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Tons of questions and trying to prepare! Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

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Unread 05-16-2002, 12:24 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hi, I'm new here. Decided to start doing some researching last night, and this was the first site I came across, and I think I'm here to stay. This site looks wonderful, and I'm buying the book too.
My Dr. referred me for a total hysterectomy, which I've just been waiting for the green light for some time now. Um, I don't have a surgery date yet, but am scheduled for my consult appt. next week on Wed., the 22nd, with my former OB who did my tubal ligation 2.5 yrs. ago (he's WONDERFUL by the way,.. I'll be in awesome hands with him), and then we'll go from there. Just from reading alot of the posts on this site, I have come up with a mile long list of Q:'s for my Dr., but in the meantime I would like to see what kind of responses I get from those of you who are willing to induldge my inquiries.
I'm already learning alot on what to expect post-op, but have plenty of questions for both pre-op and post-op for my doctor. Although I am hugely nervous about everything,.. First & foremost, my biggest conscerns currently are with how I'm going to manage my recovery time. I have 3 children under the age of 6, (is it okay to talk about them in this section?), and no one to help me full time, although my husband will be able to take a week of vacation time at the time of my surgery. My mom works full time and lives 2 hours away. My sister also lives 2 hrs. away, is currently unemployed, but only because of an insensitive employer who fired her after missing 2 approved days off from work (my BIL had his 6th emergency surgery-open-heart for anuerisms, etc.), anyway, she is seeking new employment and in the meantime is dealing with his recovery, plus they have a 2 yr. old daughter so my sister's help is not an option either. My MIL lives only 15 min. away, but is back to work PT,.. she is a recent 'Punctured Princess' herself (Dec. 2001), and just finished her last dose of chemo for her Ovarian Cancer,.. so things are hit & miss with her being able to help, and I don't want to have to ask too much of her if at all possible. I only have a couple friends that I could possibly ask for minute help, and one of my husband's aunts could pop in from time to time to help with cleaning & food, but I'm pretty much going to be ON MY OWN with 3 small children and not much help after the first week when my husband will have to go back to work. With these things in mind,...
Is one week of FT help going to be enough??? I don't really have any other options,.. Can I pull this off and still recover properly??? I figure I have a minimum of 3 weeks to plan & prepare, and so I'm getting going on it all now while I can.
I'm certain I can get help with people stopping by to help with cleaning the house as needed, and I know I can get help preparing meals, as well as freezing meals ahead of time, etc., so none of that is much conscern to me,.. it's will I be able to function enough to care for my children on my own after the first week? (ie; fixing breakfasts and lunches, changing diapers...) I will be on my own from 6:30 AM until 6:30 PM Mon.-Fri. after the first week.
Anyway, this conscern alone has become long enough in type so I will leave it to this for now, and address other issues/conscerns, etc. another time. Do you think I can manage this alright? I have had friends tell me to plan to be pretty well useless for the first 2-3 weeks, and so I am alarmed at not having that option... I have the first week and that is that... PLEASE HELP! Thanks a million...

PS- I've already been considering a plan for my recovery time too... thought about setting up the extra bedroom for myself because I am assuming my waterbed will not be a good option for the first few weeks??? I've heard that a good reclyner makes a great recovery spot,.. is this true? Would it be a worthwhile investment for my recovery time? I'm creating a list of items, etc. to have handy to keep me occupied per my interests and hobbies (cross-stitch, creative memory albums, reading, movies),.. oh, and I have a really nice treadmill my hubby just bought me a few months ago (haven't really gotten to use it much yet though due to all my problems!!) so I'll be able to do my walking easily without wandering off too far, LOL,.. I also have a hot tub so as soon as my dr. gives the green light I'm hoping that will ease aches & pains too..... I should be set on drinking water... we have a filter and I keep about 2 dozen bottles repeatedly filled in the fridge,.. my kids will love to sit and play board games with me too. Plus, the PC as I feel up for it, and I can write letters, which I love to do,.. you can probably tell I'm quite the chatter box. Do you think these things will be a good plan for me? Any other suggestions? My head feels like it's spinning with questions... More to come, ladies, so please bare with me.. I'll ry to just take them a few at a time!!
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Unread 05-16-2002, 12:44 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

You didnt say what type of hyster you will be having. Some surgeries you feel a tad better at week two than others.
All require you to take it easy physically.

I wish you could work it out where a diffrent friend could come in each day for the second week to feed kids and clean up.

I personally had the easiest surgery (LSH) and the second week I could not have taken care of children. I still needed someone to take care of my meals.

I mean maybe ONE meal a day for the second week you could do...... but three?

