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

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Unread 05-17-2002, 06:38 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Thanks, girls, for all the support and advice here. You are all wonderful, and it feels good to become part of a 'sisterhood'.
I will have to do some serious contemplating on my recovery 'spot',.. whether it'll be sofa, hide-a-bed, reclyner, or what have you. Sounds like it's just another 'personal choice' also.
I am creating quite the list of questions to ask my Dr. about!!
I am definately going to ask him about the abdominal binder for sure, and the Cranberry juice sounds great to me,.. I love it, but should all carbonation be avoided as apposed to causing added gas problems? I was wondering about adding gingerale to it, but I do like it plain as well,.. probably my best bet I imagine. I want to ask my Dr. his oppinion on the extract pills too.
I made note on the Gas-X and stool softners, but I just saw a new advertisement on tv this afternoon for a product called "Benefiber". Has anyone heard of this or tried it yet??? They compare it to metamusil, only this is non-gritty, clean, clear, tasteless & oderless, dissolves instantly, and supposed to keep regularity under control too. Anybody know anything about this new product? I'm going to ask my Dr. about this one too.
I remembered this afternoon that I have use of a pretty nice walker during my recovery as well. We bought one at a G-sale the year before last for my FIL. It's like new, and he only used it a few times before & after his hip surgery.
I am wishing I had access to a laptop during my recovery period, but I guess I'll just have to hobble to the PC as I feel up to it.
I am wondering,... how often should you be up walking around some in order to help avoid blood clots? And should I confine my walking to short spurts around the house as I am able, or do I need to make myself at certain intervals regardless in order to avoid clots??? And how long should I wait before I can begin to use my treadmill, even very slowly? I imagine once I am able I will only on weekends and evenings when my DH is home because mine is the fold up/spacesaver kind, and I know lifting it back into place is out of the question for several weeks.
How long before you can attempt to resume sex? How long before I can drive again? I will be asking my Dr. all of these questions too, but it sure helps to see eveyone else's opinions and personal experiences.
Is showering okay right away? How long before baths are okay? How long before I can use my hot tub? Is it common to throw up after surgery due to the anethesia? It takes alot to make me TU, but when I do I choke and have horrific panic attacks so I'm hoping I won't.
Something else,... Has anyone used soy instead of HRT,.. I heard it might be another option??? Also, does anyone know about risks consuming too much soy or too close (within 4 hrs. before/after) taking Synthroid? I had Graves Disease 2 yrs. ago, and they did RadioIodine and dissolved my thyroid completely so I am Synthroid (thyroid hormone replacement) now. I heard about taking soy too close to Synthroid can cause the synthroid to lose most if not all of it's potency and not do it's job then. Anybody know if this is true? Another Dr. Q: I know..... I really enjoy soy products and so I would love to have that option, but not sure if I will be a candidate or if I can just be careful on the when's............ for goodness sakes, this is all driving me nuts, LOL.
Oh, I also was wondering about women with enlarged uteruses,.... can that occur suddenly??? I had an abdominal ultrasound last Sept. 2001, and it was all clear, but just in the last 3-4 months as my problems have all worsened,... my stomach seems to be getting bigger,.. can't hold it in well at all anymore, and if I just let it hang out I look like I'm 20 some odd weeks pregnant!! I've also gained weight around my hips, inner thighs, and butt,..... am I just accumulating chub there, or has anyone else had this happen due to female troubles??? NOTHING fits me through my mid-section anymore, and I have to buy sizes too big for me above and below just so they'll fit through there, otherwise my only other option would be maternity and then I'd really look PG!! Groan,..............
Well, as usual my post is turning into a book so I'll shut my beak again for now.
Look so forward to hearing from you all again though!!
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Unread 05-17-2002, 07:45 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hi, Tahnee -

Disclaimer - we are all different, and heal and can do things at different point.

Nice to have the walker just in case - I personally would definitely not have needed it. I was walking around some the day after surgery and quite a bit the next day. And you want to be sure to walk upright, not bent over. When I needed to pick something up, I either had one of those reachie tools (see the message I'm about to post on that), or I carefully bent my knees and held something going up and down at first.

I walked around quite a bit. It's very important not just for blood clot issues, but for constipation, and general recovery. Take it easy at first, a little bit every hour or so, and increase slowly as you feel up to it. I wandered around a lot (too much) in the hospital. I walked around my house a lot at first, and walked out to my mailbox in the snow at about 4 days postop (we live in the country, so we're talking about .25 mile all together. I was with hubby, and we went slowly). I felt like an old lady, cause I sort of shuffled around for awhile, and couldn't walk at normal speed. Listen to your body - you're not going to be an invalid, but don't overdo it (I know that's not an exact answer, but we're all different and "a little" walking to one person is a lot to another.)

