Bye to misery; hello to life & recovery

Hysterectomy – 11 April, 2015

The reason for my hysterectomy operation was due to many years of suffering each month which I thought it was “normal”; after all I have had seven children, however the last 6 months really took its toll and as of January 2015 it was time to say “bye to misery and hello life”.  

My increased fitness had indeed helped so far with the road to recovery.  The surgeon did say it was one of the easiest operations she has done in a while, due to the fact I had not much “fat”, along with my stomach muscles being stronger and tighter.  

Fibroids were found though and while it was only early days and 10 days out of surgery, the recovery period was indeed very important and rest being the only way to get better; therefore here are some of the things I set up to make life a little easier:

 

 

  • Purchased a body/pregnancy pillow which helps with sleeping and sitting up in bed.  Getting comfort while sleeping was difficult and with the incision and tummy swelling, the body pillow was so comfortable. If sitting up in bed, I then turned it into a boomerang pillow and used as back support.  

  • Set up my bedside table with easy to reach items and my home pharmacy, as controlling the pain was very essential. Everything should be in easy reach including my laptop and supply of movies. 

  • Have power supply and cords organised for charging your phone or electrical equipment close at hand, so there was no need to stretch and lean over the bed to get them.

Make sure you have a plan set up prior to going in, eg meals organised and frozen, cleaner or housekeeper, family or friends support, see here for what may be useful for freezer meals and how I got organised prior to surgery. 

When going out in the car (and even after coming home from hospital) take a pillow or cushion with you for padding between you and the seat belt.  

Don’t feel guilty about lazing around all day in bed, rest is essential and the only way to heal.

Be mindful of what you can and can’t do.  Here is a rough guide below.  Everyone recovers differently, however, it is major surgery and without following the basic healing instructions, one could end up doing more damage than good.

 

Activity Guide following a major Gynaecological surgery

This activity chart is a general guide to help you progress your activities while healing. 

This is just a general guide.  Try to get rest in the early stages of recovery.  Your operation and the type of work you do will affect when you will be able to return to work, also check with your Doctor. 

After total or subtotal laparoscopic Hysterectomy, most should be able to return to all activities after week 5-6 provided you did not have your ovaries removed or a prolapsed repair.

Please see your doctor if you have ANY DOUBTS or CONCERNS.

WEEK Exercise only advised by Dr.

Walking

Making a drink Tea / Coffee Light Housework Cooking Driving Sex Vacuum, heavy cleaning, pushing, pulling Swimming Lifting heavy items ie, kids, bags, laundry baskets Heavy garden work
1 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
2 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
3 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
4-5 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
6-7 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
8-11 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
3 Months Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

*Check with your motor insurance as you may not be able to drive up to 6 weeks following your operation.

*No heavy lifting or aerobic exercise for at least 6 months after a prolapse repair unless advised by your Doctor.

Along with my recovery, I have joined a wonderful group on Facebook – many women suffer every day and here women can come together to discuss the positives and negatives of the above surgery.  

Another aspect of my recovery is controlling the possible side effects which may include the following:

  1. Constipation;
  2. Gas pain and bloating;
  3. Decreased strength and fitness;
  4. Back pain;
  5. Weight gain;
  6. Chest problems and difficulty coughing;
  7. Decreased circulation;
  8. Difficulty emptying the bladder;
  9. Pain or discomfort moving out of bed; and
  10. Fatigue

Information and more detail on the list above can be seen here; however I think I have a most of the above covered in the way I am handling my recovery.

If I can offer any advice at this stage; never be afraid to ask for help whether ill, recovering from surgery, have the flu or any illness or ailment etc.  Your health is more important than anything including chores, laundry and a messy disordered home.  If having to sit all day or not leave the house is all you need to stress about; then so be it, for as long as you have your health these simple worries are nothing really.

 

*Many thanks to my wonderful husband and family for helping me rest and heal; as my life can only get better form this point onwards.