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Terabith

Recovering from hysterectomy

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It’s been ten days since my surgery.  I’m not really sure how I am doing.  On the one hand, I am doing really really well.  My foot long vertical incision is healing well.  I can get up and down fine.  I’m doing todteps ten or eleven times, just as part of life.  I can walk around outside.  I can go to the grocery store, church, out to eat at the mall.  I think I probably could drive, although I haven’t.  I’m trying to live my life fairly normally.  I had a 20 lb weight loss from the cyst.  The doctor was amazed at my abdominal strength but said she thought I was overdoing.  I can do stuff.  But I get so tired.  And moving around makes my abdomen hurt.  And when I get tired, my emotions go all over the place.   I feel sad over the loss of my uterus, the first home for my children.  I feel sad that there’s no way I can have another baby.  It was healthy, but policy meant she took everything except one ovary.  Several doctors agreed that that was the thing to do.  But they were healthy.  We didn’t know that.  But I kept saying, “If there’s no cancer, can’t we just take the cyst and anything involved and leave what’s healthy?”  But...everyone agreed.  And I’m grateful it’s not cancer and they left me one ovary.  But I feel sad.  I don’t think I’m depressed.  I’m just tired.  I can’t concentrate.  It’s hard to watch tv or read.  I don’t know.  Emotionally I feel better if I spend a lot of the day napping and watching tv.  I don’t hurt as much.  I try to push through the pain.  

It just kinda sucks. 

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Recovering took me a long time, longer than expected.  I could do things, but I’d end up exhausted.  And there was an emotional toll.  

I don’t remember it well now, but my doc broke it down into percentages:  at two weeks you will be X % recovered, etc. I think 100 % really took like 6 mos, for me.

Take it easy,  don’t overdo.

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I’m ten days out.  It feels like I should be able to handle grocery shopping, going out to dinner, short outings and interact with family at home/ prepare food/ clean up.  But I’m exhausted after every thing and I hurt.  I want to do things and be normal, but once or twice and all I want to do is lay down.  The pain isn’t bad but it is constant, and it gets markedly worse with movement.  

But the scary thing is I am having trouble reading and watching tv.  Fluffy tv shows make me tired.  How is that possible?

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I have no facts to back it up (other than having weathered some traumas over time), but I believe when your body or your mind has gone through trauma, there's a huge need for rest. Laying down in a quiet and darkened room, or actually sleeping, but true, actual rest. Fluffy tv shows and books still require mental focus, so they're still work. It's okay to need more sleep. It's okay to need more quiet. It's okay to be emotional. It's okay to not be able to do the things you think you should be able to do. Not yet. It will come. It was a traumatic thing, and it will take time to heal. Are you eating well? Getting enough water? Do you sleep well when you do sleep?

There's no standardized timeline of healing. Please take the time necessary *for you* to be healthy and strong again. If your doc is saying you're overdoing, you're probably overdoing, no matter how you think you should be by now. We can be our own worst enemies, can't we? There is no "should be" to healing. There's honoring your health by respecting what your body needs. 

I don't know your situation, but is there support so you can get the rest you need? Are there ways you can organize your time/tasks so you're getting large blocks of time to just be still and quiet?

This will get better. Hugs, Terabith. I'm praying for you, as I'm sure many here are also doing.

 

Edited by ThatBookwormMom
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The first two-three  weeks after abdominal surgery is the hardest.  Your mind wants to stuff yet your body is tired, exhaust and recovering.  It is normal to fall asleep watching tv or reading when you know you had a good sleep.  It is your body making you recover. In a week or two, you will start to be able to function better.  Make sure you are drinking enough water to help flush the anesthesia out and to help you recover.  

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Oh my goodness!  You should be resting and not feeling bad about that at all!  When I had my total hysterectomy, it took at least 6 weeks to be somewhat normal and several months to be fully functional. Give yourself time to rest and heal and let your body adjust to the change I hormone levels. 

Are you familiar with the hystersisters website? You can plug in your surgery date and type of hysterectomy and it will pull up a timeline of what to expect week to week, with real life stories of other women who have had the same type of surgery as you. It was so helpful to me as I recovered, knowing that what I was experiencing was normal. 

https://www.hystersisters.com/

I'm sorry for your sadness. I struggled with that too. Give yourself time to grieve and try not to feel bad about that either. 

