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*THIS* close to backing out!  Help! *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

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Unread 10-18-2011, 10:11 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Hi tjslangille! Thanks so much for your very upbeat and encouraging post to this thread!! OMG, I soooooo needed to hear what you said here! Yes, the bladder stuff!!! And the back aches and leg pain?! Oy vey!! My dr.'s nurse told me that she suspected that it was possible that I might have less bladder trouble after my surgery (gosh, I hope she's right!) I need to focus on the POSITIVES that can be a part of this procedure instead of everything that can go wrong, I know that...but I've read sooooo much scary stuff (even stuff here in the post-op sections) about hysterectomies and why they will basically screw up your life forever that I've just been willing to live with the discomfort that I've had for a couple of years now...I've been playing a waiting game, but know that it is possible (and likely) that menopause is a ways down the road...how much longer do I want to live like this and along with that, the fibroid will more than likely continue to grow. My dr. informed me that right now he could do the surgery fairly "simply" with a bikini cut, but that if the fibroid gets considerably larger, then the surgery would be more difficult with a longer healing time, different and larger cut (vertical, from naval down), etc. So I know I need to do this...and focus on the positive! Your post has given me some hope! Thanks so much and congrats on things going so well for you! Take care!
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Unread 10-18-2011, 10:13 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Thanks, Chryvine! I will try to have faith!
Unread 10-18-2011, 10:15 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Thanks alc77! I realize that every day we take risks involving our lives...every time we get in a car, we do. I have just read so much stuff...and probably need to stop now, especially since the decision to have the surgery has been made. I'm glad to hear your surgery went well and that you are active again. I know a lot of women who have had hysterectomies who are VERY inactive and think nothing of it...and aren't concerned with weight gain or sexuality or any of the things I'm concerned with. I'm glad to meet women here who ARE active and want to continue to be so! Thanks for posting!!
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Unread 10-18-2011, 10:19 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Thanks bingokitten! I take it you've not had the surgery yet? Is it scheduled? Do you know what kind of surgery you will have? I am pretty much resigned to having this done, but feel like I'm being dragged into it kicking and screaming, but really, I need to put it to rest in my mind and look at the positive and try hard not to freak out.

I don't have a flat tummy (never have) but I do work out and have in the last couple of years, gotten my tummy down flatter than it ever has been...but then this stupid fibroid started getting bigger and it has definitely pooched my stomach out some. I have no idea of what "swelly belly" is or why women who have hysterectomies get it...is it because of the gas that they use in you to perform the surgery? Also, I'm reading about these tummy binders and can't figure out what to listen to...those who say to use something like that or those who say to wear something loose and comfortable while recuperating. VERY confusing!

Meanwhile, thanks for your words of encouragement and your post. I hope things go well for you! Take care!
Unread 10-18-2011, 10:31 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Raquel, I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way. I've been experiencing perimenopausal symptoms for years and was hoping I could hang on until menopause but my fibroids decided to take a major growths spurt.

This is your choice. I had multiple, LARGE fibroids that kept getting bigger by the weeks. My uterus finally got so large by the time my surgery was scheduled, the doc told me she'd have to do a vertical incision. Hearing that news felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. I'm not trying to sway your decision either way, but I will tell you, that fibroid will continue to get bigger until you do something. My doc was afraid she'd have to do an incision up and around my navel because it was up that far. I would've had a big ? mark.

I vented my frustrations in a post op thread yesterday. Yes, you will have a swollen belly if you are having TAH. There is no getting around that. Think about it, they will have to stretch your stomach open enough for the doc to get in there and safely remove the uterus. So yes, there will be soreness, tenderness, swelling and a scar. I wasn't happy about that and still am not but I'm trying to heal as fast as my body will allow.

I still have my ovaries and so far, haven't had weird hormonal episodes. I'm still having hot flashes and night sweats like I did before.

As for exercising, I'm going to be truthful, you won't be able to do much of anything until your doc tells you to and don't even try it. Keep in mind that you will have hundreds of internal stitches that will take 8-10 weeks just to heal. You don't want to risk a prolapse by straining, running or lifting. Weight lifting is a big part of my life. And right now, I'm frustrated I can't lift heavy but my health is WAY more important. I don't EVER want to have any kind of surgery again. So, I'm grinding my teeth and not lifting heavy weights ATM. I plan to wait another 4-5 months before I even do situps or squats. I'm doing NO abdominal work for a long time. If I put on a few pounds, oh well, I'll work that off WHEN I'M HEALED COMPLETELY (6-8 months or longer). I knew all of this beforehand but its still difficult to accept at times. I feel kinda handicapped ATM. I keep telling myself "it'll be ok" and I know it will, I'm just a VERY impatient person.

