My Hysterectomy Story: Day 12 postop

Today is day 12 post hysterectomy surgery.  I’m very disappointed in myself that I was not able to document my progress everyday as I had hoped.  I’ve been struggling with both physical and emotional issues since the surgery, not to mention pretty severe anxiety.

Going back to the beginning, I do have to share that prior to surgery I struggled immensely with major anxiety issues.  I tried desperately to emerge myself in my work so that I would have a distraction.  Which was good, because I had to figure out how to I was going to leave my job for  weeks while already being severely behind. I was able to get a large amount of work done (working 12+ hours a day a weekends) during the month leading up to my surgery.  I was also able to get someone trained to take over my workload while I would be out.  This was probably the hardest part for me because I am one of those people that prefers to do things myself (it is very hard for me to delegate due to my over control issues).

After getting work settled, I had to turn to something so I spent the whole day pre-surgery cooking like a crazy person.  I filled the frig with all sorts of premade food for us to eat in the evening (my husband does NOT cook), as well as prepacked my husbands lunch for the week ahead.  He is so used to me making him breakfast and packing his lunch, I felt like I needed to help out a little at least for the first week to make sure he was prepared.  I also knew he was going to be overwhelmed doing everything around the house that I normally would do (cat care, taking care of me, food, cleaning, laundry, errands), so I wanted to try and make it as easy on him as possible.  The poor guy was just as much of a wreck the week prior to surgery as I was.  Neither of us slept well and we were both on edge.  Even to the point of arguing with each other over the stupidest of things.

The day of the surgery arrived and I was actually a little less freaked out as I was the prior days.  I thought for sure I was going to need them to hook me straight to an IV with some sort of anxiety  medication as soon as I arrived.  They didn’t give me anything until I was in the operating room (which seems a little strange to me.. by then it was only minutes away from me being out with the anesthesia, so odd that they gave me anxiety medication at that point.  Anyway.. after all the pre-surgery prep (so grateful to have my husband, mom and dad there with me), I was rolled into the operating room just before noon.  I don’t remember much about that part other then moving from the pre-op bed to the operating table.  After I helped maneuver myself over, they gave me the anxiety medication and the rest is history.  I don’t remember anything else until waking up in recover.

I was fortunate that I had no affects of anesthesia in terms of nausea.  I was of course tired and I remember dozing on and off for about an hour.  I was then wheeled into the actual recovery area where they gave me some jello and apple juice.  By this time it had been about 21 hours since I had eaten or drank anything, so I was ready for that apple juice.

I felt pretty good in terms of pain directly after surgery (and even through the first 48 hours).  I was sore, but not in terrible pain.

I was sent home around 6:00pm and was home settled in bed by 7:30pm.

I started taking the pain killers and they unfortunately gave me horrible nightmares and insomnia.  I didn’t realize it was the pain killers until a few days later.  So for the first 3 days at home, I hardly slept, was uncomfortable in bed and when I did fall asleep, I would have such bad nightmares, my husband would have to wake me up because I would be screaming or crying in my sleep.

My wonderful mom came and took care of me the first full week of recovery while my husband went back to work.  Although I just laid in bed, she was still here to get me food and drink when I needed and help me in and out of bed.  She was so wonderful.  I don’t understand how people do this on their own without help.  I don’t know how it is even physically possible.

Recover has been very typical.  I’ve been in bed now for 12 days.  Just getting up to use the restroom, shower and move to the couch for a few minutes each night to eat.  Sleeping is still tough (even without the pain killers) because I am a side sleeper and I just cannot get comfortable on my side right now.  I’ve read that many people are able to instantly start side sleeping.  However, when I try, I get these stabbing pains so I have to roll to my back.  Sleeping on my back has now caused me to have some lower back and hip issues which is uncomfortable.

I didn’t take my first shower until Wednesday (surgery was Monday).  I admit that was traumatizing.  I was so scared (not really sure why).  We had a shower seat, so I was able to sit down, but I just could not get my body to stop shivering (cold and fear).  Of course, all the shivering did not do well with my stomach incisions from the laparoscopic surgery part.  Who knows what it was doing to the internal ones.  I think that is part of the stress, is that I cannot see what is going on inside and I have no idea how the recover is progressing.  Don is my super hero as he basically got me through the whole shower, got me dried and dressed and back into bed.  This was an odd experience for me because I’m normally the strong one.  I remember when I had my gallbladder out, I was up doing dishes that same evening.  No fears, no worries (pain yes, but no fear).  With this surgery, I am just afraid.  I’m afraid of basically everything and that fear is causing me more fear because this is just not my normal personality.

The other issue I am having is that I am constantly feeling pressure in the lower region.  Almost as if something is going to open up and my inside parts (that are left) are going to fall out.  It is a horrible feeling.  The doctor says it’s because I’m over doing it, which I don’t understand because I literally am in bed 80% of the day.  We have thus discovered that I have a week pelvic floor so things are just pushing down on my incisions and causing this pressure type pain.   I am TERRIFIED that my vaginal cuff is going to open.  The fear is so intense that it causes me major panic attacks during the day when I’m alone.

I know it’s only been 12 days, but I currently am having issues with believing that this will every get better.  I feel like life will never be normal again and I will never be able to do any of things that I used to do without living in constant fear of damaging something internally.  This is causing me to fall into a little of a depression which I’m fighting everyday.  I’ve made the mistakes of watching YouTube videos of women who are up and about and driving 2 weeks post surgery.  I can barely even walk around my house without feeling like my guts are going to fall out.  I know you cannot compare and that everyone heals at their own level, but I really do feel like I’m never going to be the same person again.  I’m never going to ride a bike or be able to do anything active.

Could this over dramaticness be associated with the onset of surgical menopause since they took my ovaries?  I don’t know…. could be…. I’m experiencing a hot flash as I type this, so I know my body is definitely at war inside (both my body parts and my brain).

I just wish I had a crystal ball that would tell me in a few months, I won’t even remember any of this and I will be my normal self.

On a high note, the biopsy of uteruis, cervix, ovaries and tubes came back NO CANCER!  We caught this all in time before it developed into full blown cancer, so that makes me happy.
I just wish now I could get through recover so that I can try and find a way to deal with whatever this “new” life is going to be.