Of course one has to do what one has to do........ I just want to warn will be tired and having to do chores will not be something high on your list of things to do.
IF you do not have friends who can do this... how about hiring a babysitter to come in ad take care of kids alittle each day. (feed them etc)

Take care
xo DonnaFay
Unread 05-16-2002, 01:22 PM

Well you are rightly concerned. But my Dr told me absolute do nothing for 2 wks. which is tough for me I dont like others to do for me but I will learn. But in your case you wont be able to pick up little ones to change diapers. My doc said nothing that weighs more than a half gallon of milk which is like 4 lbs. please talk to you doctor. and consider day care. or some sort of child care in your home. please dont over do it your health is much more important. maybe your hubby can start his vacation the day of your release I dont mean him not be there for surgery and stuff but maybe it will help alot that way. and we have lots of answers. I know it will be tough with little ones. My kids are 14 and 8 so they are pretty self seficiant.

but good luck e-mail me any time

I go to the great white castle on the 20th

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Unread 05-16-2002, 01:22 PM

Forget worrying about trying to keep the house clean! No matter what type of hyst you have you will NOT be able to lift your kids without the possiblity of injuring yourself during your recovery. Someone here posted that a gallon of milk is 7 pounds! 2 pounds over the limit. Cook and freeze. Order take out if you can handle it financially. Someone else posted here that frozen pizza won't kill your kids and they will probably LOVE it. I feel for you because it sounds like you will have your hands very very full! As they say here, ONE chance to heal the first time! I say NO to the waterbed. Also NO to the recliner for the first couple of weeks. I had a c-section so I am familiar with the tummy incision. It's too hard to get up! LOL I agree with trying to hire a babysitter or close friend who can help a bit. You are going to be TIRED! Welcome to Hyster-sisters and ask any questions you want. You will see that we are NOT shy around here!
Unread 05-16-2002, 04:17 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hey, thank you for the responses so far!
Sorry for not leaving much info on my circumstances yet, so here goes...
Well, I won't know for certain what all my hyst. will consist of until I see my surgeon on the 22nd, but currently between myself and my primary physician, the plan is to take out EVERYTHING. I've been having problems for 16 years with really bad menstruations, and fibroid clusters. I lost my first 3 pregnancies, one of which was a molar which required an emergency D & C, and I was even referred to a gynecological oncologist at one point shortly after that when my HCG levels sent up some serious red flags (9 yrs. ago)... turned out to be a false alarm, thank goodness. I have a seriously stronge history on both maternal & paternal sides of 'you name it' female problems, and early hysterectomies,.. 5 out of 6 of my aunts, my own mother, and a cousin. Plus, both my grandmothers, and my maternal died of ovarian cancer 6 weeks after her surgery (they hadn't known about it before that). I've had ultrasounds and nothing, exams,.. nothing,... they claim to not know what's going on, but that it's best with my history & family history to just get it all out while the gettin's good, if you know what I mean. I personally have been suspecting adenomyosis, atrophic endometrium, and PTS, just from online researching, but of course have no idea,.. my doctor said it could be very likely since they are all hard to diagnose. Anyway,..
I've had 3 successful pregnancies in 4 years, and so after the last, I had a tubal ligation,.. the newer kind that are deemed 'non-reversable'. Anyway, I've had nothing but worse problems ever since, and they continue to worsen rapidly. It all keeps changing, and so many different things that I'm not sure I should go into it all, but it's been 2 1/2 years now that it's been making my life sheer misery... it's literally dipilitating for me, and I'm lucky if I have a good week. If I'm not bleeding like a siv then I'm having horrible pain, abdominally & lower back,.. sometimes in my left hip too. My hormones keep fluctuating to both ends of the extreme,.. it's just insane,.. I know there are plenty of you out there that know the agony I'm talking about. I am so thankful to have found this 'sisterhood'!!!
Anyway, I have no idea what all we'll be doing yet, but trying to prepare as much as I can in the meantime, and then I will more so once I know more next week too.
