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.
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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.
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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.

My Story/My Hysterectomy Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 100. Life Can be a Challenge

365 Day Blog Post Challenge

Day 100

 

Instead of doing a random blog topic, I thought I would spend my 100th blog talking about my current situation.

Today is day 10 of my recovery from my complete hysterectomy and bilateral salpinectomy and oopherectomy.  I honestly thought I would be further improved by now.

Although my pain level is at a moderate 3/10, I am having a really tough time with horrible pressure issues. I don’t know how else to describe it other then it feels like my internal parts are trying to fall out of my body. I was told it was because I was overdoing things and putting pressure on the internal stitches but today I did nothing but spend the whole day in bed resting. Yet I still have this horrible feeling. I suppose I will call the doctor tomorrow for advise.

Other areas of difficulty are the onset of surgical menopause. I am having all of the typical menopause symptoms all at once and strong.  Night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia and escalated anxiety.  I am struggling with the options of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). For every good I also find a bad, so it’s hard to make an educated decision.

I think the biggest challenge is that externally after 10 days, I am starting to appear “better”. This makes those around me think that I should be doing more then I currently am. Even though we were told this would be up to a 6-8 week recovery, when you appear better on the outside, people think you are ready to start getting back into a normal routine. This is so not the case and can cause a good deal of tension and stress, not to mention  pressure on me as I feel guilty not doing all the things people are used to me doing.

This has truly been a challenge. I hope things improve over the next week.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 99. Needing a Break

365 day blog post challenge

Day 99

Hysterectomy Recovery…need a break

 

I am going to take a little break tonight on my blog post challenge,

Although I am rounding up on day 8 post surgery, I have been advised by my doctor that I am overdoing it. This is strange because I have been really good about staying in bed a lot, but clearly my internal incisions can’t handle even the little movement I’ve been doing. I started feeling strange pressure issues in the region of where the surgery was. Per the doctor that is because when I overdo things, the swelling increases, which puts pressure on the incisions. The last thing I want is to prolapse, so I am going to take a break tonight on the blogging and just try and relax and lay flat.

 

 

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 94 Feeling Secure

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 94
375. What makes you feel the most secure?

Currently, what brings me the feeling of security is my husband and my parents. This has been a very challenging month. I went from finding out I had complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia to having a complete hysterectomy with a bilateral salpinectomy and oopherectomy. My surgery was Monday and I don’t know how I would have gotten through this month or surgery without them.  These three people have brought me much needed security this week. The surgery day was terrifying and this first few days of recovery has been challenging. My mom has been with me all week sitting here in the house with me while I sleep and heal. Given that I suffer from intense anxiety (it especially surfaces when I feel I have strange things going on within my body), having her here during the day while Don is at work has been a huge form of security. Sometimes (especially when it comes to anxiety) it is tough to be alone. There is a sense of security having someone close to help you if something goes wrong.I

I love these people so much and appreciate all they do (above and beyond) to make me feel that security needed to get through  this difficult time.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 88 Most Important Thing

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 88
114. Isn’t this moment the most important thing?

Sometimes it takes difficult things to happen in life to make us remember how important it is to appreciate the everyday moments that we often take for granted.

I am down to just 3 days until the big surgery date.  On Monday I will be going in for my complete hysterectomy, bilateral salpingectomy and bilateral oophorectomy.  I have so many fears running through me right now.  So many “what-ifs”.  When I am afraid and am experiencing pretty intense anxiety, I will normally be stuck in my own head and become withdrawn and often times a little snippy towards others.  Yet, at the same time I want the love and support of everyone around me.  Even when I’m not always being the nicest.  I know it seems unfair and I agree with that.  So I am currently trying to practice the idea that THIS moment is important… and then the next moment is important… and all moments of life are important.  Maybe this will pull me out of feeling so focused on my self pity and remember that others around me are trying to live their important life moments and my negativity is probably making it hard for them.

Each moment is important.  I don’t know how we go about continually reminder ourselves of this, but of all things, this is clearly something worth trying for.