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4 hours ago, Terabith said:

 

It’s been ten days since my surgery.  I’m not really sure how I am doing.  On the one hand, I am doing really really well.  My foot long vertical incision is healing well.  I can get up and down fine.  I’m doing todteps ten or eleven times, just as part of life.  I can walk around outside.  I can go to the grocery store, church, out to eat at the mall.  I think I probably could drive, although I haven’t.  I’m trying to live my life fairly normally.  I had a 20 lb weight loss from the cyst.  The doctor was amazed at my abdominal strength but said she thought I was overdoing.  I can do stuff.  But I get so tired.  And moving around makes my abdomen hurt.  And when I get tired, my emotions go all over the place.    I feel sad over the loss of my uterus, the first home for my children .  I feel sad that there’s no way I can have another baby.  It was healthy, but policy meant she took everything except one ovary.  Several doctors agreed that that was the thing to do.  But they were healthy.  We didn’t know that.  But I kept saying, “If there’s no cancer, can’t we just take the cyst and anything involved and leave what’s healthy?”  But...everyone agreed.  And I’m grateful it’s not cancer and they left me one ovary.  But I feel sad.  I don’t think I’m depressed.  I’m just tired.  I can’t concentrate.  It’s hard to watch tv or read.  I don’t know.  Emotionally I feel better if I spend a lot of the day napping and watching tv.  I don’t hurt as much.  I try to push through the pain.  

It just kinda sucks. 

Physically, you are doing *amazing*. When I got my appendix out laparoscopically, I forced myself to stay home in PJs for a week since I'm the type who tends to overdo things and then stay sick for a long time. Let yourself rest. You won't regret it three months from now if you take it easy now. (I can tell you a story if you PM me and care to hear how I became a believer in taking it easy...)

You can mourn. Let yourself. ((Hugs)) Just because the loss isn't as bad as it could have been doesn't mean it isn't a loss. 

Emily

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Watch tv and nap.  Give your body time to heal...sure, the outer incision may appear fine, but your insides need to heal, too.  I have been through 9 abdominal surgeries and it takes time to recover.  Walking around is great, and will help you recover, but after any jaunt, be it around the block or to church etc factor in a solid hour or more of REST.   Your body has been through major surgery and needs to rest.  

Don't, at this point, push through any physical pain.  You don't want to get adhesions.  Been there, done that.  And, yes, it sucks. But you won't feel this tired or sad forever.  Give yourself time to recover physically and emotionally.  

You may, if you look, find a FB group for women recovering from similar surgery.  I am in one for folks who have had/are having bowel surgery, and sometimes it helps to swap stories, get advise, from folks going through the same thing.  

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25 minutes ago, JFSinIL2.0 said:

Watch tv and nap.  Give your body time to heal...sure, the outer incision may appear fine, but your insides need to heal, too.  I have been through 9 abdominal surgeries and it takes time to recover.  Walking around is great, and will help you recover, but after any jaunt, be it around the block or to church etc factor in a solid hour or more of REST.   Your body has been through major surgery and needs to rest.  

Don't, at this point, push through any physical pain.  You don't want to get adhesions.  Been there, done that.  And, yes, it sucks. But you won't feel this tired or sad forever.  Give yourself time to recover physically and emotionally.  

You may, if you look, find a FB group for women recovering from similar surgery.  I am in one for folks who have had/are having bowel surgery, and sometimes it helps to swap stories, get advise, from folks going through the same thing.  

How do you not push through physical pain?  Unless I have taken a painkiller and am laying completely still, there is pain.  Getting up and getting a drink or walking to the bathroom, there’s definitely pain.  I have a bit MORE pain going to the store.  But it’s not really all that much more.  Exhaustion definitely is a bigger limiting factor than pain.  

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4 hours ago, Terabith said:

I’m ten days out.  It feels like I should be able to handle grocery shopping, going out to dinner, short outings and interact with family at home/ prepare food/ clean up.  But I’m exhausted after every thing and I hurt.  I want to do things and be normal, but once or twice and all I want to do is lay down.  The pain isn’t bad but it is constant, and it gets markedly worse with movement.  

But the scary thing is I am having trouble reading and watching tv.  Fluffy tv shows make me tired.  How is that possible?

