Monday, January 07, 2013

Finally On the Road to Recovery

A while back, I posted information about my ongoing health challenge with my female problems.  I had one surgery right around Thanksgiving and then had continuing problems with my fibroids that unfortunately weren't totally resolved with the first surgery.  So I took a big leap, at the advice of my physician, and had a total abdominal hysterectomy right after Christmas.  There are other hysterectomy methods that are much less involved and less recovery time, but unfortunately since I have been avoiding having this surgery for over ten years, my surgery had to be done this way.   In short, if you are a woman who is having issues similar to what I have had, they probably AREN'T going to magically go away and getting it all taken care of earlier rather than later is easier for all concerned.     

The surgery itself was harder than I expected and let me tell you, I have a high pain tolerance, but this one knocked me for a loop.  Right after it I woke up, I felt like a truck had run over me, then backed up and did it again!  My stomach area was pooched out like I was 7 months pregnant (they have a term for that called "swelly belly").  Right away, that first night, even while my IV was still in, the nurses had me sit up in a chair.  Then over the next few days, after the IV was removed, they urged me to drink water incessantly, walk down the hall with my husband holding onto my arm and do breathing exercises so my lungs would stay clear.  Being in the hospital, far from being restful was hard work.  But they are right in that approach, because it really does help you heal.    

I was in the hospital for 2 nights and then sent home to let my husband and mother take over.  They did a great job.   As we left, we were told that I shouldn't lift, reach, stretch or bend and should concentrate on drinking lots of water and resting.   The hardest thing was the ongoing soreness, pain and trouble getting up and down out of one position into another.  Also coughing.  Oh my gosh, that hurt like the dickens the first week. 

Now as I approach Week 2 of recovery, I can tell you I am feeling like a new person.  Yes, some pain and soreness remains as the incision site continues to heal, and I can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the first 6 weeks, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see how each day, I feel a bit better, and I'm free of all the medical things that were bothering me before.  Also, now that my female parts are no longer in danger of posing a future cancer threat, I can take hormones.  Yay!  I have a patch that has made me mentally and physically feel so much better.  Even the "swelly belly" is going down a BIT.  Now that is something I've been told won't totally resolve for a while, maybe even a few months, but once I get cleared to do real exercise again, I'm going to work on getting my mid-section in shape too. 

Ah!  I am healing and am determined to make 2013 a better year. 


Woofgangpug said...

Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery, Chelle. Keep feeling better.

Jules said...

Love and healing being sent your way! I miss you!

HattieMae said...

I'm praying for you to recover well my friend ! I had this done when I was 45 years old. I agree with you on having it done when you begin having problems. I had problems for years prior to the decision to just be done with all the craziness of this whole thing! I have to say that when I was given a choice of going half way or going al the way with a flu hysterectomy, I really didnt see the reason to go half way. I was still raising children and desperately wanted to feel better. I have never regreted that decision! I feel great at almost 55 years old. I also used a hormone patch. At the 5 year mark my doctor and i decided that I could try without the hormone patch and see how I felt. I feel great, no side effects at all. No hot flashes and I feel strong and rested. Hang in there and do what you DR. tells you to do. Yes it will take at least 6 weeks to recover and maybe longer. I went back to work at 8 weeks but was told it takes at least 6 months to recover from abdominal surgery because of all the muscles involved. Knit and watch some good movies, not funny ones it will hurt to laugh.... I know because I watched "my big fat greek wedding" after my surgery and it really hurt to laugh... Love Tammie