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Old 10-02-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
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Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

Hi all,

So, I went to see the doc because I was feeling terrible yesterday...I was in pain, I felt weak, out of it, weepy and just plain yucky. I still have my ovaries, and apparently they are "in shock" from surgery and will return to normal.

I THOUGHT she told me I could go back to work yesterday (2 weeks post op; I work at home at a desk job...8 hours a day) and she said "WHAT? You starting working? NO!" I guess I must have misunderstood her; she said to do absolutely nothing for the next 3 or 4 days and to not return to work until the week AFTER next, if all is okay. I was stunned...I really thought I'd be able to work since it is a desk job, but she said no way. She said I'd been overdoing it too...I went out to dinner on day 7, went to the park on day 9 (in a wheelchair) and had a small shoe shopping excursion on day 12 (with everyone assisting me). Apparently this was too much...she said I'm feeling bad because I am doing too much and should be resting more, so that is what I am doing.

My incision looks great...no problems there. She took the steri strips off yesterday and I was surprised at how good it looks. It's just the rest of me that doesn't look so great...still very swollen above the incision with a giant tummy pouch...which wasn't flat to begin with, but now it looks ridiculous. She said that will go down; I sure hope so. My abdomen is really hard and uncomfortable and she said that is normal. I told her I was having issues urinating...feelings of fullness and feeling like I wasn't emptying out all the way and she explained that my bladder was severely deformed from literally being smashed by my giant uterus with fibroids...and that everything had to be "rearranged". She said due to all of this, I would experience some urinary symptoms, but that they should go away. She checked for infection in a urine sample and there was none.

So...I'm home in my recliner...doing nothing...feeling a bit reassured, but still a bit nervous about how this is all going to turn out....hoping I can "pee" normally soon and that this giant belly will recede...I'm also worried about work; I will probably have to take the next week without pay since I used up my time and don't have short term disability...but I can't worry about that. I just feel silly not working since I have a desk job, but she says no, so I guess I have to listen to her, right?

Thanks for your replies...I will check back in in a few days to report on progress. I know in the long run I will be thrilled that I had the surgery...right now, I just can't wait until this is all over!

Hugs,
Nan

 
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Re: Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

Nan, I'm so glad you went to your doctor! You had an abdominal hyst, right? I can't even FATHOM working for 8 hours at week 2 . . . Heck . . . I had LAVH and I couldn't sit for more than 2 hours at that point! I returned to work at 8 weeks. I'm a teacher so I had my surgery at the beginning of my vacation. Even then I found it difficult to sit in those hard plastic chairs for even 3 hours at a time. I spent quite a bit of time standing at those meetings the first week!

Take it easy, girl! You only have ONE chance to heal. Even when your incision is looking good, you have lots and lots of healing to do inside. You don't want to cause any adhesions.

My bladder wasn't working right for the first 2 or 3 weeks. At first, it was difficult to tell if I had bladder pressure, or if I was just in pain. It took longer to empty my bladder. Sometimes I had to sit a minute or so before the stream would start. It did get better, though.

Rent some movies, get some good books, take up a hand-craft that you can do while reclining, and just plain ol' lay down! Pamper yourself. Your body needs to rest and recooperate.

Take care! It sounds like you have a very good doctor!

 
Old 10-03-2008, 09:23 AM   #3
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Re: Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

PickleEyes,

I want to thank you so much for responding to my posts; I've been kind of depressed and you help pick me up with your kinds words and sharing your experiences with me.

I feel a bit better today; still resting. Last night I discovered something new though; I told my husband to feel how hard and swollen my belly was a few inches above the incision and he pressed just a little bit on my abdomen and OW!! I didn't realize it was so sore because I had been touching it lightly to feel the swelling. It hurt really bad!! He didn't press hard, just more pressure than I had been putting on it and it and I was surprised at how much it hurt!! It felt like the sorest internal bruise I have ever had in my life! I suppose that's normal, even after over 2 weeks? It really freaked me out; I didn't even know I was so sore there until he touched it. I think I freaked him out too; he felt really bad!

Also, my "internal vagina area" feels really strange; almost like it's swollen in there are something. There is no pain really, just an "awareness" that it's there...some discomfort. It almost feels like there is something stuffed in there...I can't really explain it any better than that. I was worried it was dropping out or something crazy like that, but I haven't had any evidence of that happening. I know they stitch up the vagina after surgery, so maybe there's swelling in there that's normal? I don't know.

I've been a bit upset too...I've received a few comments from coworkers, even my family like "I don't understand why you can't work. You sit all day at work...why can't you recline and work on the laptop?" They don't understand why I have to rest and heal; I don't think they understand the "knitting" that has to go on on the inside or how serious this surgery is. It's making me nervous; I'm afraid my job is going to let me go or get angry...I haven't heard from my corporate manager and I emailed and left her a voice mail a few days ago stating I can't go back to work until at least the week after next...haven't heard a peep. My husband tells me I can't worry about that and he's right...but I wish there was a way to explain to them why I can't sit upright and work...why I need to sleep and recline and rest so I don't relapse. It's frustrating. I already saw what overdoing it can do...and I already feel a bit better from doing nothing at all the past few days...I wish I could make them see that.

Anyway, thanks for your replies...I do appreciate hearing from someone who has been there before. It means a lot.

