning out all over the place. Great day to not have to go outside.

I think we must be in the same business ;-) My work is aerospace and government contract related, and I have also spent countless days/nights in Huntinton Beach, Long Beach, and Seal Beach on work travel, as well as working in Denver (Aurora) for a number of years. I sure miss the SoCal weather right now, and would love to be convalescing in the Long Beach Westin right now, lol. That heavenly bed is yummy.

I did not go outside all day and feel sort of crummy. I did not take any meds all day (until 5 minutes ago when i woke up from a nap) and i have a dull ache and pressure in my abdomen. Don't know if it is digestive related or something else. I think I will go upstairs and shower just to do something on my feet. It is tough to get exercise here in my tiny 3 level rowhouse. Steep wooden stairs do not make for a safe exercise routine when home alone :-)

Dinner might be something decadent as well. I have some crab cakes and also enchiladas to choose from. I have been eating fairly lightly the past few days, but like for my mini-meals to at least be something yummy to look forward to.

Well, no major complaints (or woodpeckers) to write about. I hope everyone is safe, warm, and comfortable at home tonight!

thanks for all of the support today. It really helped me a lot!
Unread 02-12-2008, 06:19 PM
All systems working-woohoo!

So happy to report that my system seems to be 'up and at 'em' today....finally! Prune juice and MOM did the trick and I feel much less bloated and crampy. One thing has me bothered though...there's an odd spot on my right side in the joint of my leg just next to my pubic bone. It's SO sore and aches and I really don't know if I pulled a muscle or what the heck is going on. It's making my whole right leg ache. Haven't had any meds today since 8:45am but am thinking maybe I should take some and see if it helps relieve the pain. I've never had a hernia but honestly it feels like something is pulling or bulging and hurts to touch! If it wasn't for this it would be a pretty good 6th day post-op
No chance of getting outside for a walk. Just too slippery and snowy and don't want to take a chance falling. Plus my DH won't even let me go up the stairs yet. I gave him enough of a scare in the hospital that I'm trying to be a good girl so he can get back to a normal work schedule without having to worry about me as much.
I've read quite a bit of the posts RE: not hearing anything from co-workers/friends/family etc. For me, I'm so grateful for the friends and family I HAVE heard from and the rest I just don't put any effort into wondering about their reason for not saying anything. You find out fast who your true friends really are.
Just think of this....all our effort right now needs to go into healing...physically and mentally. We're not alone in this journey and this forum makes me feel like part of a much bigger picture! Sorry if this all comes across as rather cold....probably just me living too long in a COLD climate and my warm/fuzzy factor is maxed right now.
Cheers to you all!
Unread 02-12-2008, 07:17 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

Originally Posted by IllTakeTheRain

Dinner might be something decadent as well. I have some crab cakes and also enchiladas to choose from.
I grew up in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia. The idea of a Maryland crab cake right now sounds so good I am completely jealous! Now all I can think about are some of my favorite restaurants in the DC area and trust me nothing here in Phx is going to compare :-(

I did decide to get out today as it was so nice I pushed my fear aside and went and got my nails done. Now at least when I sit in bed feeling bored I have pretty toes to look at I actually feel pretty good about getting out and around a bit and if I dont have any set backs from it I might venture out again tomorrow after my 1 week post op check up.

I am so glad you guys are all here to understand me right now. I tried to explain to a friend that passing gas now ranks in the most pleasurable things in life right now even above sex and she soooo didnt get it!

Well back to reading, all this activity has taken me away from a good book..lol
Unread 02-12-2008, 07:22 PM
On the other side

Hey everyone! I'm not yet home - details to follow - but I wanted to post my surgery story and let everyone know I'm already feeling so much better! And I'm sorry this is so long.

We got to the hospital at 8:15 in the morning and were in the pre-op interview area by 8:30 or so. Since my partner was really stressing, I had asked a friend to come and be there to support her. My feeling was that as long as she's supported, I can focus on myself and will be ok. Our friend was with us until I was taken into the OR - through the interview, OR holding and everything. Great friend.

