Hey all! I’m now exactly 1 week post-op for my Hysterectomy (LAVH). I’m finally feeling somewhat human and I’m going to attempt to stay awake long enough to finish this post. And just so you know, I have attempted to write this post since day 3 post-op. lol
PLEASE NOTE: I am going to be completely honest about my experiences, but I also want to let everyone know that despite anything I have been through, I do not regret having this surgery.
My surgery lasted about 2.5 hours and went very well, procedure-wise. Everything was removed except for my right ovary. My GYN said the ovary did have some cysts on it, but they didn’t appear to be sinister or a source of significant pain. He believes it was my uterus that was causing most of the pain. Also, because I have other health issues that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to go through HRT, leaving the ovary and seeing how things go is the best decision in my case. My GYN said, worst case scenario, I will need a second surgery to go back in and remove the ovary down the road. This will only require a day LAP surgery.
So all other lady parts including my uterus, cervix and any remaining parts left over from previous surgeries are in the dumpster…. Just kidding! No they’re not. They were sent to Pathology first. I should have the results sometime this week or next…. SCRATCH THAT… My doctor just called as I was typing this and my Pathology results are back. Endometriosis and Adenomyosis, as suspected. No cancer. Excellent news. Now my lady parts ARE in the dumpster.
I did have to stay in the hospital an extra day longer than planned for a number of reasons including pain, blood loss, oxygen levels, vomiting and not being able to pee. Getting my pain under control after surgery was difficult. I was in A LOT of pain. I fully expected that I would be in a significant amount of pain, seeing as I had 4 incisions in my abdomen, another incision up the lady canal and had a major lady organ removed. But it was WAY more pain than I expected to be in considering I had a spinal and general anesthesia. The pain and pressure felt like I was about to give birth and at the point that I was ready to push a big humongous baby out FOR HOURS STRAIGHT. I don’t know any better way to describe it. I had a morphine pump for the first 12 hours and was given a combination of Tylenol and Celebrex every few hours and THAT only took the edge off. So yeah, that shocked me a bit and it really sucked. The intense pain lasted for about 36 hours and finally subsided after the 2nd catheter was removed and I was able to control my bladder.
One of the post-op complications I’m dealing with is nausea. I vomited for almost 24 hours straight (started about 15 hours after my surgery), despite being given many doses of Zofran and Gravol. Throwing up when you have 4 incisions in your abdomen and another incision up the lady canal is one of the most painful feelings I have experienced, which probably contributed significantly to my post-op pain. I am now one week post-op and I am still dealing with bouts of nausea. However, it’s being controlled with Gravol and sleep, thankfully.
Another post-op complication I dealing with is a very low Hemoglobin, as a result of blood loss before my surgery (from my very heavy lady flows) and then blood loss during my surgery. “Hemoglobin” is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the organs/tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the organs/tissues back to the lungs. So it is kind of big deal.
My Hemoglobin before surgery was between 108-111 g/l, and I was even taking a significant amount of iron supplements. Right after surgery, my Hemoglobin was 93 g/l and the day I left the hospital, it was 91 g/l. A normal Hemoglobin level is 120-160 g/l. My GYN is hopeful that my blood will recover on its own without intervention, but HOLY… I’ve never been SO TIRED. Which is kinda good, but bad for recovery. You need to rest, but you also need to move/walk around to prevent blood clots and other complications. I do walk around as much as possible, but I’m tellin’ ya! There isn’t enough caffeine in Columbia to cure this kinda tired! But as of today, I am feeling better. I’m fighting the tired, but it’s not as hard as it has been. I feel like I’m improving.
Going to the potty after a Hysterectomy is a challenge. It’s like you have to learn again and REALLY concentrate on what you are doing. But I’m pretty good now. Not laughing is also another challenge in my house. We love to laugh, but laughing HURTS. Getting rid of all the GAS from the LAP surgery is also a challenge. But these challenges are all short-lived.
Although I am still feeling pain from surgery, it’s not the same constant pain I felt for months and months before. So I’m calling it a WIN! For the next few weeks I need to take it easy and try to not get any infections, blood clots, adhesions or bust my lady canal stitches open. Should be easy enough. My Loverman is very understanding and is helping out a lot. So is Lexi, when she’s not with her friends. 😉 I’m also able to work from my laptop in my bed.
Here is an Activity Guide/Timeline for Hysterectomy recovery that was provided in one of my support groups. (I’m not sure who to credit for this information, but I will update when I figure it out. The Hystersisters Website is also an excellent resource.) These restrictions vary depending on a number of factors. The restrictions that vary the most are driving and taking a bath or swimming. However, most GYNs will not clear you for anything strenuous (major cleaning, pushing, pulling, lifting, etc.) before the 6 week mark. It is important for a number of reasons. Complications such as infections, blood clots and adhesions can be dangerous and result in more surgery and tearing stitches can result in hemorrhaging. My GYN will not even examine me until I’ve reached 6 weeks, unless an emergency arises. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have absolutely no regrets about having this surgery. I am a member of a few Hysterectomy support groups on Facebook. I have read good and bad experiences. I was fully aware of any risks and I was mentally prepared for anything to happen. Now I am sharing my own experience. As far as I’m concerned, when your uterus puts you through years of hell, pain and blood loss, a few more weeks of pain and even a few complications is worth it in the end. Even if in the end, I’m not completely pain-free and the main benefit is not having anymore painful periods for the rest of my life, I will just focus on all the wine I can buy now with the money I used to spend on feminine products! Because…….
And now for some SHAMELESS PROMOTION because I know every woman who has a Hysterectomy will want this merchandise!!
Thanks for stopping by! I will post an update again in a few days or if anything exciting happens! =D