Thanks,
Nan

 
Old 10-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

Awww, Nan (((((hugs))))) Thanks!

Have you looked into searching for "swelly belly"? You might find some good information if you look.

I think it is common for the abdomen to continue to be very sore for a while, especially with the abdominal cut. Heck, I'm (have to look at a calendar . . . hold on . . . ) about 15 weeks post-op and my lower abdomen felt sore this afternoon, after standing all day long. I also think the feeling of tightness is common. I had that a bit, but I've read it is even more common after having an abdominal incision.

And the awareness of the vagina, that's normal too. A friend of mine calls it a "sausage casing" instead of a vaginal cuff. It cracks me up! Afterall, that's how I envision it! hahahahaha (be careful laughing, Nan!).

Don't take those comments from family or "friends". You have a long incision (what 6 inches or so?) and you've had a major internal organ removed! Every tendon, muscle, and blood vessel that was attached to it was cut off. That causes major adjustment internally. You may look fine. You might even be able to appear "normal" like nothing happened, but you had something major happen! And don't let anyone tell you it is like a caesarean section (birth)! With a C section, yes, there is the same type of cut, but you are having something removed that is suppose to leave the body . . . you aren't having an organ removed! I don't know if those are things people have said to you, but I've read and heard the comments myself.

Fortunately, no one has said anything so cold hearted to me (post surgery). I had MANY people tell me the hyst was no-big-deal. My surgery was less invasive than an abdominal cut, and I healed really well . . . but it was still major surgery.

Ok, I'll calm down now. :grinning:

Take care of yourself. And again, remember, you have ONE chance to heal! (((hugs)))

 
Old 10-04-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

Pickle Eyes,

As always, thanks for the reply. I always look forward to hearing from you! And you did make me laugh...thanks!!

Today...let's see...the "sausage casing" thing feels a bit better...but I woke up with pelvic and lower back pain which seems to have abated somewhat since I've been up. I'm still taking it very easy since I seem to have slid back some from overdoing it earlier in the week. I was super depressed yesterday about the work stuff and the pain, but that is a bit better today.

As for my incision...it's actually about 10-11 inches long! It was supposed to be 4", but apparently my uterus was so large with fibroids and endo, etc., she had to cut me all the way across!! The incision still looks great...I got to wet it in the shower for the first time yesterday and everything went well. No sign of infection there.

Not only is my upper tummy ridiculously swollen and tender, but my sides near my hips are too...it looks really strange and it's tight and uncomfortable...it looks like I have a big "shelf belly!"

How do I know if I've done any damage internally? I worry about that, adhesions, etc. I didn't really do anything crazy even in my "over-doing" it period. The only thing that worries me is the other day I accidentally plopped down really hard on the sofa...it sent pains shooting through me and I constantly worry I've torn some stitches inside...that and the dog kick, etc....but how would I know if I did do any damage?

It's strange...I'm into week 3 and I don't feel as good as I did in even the end of week 1 and 2. I feel more tired and it hurts more to walk. I'm supposed to be able to drive by now, but I can barely walk and don't feel confident to drive at all. Does this mean something is wrong...or is everyone different like that? I'm on Day 18 and there is no way I'm driving yet. Should I be worried? I really felt better last week, which is really strange. I'm neurotic I guess...and I don't want to call my doc...as much as I love her...she is a bit brusque and will most likely say "oh, you're okay, that's normal." But how can she know if she hasn't looked inside? I worry all the time about what's going on inside me and if I've done any damage! By now, according to what I've read...I should be up and about more...doing light activity and driving, etc. and I am in no way in any shape for that.

Well, I'm going to get on with my day and watch endless TV and read!! We're expecting snow out here in Western Colorado tonight, believe it or not!! I moved out here from the East Coast a few years ago and I'm still getting used to that!!

Have a great day and I hope you are feeling well and strong. You're appreciated!

Nan

 
Old 10-04-2008, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Saw doc yesterday; 2 weeks post ab hysterectomy

Snow!!! It was 90+ degrees here yesterday! hahahahaha


Nan, everyone IS different. I've read of women who didn't drive until week 4 or 6. I also think you might have thought you felt so good a few weeks ago because you didn't realize you were overdoing it. Now that you know you are you are paying more attention to what is going on in your body - so it SEEMS like you aren't doing so well.

I think we all worry about internal damage. What can we do a *little* bit of? When is it too much? :shrugs shoulders: I think the best we can do is to do things LESS than what we think we can, and for longer than we think we should. What I mean is, I was grocery shopping all by myself at week 5, including pushing the cart. But I didn't let the cashier/bagger load my bags heavier than the weight of a gallon of milk for about 2.5 months!! The weight lifting restrictions (for me) were only there for 4 or 5 weeks, but I made sure I didn't lift anything heavy for months!

It was really difficult for me to hold back from doing certain things, especially if they didn't seem to hurt. But I kind of got use to it after a while. I figure it is better to UNDERdo it than to over do it. You know! Those who love us will understand, and who cares what strangers think of us. Right?

Take care and go watch a good movie! LOL

Last edited by Pickle Eyes; 10-04-2008 at 12:41 PM. Reason: changed "wash" to "watch" I almost left it because "wash a good movie" was funny! haha

 
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