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Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)??? Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

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Unread 02-18-2012, 04:40 PM
Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

So I'm 12 weeks post op TAH as of just a couple of days ago. I did have some major complications 4 weeks in that resulted in emergency surgery (cuff repair) and then still some mystery bleeding afterwardsa that finally stopped at about 6 weeks. I had very restricted activity from week 6-8 after getting out of the hospital again. I just returned back to work this week, part-time, and can't believe how uncomfortable I'm feeling! Massive swelly belly (and tenderness) by the end of the day, and for the most part I'm just sitting at a desk working on a computer! A bit more walking than I've been doing (little things like the office shared bathroom is all the way down the hall at the opposite end of the floor), but now don't have the desire/energy to do my 20 minutes of easy walking on the treadmill. And I've been in bed by 9 pm every night. Pure exhaustion. Is this normal? Did I slow down the healing by being so inactive weeks 6-8? Should I be doing a bit of gentle core work to try and strengthen that area or will that just make it worse? Gosh I just can't wait for a bit of normalcy again....but I can tell I need to seriously downgrade my expectations.
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Unread 02-18-2012, 05:04 PM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

I am sorry you had complications, and they may be a part of your current discomfort. But (as far as I know) I'm having a great recovery from TAH, and it was SO HARD getting through this past week - my first week of full-time back to my desk job!

Exhaustion isn't my problem, but pain from sitting at the desk certainly is. Most days the weather has been lovely and I've been able to walk the 35 minutes to work, take a little lunchtime walk, and walk home. That has been the best part of my day, and even now I am realizing I need to cut this pc session short because my body just hates being in a typical office chair. Standing, lying down, or sitting on our sofa are much more comfortable options.

It is frustrating me because I love my work, and have a lot of things I want to do on the pc when I get home. But the desk chair is a killer.

Last night my tummy was so sore I couldn't sleep; didn't want the pressure of covers on it. Today, after a late breakfast I took a Vicodin and went back to bed. Put a heating pad on the mattress and slept on my stomach for a few hours... it was the best pampering I could have given myself right now.

I am hoping it will improve when I go back to work on Tuesday, but in both our cases I think we need to find a way to reduce the number of hours per day that we are at a desk. (My boss is intending to give me some kind of special project for March and I am crossing my fingers that it won't involve a computer!)

Please don't be discouraged or worried - I think what we are going through is pretty normal. It's just our luck that our jobs requre the one thing our body really doesn't want to do for now...
Unread 02-18-2012, 05:09 PM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Hi agejustanumber! I remember you!
I am sorry you are still having some issues with this surgery

I can truly sympathize because I am getting exactly the same symptoms. I had lavh 11/3/11 and had to also have emergency cuff repair 5.5 weeks later. I am now 10 wk post op from cuff repair.
I have been taking it EXREMELY easy after 2nd surgery, and have been so very scared to do too much. However, at 7 wk post cuff repair, surgeon said I seemed to have healed except for 2 sutures on either end of the cuff.
Anyhow, in the last week, I have been feeling a little more energy and have increased activity. I do find that sitting up in a chair (computer, dining chair) uncomfortable after 30 min or so. I get a lot of swelly belly and feel utterly exhausted. Its wierd because I did not get any swelly belly for 5 weeks after LAVH...this only started happening after the cuff repair,which confuses me. This is always worse in the afternoon and evening. I seem to be fine in the mornings, but the belly discomfort and fullness get worse by the end of the day.
It is VERY frustrating to still not feel normal this far out, but when you read about what was done to us on the insides and for ladies like us with repair surgeries, it is going to take a lot of time to slowly get back to normal. I guess when you read 6mth to a year for complete healing, then we are still in the early stages!
I have definitely downgraded my expectations for activity. Even if I feel up to it, I am going to continue to rest when I can, to allow for complete healing to take place.
I know there were some other ladies who had cuff surgeries around the time we did....I think of all of them often and wonder how they are doing.
I hope that you feel better.......just try and do what you can, and dont be tempted to do too much. Remember to listen to your body.....that is the one big lesson I have learned from this whole ordeal. We will get there in the end!
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Unread 02-18-2012, 11:51 PM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Post-op, sitting can be very hard. I had an SAH and still had a lot of pain after a day of sitting at 12-14 weeks post-op. I was still having sitting pain, although less, at 6 months and went back to see the doctor who had done the surgery. I had done a lot of core strengthening before I went into the surgery because I knew I would need the muscle support. However, by 6 months, I had lost that muscle strength. The doctor said that if I rebuilt that muscle strength, I would have more muscle support while sitting and that would take some of the pressure off the incision. I started doing more core work and that actually did cut down on the soreness. I will also say that even at 4 months, it hurt too much to be excercising those muscles.

