With the news of having less than a month to prepare myself mentally and physically for this surgery, I went all in with researching what to do, as one does!
As a recently turned 50 year old, who is in fairly decent shape and has worked hard to maintain some semblance of good nutrition and fitness level, I began my quest of working all I could on strength training and did massive research on what it would take to recover from this nuisance of a surgery that was a major disruption to my otherwise simple and independent life.
I did lots of crunches and yoga. It’s not that I had not been working out, but I sort of obsessed for that two-and-a-half week time frame. I wanted to have as much muscle, strength, and endurance as possible to aid in the recovery process.
I had also set a goal for 2020 of hiking at least once per month at a different state park or hiking trail. So, I had to get one in for February, so a weekend in Petit Jean was a needed pre-op escape.
I also tried to prep my space and myself in other ways.
- I indulged in a massage
- I got my hair done
- I took off my gel polish and had a nice mani-pedi and went polish free
- I purchased my first oil diffuser and got some calming scents to use during recovery
- I did a top to bottom house cleaning
- I went on a weekend getaway and hike
- I purchased some comfy lounge clothes with loose waistbands
- I downloaded some new podcasts and netflix
- We batched some podcast content for Friends Since 5
- I worked ahead in my job and prepped people as much as possible
- I made sure my health insurance, FMLA, and other work related/HR forms were completed.
- I took some essentials to my moms where I would be staying immediately after surgery.
- Stamps and thank you cards for sending post surgery.
Okay, get ready for a little TMI. Sorry, but I am keeping it real here. One of the most apprehensive parts of the surgery was thinking about the constipation that typically follows. Since that is a recurring issue for me on any given normal day, and since my mom always has those issues after surgery, I was legit concerned. So, again, as one does, I read all I could about ways to avoid it. I knew the strain would be unbearable after surgery, and shoot, I needed to recover quickly to get back to normal! Certainly could not take chances with any pesky setbacks caused from trying to poop for goodness sakes.
Needless to say, I spent a copious amount of time trying to think of everything beforehand to help things go as smoothly as possible, including talking to lots of friends and family about their hysterectomy experiences and what tips they had for me.
My pre-op appointment went well, I got my crazy instructions for the days leading up to surgery, which included bathing in Hibiclens, and drinking an ungodly amount of Gatorade, Miralax, and Dulcolax. It was a super fun afternoon and night. The advice from a co-worker about purchasing some adult potty wipes for something a little more gentle during this phase, was golden! I would definitely add that to the list of essentials for pre-surgery bowel prepping.
I took off the day prior to surgery (see paragraph above for that reason), so finally, February 12, aka surgery day arrived. NO COFFEE that morning. Talk about dreadful! It was a long morning as my doctor had a crazy amount of baby deliveries. They asked me about possibly rescheduling when I got there….um HECK NO! I will wait, thankyouverymuch. It actually didn’t take nearly as long as expected and I was out like a light once the anesthesiologist paid me a visit.
….stay tuned for Part 3.