Believe me, it took me roughly 6 weeks to even want to try to workout. I really didn't feel up to it honestly. My doc told me I could start with 3lb dumbbells at the 2 week mark and I did but it made me so tired. I'm only lifting 7lbs one now. I went from bench pressing 100lbs x 6 to 14lbs. Wow......... piff, there is NO freaking way I'd even try 25-30lbs right now. I can feel downward pressure down there and that's not a good feeling. Feels like something wants to fall out. So, I'm not taking that risk.

Like I said, its your choice, do your research and you decide what is best for you. Having the surgery is the easiest part. Recovering is the hardest and its not some glamorous thing that they go in, take out your uterus, sew you up and you feel like running a marathon 2 weeks later........at least a TAH. It'll take TIME for you to heal and being patient, following doctors orders is the only thing you can do.

Good luck.
Unread 10-18-2011, 10:50 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Thanks so much, Keltec, for sharing your story and being honest about how things are with you! I'm glad to meet someone who is into fitness...I wasn't lifting anywhere NEAR what you were, but have been doing aerobics/cardio since the 1980s and most recently had been doing a kickboxing workout for almost 3 years now and in the last few months, had started a weight workout regime that I really enjoyed and saw great results with (including a flatter tummy). I stopped doing that, however, when my hair started thinning...I was freaking thinking maybe my testosterone levels were increasing due to the weight work (this evidently can happen in men...not many studies have been done on women to determine if this can happen in women.)

My dr.'s nurse has already prepped me on what I probably will and won't be able to do. I'm going to talk to my dr. on the week before my surgery to get further info from him about recovering time and progress. If I can at least get out and walk after a couple of weeks, then that should help me a lot (and I don't mean a leisurely stroll, but more vigorous walking.) I was also told I could ride a bike...guess I'll have to go out and buy one now? haha!

I know that I will have a very hard time being patient with feeling weak and poopy...I'm not a patient person and not a good patient. A lot of women that I know don't have a problem with lying around, but I do. I only hope that maybe because I've tried to exercise regularly and keep myself healthy that it will help with my healing process.

I had an ultrasound in January and when I saw my dr. to go over my results a couple of weeks later (in February), he told me at the time that he could do the surgery abdominally, cutting me horizontally along the bikini line and removing the fibroid and my uterus, leaving my cervix and ovaries intact. But he also said that if I waited say, like for a year, and the fibroid had grown considerably (he used the word "doubled"), then he would have to make a vertical incision and it would be a more difficult procedure with a more difficult healing process, possibly more blood loss, etc. I've put it off 'til now, when I know I need to to do something, as much pushed into this by my hormonal issues as by the physical discomfort of the fibroid. My dr.'s nurse told me that it is possible that I could have more than just this one fibroid, as that is typical, but that they may have been obscured in the ultrasound by the large fibroid I'm carrying.

My question to you is this...did you use this belly binder after your surgery? Would you recommend it? Also, did you wind up having a horizontal or vertical cut? And lastly, to your knowledge, once those stomach muscles are cut, can they ever "knit" back together again or am I going to be left with a permanent pooch? I'd appreciate any info.

Thanks so much for your reply. Glad to hear your surgery went well. I hope you continue to make progress and feel better every day! Thanks!
Unread 10-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Hi Raquel2B, it sounds like you've got a great working relationship with your Dr, which is very important. My gyn also did my hyster and having the same Dr work with me before/during/after surgery has been really helpful.