Some of the pain is just part of the healing process. I ended up spending a lot of time kneeling on a cushion to work on my computer. I have foot problems, but if you don't, it might help to try a raised work station and either stand or sit on a bar stool type of chair.

It defintely took me a very long time to be able to sit comfortably. I am sorry to hear that you're having similar challenges and I hope your soreness and swelling settle down soon!
Unread 02-19-2012, 09:31 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Thanks so much for the replies's reassuring to hear that this is just part of the healing process. At the same time, it's also hard as it means there's no easy fix other than time.

beryl55 - Thanks for the input re: core. I've been hesitant to go there yet, but wondered if it was hindering my healing. Now I feel better about just continuing to listen to my body. I think I will know when I'm ready. But at the very least I think I will give it another month or so before I try to do more than walking and some very gentle stretching.

Pheonix - Thanks for sharing your experience upon returning full time. I am fortunate that I have the luxury of choosing my hours (self-employed financial planner), but with the RRSP deadlin happening at the end of this month I've been "forced" into doing a few more meetings in a day than I otherwise might have. This week was very eye opening, however, and I'm going to be restricting my office hours more rigidly for the next while. Do you find it helps if you get up and walk around? I was wondering if the extra walking was part of it for me or if I should do a bit more. There's so much trial and error with this healing it seems!

Meezer - I remember you too! Glad to hear that things have stayed on a steady path for you since your second surgery. I ended up back in the hospital twice after my cuff repair for additional mystery bleeds. Super stressful and traumatic time. It took me about 3 weeks to be comfortable being left at home "unsupervised"! Since the last bleeding episode I haven't even had any spotting, so I think I'm on a solid path now. But still have a hard time saying that too definitively in case something else happens yet. I think once the doc examines the cuff healing status I will feel more certain about things. I'd like to go to Mexico with my husband for a week in early April (we can really use a break!). Doc said it should be ok as that is still another 6 weeks out. If we book, we'll definitely be buying cancellation insurance just in case! For now, I'm just going to try and be content with working much shorter days and having time to nap or at the very least recline as that position seems to help take pressure off and reduce the swelling.

Again...thanks for the sharing and caring ladies. So very appreciated.
Unread 02-19-2012, 10:14 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Walking is the best feeling of all. I love walking for over 20 minutes but don't know if just getting up from my desk to go to the copy machine is very helpful. As the work day goes on, I just keep feeling it more.

I definitely realized that I must pamper myself after 5pm... not just walking home but avoiding the home pc and taking a nap for a couple of hours before dinner, tv, etc. If I skip the evening nap, I wake up already feeling at a disadvantage... some days the discomfort starts by 10am!!

I can't speak for everyone, but in my case I think I really need to use each evening as prep for the next day. If I can be good to my body between 5pm and 8am, then I have a better chance of handling whatever the 9-5 dishes out.
Unread 02-19-2012, 10:17 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Ditto those posts - I had a TAH and bladder repair (adhered to Uterus!) and also had a full 8 weeks off. It was exhausting just getting to work for half days for the first couple of months. I did not feel well enough to do abdominals at 4 mos either. Took a good 8 mos before I was doing light exercise. This, I found, is what "major surgery" meant, especially with any kind of a complication! Swelly belly will be around for a while, but it does go away and you will feel better! I did find that what I ate really affected it, too. Best of luck to you.
Unread 02-19-2012, 10:57 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

May I ask you ladies who did have cuff repairs how did it happen? Was it during sex? To much activity? Thank you..
Unread 02-19-2012, 11:35 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Originally Posted by gmac4_11 View Post
May I ask you ladies who did have cuff repairs how did it happen? Was it during sex? To much activity? Thank you..
They can't explain why mine happened. No sex, no heavy lifting, no quick movements...I was following all the restricted activity list really well. It just happened. I did have a couple of days of off and on bleeding prior - went to emerg and only saw a GP (it was at 3 am Christmas day) - and was told I didn't need to restrict my activity so I didn't do bed rest or anything. In hindsight I wonder if that would have made a difference? But it's really a mystery...I's not reassuring to hear that...
Unread 02-19-2012, 11:41 AM
Re: Too much desk-sitting & swelly belly (12 wks post op)???

Gmac... For me, it was due to a combinAtion of my inr being too high (I am on coumarin), so my blood was way too antocoagulated for correct healing.
No sex at all! I thought I was taking it easy... Resting plenty and light activity...such as light housework and shopping. I did not lift anything over 10 lb, but I did push a grocery cart in walmart which contained a roll of Xmas wrap. I reallydont think it was the activity, but looking back, I could have definitely been more mindful of not doing too much. I just felt so wellafter lavh,but it was more to do with my anticoagulation issues. My surgical report did call it a dehiscence, not a tear, which is why I am thinking it was more due to the non healing/slow healing caused by being too anticoagulated.

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