Just to clarify on my conscerns during my recovery though,.. I'm not worried about the house or meals. I already know I will have help with keeping those up, and I already had it planned to freeze meals, and do the frozen pizza trick,.. I figure anything that can be nuked during my recovery is my friend! LOL ALso, my children are pretty self-sufficient as far as keeping themselves occupied with activites, and we will be able to put in ALOT of story time, and what-not, and they aren't small enough to need carrying in order to change diapers,.. BUT, 2 are in diapers. They are able to get their own diapers and carry the wipies, etc., and they just lay down on the floor for me so my only concern in changing diapers is whether I will be able to sit down, say even on the couch and manipulate the diaper, LOL. Is that more reasonable do you think? I realize before I was probably too vague leaving all to think I would be tending to house & home and lil' babies,.. didn't mean to do that.
My oldest daughter is going to be 6 y/o in July, and is able to help me out alot. My middle daughter is 4.5 y/o,... she is back in diapers because she has Encopresis, and needs to be in them until the doctors & I get her back healthy in that aspect. My youngest daughter will be 3 in Sept., and the hardest thing with her will be eliminating picking her up for cuddles, and sitting on my lap for a few weeks... she is my cuddle bug. All three are able to dress themselves, and get in their own beds for nap times... so as long as I can walk to the kitchen to put a lil' frozen pizza in the oven, or hand out a juice pouch now & then... my 6 y/o old can even help with cold cereal, and PBJ sandwhiches, and we will do up plenty of snacks in lower cupboards for the kids to help themselves too as well... I thought of having plenty of things ready for them to easily grab from the refridge too in order to save me on trips to the kitchen. Does any of this sound feasable, or do I still have my head in the clouds? I know it's going to rough,.. really rough, but I have no choice so I'm just tryng to plan out things to minimize what all I physically have to do when I'm home alone with the girls during my 2nd & 3rd week after surgery. Believe me, I'm taking notes on everybody's responses, personal experiences, and suggestions!! Thanks for all the input.
Anyway,... I'm hoping to get it planned out so that my surgery could be on a Friday, although it seems to me that my doctor might not do surgery on Fridays,... My husband could pull a sick day or two for that I think, then he'd be home for the weekend, then a week of vacation, and then another weekend before he had to go back to work, but after that I have no choice but to be alone with the kids the vast majority during the weekdays... I just don't have any other options, but I will be able to come up with a handful of people who can drop in periodically to check on us, or if in serious need could call them in a real bind.
I figured that the waterbed is out,.. my MIL stayed in a really plush reclyner for the first few weeks although it wasn't much comfort either... I hear nothing really is the first couple of weeks. She offered for me to borrow it if I want to (if I go ahed and set up the extra bedroom for 'my cozy spot',... my other options are sleeping in one of my girls' twin beds (thumbs down, LOL,.... bunkbeds with a trundle,.. all three girls in one room with me??? that'd be nuts!), the sofa, or the hide-a-bed (we have a pretty plush set we just bought in Jan.)... anybody have a preference?
I'm planning to go to Costco and buy a slew of paper plates, plastic utensils, and plastic cups to help hubby on dishes... I'll be able to figure out the meals in the freezer thing,.. we have a 24 cu.ft. in the garage we can store in, and I have a side by side in the kitchen for things I would need to get to so I don't have to wander out there during the day (and since it's side by side I won't have to reach to the top), and I just got through coordinating 2 months worth of meals for my MIL when she had her surgery in Dec. so have some experience coordinating that, LOL. I have a friend who used to work for MerryMaids and can probably come clean my house for me a couple days a week too, and my husband's aunt used to clean businesses so I have 2 people who are good at that and I know will offer to do that for me, and if they don't I feel comfortable enough with at least my friend to ask. I was on most of these same restrictions when I had my tubal so have an idea, but I'm guessing this is 10 times worse so I sure hope I can pull it off!
So,.. with a little more info provided here,.. does anyone think I might be able to pull this off somehow? Especially considering that I have no other options available to me? Look forward to hearing more... and I will post a list of my other questions later too if that's okay!! Thanks!
So then, as long as I don't have to lift anything more than a mini pizza,.. can I do this? I need to figure if I will just primarily be able to manipulate a diaper on the sofa I guess,.... where's the 'instant potty training fairy' when you need her??? LOL
Unread 05-16-2002, 04:55 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Dang girl....... my hats off to you!
You are very energic...

