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Road trip 3 weeks post op? Road trip 3 weeks post op?

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Unread 11-28-2011, 02:52 PM
Road trip 3 weeks post op?

We're planning on being 'snowbirds' this winter, driving from Canada to a place in the U.S., which is going to be home base for the month of January. When my doctor and I first discussed the surgery, he had figured it would be in 2 or 3 weeks from that time, which took us into the beginning of December. I had kind of set a mental deadline of mid-December, figuring if it was after that, it would be too close to our trip and it would best be left until after we get back.

I called the doctor's office last week to ask an opinion--how soon would it be OK to travel after the surgery? The receptionist said his OR's were booked up for December anyway and mine would be in 2012. I had mixed feelings--on the one hand, I wish it were over with, and if a person has to 'lay low' anyway, why not be on vacation? We have a very comfortable vehicle and I wouldn't have to bother with worrying about housework...not much, anyway. (We're renting a condo). And I hadn't wanted to have to pack a whole truckload of Always Infinity's for the road trip, in addition to the 'watching and planning for the next bathroom' like I inevitably have to do for each and every road trip. (My period just KNOWS when I have to travel or there's a family gathering, and it decides to come on like gangbusters, just to make life a little more interesting.) So I was a bit disappointed about the extra wait.

But I reminded myself that my condition isn't life threatening and there are other people who really should not wait and maybe they are ahead of me, so that's fine. I figured maybe it's good I can put this out of my mind for a few weeks. I was glad I had clarified this, I would no longer be waiting for that phone call from the hospital until next year.

The phone call from the hospital came today.

They have a date on December 16. I asked the nurse about traveling, she said I should speak to my doctor. I called the doctor's office and was told that it should be OK if there are no complications, but it's up to me. I mentioned to the staff there that I wouldn't be doing much on this vacation anyway, other than walking around. She said I might find that a bit much. (I'm no athlete, but I do exercise regularly by walking and using an elliptical trainer.)

My husband says if I want to do this, it's fine, "We'll make it work."

I know if there are no complications by 3 weeks I should be in pretty good shape.


I'm waiting for a sister in law to phone who has had a hysterectomy. She's quite frank about discussing such things, and she's got a really great attitude. She's had various different typs of surgeries (a couple of them orthopedic) and she tends to recover amazingly well, but she's also realistic.

So...three weeks?

What do you think?
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Unread 11-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

I had a hysterectomy on 9/21/11. I traveled 600+ miles from home on Oct. 26 to have another major surgery due to complications from the Hysterectomy. I then had the open abdominal surgery on Oct. 31 and traveld back home on Nov. 8th then back to the hospital 600 miles way to have checkups and testing on Nov. 15th. Traveled back home 3 weeks post surgery another 600 miles. You can do this. Just ask the doc. to be sure. We are so resilient. take care.
Unread 11-28-2011, 04:01 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

I see that a TVH is planned. Several disclaimers: You need to be prepared for the plan to change based on what the doctor encounters. Everyone's surgery is different, even if it is called the same thing. Everyone's recovery is different.

Okay, all that said, I had a TVH in October. At the 4 day point, hubby drove me to get a yummy mocha. Round trip was maybe 10 miles and I didn't get out of the car. At that point, riding in the car was like riding a mechanical bull. I had no idea riding in a car uses abdominal muscles.

At the 8 day mark, hubby drove us to a restaurant. I brought a gel stadium seat to use on the wood restaurant chair and the trip went just fine - except I thought wearing form fitting jeans was a good idea. It wasn't.

At 2 weeks, I was cleared to drive. I drove to two stores, walked around a little, and decided that was a great first outing, but plenty and time to head home.

At 2 1/2 weeks, I drove for a 5 hour trip that had a 2 hour stop in the middle. I had another driver with me, in case I needed to pass the wheel over, but I didn't.

So, yes, it might be do-able. I'd still recommend being flexible. It sound like you and your hubby are.

Best wishes!
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Unread 11-28-2011, 04:40 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I appreciate it.