When the anesthesiologist came into the OR holding area to ask questions, my partner knew her and finally was a lot calmer and felt more secure knowing I was in good hands. Just before leaving holding, they injected a bit of Versed and I started to get loopy. The last thing I remember was an arm in blue scrubs reaching over me to attach sensors, equipment and whatnot. I barely remember PACU (post-op), but know I asked for pain meds more than once.

I remember going up to my room, ouching at every bump in the hallway and elevator, dreading the transfer to the bed, and holding onto my belly and dressing, wondering why it seemed so large.

I got up to my room around 2:30 or 3pm and by 4:00 had my first visitor. A good friend was in town for a meeting and just happened the timing was perfect. I was still quite stoned, but it was fine.

The rest of the afternoon I was in and out of sleep, a combination of pain, effects of anesthesia, general hospital noise and the incessant taking of vitals made for a bad night. I had a PCA set up and kept hitting the button as much as possible, mostly for pain, but also hoping I would be stoned enough to just sleep and not be bothered by routine hospital stuff. For the most part, it worked.

Later that evening, my doc and the doc who assisted him came in and I found out why the bandage was so large. Once he saw the monsters, the planned bikini cut was not an option and he had to make a vertical cut. I got filleted from just below my belly button to waaay down there. I think there's something like 21 staples.

My uterus was the size of a 19 week pregnancy and the majority of the external (pedunculated) tumor mass was shaped like a dumbell, spanning the height/length of the left side of my uterus, following along the tubes and down the other side. The left side was about the size and shape of a football, the right, a smaller nerf football. All together, probably about the size of a soccer ball (I'll get the formal weight and measurements at my post op next week). He also had to do some digging to separate it from my cervix and I think he said bladder (was stoned, not sure). Hence the vertical incision.

I had also decided to have some fun with my doc and the OR staff and put a temporary tattoo saying "don't f*** up" across my belly. They totally loved it, took pictures, he even posed with thumbs up. He said he was going to bring it to the next conference that talked about marking the surgical site. It also became the talk of the floor when I went up. Unfortunately they had to tape over it so when the dressing was removed Saturday morning, most of it was gone Made the point though and I had my fun. Speaking of removing the dressing...I tend to be pretty hairy and hadn't shaved or been shaved down there. The tape, however, was massive and after the doc tried to be gentle, I finally told her to just cut the hair. It was bad. Hopefully the growing back in won't be too brutal.

That's enough for now..will post more later and explain why I'm not yet home.

Unread 02-12-2008, 07:46 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

Hi ladies! Today I was sprung from the castle and am in a good mood (lol) so here's my experience!

The beginning:
From the moment the date was set for my surgery I began to read more of this site in preparation for what to expect, things to ask, to watch out for, etc. In truth, a lot of the stories also freaked me out a bit, but learned a lot of great info, so thanks to all for sharing your own stories and offering advice and support.

As my surgery date neared, my nerves began to calm and I went into checklist mode. I had three lists going at once and in the last couple days I made sure everything was done or packed.

The middle:
Last Friday morning we had a snow storm here, so we had to leave the house extra early to get to my dad's, where we were bringing my suitcase and laptop for my stay right after I get out of the castle. When the time came, we got into Dad's truck and headed to the castle.

We waited, completed the check-in, and waited some more before getting the final call for me to go in and change into the gown, robe and slippers. All of us went in to the pre-op area where I was to consult with my doctor and the anesthesiologists, plus had my weight, blood pressure, blood oxygen and temperature taken all at the same time. They don't mess around!

We said our goodbyes and "I love you"s and off I walked to the OR, arm-in-arm with one of the anesthesiologists (you do get slightly more personal treatment when your step-mom plays a prominent role in running the castle, eh!, hehehe).

Inside the OR was amazing - it's just like on TV. I decided to look at the floor so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed at the sight of it all. I laid down on the table when invited to, and my arms were out to my sides. The one anesthesiologist got my left hand set to go for the IV and the other nurses marveled at all my tattoos. I don't remember much after that.

