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Realistic expectations ... Realistic expectations ...

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Unread 08-04-2008, 03:25 PM
Realistic expectations ...

What kinds of things can I realistically expect NOT to be able to do for a while after my TAH-BSO? Based on some things I've read, it seems I won't be able to bend down to pick up anything, that I may have great trouble stepping into my bathtub to take a shower, have trouble getting on and off the toilet, in and out of bed, in and out of the car, etc.? Can people having gone through this share their experiences of things normally taken for granted that suddenly could not be done or not done without great difficulty?

I'm scheduled for my surgery this fall, and hoping to get a accurate picture of the general shape I might be in upon leaving the hospital (likely on day 4 ... after 3 nights in hospital).

Thanks in advance for sharing any insights and/or experiences.
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Unread 08-04-2008, 04:01 PM
Realistic expectations ...

I could not get comfortable in my bed for the first two weeks so I slept on on my recliner for a couple of days and then moved to the couch. Also, for the first three weeks, I could not stand long enough to blow dry my hair (and put make up on the days I wanted to feel a little more "normal") so I kept a folding chair in the bathroom to use when I needed to sit down. Warning: Don't make yourself look too good during your recovery time. People will think you are ready to go back to doing what you normally do
What took me by surprise is how winded I got doing simple things.

Wishing you the best!
Unread 08-04-2008, 04:16 PM
Realistic expectations ...

Dressing is tough. I stick with loose skirts (peasant type) and dresses. Easy to get on and off, easier to use the bathroom, cooler. Stay away from anything with a waist. You will be swollen and very tender. I am 26 days out from my TAH-BSO and I still can't stand anything to press on or irritate my incision.

You are going to need help, so if you live alone plan ahead and make sure you have help with all the tasks of daily living. Expect that for the first week you will not want to do anything but rest!

I could go on about how to prepare in advance but that is a whole other thread! Take care and be well.
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Unread 08-04-2008, 04:57 PM
Realistic expectations ...

I had my TAH 2 weeks ago (July 22) and am doing well. It is true the first week let everyone take care of you, always have someone help you up from any position you are in, keep a notepad by your bed to write down the times of your medication, don't lift anything if you can help it, do not do any cooking or housework, let others worry about that. Your job is to simply walk a little more each day. Best of luck to you.
Unread 08-04-2008, 04:58 PM
Realistic expectations ...

well the sisters have covered a lot of it already, I found I had a hard time with wiping myself because my belly was so swelly, take your time, don't stretch to much and be careful. it took a week to do it well.
I know that was gross sorry but it is pratical. in the hospital I asked the nurses to help. they hated it and so did I, but it is what it is.
hugs and luck chris
Unread 08-04-2008, 05:26 PM
Realistic expectations ...

Hi...I just popped in here following the one-year anniversary of my surgery (it went so fast!), and just to add my two cents--definitely plan to take it very easy, don't lift/carry anything, listen to your body, and get help whenever you can...but also be aware that everyone is different. I had no problems with anything following surgery...I felt like I'd done about a thousand situps, but that was about it. I could ride in a car (I drove in less than a week) and was kind of sore when I got up and down from a chair or bed, but nothing awful, unbearable, or un-doable. So, sometimes you get lucky...I hope that happens for you.
Unread 08-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Realistic expectations ...

I am 9 weeks post op from my TAH BSO. I have been doing house work for a couple of weeks, but after doing the vacuuming etc today, I am SO sore. I am in the chair now. You will have to remember to take it easy for quite a while.

Things are great though. I am thrilled I did it and doing great.

I only stayed in the hosp. for one night. I was in lots of pain. I cannot take pain meds. I just needed to be in my own house. I hated not sleeping because the nurses kept coming in the room. I was happy to be home again the 2nd night.
Unread 08-04-2008, 10:45 PM
Realistic expectations ...

Hi! Our Hysterectomy Checkpoints is really a great way to research just what you can expect after your surgery. Go ahead and peruse the post-op section to see what the various restrictions are.

