Thursday, January 12, 2012

31 days later

Some felted monster hats that I made in my required down time over the past month.

Hard to believe but today is one month since my surgery! An update is in order.

In short: Surgery was successful and I am daily feeling better and better.
In long: It wasn't quite the walk in the park the doctor and his team led me to (skeptically) believe I was in for. But, the surgery was successful and every day I feel a whole lot better.

I had a laproscopic hysterectomy and a mid-urethral sling implanted 4 weeks ago. It was out-patient surgery, and I was told that I would be up on my feet within hours, discharged by dinnertime, no "bed time" in the days afterward, back to normal in a week or so. The nurse even went so far as to say one of their patients took a five mile hike the day after surgery! Wow, it's no problem! And I quote (my surgeon): "Laproscopic surgery is difficult for me, not for you."

Yeah, right.

Recovery was just a more challenging and bumpier road than I'd been led to believe. First of all, I knew that I was a cheap date. In other words, a real lightweight when it comes to any substance such as narcotics or alcohol or...anesthesia. I had the HARDEST time really waking up from the surgery. It was at 11:30 am and they had expected me to leave the hospital by evening. Well, at some point it was clear that wasn't happening. I was feeling pretty awful and just was so groggy that I couldn't imagine going to the hotel near the hospital (we live about 2 hours away so I wasn't planning to go all the way home), but Dr. B let me decide.

Luckily, the hospital had room so an empty one with an extra bed was found, allowing Mark to spend the night in the bed right next to me. In the morning I was doing ok, but not GREAT, not ready to take a five mile hike, let alone a five minute hike, and was so glad I'd spent the night there. I spent the rest of the day trying to get my bladder to wake up, to no avail. Otherwise, I felt ok, so they discharged me WITH a catheter, we went to the hotel for the night. (Really nice hotel, but I felt too awful to appreciate it!)

The next morning we went back to the doctor's office, the catheter was removed and I was given orders to take a walk, have some lunch, drink a lot of water, walk some more, and when I had the urge come back to the office and pee. Wellllll...I walked over a mile that day. My wonderful husband just padded along beside me holding my hand. =) We went out to lunch (I wish I'd had nicer sweatpants ), to a book store, walked some more, to coffee, walked some more. Long took hours, but eventually my bladder woke up. Sheesh!

I went home that night.

Since then I have steadily improved. I used mostly Advil and arnica montana for pain. Oh, and ice packs! The ice pack is your friend! Only used the Big Guns the first and second day. Makes me waaay too loopy. My pain rarely got beyond a 3 or 4 and that was only in the hospital. Since coming home I get sore on the incisions (still a bit these days, though less all the time). And as things moved around and adjusted inside, that caused some discomfort, but not much.

I found that healing from the mid-urethral sling was more uncomfortable than the hysterectomy. That felt like a splinter in my crotch for a while and YIKES! that was bad. But, now I can sneeze without the post-3-vaginal-deliveries piddle problem and THAT my friends, was worth every uncomfortable second.

Luckily I had the input of (virtual and actual) acquaintances (experienced in hysterectomies) and friends in the nursing profession. I was diligent about resting every day (naps the first week, laying down the second) and found that my exhaustion was greatest when people would come over to visit. I had no energy to talk or socialize the first week. Got a lot of knitting and crafting done, though! And watched a bunch more TV than I ever do. Friends brought over meals and that helped a bunch.

I was able to drive by a week post-op. (By able, I mean I felt comfortable enough to do so.)

The worst pain I had were leg cramps about a week after surgery. Not sure what they were about, but they were HORRIBLE! And lasted about 48 hours intermittently.

I am still finding that I am really tired in the afternoons after just one outing in the morning, so I'm watching that and trying not to schedule too much.

Otherwise I feel GREAT and look good too. I'm in great spirits as well, much MUCH better than I had anticipated. So overall, I feel like this was the right thing.

At my 2 week post op appointment my doctor said that my experience was UNUSUAL. They view me as a "sensitive" soul. Well, whatever. I yam what I yam. I think that to be feeling as good as I do today, one month post-op, is just fine and I'm glad I took good care of myself these past four weeks!