You mentioned yoga and looking for some stress relief. I was a terrible stress ball waiting for the date once my surgery was scheduled. I drove myself and everyone around me nuts I think! My gyn had suggested I see a dietitician/massage therapist to work on overall health and stress management and I must say some of the work we've done has helped me a ton. But I was still stressing about the surgery and my fear of the whole surgical process. I was reading in the pre-op suggestions here on the boards and one of the sisters suggested a series of relaxation CDs by a company called Hemi Sync. It's called surgical support series and the CDs can be used before, during, and after surgery for relaxation and healing. I checked with my Dr and she thought they were a great idea. I started listening to them about a month before surgery and the anesthesiologist let me use them during surgery - she even restarted the CD once it had finished playing while I was under. I used them some while I was in the hospital, and again once I was home for the first week or so. I can't really put a percentage on how much they helped me or not, but I do know I always felt calmer after listening. And really, I was so stressed I think anything positive I did to help manage the stress was a wise move. Anyway, I thought I would mention it to you since I know my mind was in such a whirlwind I never would have thought of something like that without finding it here on the boards. Good luck, hang in there!
Unread 10-18-2011, 11:43 AM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Oh gosh, calnative, thanks so much for the suggestion/info! Sounds good and I will look into these cds, if I can find them online, etc. I know that I had thought of music that I could listen to during surgery possibly, but wasn't sure what the hospital and/or dr.'s would allow, but it's definitely something I will look into...not to sound dense, but there was an actual cd playing in the OR that everyone could hear or were you wearing earbuds or something like that? Just wondering about the logistics of it all. I used to do yoga regularly, but had gotten away from it in recent months. Last week I did the first hour-long yoga workout that I had done in ages and I noticed an instant improvement in my level of stress. I think both my husband and I need to keep on with this, as I know I'm stressing him out majorly as well (not to mention just his general overall nervousness about it all as well.) I have gotten a lot of positive feedback here and that is actually helping me. I know "intellectually" that each woman's experience is different and even know that from firsthand experience with regards to my tubal ligation or even my wisdom tooth surgery (4 out at once) that I'd had many years ago (I didn't have a lot of the complications/pain that I'd been told I'd have), but if you have half a brain, you can't help but be a little bit worried about the general outcome and if you read anything about this stuff, all you seem to hear/read is DON'T DO THIS!! and IT'S A BIG OL' SCAM CREATED BY MALE DOCTORS AND THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY TO SCREW WOMEN OVER. *sigh* I am just hoping that it will turn out to be a positive experience and will give me some relief and better quality of life once it's all said and done.

In the meantime, I'll check out those cd's. Thanks again for the tip and the encouragement!!
Unread 10-18-2011, 12:13 PM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

I did and still do use the Perfect Pocket binder from this site. It has the cold/hot packs. I've only used the cold packs. It really doesn't help with the swelling but the cold packs feel really good on a sore tummy. It also helped with keeping things from giggling around. That can be somewhat uncomfortable at first when you start walking about. Yes I do recommend it. I couldn't use it for about 2 weeks though. My incision was too sore at first.

Also, I had the vertical incision. Its starts about an inch below my navel and goes down to my hairline. Its not too bad but I've never had surgery so its definitely not a scar that can be hidden. I call it my Battle Scar. I don't like it but it was necessary because of the size of my uterus.

As for the stomach muscles, yes, they knit back together well. I mean I could hold in my tummy from day one..........I wouldn't recommend doing it that often, but I wanted to see if I could use them. lol

Don't know about the permanent pooch deal since every one heals differently. If you had a decent flat tummy to start with, I think you will eventually get that back.

Remember, weight gain starts in the kitchen. If you live a sedentary life and eat more than you expend, you will put on weight. Its possible you will put on some weight after surgery strictly because you won't me able to work off those calories you intake and that's ok. Don't let it bother you. You need to eat and eat healthy after surgery in order to heal well/properly.

I do truly believe, being in good shape before surgery helps tremendously with recovery. That doesn't make you immune to not being sore, tender, tired & fatigued though.
Unread 10-18-2011, 12:21 PM
Re: *THIS* close to backing out! Help!

Thanks Keltec, for the info and encouragment. As far as the permanently pooched out stomach comment I made, I was basically referring to some women I know (my mom, for one) who had vertical incisions for c-sections and they always had this weird pooch left behind...like a flabby stomach "overhang." I have never had a flat tummy, but it's flatter now in the last couple of years than it has been in my life since hitting puberty, in SPITE of my fibroid...I've strengthened my ab muscles through exercise and have gotten really good at holding my tummy in (combined with good posture) so I really didn't want all that to be for nothing.

I know I will have to let my body do some healing and try not to do too much too soon. My sis-in-law, who is a nurse, told me this past weekend how she felt that by being a pretty active person who eats right and gets lots of exercise will help me, along with my age (47) to recuperate better than say if I was sedentary and/or older. So I'm going to work out while I can and try to be as healthy as I can, for when I won't be able to workout and will instead be focusing on recuperating.

Thanks for the info on the binder. I'll have to check into it. I'm hearing a lot of good feedback and believe me, talking with folks like you and others who have been through all of this and are still here to tell the tale (and fairly positively at that) are making me feel a LOT better! Thank you!!!

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