My doctor told me no lifting of more than 20 pounds for six weeks. He also said, "This does not mean you should carry around 19 pounds!" In other words, he wanted me to use my head and take it very, very easy. Don't lift "anything" you don't absolutely have to lift.

I have to say that for the first couple of weeks, I didn't feel like doing anything much more strenuous than running the remote control on the TV and getting water for myself. Other than my walks around the house and going up and downstairs for showers and the computer, I stayed in "my couch" most of the time, and in fact I slept sitting up with pillows propped up all around me because I really could not lie down for a couple of weeks. I must have been quite a sight.

I could climb stairs right away, but for the first week I made sure dh was around when I took a shower because I wasn't very steady on my feet.

I didn't try to cook until about the 5-week mark. (I was able to get myself a sandwich or 'nuke' something in the microwave... but I'm talking about preparing an actual meal.) It was chicken breasts, Stovetop stuffing and veggies... And honestly, I was too tired/ill to even eat it after I made it! So I put away my spatula for another couple of weeks.

I started driving at about 3 weeks post-op. And then I made an ill-fated shopping trip "just for a few things" -- you know the drill. I probably set back my recovery several weeks because I figured I was ready to drive to the mall and to Target. Wrong. By the time I got to Target, I had the employees asking to help me to the car. They didn't mean my merchandise -- they wanted to help me to the car. ACK!!!

I guess all of this is my long-winded way of telling you that, for me, I really pushed things way too fast way too soon. Instead of taking the great advice I heard here (listen to your body, take it easy, you only have one chance to heal right the first time), I figured I needed to be the *first* one to drive, and that I *should* feel OK at 5 weeks, etc.....

I'm not about to tell you how you'll feel -- and it may be that you shouldn't lift even 10 pounds. Or you may not be able to climb stairs. You won't know until you get into your own recovery.

What I would do if I were you would be to expect that your activity level will be pretty low for the first 2-3 weeks, and that it will gradually increase after that point. Print out those post-op Checkpoints and gauge your recovery against them -- but don't feel like you *have* to be at any certain milestone by any certain date. Your recovery is yours alone!

to you. Hope this helps.
Unread 08-05-2008, 12:49 PM
Realistic expectations ...

I am one week post-op from a TAH-BSO with a horizontal incision. This morning I walked a little over 3 miles. I have had no problems with bending to get something off the floor, or getting in and out of the shower, nor have stairs caused me any problems. I went into surgery in pretty good shape and I think that's what's helping me now.

I am being careful not to twist my body suddenly, jerk my arm lifting something, etc. My doctor said nothing heavier than a gallon of milk (8 lbs.) The first day or two I asked my husband to help me get out of bed or a chair a few times, to avoid quick or stretching movements. He still helps me out of the car most of the time, and I plant both feet solidly and use my legs and his strength to lift myself. you may want to use a small pillow between your incision and the seat belt. It's very comfortable that way for me. I will not drive until the doctor says I can.

Each person will know what she can handle. If a chair for hair-drying is helpful, what a great idea! You will know if you overdo it. Your body will want to rest more and sleep more than ususal. I'm trying my best to take it easy, yet do as much walking as I can since that is not harmful to me. I do get tired more easily, and am sleeping more during the day.

I had frozen a good amount of food prior to surgery - that's helpful now just to thaw and heat.

I have had no problems sleeping in the same bed with my husband, in fact we can still get in our favorite cuddling position, albeit with an extra pillow or two that I have gotten used to!

Here's a bonus for me. I've lost 5 lbs. since I came home! Even with the swollen abdomen.

Best wishes to you!
Unread 08-05-2008, 01:27 PM
Realistic expectations ...

After reading all other responses, it shows we all heal differently. HavanaIl-thats great walking 3 miles! I couldn't imagine doing that right now. You go girl! I had a TAH July 25th and all is well except the incision is still sore and hurts more if I stand too long or sit up straight too long. Lounging position works for me! No other pain; except for occasionally gas which is slowly correcting itself. I'm back to some housework(light-someone else is emptying dishwasher!) Just trying not to force the healing process. Your body will tell you yes or no. As my dr said "if it hurts, don't do it!"

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