 

Of course it’s frustrating to not be able to get back to regular activities. It took me over a month to feel right again, and my procedure was laparoscopic. Doc wasn’t sure if it could actually be completed that way due to scar tissue, and told me to clear my schedule for recovery in case she had to end up making an incision. That would have been a recommended 6 to 8 weeks. 

I think the level of activity you are describing with a huge incision is remarkable at ten days post surgery! Really do be careful to not over do it. That cyst took longer than 10 days to grow twenty pounds; give your body time now to adjust to the major physiological change of having it and your reproductive organs suddenly removed. 

And your hormones are in flux. It takes time to stabilize. It’s good you are self aware about recognizing depression, let your doc know if you feel you’re landing there. But yeah, the exhaustion and emotions take much longer than ten days to wear off. My kids brought me boxes of jigsaw puzzles, a stack or novels and a list of good binge watching. Think of similar distractive quiet activities to keep your mind occupied as your body heals. 

   

Edited by Seasider too

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5 hours ago, Terabith said:

I’m ten days out.  It feels like I should be able to handle grocery shopping, going out to dinner, short outings and interact with family at home/ prepare food/ clean up.  But I’m exhausted after every thing and I hurt.  I want to do things and be normal, but once or twice and all I want to do is lay down.  The pain isn’t bad but it is constant, and it gets markedly worse with movement.  

 But the scary thing is I am having trouble reading and watching tv.  Fluffy tv shows make me tired.  How is that possible?

Considering people are down and out for 7-10 days with the flu, and then on the mend for a while after that, I don't think it's reasonable to expect to be able to do so much 10 days after a hysterectomy. I feel exhausted for 3 days with a plain old COLD, and then semi-sick for a few days after that. With a cold, I have trouble watching fluffy TV, and fall asleep on the couch at the drop of a hat. And that's pretty normal! I can't even imagine having major surgery. I think you're doing great 🙂 

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Yeah, but when you have the flu, you feel bad.  I don’t feel sick. It’s just so hard to explain.  

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You seem to keep resisting everyone’s suggestion that you need to rest and allow your body to heal. You had major surgery!

If you keep pushing yourself too hard, you will end up making your recovery take a lot longer than if you just listen to your body and get the rest you need.

I hope you feel better soon, but please stop overdoing it and setting yourself back!

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4 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I’m trying to take it easier.  I really am!!!

 

I know it’s hard!  🙂

It can be boring just sitting around doing nothing, and it can also be aggravating when other people are doing things for you, but you feel frustrated because you know you could be doing it better and faster. When you’re used to being the one who takes care of everyone else, it’s hard to sit back and rest.

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I think you need to work on gaining back that 20 pounds. Molasses cookies, gingersnaps, something like that. It would be iron for your blood loss (to help with the fatigue) and restore some of that weight loss to keep you all filled up and happy inside. My midwife had me eat molasses cookies around the birth, so they must be good for you. And if you need to get up, there you go, something productive to do, making molasses cookies. 

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Do you have any hobbies? Handsewing/knitting/crocheting?

Genealogy?

Planning gardens?

Planning homeschooling?

Learning material for future homeschooling (like chemistry or physics)?

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We’ve been at my mother in law’s because I can’t drive and my oldest is doing driver’s ed at the school a block away for these two weeks.  My mother in law is awesome, but she has a very strong personality and keeps telling me I am being lazy.  She just went out for dinner with my father in law and informed me that when she gets back, she wants me to have the dishes in the dishwasher and have changed out the laundry and folded the load in the dryer.  I also have to report to her how much protein and what fruit and what vegetable my oldest has eaten.  (My oldest has been having some depression and MIL is obsessed with her nutrition and more or less force feeds her.  She’s 15 1/2.)  I can’t really bend over to load the bottom part of the dishwasher or get clothes in/ out of the washer and dryer.  My husband has not been staying here and is going to aikido tonight, so he’s not here to run interference. It’s just frustrating and depressing.  I can get the kids to do it, but she’s going to yell at me for my laziness.  

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Oh dear. I think that staying with MIL may be making things worse for you, instead of better. Can you brainstorm other options? Could you go back to your house and just have the in-laws come and pick up your daughter and take her to and from driver's ed each day? You can provide the excuse that you just sleep better in your own bed.

It's just so unacceptable for her to call you lazy and give you chores and chide you for not doing them right. Don't believe her. Can you ask her not to call you lazy? If not, really, I think you should leave. I'm sorry she is being critical when she should be offering comfort.