This is me… trying to live my best moments even through the face of fear.
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My Hysterectomy Story: Yes I am Scared

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It has now been a few weeks since I received the results of my biopsy.  So much has happened in such a short amount of time.  When I received the call that my biopsy results came back showing signs of abnormal cell (precancerous) I was temporarily in shock.  As the doctor proceeded to explain to me that I had Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia and that it would require a hysterectomy, I remained calm and thanked her for the information.  The very second I hung up and made eye contact with Don, I instantly broke down into tears.  The poor guy had not idea what was going on because I wasn’t able to catch my breath enough through the tears to tell him what the doctor had said.  I can only imagine the panic he must have been feeling while he waited for me to calm down enough to form complete sentences and tell him what was happening.

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Biopsy Time

I was instantly put in touch with the oncology department and an appointment was set to meet with the doctor who would perform the surgery.  The appointment was just a few days after I received the initial call, but it was enough time to do what you should NEVER do when you find out you have any type of illness or that you need a specific surgery.  I did the dreaded internet research.  I watched at least 20 YouTube videos about women that had gone through the surgery and their recovery.  It was all a little disconcerting.  Not that I expected to just have the surgery and be back to my normal self the next week, but watching these videos made me realize that this was a pretty major deal that I was about to go through.  This triggered a hundred different questions in my mind, so I decided to write them all down as they came up so that I could ask the doctor during my appointment.

The appointment with the doctor went well and she was more than happy to answer all of my questions and Don’s.  We discovered that I would have to have a complete hysterectomy (or what they call “radical”).  Which means that they plan on taking out everything.  Cervix, Uterus, Fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries.  This brought up a whole new world of questions, because when you have your ovaries removed, your body goes into what they call surgical menopause.  This can be apparently an aggressive menopause because your body does not have the time needed that it naturally has to go through all the premenopausal stages.  I will technically be wheeled into surgery with ovaries and hormones and be wheeled out of surgery without them.  The body will go into shock looking for it’s estragon and that could trigger some intense changes both physically and emotionally.  I’ve heard menopause can exaggerate preexisting conditions like anxiety.  I really worry about this, because my anxiety is already so extreme that if it were to intensify at the same time I am trying to physically recover from the surgery, this could be extremely challenging.  So now we are faced with trying to figure out if I should do hormone replacement theory.  At least temporarily while my body adjusts to the instant changes.

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OK… It is what it is.

The surgery has been set for April 1st.  I was doing fairly okay the first week.  I even had people at work mention to me that they were surprised at my calmness, because if it were them, they would be super stressed out.  I managed to hid my stress behind the fact that I now only had 3 weeks to get my workload in order before I would have to leave for 4-6 weeks.  I am a one person department, so it’s not like I have someone that I can just hand my work over to and walk out the door.  Someone is going to need to be trained (crash course training).  I also have to make sure that I take care of all the pending issues and the ongoing projects that I am involved with.  To be honest, I didn’t really have time to be stressed about the actual diagnosis or surgery.  I was to busy being stressed about work.

Now that we are only two weeks away from surgery, I am starting to not do so well.  Is to much information a bad thing?  I almost feel like it is, at least for me.  As much as I tell myself to stop looking up things or watching these crazy videos, I just am compelled to do it.  I have now frightened myself about the surgery, the recover and what life is going to hold over the next few months.  I’ve had several surgeries before and this is the fist time that I am actually afraid.  Maybe it’s because my last two surgeries I was in such pain that all I wanted them to do was go in and remove the problem (gallbladder and appendix).  This is different though.  Other then some minor symptoms, I feel fine.  I feel no pain or discomfort.  I don’t have fibroids or endometriosis, which I know is the cause for many people to have a hysterectomy. Other then those pesky abnormal precancerous cells, I’m actually pretty normal.   Which maybe makes the logical side of the brain think, “why are you doing this when you feel fine?”.  I understand that if left untreated this will turn into cancer.  Which of course I don’t want.  So I know the surgery is necessary.  I’m just struggling with the fears of everything that is about to transpire.  The fear of the unknown is a terrible thing to try and conquer.  I am so grateful that I have Don and my wonderful parents to help me through this, but it is not helping the fear and anxiety.  I am just downright scared.

I plan to documents my journey in hopes of helping myself (writing my emotions is very therapeutic for me), so here is to the start of this scary journey.  Thank you for all of those that will stick through this with me and provide words of encouragement.  I have a strange feeling I am going to need an excessive amount of support throughout this process.