I like the idea of the sofa sleeper...... but go get an "egg crate" matress pad. They are less than 15 dollars and so worth it. Very very comfy to lay on.
Is the sofa sleeper in the room where the kids will be watching tv? Cuz, that would work out really........ you could keep your eye on them at the sametime you are resting.

I like all your ideas.......... but would still hope that you could maybe line up a friend to come by during the day ........ even everyother day that second week. Just to maybe wait on you alittle.......... your gonna be so busy waiting on the kids.... you'll welcome some pampering.

Since I did not have an incission I do not know what that special issue will bring to you.

For me....... had I NOT had some gas pain issues that second week........ I could have done much more.
It is just the luck of the draw if you will have gas pain issues or not....... and they are not fun.
Try to have a back up plan just incase you need more time to do nothing.
IF worst came to worst.......... could your husband work half day on some days?

With you strong will ........ I have a feeling you will do just fine...

all my best wishes to you.
xo DonnaFay
Unread 05-16-2002, 05:42 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Thanks, Donna! I needed a boost in enthusiasm,... I am just trying so hard to figure everything out. I know it will be easier to look ahead once I know exactly what we're going to be doing surgery-wise and when, but in the mean time,... well, I'm just a planner is all. I don't always follow through, but I make ALOT of lists, LOL!!!!!
I like the idea of the eggcrate mattress, those are nice. Although I was although thinking of just laying on the couch instead of the hide-a-bed, we'll see,.. it's pretty cushy & pillowy (sp??? LOL)
Yes, the sleeper sofa is in the living room, and so I'll have use of the TV for the kids (as well as for myself). They will be able to watch cartoons, movies, play video games, and whatnot. Plus, I keep their story books in a cabinet there as well so they can easily get them for me to read to them. We also homeschool, and added to all our regular subjects I also do sign language with them (we just started last year), and so we will have more time to practice that now too, LOL. I have even thought we might start this coming school year early,.. will give us something productive to do while I'm 'laid up' so they aren't just watching TV... we can practice our Spanish which the girls & I have been eager to begin learning too. My husband & I just finished getting almost all of our homeschool supplies & curriculum for this year (will be my busiest yet w/ 1st gr.. kindergarten, and preschool), but most we can probably work on & do while I'm inactive so may as well get a head start on the new school year, right? And, my MIL is giving me a nice cabinet for in the living room also, and I'm planning to organize all my homeschool curriculum & materials there so they will be easy access.
I do know what you mean about still hoping to find a friend who can pop in during the days too, but honestly, there's not much resource to pull there, but if it does arise I'll pounce on it!! LOL
My MIL can if I need her to, but I want to refrain from asking too much of her if at all possible. She has Ovarian Cancer and just finished chemo for now,..
Sorry my messages are always so long!! Bad habit of mine!
Unread 05-16-2002, 07:27 PM
It is possible

You have your hands full but you sound very organized and I think that will be half the battle. If you end up being able to have a vaginal hyst you may be just fine. I am going in on Tuesday for mine and my dr told me that I will be out of work for about two weeks, but will feel much better after the first 7 days or so. They don't want you to lift, and I am not sure about reaching down to the floor to change the diapers. Your husband can help alot the night before each day organizing food, etc. I have a friend who did this about a year ago and had a few small ones. They had the cute cloth lunch bags for each child and her husband made up a snack bag for each child the night before with juice bags, etc., then put sandwiches in for lunches,etc. so the oldest just got out the snack bags and lunch stuff when needed. She had wet ones near her for easy clean up too, which she said was a great idea. They sort of camped out in the family room. I wish you had more help though.

My husband is only taking off a week but he can take a second if absolutely necessary. I have no family near. Mom died two years ago and sister is across the country and working with her own family. My MIL is two states away, though she would come if I asked. I have a 15 year old son though and an 8 year old daughter. My 15 year old is more than capable of helping me. I am a neat freak though and I know the house will drive me crazy. Oh well... I will have to let it go. Do you by any chance know any high schoolers who might be interested in earning a little extra money by working as a mother's helper for a week or two? Kids are about to get out of school for the year where I live. I work at our local high school. You could ask at church also, or maybe people you know who have a 13-15 or older girl, and you could even call a local high school and talk to a guidance counselor who might be able to recommend someone they know. I am the National Honor Society adviser at my high school and I get requests by phone from people in our community who are looking for a steady tutor for the children, a babysitter, etc., all the time. I tell my kids about it and they call the person directly if they are interested. It might be helpful, particularly if you have to have an abdominal incision. I don't know how you will do it if you don't have help in that case. They don't usually charge that much per day/week, but each area is different and you may not have the money to deal with the extra expense now too. There are girls out our church who do stuff like that for service too. Just something else to think about
Unread 05-16-2002, 08:20 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hi, Tahnee -

It's very very normal to be nervous!

My hat's off to you, too - It sounds like you have some great ideas and are doing a lot of preparation and that will definitely help.

Perfectly fine to talk about your kids :-). The main thing you'll need help with is in lifting them. If they're old enough to get on the floor, you can diaper them there, getting up and down carefully (maybe near the recliner, so you have something to hold on to them up). If you are pretty flexible now, you should be able to CAREFULLY do that

I was getting meals for me and hubby after the first few days - no problem - just make sure all the ingredients/dishes, etc, are at about waist level.

AlleyK's idea of a mother's helper is a great one!! You say you don't have too many friends who could help, but how about neighbors, or members of any organization/church you belong to?

I spent all my resting time on a recliner, rather than in bed, but the bed will work fine, too, if the kids can get themselves up and down so you aren't tempted to try to lift them if they want to sit with Mom. Part of idea is to get your feet up. I also stuck a cardboard box upside down in front of the computer (still have it there!). It makes a good footrest if you're in a non-recliner chair.

Ask all the questions you want - people here are happy to answer!!

Unread 05-16-2002, 08:31 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hi~~ I had a TAH/BSO. I came home from the castle 48 hours later and crawled right into my waterbed. It was wonderful. I had no problems with it at all. I was able to get into it and out of it all by myself. Good luck to you.


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