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The plan is to leave tomorrow anyway.  Driver’s ed will be done and honestly I think I can drive safely.  Just have to get through one more day.

It is frustrating because she likes my youngest sooo much more than my oldest, who she’s slightly mean to but not really mean enough to call her out on it.  

Edited by Terabith
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Well... I think it was very generous and nice of you to describe her as "awesome" in your previous post. It sounds like you really try to give her grace.

I'm glad that you only have one more day there. When you get home, feel free to have the rest of your family do all of the chores for awhile without feeling like you are lazy. I agree with the others that you should not overdo it. Many people try to do to much, too soon, after surgery and then regret it. If your body and brain need lots of sleep, sleep as much as you can, and don't feel guilty about it. I'm sorry that you feel sad; I imagine that is very common after hysterectomy.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

We’ve been at my mother in law’s because I can’t drive

You need to get an uber and get out of there. She's kinda sick in the head and driving you crazy right when you should be resting. What kind of human being does that???

Her social skills genes are totally messed up. Just leave. You can order in pizza. You don't need her.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

The plan is to leave tomorrow anyway.

good

1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Driver’s ed will be done and honestly I think I can drive safely.

Or let the driver's ed dc drive? LOL Definitely leave.

1 hour ago, Terabith said:

she likes my youngest sooo much more than my oldest, who she’s slightly mean to but not really mean enough to call her out on it.  

Well it's not like your dc will fail to notice that. Her payback will come later when they decide if they want anything to do with her. Meanwhile, it's actually kinda nice that she likes at least one of your dc. Is that dc kinda hard to like? I mean, it's not all bad.

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My MIL is definitely peculiar.  She is VERY nice and friendly and helpful, but it’s 100% on her own terms, and she really doesn’t understand that other people see the world differently.  It’s sometimes hard to tell if she just relates better to my sorta kinda ASD kid because they’re more alike or if Cat’s ASD traits are primarily the result of being socialized so extensively by Grandma.  

Anna is usually incredibly likable and easy to love.  She’s gotten a little harder to deal with in the past year.  

I can deal with her.  We lived here a year when we first moved to Roanoke.  The kids were 2 and 3.  As an example of her thought process, my husband had to come out and start work while I stayed in Texas to finish packing.  My in laws flew out to help.  My MIL’s plan, she revealed when she got to San Antonio, was to stay a week for the kids to get to know her and then TAKE MY TODDLERS BACK WITH HER.  She assumed I would stay alone until the house sold.  My kids were 2 and 3, did not know them at all, and Cat was still nursing (around the clock), co sleeping (and waking up every 2 hours), and already incredibly anxious.  She was flabbergasted when I informed her that would not be happening.  

People just don’t argue with her.  Maybe that was why my no way in hell surprised her so much.  She’s a force of nature.  One who invites strangers to come over for pie.  But she will tell them where to sit, when to wash their hands, and insist they help with the dishes.  Done her way.  

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I’m not sure ASD is the right diagnosis.  She tells about the time she was five years old and hatched a plan to murder her entire (admittedly awful) family by putting strychnine on the postage stamps at Christmas.  

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21 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I’m not sure ASD is the right diagnosis.  She tells about the time she was five years old and hatched a plan to murder her entire (admittedly awful) family by putting strychnine on the postage stamps at Christmas.  

Not to be too literal, but there's quite a bit of research about psychopaths and violence and it's sort of this convergence of ASD + gifted IQ + language problems. So yes, that actually sounds very much like gifted ASD, unfortunately.

Edited by PeterPan

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She’s a good person.  But she had to make a very conscious decision to be one.  Morality was not natural for her.  

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Just now, Terabith said:

Morality was not natural for her.  

Morality or perspective-taking? She has zero sense of how you feel right now. 

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31 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Make sure you eat all her ice cream before you leave.

She has no ice cream.  Healthy food only.  She’s on a health kick.  Grandpa takes us out for ice cream pretty often though.  

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Then leave a garter snake in a drawer. Nothing too harmful, just a little ornery. :biggrin:

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Nah. They do a lot to help us. She’s ornery, but they really do help us a lot.  And she’s soooo much easier to deal with than my mom.  

