Part 3: My Personal Hysterectomy Story
The Day After Surgery
I woke up in my room and really don’t remember a lot. I had a few visitors but slept mostly. The next morning they took out my catheter and got me up. I got extremely queasy, turned green, and puked in one of those pink puke buckets. They changed my pain meds and I ate a little breakfast.
I could not pee which was a problem. I learned that surgery took longer than expected due to the amount of endometriosis that she found; also it was close to my bladder. I really think this part was, or could have been a little more serious than I recall, but thankfully, everything turned out fine as far as I know. Good pain meds are where it’s at in this situation y’all!
Blew into one of those respiratory contraptions to make sure my lung capacity was good. Peed, thankfully, and finally got released later than originally expected.
Reality of the long road to recovery
Then the first of many reminders of what I was facing hit me. I tried to pick up my purse and bag – this was going to be tougher than I expected. Trying to not do the things I routinely do without thinking, was not one bit easy.
My mom had a procedure the same day as my surgery and it had been scheduled for months so I insisted she follow through with it against her wishes. I was very blessed to have my daughter-in-law offer stay with me at the hospital. She is a medical professional and has been through a lot of female issues herself so her offer was invaluable.
Did I mention I am really independent and often have a difficult time accepting help? Yeah, that is a thing, so it was incredibly humbling for me to have so many people do things for me out of love and kindness. I was so thankful for each gesture of gratitude. In fact, I spent some time during the week after sending thank you notes to everyone who visited or helped me in any way…or at least I tried to send them all a note. I most assuredly could have forgotten someone. (see the comment above about the good pain meds!)
After blowing that popsicle stand, she drove me to my mom’s where I was going to stay a day or two (or two weeks) until I could do the things I needed to do on my own. That would prove to take a while…obviously much longer than I expected.
I was somewhat foggy the first night, but I remember trying to get on the potty and peeing on the floor in doing so, then trying to bend over to clean it up. Again, trying to do the things that are routine without thinking about it. I do remember my mom and daughter-in-law helping me and me getting upset at having to have help.
I took off the bandages from the four small incisions and showered as directed on release. They told me to leave off bandages and the steri strips would come off in time.
Hysterectomy Recovery Tips
I did find that having a small pillow to use against my belly was one of the best things I had to help me move around. In fact, I slept with it against me for support as I had to sleep on my side. Getting in and out of bed was another ordeal and had to be strategically orchestrated each time for about the first week.
The next morning I learned what it was going to be like to need help. I was not able to get myself out of bed AT ALL. In fact, it was harder than I imagined it would be. Accepting help became easier for me because my independence and humility was out the window for at least the next few days. Again, I am so blessed with family. My mom was such a great caretaker, especially making sure I was eating, drinking, and not doing anything to hurt myself.
Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking back on all of this. The recovery process was so much more than I ever imagined both physically and mentally. Also, the intensifying hot flashes were no joke! I learned to sleep with a top sheet and partial quilt, one leg out, and a fan. A fan is a must! I have this one and it is perfect!
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