Eight days ago I had a few procedures done — a hysterectomy, a sacrocolpopexy with permanent mesh material, a midurethral sling with permanent mesh material, bilateral salpingectomy, posterior repairs, and other repairs to “bulges” in my, as Number 6 says, privates.
Basically my bladder, my uterus and my rectum had prolapsed and crushed my vaginal walls. And in some cases, they were actually coming out of me.
This is something that typically happens to women who are a little older, but multiple childbirths and vaginal deliveries did not help my cause.
So I didn’t have to have surgery. I could have lived without it.
I could have stopped running, stopped lifting, stopped any really strenuous exercise for the rest of my life.
I could have, as a gynecologist friend of mine told me, taken 4 tampons, lubed them up with a bunch of K-Y, and rammed them inside of myself, holding everything into place.
But knowing me, I’d lose one of those suckers and end up with a good case of toxic shock syndrome.
Plus, I don’t have the funds to pay for a box of tampoons every 10 days.
I also could have just manually shoved everything back into place when it started to meander.
But that level of quality of life is not what I want for myself.
So I had the surgery eight days ago.
It was done by Dr. Richard Bercik at Yale. He is a urogynecologist, which is the kind of doctor you want performing this surgery, and he is the best around.
I was very much looking forward to having the surgery done, but I was also petrified.
I was scared of just being put under and not waking up.
And I was really scared of the recovery. Because I made the mistake of Googling “recovery from [all those procedures]” and I ended up on a site called Hyster Sisters which was incredibly informative, but also pretty much every person who wrote a question or comment on that site had what can only be described as the most hellish recovery ever.
Women who had the same procedures I had were unable to function not for days or weeks, but in many cases, months.
In addition to stupidly reading recuperation horror stories, I also had the bladder sling surgery 5 years ago when I had my tubes tied.
It worked, but obviously only for a short time, and I had to come with a catheter for five days, and that sucked.
So I was expecting to have a very difficult few weeks ahead of me after this surgery.
I went into the operating room at 7:15 a.m on Monday morning, and I was out of surgery around noon. I woke up around 2, and slept on and off for most of the day and was moved into a room I shared with another woman who was in her sixties who had a hysterectomy also.
I stayed in the hospital for one night, and was home around 1 pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Without a catheter!
I spent most of Tuesday sleeping and making sure I took all the pain medication I was given to “stay ahead of the pain.”
On Wednesday I felt great. A little too great.
I had asked my parents to stay up at the house Tuesday through Friday in case I needed help with anything. My dad killed two birds with one stone and worked on painting Number 5, 6, and 7’s room while he was here.
I was instructed not to drive for 1-2 weeks, and not to lift anything heavier than a milk jug or do any kind of exercise or anything strenuous for six weeks after surgery.
But I was also told I could walk and use the stairs and go about other daily activities as much as I could tolerate.
So on the Wednesday after surgery when I felt really good and my dad was upstairs painting, I went up to check things out, and I decided the kids needed some white Christmas lights in their room, and I hammered about 20 nails into the beams in their room and hung up two twenty five foot strings of lights. Because the lights and the hammer didn’t weigh more than a milk jug, right?
I paid the price for that on Thursday, so I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday sitting and doing nothing.
When I am sitting or lying down, I feel totally fine.
The most pain was going from lying down to the sitting position. Or laughing really hard or coughing. Anything that uses your abs hurt really badly. Especially after the Christmas lights episode.
I was told by other women they couldn’t sit comfortably (for up to six weeks) because their tailbones hurt so badly. I was told by other women they had unbearable pain for months.
I haven’t had any of that.
On Sunday I started to feel better again and I slipped down about five stairs. I stayed on my feet as I slid down, but I instinctively grabbed for the walls to stop myself, and that did a number on my stomach area again.
I spent the rest of Sunday doing nothing, and all day yesterday doing nothing.
I’ve been sitting and sleeping in a recliner so when I have to get up, I don’t have to use my abs too much.
Today I felt almost pain free again. And I know I did too much this morning, again.
Tomorrow there’s a good chance I’m going to be sore.
The hardest part of this surgery has been feeling guilty about taking it easy when I’m not in pain and forgetting how much my insides went through.
(And waiting for my plumbing to get back to normal. I am a little backed up, but that’s to be expected after surgery)
I only took a three Advil this morning. I didn’t need anything more than that.
Tomorrow school is already cancelled because a nor’easter or blizzard or whatever is coming and we are expecting to get over a foot of snow.
But a meal train was set up for me, and I have plenty of food ready to go so I don’t have to do any cooking.
A mom of one of my swimmers has a cleaning company, and she sent a crew over today to clean the house for me, free of charge. My house is cleaner than it’s been in months. Okay. Years. Okay. Probably ever, really.
The kids have been reminded multiple times, that right now it is not the Number 3 show, or the Number 4, 5, 6, or 7 show.
We are still living in an episode of The Mom Show. Mom comes first.
The kids will undoubtedly forget that many times tomorrow during the snow day.
But they are pretty good about snapping back to reality when I look at them and just say, “Two words.”
Then they say Mom Show, try to suppress a smile, and get their sh*t together.
So that’s it.
My recovery is going really well. Much better than I anticipated.
My parents have been amazing, and so have my friends.
No horror stories.
I feel pretty good, I’m not taking any prescription drugs, and I’ll be driving by next Monday or Tuesday.
My house is clean, my fridge is stocked, and I won’t need to cook anything for at least a week.
I just have to continue to remind myself to slow down, rest, and take it easy!
Elisa Rusnock says
Slow down, rest, take it easy! Effort put in now will pay off in the long run….and yes, it takes tremendous effort for you to slow down and put yourself first…I remember. I’m glad to hear it is going well and hope in another week or two you will be feeling better and stronger.
Praying for you,
Good to hear that you are recovering so well!
You have one chance to recover. Lose the guilt and take care of you! I went in for a simple cyst removal and came out with total hysterectomy. Went from 5d off work to 6 weeks. No plans whatsoever. It all gets taken care of. Rest and recover. That’s your job. ❤️
I’m so glad to hear from you! Keep resting – the weeks will fly by and you’ll be able to play with your kids comfortably before you know it!
seema sikka says
Good going Susie…I am very happy to hear that you are recovering faster than anticipated..