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7 hours ago, Terabith said:

We’ve been at my mother in law’s because I can’t drive and my oldest is doing driver’s ed at the school a block away for these two weeks.  My mother in law is awesome, but she has a very strong personality and keeps telling me I am being lazy.  She just went out for dinner with my father in law and informed me that when she gets back, she wants me to have the dishes in the dishwasher and have changed out the laundry and folded the load in the dryer.  I also have to report to her how much protein and what fruit and what vegetable my oldest has eaten.  (My oldest has been having some depression and MIL is obsessed with her nutrition and more or less force feeds her.  She’s 15 1/2.)  I can’t really bend over to load the bottom part of the dishwasher or get clothes in/ out of the washer and dryer.  My husband has not been staying here and is going to aikido tonight, so he’s not here to run interference. It’s just frustrating and depressing.  I can get the kids to do it, but she’s going to yell at me for my laziness.  

You can certainly ask your dds to do the chores, but YOU MUST NOT DO THEM!!!!

I've had 3 C sections (so much smaller incision and horizontal) and I winced at the thought of folding laundry. That would be so painful. And if you reopen the incision, you will be out of commission for much, much longer.

Your MIL sounds like someone who drains your energy but you only have one more day. Don't let her bully you into reinjuring yourself or you might not be able to escape tomorrow.

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I had the kids put the laundry on the table. Once it was at waist height, I helped fold it.  That wasn’t going to hurt my incision, but bending and reaching would.  I knew I couldn’t get clothes out of either the washer or the dryer.  I can load the top shelf of the dishwasher but not the bottom one.  I’ve more or less figured out what I can and can’t do.  Picking stuff off the floor is a bad idea.  Wiping kitchen counters is fine.  I just can’t stand for more than a few minutes.  

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Okay, I think that was too much.  

Went out for lunch, then took oldest to counselor and then to DMV to get permit.  I was sitting down almost the whole time but I’m exhausted and really really sore in a way I haven’t been before.  

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So when are you leaving??? 

Most people treat their DOGS better than your MIL is treating you. She's so insanely oblivious. I hope you're outta there soon and can actually get some rest. Next time, don't stay with her. Apparently oblivious people are not the best nurses.

Has anyone sent you brownies yet? Or bbq chicken? If you were here I'd make you some. Sometimes we need to be kind to ourselves when the world around us forgets to be.

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Leaving after dinner.  My husband will come here after work and help us pack up all our crap.  

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I am so glad you are home! Now, please stay in bed for a few days! The comments others are making about adhesions and layers of healing are spot on!! Your body hurting and being tired = warning bells that you are doing too much. Light stretching and a bit of puttering around the house (to toilet, to fridge) are about all that you should be up to two weeks post open hysterectomy! In the 1960s, back when insurance companies didn’t dictate health care, you’d just now be getting released from hospital.

 

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7 hours ago, Terabith said:

Okay, I think that was too much.  

Went out for lunch, then took oldest to counselor and then to DMV to get permit.  I was sitting down almost the whole time but I’m exhausted and really really sore in a way I haven’t been before.  

 

You were driving? That takes a lot more core engagement than people realize. Of course you are exhausted. 

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2 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

You were driving? That takes a lot more core engagement than people realize. Of course you are exhausted. 

No, I wasn't driving.  Grandpa drove.  I think I probably could drive now, but not for hours.  

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((((Terebith)))) Honey girl, it takes much longer than you imagine it will to heal, mentally as well as physically. You must, must, must rest.

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I know I probably keep doing too much.  But mostly I feel really good!!!   It’s not like when you’re sick and you feel lousy.  I feel good and I have energy and I’m bored.  And I hate feeling useless and like I’m not contributing to family life.  It makes it hard to stay quiet.  And afterwards when I feel tired and sore, it’s not THAT tired or bad pain.  It’s take some ibuprofen and sit for a bit.  But, I am still a little bit tired and a little bit sore.  I will take it easier today.  I see my surgeon on Monday and will see what she says too.  

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You could write letters to soldiers or plan out all your christmas presents. :biggrin:

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I'm looking around my house, and I'm like, "I need to SWEEP!"  And really, what problem would sweeping cause?  If you knew what a bad housekeeper I am, you would realize how uncharacteristic my sudden compulsion for sweeping is.  I guess I'm just oppositional.

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Or ADHD? It sounds like you just need to MOVE or get some sensory input. Loud music, something you can squeeze hard with your hands, something with a lot of visual like a puzzle... 

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