We live an hour and a half from the hospital, most of it paved highway, and I'll be on that road 3 or 4 days post op. There's another 4 hour drive on Dec 31 for a family gathering...I kind of forgot about that one until now.

As for the driving in the U.S., we're flexible, yes. I think we might be in a rush to get out of "winter", but once we're into warmer weather, it'll be more relaxed.

Reclining the seat a lot should help with any discomfort from sitting, I hope.

I just checked re travel insurance. I guess anything 6 months pre-trip is a "pre-existing condition" so anything related to surgery wouldn't be covered. I just wanted to make sure we could still get insurance otherwise.

Well, I'll just do my best to get plenty of rest before those trips, which shouldn't be a problem. I don't have a big family coming home for Christmas or anything like that. Just one college age son who will come for a day and then we'll all go to my parents' place anyway, and other than that, a lot of goofing off for me.
Unread 11-28-2011, 04:43 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

Originally Posted by Bugati View Post
I see that a TVH is planned. Several disclaimers: You need to be prepared for the plan to change based on what the doctor encounters. Everyone's surgery is different, even if it is called the same thing. Everyone's recovery is different.
Hopefully it will be pretty uncomplicated. There will be some repair due to the prolapse, but I've had tests for malignancies and ultrasounds came back normal, so there shouldn't be any extra stuff to do, provided no other organs get nicked or anything nasty like that. (I do NOT want to think about that!)
Unread 11-28-2011, 08:49 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

As long as your doctor says OK, then I don't see anything wrong with that. Expect to tire easily and your husband to do the lion's share of the driving.

If you haven't ordered the free booklet, I highly recommend it - or much of the same info is located here:

Good Luck!
Unread 11-28-2011, 09:19 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

Hubby won't mind the driving. He makes a poor passenger, and he used to be a long haul trucker, so it's good.
Unread 11-28-2011, 11:55 PM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

maybe a pillow for your belly will make it more comfortable? I agree with the person who said be prepared for deviations from the plan. My Dr. told me also we will start with robotic, but good chance will end up in full cut. What about a wheel chair at first so you don't walk too much?
Best of luck whatever you do.
Unread 11-29-2011, 08:09 AM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

Hi Kathy! I see you and I go in on the same date.

Pillow, definitely. We always have a little one in the truck anyway because if/when I do doze off during road trips, I wake up with a terribly sore neck.

The truck is really comfy. It's a big 4 door crew cab with seats that recline and have the lumbar adjustment settings, plus seats that can be heated or cooled. Where we live, the roads get bad and our poor car was just getting beaten up with our constantly fixing struts, shocks, suspension, plus now that we're not on a school bus route anymore, we're way down on the snow plow's priority list. So this truck is now our "car".

I'm sure finding some good pointers here, things I hadn't thought of before--like a list of what to take to the hospital. I was going to buy more sleepwear for the hospital, but going from what I've read here, I think I'll just use the hospital's stuff. Shaving, toenails...I hadn't thought of not being able to bend for a while. Loose, comfy clothing...I could use more of that. I only have a couple of pairs of loose pants, I'm mostly a blue jeans person. I'm lucky, I don't have any kids at home and my husband is absolutely awesome. Christmas was going to be quiet anyway and I have a small family, so I don't have a lot of wild preparing to do there.

Basically, I'll just have to come home and concentrate on healing and recovery.

LOL, I have a 16 lb cat who isn't going to be getting the big pick ups and cuddles for a while.

Good luck with your surgery. I'll watch for you.
Unread 11-29-2011, 09:15 AM
Re: Road trip 3 weeks post op?

Originally Posted by OnPrairie View Post
LOL, I have a 16 lb cat who isn't going to be getting the big pick ups and cuddles for a while.
This is the hardest part for me - we have 4 cats and bending over to scoop them up is not a good idea. I must confess that Sally - our 7 lbs handicapped runt - does still get picked up regularly. Oscar - weighing in at 13+ lbs of pure muscle - rarely gets picked up normally, so he's no problem. For the other 2 (10ish lbs), I have to consciously remind myself, "Don't", but have still broken the rule some. It's hard to break years old habits and they don't understand.

Take care!

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