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A few questions for 3wks post-op A few questions for 3wks post-op

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Unread 02-21-2008, 09:22 AM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

I had a TLH 3 weeks today and I believe I am now allowed to do "light exercise" but what does that comprise of exactly? To be honest, I was never very active before the surgery except for some walking so I obviously won't be starting anything rigorous now. Should I just keep it at walking for now? I'm still not able to walk at my normal pace without it pulling in my belly. Are we supposed to push ourselves even if we have a bit of pulling in the belly or should we stop as soon as we feel it? Sometimes they say you have to push yourself to recover faster but does it apply to this type of surgery as well? Also, I am unfortunately housebound due to snow/ice/cold weather so does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do in the house besides walking up and down the hallways? Yesterday I walked a bit faster than usual to try to answer the phone and I felt it later that evening. I guess I'm just not sure how far to push. I want to get better and walking/exercise is very crucial to recovery, but when do you know if what you are doing is hurting your recovery instead of helping it?

My second question is for the past 2 days I have been waking up feeling dizzy and lightheaded (and a little nauseous). I have not been on any medication since day 5 so it can't be that. Is this normal for 3 weeks post-op? I'm also waking up with POUNDING headaches. Luckily Tylenol relieves most of the pain but I don't want to have to take it everyday. Is this a sign that I am doing too much and rest or should I continue to get some walking/light chores done during the day regardless?

Thirdly, when can we safely do a full body stretch when we wake up in the morning? I desperately need one.....

Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 02-21-2008, 11:02 AM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

I was told not to do ANYTHING that would cause me to twist or pull at my abdomin for at least 6 weeks. After the first 6 weeks, I was allowed light housework, but still no vaccuming, sweeping, mopping or reaching. Nothing over 20 pounds after 6 weeks as well.
Unread 02-21-2008, 11:44 AM
A few questions for 3wks post-op


I can only answer your questions based off of my own experience... I have not been to my doctor yet for a post-op, but I did talk to him extensively pre-op about exercise.

I am now 17 days post-op, so I'm not too far behind you.

My doctor strictly told me to wait until 6 weeks for any exercise, but that is my doctor. I have noticed on these boards that every doctor has their own philosopy, so I'm not saying your doctor is wrong. My doctor, I'm sure, strictly said 6 weeks to me because he knows I'm an athlete, and he knows if he told me I could do light stuff at 3 weeks, I'm sure I'd probably over-do it. So, I'm following my doc's orders and doing no exercise until 6 weeks.

The only walking I do is what is necessary... walking around my house, if I go out somewhere, walking to and from point A & B... basically, I'm not goign out for "walks" right now.

What my rule of thumb is for me is if I start to get uncomfortable, then I either slow way down, or I just plain stop what I'm doing. I think that is the body's way of telling you to slow down or stop. I'm not a big fan of "pushing through" pain. Even as an athlete, I have this same philosophy. As a runner, there are two kinds of pain.... there is the normal burning muscle pain you get, which is not an "injury" type pain. That kind of pain is OK to push through. But, if I get any other kind of pain that is not the typical burning muscle pain, I never push through it, because that can lead to injury, which means major set-backs.

So, all in all, for me, I woudl not push harder.... I don't really agree with the philosophy that if you push harder through the pain you will heal faster. From all my experience in sports, it's the opposite. If you push hard through pain (not normal pain), then it leads to injury and set backs. I don't know if that makes sense.

So, I would just do what your body will allow you to do. Once you start to feel your body screaming at you in pain or other strange sensations you have not felt before, that might be time to listen to your body and slow down or stop... and make sure you rest a lot!

Another thing I've been doing is when I know I have a bigger day, then I make sure the day after I have nothing planned so I can just rest and lay down the whole day to let my body recuperate. I just can't afford to have any set-backs by pushing myself too hard and not healing correctly.

As for the dizziness and nausea and headaches..... hmmmm.... you might want to call your doctor. I don't know much about that, but I haven't experienced that. Are you drinking enough water? Sometimes dehydration can cause some of those symptoms.

As for the full body stretch, I also have been itching to just get a REALLLLLLY good stretch in. Every day I stretch a little, but like in the beginning of my post, I stretch until I feel any sort of discomfort and then I stop. I don't go past the discomfort part and make my body stretch more than it is ready. I have found every week, i can stretch just a little more....

So just take it easy and just do little by little.... that is just my opinion.

Take care!
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Unread 02-21-2008, 11:44 AM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

Don't do light exercise, really, if your doctor hasn't told you to. At 3 weeks, I walked slowly around my yard/house for about 5 or 10 minutes. Some days I did that; some days I did nothing. Try not to push ourselves too much; take it from one who has a propensity to push...not real smart!
My love and prayers to all of you ladies!
Unread 02-21-2008, 11:46 AM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

i will be three weeks post op next week and i'm already doing all my normal activites. i have no pain but i do know what you mean about those headaches. I'm wondering if the bleeding i'm having is normal? Not like a period but pink everytime i wipe and enough to wear a panty liner. Mine was a vaginal hyster
Unread 02-21-2008, 12:29 PM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

Thanks everyone! Your answers have been very helpful. I just feel like I should be recuperating faster than I am. Maybe I'm just too impatient (not to mention bored)! I know I should be enjoying this time off, but I feel so bad because my poor DH has to pick up all of the slack (even at work because we have our own company). I was hoping if I pushed myself harder I would recuperate sooner but I see I was being naive and it's actually the opposite - I have to take it EASY. I just feel so guilty sitting around all day... I guess I've been reading posts about people walking 2 - 3 miles a day and wondered if I should be doing the same thing (but I really don't think my body could handle that right now). I got out for some groceries last Saturday with DH (he pushed the cart) and I felt very weak and had the shakes - was very glad to get back home. Would I at least be allowed to do dishes, dusting and wash the toilets? I am doing these very slowly and carefully and I seem to be okay - just need to rest after though. However, if there's a danger of me hurting myself by doing these without me even realizing it, I will definitely stop.

