Upcoming hysterectomy 9/21: This all happened so suddenly (extremly large fibroids; living alone - how to plan?) | HysterSisters
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Upcoming hysterectomy 9/21: This all happened so suddenly (extremly large fibroids; living alone - how to plan?) Upcoming hysterectomy 9/21: This all happened so suddenly (extremly large fibroids; living alone - how to plan?)

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Unread 09-08-2020, 07:49 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy 9/21: This all happened so suddenly (extremly large fibroids; living alone - how to plan?)

Good day sisters,

Less than a month ago my chiro sent me for xrays because the pain in my back was not getting better. They found 2 really big (26 x 14 cm) fibroids in my uterus. Within 2 weeks I was in with the OBGYN who advised the only course of treatment is a Total Hysterectomy. Now my surgery date is 2 weeks out. My only symptom was pain, well if I think back, there is extreme fatigue also.

My doctor is telling me she needs to do a large, vertical incision from above bellybutton to pelvis due to the size of my uterus.

I am wondering if there are any other sisters out there than may have had a similar experience, or similar surgery that would share their story with me?

I live alone, so what types of things did you need at home to help you after the surgery?

Thank you.
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Unread 09-08-2020, 12:13 PM
Re: This all happened so suddenly

I had a similar path, I had some odd abdominal pain, went to my doctor who referred me for an ultrasound and found two very large fibroids. She referred me to an OB/GYN and the first thing he said to me when he walked in was, "So you're here to schedule a hysterectomy?" I was stunned! Well, after a 2nd diagnosis and reaffirmation from my primary care dr, the diagnosis was still hysterectomy. I looked up alternatives but I was too worried they'd come back.

I needed abdominal since mine were too large for robotic. I had a horizontal cut with staples. I bought a bunch of stuff I didn't need, like a body pillow, tummy pillow, binder. You can use any pillow to brace yourself for laughs/coughs. The body pillow was too bulky to be comfortable. Extra pillows are nice, but you probably only need 3 at most. I didn't even want a waistband at my waist and didn't want to use the binder. I liked wearing nightshirts and a robe.

The one thing I had to order was Milk of Magnesia, ask your dr ahead of time what you can take for constipation. I had stool softeners and they just weren't doing the trick. If you do order anything, order close to your date so you can return it if you don't use it.

I was actually really surprised how well I was able to take care of myself even after 2 days. I was able to shower (keep it short), dress myself (slowly and used my feet to help pull up my underwear lol), and make a snack.

Buy some fruit and vegetables, and ready to eat foods, like nuts or smoothies. Get your house cleaned, laundry done, and bed washed. You could consider paper plates/cups etc to avoid doing dishes for a couple of weeks.

It might help to have someone that can check in with you and help with some minor stuff. I think you will need someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after you leave the hospital. I went home after a day and a half. My dr would have approved a second night but I just wanted to go home!
Unread 09-08-2020, 02:45 PM
Re: This all happened so suddenly

I had a 7in vertical incision due to large fibroids as well. I had absolutely no complications during my recovery. I spent 2 nights in the hospital and was able to take care of myself once home, showering, dressing and making myself something to eat when my husband was at work. Didn't need pain meds other than a couple of extra strength ibuprofen a day for about a week , then one a day for another 3 days or so. I didn't buy anything at all for my recovery, figured if I needed anything I would get my husband to get it but I didn't need anything special. Do you have a friend that could get you anything if you need it? Stock up on easy to prepare foods and/or freeze meals ahead of time since you are alone. Put any pots/pans you may need on the counter before you head to the hospital to prevent the need to bend to get it. You should be able to take care of yourself but lots of things will go undone for a while. Also google log roll after surgery, it helps with getting in and out of bed.
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Unread 09-08-2020, 08:20 PM
Re: This all happened so suddenly

Hi HPCANADAFAN!! to HysterSisters!

I am so glad you found this site.

I had a very large complex ovarian cyst (12x9x11 cm). For my surgery, I had a 6-inch vertical cyst that ran from my belly button to the top of my pubic hair.

Recovery alone is doable with planning. Think meals in the freezer, simple meals for breakfasts and lunches, paper plates, plastic ware, all supplies needed for 3 to 4 weeks down purchased ahead of time, etc. Can neighbors, family or friends look in on you and help? Keep in mind that you will not be able to drive for 2 to 3 weeks, and you will have lifting restrictions: 10 lbs for 6 weeks and 20 lbs for 8 weeks is common.

Here are articles:
10 Tips for Recovering at Home Alone After Hysterectomy
Living Alone and Recovering from Hysterectomy

While I do not live alone, here are items I found useful (some may not be doable due to the pandemic):
-Meals in the freezer that can be put in the microwave
-Easy foods for breakfasts and lunches
-Loose fitting clothing
-Prepare your recovery corner with pillows and blankets
-Plan entertainment for your brain
-Small pillow to hold against your tummy for coughs and sneezes (or pet visits)
-Super clean your house
-Get your hair cut

Unread 09-09-2020, 06:42 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy 9/21: This all happened so suddenly (extremly large fibroids; living alone - how to plan?)

In addition to the above, here are a few items I suggest having on hand to combat post-op constipation: a good pair of walking shoes; peppermint tea; an easy-open water bottle; whole grain cereal like All Bran or oatmeal; magnesium-rich dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds; sugar alcohols from prunes, apple or prune juice, dried apricots, frozen cherries, or sugarless gum; a fibre supplement like Metamucil or Benefibre; frozen blueberries; a Squatty Potty or small footstool to elevate your feet while you're on the throne, which can help by properly aligning your rectum so the poop can pass through more smoothly. Other helpful household items include extension cords for plugging in your electronics without a lot of bending and reaching, and a grabber for picking up small objects off the floor. Wishing you all the best for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery!

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