I had no problem getting to the pc, though I brought in a different chair (one of those plastic ones that you use around a porch table) and put a few pillows on it. Lots of pillows. I had several behind me when I was in the recliner, and one under my knees.

Check with your doc about the treadmill - that'll have to wait several weeks at least - until you are released. Many of us are released for sex and other exercise :-) at about 6 - 8 weeks. Driving varies by the doc and how you feel - and if you have a manual or automatic. Could be 2-6 weeks. Also, check with your insurance company because some of them have a certain amount of time after surgeries before they'll cover you. One woman's doc said not to drive till you could slam on the brakes suddenly without pain - a good rule of thumb. Personally, I didn't need to drive, so didn't.

Showering will probably be fine right away. The nurse helped me get in and out as soon as I got unhooked from my iv and catheter the day after surgery. I had no problems at all - they did have a stool in there to sit on, and I had another of those plastic chairs standing by for when I got home - never used it. Some women do have be cautious at first. Bath directions are different according to the docs - I was told I could have one right away, but others are told no. The thought of getting in and out wasn't that exciting, so I stuck with showers (I have a nice walk-in shower).

Some of us do throw up - I did very briefly the first time I sat up the first night, and asked for anti nausea drugs the next morning when I got more morphine - had no trouble that time. They gave me mint tea to drink, which helped, too. With my more recent surgery (general anesthesia), I asked in advance for anti nausea meds in the iv, and had no problems.

Soy - it can reduce some of the symptoms of menopause, but will not do anything to prevent things like bone loss, or, I believe, altzheimers. But many women choose it as an option.

Yes, Soy DOES reduce the absorption of Synthroid/Levoxyl. Check with your endo, but I plan (when I get back on meds after my radioiodine treatment) to keep about 4 hours between the meds and eating soy - you should do the same with iron or calcium (actually, my endo said that he doesn't care WHEN I take my calcium/iron - I haven't discussed soy with him yet - just to do it consistently). Estrogen, btw, can affect your needs for Synthroid. You may need to increase your Synthroid, so if you choose hrt - connect with your endo to have your TSH levels checked.

Hope this helps!

Unread 05-17-2002, 08:28 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Thanks, Alisa,
Your post was alot of help. I'm going to keep the walker handy for getting up & down from going potty for the most part I think... since I'll be on my own with my 3 little girls after the first week, I want to have it handy, just in case... I saw in another post that it would be handy for that. Oh, and mine doesn't require you to bend/hunch over either,.. it's designed so you stand up straight,... it's a nice one.
Thanks for all the info on the other areas too, and especially on the Synthroid & Soy conscern. I had a pretty good idea I was going to need to be careful timing it out. I didn't know that the HRT could effect my Syntrhoid too though so I will definately go into depth on both those issues with my doctors, and figure out which will be the best option for me. And definately a good idea on getting my THS checked afterwards then too,.. I'm not due again until Sept.
I like the idea of the patio chair for the shower, if needed. Good to keep in mind, just in case, and I have 18 of them on the back patio!! LOL Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to hearing back on more oppinions & suggestions as well. I love the ideas on the 'suck up' baskets, that's sooo great, and I love doing stuff like that. The smilie sticker idea is cool too... anything to keep the mood "sunny". I saw an ad for the Cranberry extract pills,.. a brand called AZO. Anybody familiar,.. is there a preference or will any do?
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Unread 05-17-2002, 08:34 PM

My doctor told me no cooking, cleaning, bending, stooping, pulling, pushing, driving, vacuuming, moping, sweeping, lifting more than a gallon of milk, and anything else that required the use of my body. All of the above

Only taking care of rincess:

Maybe some of your neighbors could possibly help out or your church? What about co-workers?

I hope everything falls into place for you and maybe Mary Poppins will "pop" in, wouldn't that be nice?

Unread 05-17-2002, 09:01 PM
Tons of questions and trying to prepare!

Hi, Tahnee -

Brain fog (I'm a bit hypo - 5 days with no thyroid meds, so you can imagine!) - wasn't thinking about that excellent use for the walker :-). Or actually..I did think of it, then forgot :-).

I brought a plastic bowl from home and filled it with candy for the nurses and it was very popular!

I also had a stuffed bunny puppet my brother gave me years ago. And a menagerie of stuffed animals my family sent me (I live on the other side of the country from most of them, so they couldn't come see me and sent their "representatives" instead :-).) I wandered the halls with the bunny and entertained the nurses and a few of the other patients who weren't doing quite as well as I was post op. Tried to have some fun!


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