post-op day eight

[disclaimer: i don’t usually post disclaimers, but if body ickiness isn’t something you like reading, then this post isn’t for you! in other words, if you have a weak stomach or don’t like hearing about other people’s surgeries and/or innards, and you read this anyway, then i’m not responsible if you throw up later.]

I’m feeling fantastic. I keep joking that my bowels have moved so much that if they keep on, I’m going to start losing stuff I ate back in the early 80s. Restless today and yesterday. I just want to get outside and walk, but I’ve been good and walked around the insides of our apartment for this first week. I took my first adventure outside either yesterday or the day before and just did the loop around our breezeway twice. Today I’ve walked from our front door, down the sidewalk, and across the parking lot twice.

Also, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my kidneys or my bladder. Once my bladder decided it was time to wake up, it’s hardly slowed down! :snort: While I was still in the hospital there was some minor concern that my bladder was failing to function properly. Dr Midboe-Penn said this happened after general anesthesia sometimes and was most likely because the bladder just hadn’t ‘woken back up’ yet. Worst case scenario, my kidneys had been damaged or failed, which is rare after general anesthesia. I said, “I have a son with kidney failure, and I refuse to go there.” I added more ice and more water to my diet, my catheter was removed, and bingo, my bladder woke up.

Still experiencing some swelly belly, but even with it, my belly is still smaller than it was when I went into the hospital last Monday morning! My incisions started itching Friday – the internal vaginal cuff ones are driving me nuts (probably because I can’t do anything about it! ); the external ones are covered in surgical super glue, which is interesting stuff! I have three incisions on my belly. Two are about an inch long and about mid-belly. The other is somewhere between a quarter and a half inch and is just above my belly-button. That top one is the worst – I have a bit of a belly roll there, and it tends to pull a little when I’m up and about. But I feel better when I’m up moving around and don’t want to just lay in bed doing nothing all the time.

Our cat’s been a great babysitter since I’ve been home. She’s hardly left my side. She takes all my steps and all my sleeps with me. Today after supper, she decided I’d been sitting up too long and herded me back to bed. She’s a great little nurse. Except for when she wakes me up at 7:30am. I don’t know why or when she started doing that, but she has. It’s wearing me out. It’s been mostly okay because that’s usually about when I need the bathroom anyway. But still. 7:30am is early-early for me. I think she’s just disconcerted that Preston and I aren’t sleeping in the same bed right now; it’s making the both of us cranky, too.

I started having some emotional ups and downs on Sunday, but they’ve been mild. I’m on Prozac, so that may be helping to keep me evened out. I started having some really bad hot flashes yesterday morning – worse than what I experienced from this time two years ago until my surgery. I thought I’d been hot and sweaty then. Nope. Those two years were mild times compared to what I’m going through right now. I’m bound and determined, though, to do this without HRT. I’ve long been a believer that once our bodies stop producing something, it’s stopped for a reason, and putting it back in some cases (like female hormones) is a bad idea. I’m going to hold out and see how this continues, how it affects my psychological health, and how it affects my migraines. I see my surgeon again on September 7th and have already written down to ask her if it’s possible to perhaps start a mild HRT program, since I have ‘surgically induced menopause’, and then wean me off them over a certain amount of time. That is, if I’m not able to handle this. But gods know I’ve handled lots worse!

Seriously, I woke up in recovery feeling much better than I have in countless years, folks. This is true. Someone on Twitter said she’d never heard of this happening before, that she’d always heard how stressful and draining surgery is. I mentioned how Thomas felt after his transplant five years ago, how he was up and about and even playing as much as he could get away with the following day. Which got me no response. But it’s true on his count and on mine. I felt like a million bucks when I woke up. One of the nurses was laughing at me because she was trying to get me to move my hands out of my lap, and I was laughing saying, “But I can’t even find my arms!” She said I’d kept everyone cracked up – apparently I’m a comedienne when I’m on anesthesia. :snicker:

When I woke up in the room later with Eddie, Tammy, and Sally there, I felt even better. I had a reaction to the anesthesia (upset stomach; real nasty!), but other than that all I really felt was tired. The nurse gave me a dose of Phenergan for my stomach, and I slept for a while. I was up enough that I had supper when it came. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. And the best brownie I’ve ever put in my mouth – probably because I was fresh out of surgery. Ha ha ha. I wanted to get up and walk around after I ate, but the nursing staff said it was too soon, that I should really wait until later in the evening or early into the morning to try to get out of the bed. I was bad put out.

But really, when I woke up, I felt like a million bucks; I felt like a different person with no pain already. Of course, I was feeling no pain because of residual anesthetics and because Dr Midboe-Penn had me on some great drugs. Even so, the difference in my body was remarkable. Even from the first time I woke up in my room – up to now still – I’ve had to tell my muscles and the rest of my body that I don’t have to ‘cave in’ because I’m not in pain any more. Seriously – I must have been in more pain than I realized and for a lot longer than I knew. I have to keep straightening my back, shoulders, pelvis, thighs, knees – because they all keep hunching, bowing, clenching inward into a knot. I told Preston earlier today that I feel like I’m two inches taller because I’m standing up straight for the first time in gods know how long. Lying or sitting, I have to force my thighs to lie straight, my knees not to turn in. My pelvic floor, too. I must have been keeping it and my thighs clenched ‘to hold the blood in’, I guess.

It’s just amazing how different, how much better I felt when I woke up. And now, eight days out, it’s incredible how well I’m doing, I think. I’ve been listening to my body and to everyone else, thank you. I’ve not been staying up too long or walking or doing too much. I did sit up too much Sunday and ended up in pain and exhausted; I learned that lesson. Too, anytime Preston thinks I’m doing something I shouldn’t, he says, “Should you be doing that?” No, Mister Nurse, I’ll stop.

I see both my therapist and my surgeon on the 7th – please be kind to me that day, Lextran; I’ll need it! – and have been keeping notes in my ‘medical notebook’ for both of them. (That’s helped me write this post, too; I remember very little about last Monday and Tuesday!) I also keep the  booklet I got from HysterSisters handy – it’s helped me as much as their message board and website. I can look up stuff: Is this normal? Is this right? Is this okay? What am I allowed to do today?

So that’s where I am right now. Actually, where I am is needing to go to the bathroom. As well, Preston’s made cookies, and I’m starving.

[eta: I forgot to put this in my post! And I’d saved it because it’s so true! LOL. It’s so nice to know that this will never happen with me ever again!]

when you sneeze on your period

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Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.