Nothing over 20 lbs after 6 weeks? That is bad news for me because my job consists of lifting heavy boxes. Unfortunately I was not well informed when I went for this operation so I did not know all of this information beforehand. Oh dear...

For the dizziness, headaches and nausea, I'll see if it persists and I'll give my Dr a call. I am definitely drinking enough (I spend half my day in the bathroom as a result) so I don't think it would be dehydration. It's just worrisome (sp?) since my DH is out of town and I'm afraid of fainting in the morning.

For NewHere: I too had the light pinkish brown spotting which only started after 2 weeks. From what I've read on other posts, it is completely normal. Maybe other members can elaborate more...

Why do women have so much trouble just relaxing and taking it easy without the guilt of the chores piling up?
Unread 02-21-2008, 12:44 PM
A few questions for 3wks post-op


I could have written your first paragraph. You are NOT alone in wondering why you are not recuperating faster than you are, and wondering why you can't walk 3 - 4 miles like some others on this board. Trust me... i have had those exact same thoughts.

Through the help and support of the women on this board, i have come to the realization that what I'm experiencing (same as what you're experiencing) is normal. There are definitely some people who heal faster, and for some reason, my body is just taking longer.

But, this is the first time in I don't know how long I have had THIS much rest and relaxation. I am trying to enjoy each and every day because I know this time will go by fast, and before I know it, I'll be going a million miles per hour in my life again.

Don't feel guilty.... I know it's hard NOT to feel guilty... sometimes I do feel guilty and then I get back into reality and I realize I just had MAJOR surgery, and it is not realistic for me to think I'd be back to my normal life by 3 weeks.

Hang in there. If you look through some of the threads, you'll see some threads I have started stating the exact same frustrations you have. So, I go through these same thoughts weekly, but I HAVE come to realize that if I over-do it, I'll be paying dearly for it, and I do not want to suffer any consequences by trying to do too much too soon. So, that is why I'm only doing what is necessary in these 6 weeks, and I have my whole life ahead of me to exercise as much and as hard as I want to once I am fully recovered. :-)

Best of luck!
Unread 02-21-2008, 01:11 PM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

Keep in mind that recorvering from major surgery IS work, so you're not really sitting around doing nothing! Try to let go of the guilt and save the energy for the things you are able to do. Those will increase as time passes, but no need to rush them.

I walk 15 to 20 minute jaunts up and down my hallway. I do it 3 or 4 times a day. Setting a time limit gives me a goal without over doing it. Believe it or not, walking really does help alot. But my dog can't figure out why I walk but never get anywhere (ha!).
Unread 02-21-2008, 01:31 PM
A few questions for 3wks post-op


I do the same thing as you. I guess I shouldn't have said in my post that I don't go for walks... I was speaking about outside. But, I do go for walks in my house! I set the timer on my microwave oven for 15 minutes, and i walk around my house until the timer beeps.

But, teh beauty about walking around the house is that if my body can't make it that 15 minutes for some reason that particular day, I know my couch is only just around the corner, so i can skip out on the remaining minutes and plop on my couch.

If I were outside and tried to walk for 15 minutes (7 1/2 minutes one way and 7 1/2 minutes back), if my body started to scream at me by the time I hit 9 minutes, I'd have no choice but to just push through the paiin to get back to my house, and then I'd be over-doing it, which my doctor gave me strict orders to NOT over-do it.

I do get fresh air and get outside... I just go in my back yard and walk around my deck..... so I get my "going outside fix" for sure!

So, that is why I do my walking inside my house... my hope is that I reach my goal each day of walking for the time I set on my timer. But, I also know I have good days and bad days, and if it's a bad day, I don't care if I only make it 8 minutes and I have to stop the timer and rest.

So, you made a good point!


ps. I also agree that we aren't sitting around doign nothing while we are healing. Healing actually takes a lot of energy to do, and that means healing burns calories!! So, by us sitting on our couches resting, we are burning those calories just by healing!! (Now, this doesn't mean that you can go and eat a whole box of donuts and expect to lose weight because you are burning calories by healing.... haha.... what it means is that if you eat right during this process, you won't get out of shape as you might think).
Unread 02-21-2008, 02:23 PM
A few questions for 3wks post-op

Points well taken, ladies! I honestly keep forgetting that it was MAJOR surgery because I'm not in much pain, just very limited in what I can do. I only just started walking straight up a few days ago, but I start to slouch by the end of the day because my tummy starts to hurt a little and it seems to tighten. Great idea about setting a time limit for the walks. This will give me a goal to achieve - the microwave timer is an excellent idea. I hadn't thought of that. I was just walking at random but I think the time limit will give me motivation and something to judge my progress on. And as you've stated, if I get tired, the couch is right there. They are announcing 0 degrees celcius this weekend so my DH said he would take a couple of walks outside with me. I can't wait to get some fresh air. I'm still too nervous to walk outside on my own since I was so shaky at the grocery store last weekend.

I think I'm also exasperated because my Dr's secretary told me that MOST women go back to work after 2 weeks, and my sister who had a TVH (with a bladder infection) was up and running much sooner than I am. Knowing this just made me even more drepressed with my progress. But thanks to all of you for providing me with a reality check. I guess I'll have to start listening to my DH more who keeps telling me to sit and take it easy and let him take care of things for me.

I am so glad I found this site (albeit only after my surgery) with all of you wonderful women. It's a wonderful feeling to know that I am not alone. I think I will give this link to my Dr so he can pass it along to other women.

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