I remember being wheeled along on my gurney, saying "oh, hi" to my mom as I passed by (she arrived late), asking my husband to please move my hair to the one side as I lift my head, and being squeezed into an elevator half-filled with food tray carts. Everyone else in my entourage (family) had to catch the next elevator.

Once up in my room I remember seeing my mom sit down in the chair at the foot of my bed and thinking she broke it after the sound it made, but after that I was out of it. I took advantage of the morphine that night, making sure I was staying on top of the pain, but paid for it the next day.

In the morning I got a visit from my doctor who said my uterus was larger than he expected (it's been a couple months since the last ultrasound) so he had to make a longer incision. My ovaries are in still. The pathology report will take about 10 days.

Breakfast was out of the question due to nausea, so they added a Gravol bag to my IV and by lunch I was good to go.

The pain management is really, really good at this hospital, and I wasn't in a whole lot of discomfort UNTIL this one nurse came to take a blood sample from me and ended up having a not-so-sharp needle, which hurt like hell. That was actually worse than the major surgery I'd just had!!

I was supposed to have been sprung on Monday, but I was having trouble passing gas so they kept me an extra day. I was SO bummed (no pun intended lol). I was so set to go that day; I'd had way more than enough of the noise, constant interruption, and lack of sleep due to both. That night they tried a suppository on me (no reaction at all) and later gave me a small fleet enema. Oh, the humanity of laying there in that position while a complete (albeit CARING) stranger gives it to you. Wow. My face was still under the pillow after she left.

Later that night I noticed that my labia were quite swollen and asked the nurses if it was a common reaction and if they thought I should join the circus since it looked like I was growing a set of balls. LOL

The fleet just got some of the gas moving. I hadn't had a bm since probably the 6th of Feb!! Still nothing but gas this morning, but it was enough of an improvement so they let me go. Off I went in Dad's truck again to pick up my Tramacet script and then to my temporary retreat on the 2nd floor of his house. I showered (using up too much energy in doing so) and took a nap, wet hair and all. I was exhausted.

Once my step-mum was home, dinner was started, and oh boy was it good. It also had the magic touch, so I'm happy to say that I've now had my bm and I can stop worrying about it. Now I'm chilling out in my bed, picking away at the rest of my dinner, and listening to the howling wind outside. Another blizzard tonight. Great time to be in recovery, I'm tellin' ya!

At one point today I saw my naked self in the mirror and thought "I actually did it. It's done. Wow."
Unread 02-12-2008, 07:49 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

CindyJo, I have IBS normally so I totally understand the intense uncomfortable feeling in your bowels and intestines.

I was in pain with gas post op and spent a great deal of time simply rubbing both sides of my belly, trying to get the gas to move. It seemed to help quite a bit and I had my first BM, like most others here, 3 days post-op. With the IBS, I've been having BMs 3-4 times a day and I definitely notice when things are moving. It's almost like without my uterus and monster fibroids, the rest of my organs have more room to move and the sensations are more apparent. Having my doc's hands and instruments routing around in there for a couple of hours last Thursday makes things more sensitive as well.

Try not to fight it or even dread it, as that will make your muscles more tense and pain worse. Hang in there
Unread 02-12-2008, 08:42 PM
Hysterectomy dates Feb 04-Feb 11,2008

No frills sounds like our situations are simular. I actually have IBS as well but with my uterus so enlarged (I was 18 week preggie size). It made me stop going all the time, in fact it went to the other extreme. My Doc says that my fibroids were pushing on my bowels. I am pretty small (size 4) so something that big in me could have a big impact. It was actually a nice change before surgery but now not such a good thing to not be able to go.

I love your temp tattoo story! It is great to use humor to get us through something so scary. I tried humor, vanity, *****yness (I am a pro at this one) and just plain shock to get me through this.

I am shocked at how much everyone remembers pre-op at the hosptial. I must have been just too terrified to think because I really remember very little. I dont remember the calming drug, anesthesia or pretty much anything after I put on the surgical gown.. I think I may remember bending over for the spinal but I may just be imagining it. I guess fear can certainly play some games with memory. All I can say is I am glad that part is over! I am still scared and worried about pain etc, but I can face this much better than surgery again!

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