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Unread 12-06-2011, 06:29 PM
Am I Crazy?

One of the ladies I work with had a hysterectomy last year. (TAH) She keeps telling me that it's not going to be as bad as I think it will be and I need to be positive. She also keeps saying that she was only out of work one week and that she wore her normal jeans to get her staples out. She said she never got really swollen, didn't have much pain, and was back to all her normal activities within a week. I'm planning 3 weeks out of one job (customer service, desk job), 3 weeks off my other job (nursery worker Sunday's and Wed. nights) with the next 3 or 4 working only with the little bed babies who weigh nothing, and 8 weeks off my volunteer position (police officer). Will I be a wimp if I'm not back at work within 1 week? I'm worried my boss will think I'm just laying out of work because she keeps saying all of this stuff around him too.
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Unread 12-06-2011, 06:34 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

You (and that lady at work) have to remember that each and every person is different and will have a different experience. There is no "textbook" to follow with recovering from a TAH. Good for her, but it doesn't sound like the "norm". I've heard and read such a variety of stories -- you really won't know until you're going through it yourself.

I'm a nurse, and I'm on my feet all day long. I work 12-hour shifts and I have to do a lot of heavy lifting. I had my TAH + burch procedure on 11/24 and I don't plan to return to work before at least February, maybe longer.

You really just need to listen to your own body and seek the guidance of your doctor if you feel you need more time off work. Good luck!
Unread 12-06-2011, 06:51 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

I agree Cinrn68 everyone is different and heal at their own pace. What worked for one may not the other. However with that being said you will have a ton of internal healing to do and even if at one week you are feeling fantastic it does not mean you should go back to all normal activities until you get the go ahead from your Dr. (which I am sure will not be for at least 6 weeks). It's extremely important to allow you're body to heal as it should and not worth pushing yourself harder just because someone else says "they were able too". Listen to your body and ignore the ones that say you should be feeling like.....not like... You are the best judge your limitations.

Good Luck
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Unread 12-06-2011, 07:00 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

To lawgsa- No, you are not crazy. If there is one thing I learned from my surgery last year it's that I heard a story from nearly every woman I know- some with more details than I really wanted! I had an LAVH, no complications- and I took off three weeks. I only returned because I promised my doc I would see down for 10-15 minutes every hour (I am a junior high English teacher). I was very tired but I was okay to go back that soon. This woman is not you, and furthermore, every surgery is different for each person. For example, I had a sore throat this time- previous surgery, no. Some woman seem to like to brag about how strong they are, or maybe your coworker just enjoys talking about her surgery. And if you boss starts getting ideas that you might be lazy, have him call your doc!
Unread 12-06-2011, 07:24 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

Well, I was one that had no pain except for pulling of the incision when I moved, had very little swelling (wore my jeans right away), did not have the fatigue that most ladies experience after such invasive surgery, and there was no way that I could have gone back to work a week later. After a short while on my feet, I could feel the heaviness at the bottom of my tummy that told me to go lie down. I listened to my body as it had only one chance to heal right. I went back to work at 9 weeks post-op but I could have gone back at 6 weeks. It just turned out that way due to the Xmas break and my doctor who had me off for 8 weeks to begin with.

Do not try to rush your healing. Your body will heal on its own schedule. As to your boss, make sure that you give him or her the doctor's note that has you off for whatever time is needed. And please ignore the lady that is telling you that she was back to work in a week. Those ladies do exist but they are one in a million. They are certainly not the norm!
Unread 12-06-2011, 07:50 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

I was off work for 8 weeks after my TVH. My first week back I worked only Mon, Wed and Fri. It was very difficult. There is no way I could have gone back at 1 week. I am 5 months post op and still can't wear my jeans because my belly is so swollen. I'm glad your co-worker had such a positive experience. But sometimes I wish these "helpful" people weren't so vocal about their surgeries. Male bosses may not understand why you won't be back in a week also. I would be tempted to say something to him about different doctors and different specific surgeries play a role in recovering. It's not fun when you're trying to heal and getting pressure from the job to return before you're ready.
Unread 12-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

I hate people like that. If she would at least say that she is aware that her circumstances are very unusual and that she doesn't know anyone else who had it like her then your boss wouldn't think you should be back in a week.

Years ago I had Lasik surgery. For almost everyone it goes well. The laser shuts off and you can see! Until you do your 24 checkup you're not supposed to drive but a lot of people do or at least could have. Most people are back at work the next day.

For me, the laser shut off and my eyes were so traumatized I really couldn't see (I had 20/2000 vision so it was a long surgery). I went to my 24 hr checkup and still couldn't see. On top of that, I was so exhausted. I ended up sleeping for 4 days. It took me a couple weeks to feel normal and get back up to speed.

Not all surgeries are the same and we all recover differently. With a LSH planned I'm still allowing 3 weeks before I have to be anywhere and that is still only a few hours twice a week in a science class. I'm self employed and since my health has been so bad, everything is set up for me to be there or not as I feel up to it.
Unread 12-07-2011, 02:05 PM
Re: Am I Crazy?

Please try to ignore the ladies that tell you "you should be able to do......" or "I was doing this by........."

I had all kinds of men, women and coworkers tell me I should be able to do this or that by xx amount of weeks because they know someone that did.......

I got so freaking angry, I wanted to punch them every time they opened their mouths.

Anyway, most everyone has responded with basically the same answer as I would.

I will add, I suggest you ask off ALL of your jobs for a minimum of 6-8 weeks. Its best to ask off for the maximum amount of time than go back early, find out it ain't gonna happen and ask off for more. If you see that you feel better than expected, then try to go back sooner. Just see how you feel first.

TAH is no joke. I had zero complications and my recovery has been going well. I'll tell ya, I could barely make it through a full day (desk job) at 8 weeks post op. It took me about 4 more weeks to NOT feel like I wanted to crawl under my desk and just go to sleep, not to mention, having issues concentrating. There was no way in hell I could've went back to work, even a few hours a day, at 3 weeks post op.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best................

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