Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rest and recuperation

I've been back in my home since Friday evening, and it's nice to be in my own space again. What really feels good is taking the first step to reclaiming my independence. I'm not there yet, but the first steps have been made. I've also been able to help someone else by driving my mother-in-law to her doctor for an outpatient procedure. Being of use is important to my sense of identity, and it helped me more than her. It restored a sense of balance to my inner universe.

The type of surgery I had is called a DaVinci robotic assisted bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy hysterectomy. In short, the doctor removed my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes through five small incisions. This type of hysterectomy is supposed to have the shortest healing time, and it has surprised me how quickly I've been able to be up, moving around and at how minimal the pain has actually been. It's really amazing that a person can have nearly all of an entire system removed and feel almost normal. Also, you can barely see three of my incisions. (I thought it was just incredibly convenient that they were placed almost exactly on other pre-existing scars.) The other two do have a small infection for which I'm taking antibiotics.

Part of recuperation has been easy enough to make the rest surprisingly hard. The weakness is just odd. After my first trip out, I walked into a wall and couldn't carry a grocery bag holding a two liter soft drink. My legs haven't been strong enough to push down the footrest of a recliner, and I know it's time to lie down when my iPad (a get well gift from my sister) feels heavy. After my three hour drive home and two hours of minor errands, I felt like I did my first day post-op, walking hunched over to protect the belly and waddling from side to side.

Then today, I woke up feeling great. I swept the house from one end to the other. I cleaned the bathtub, toilet, sink, counters and mirror in one bathroom, dusted the bedroom, dining room and living room, finished unpacking my luggage, did dishes, four loads of laundry, went to the grocery story and filled two garbage bags with old files I no longer need. I look at that and feel amazingly productive now. I'm also feeling twinges and pulls in my abdomen. What kills me is that I felt lazy most of the day because I took big breaks between chores.

This surgery has left me an emotional mess, and that is part of the recuperation process. For once, I can say that my swirling moods are exactly normal. It doesn't make going through them any easier, but the logical part of my brain is reminding me not to blame myself for a perfectly natural chemical reaction. At least it is after I finish a crying spell.

I don't go back to my doctor until September 27th, and this is meant to be a time of healing. I'm hoping it will be on multiple levels.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I remember when I had my laparotomy (I had a bunch of endometriosis and one ovary removed in 1994) I thought I was going to spill my guts all over the place the first time I sneezed post-op. Sounds like you got a better deal (except for the part about instant menopause...)

Feel best soonest! :-]

September 14, 2011 2:04 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Wow, you are doing so much better than I was after my hysterectomy. Mine was a full open cut, about 5 inches. I was worthless for a long time. I am jealous! ;-)

September 15, 2011 7:38 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

So glad your recovery is going well. I had to have the old fashioned kind of surgery and it was the first month my ex had moved out. I had fibroids and had been having anemia for years previously so I was so relieved not to be dealing with that. They do have patches with various doses of estrogen if you find you need something for awhile.

September 18, 2011 12:56 PM  
Blogger sunflowerkat321 said...

I hope that by this time (I'm late getting around) that you are feeling much, MUCH better in every way!

September 18, 2011 2:13 PM  

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