Medical Update for those who are interested, particularly if you’re considering a hysterectomy. Your results may vary, obviously.
TL;DR: I’m doing great!
Don’t read it if medical stuff squicks you out.
Original post, on Facebook, about the hysterectomy (removing uterus and Fallopian tubes, not ovaries) that I had on my birthday:
TL;DR: I’m having a great birthday and came through surgery well.
I never tell people happy birthday on Facebook, because I made a rule about it myself one time for reasons I don’t totally understand, but boy it sure is nice that you guys didn’t make the same rule! I do love the outpouring!
I didn’t have to arrive at the hospital until 10:30 this morning, so I had time to putter around and cuddle Spriggan, which was nice.
My uterus made it quite clear that it wasn’t leaving without a fight, as I’d had cramps for six solid days. However, it’s GONE NOW! See, ya, sucker. The surgery went well, according to my doctor.
Everyone at the hospital is SUPER-nice, and so far, I haven’t come across a single less-than-competent person. That, in my more-extensive-than-I’d-like experience in hospitals is unusual.
The first couple of hours post-op (? no real concept of time then), I was utterly miserable and whining like a two-year-old. Seriously: “It huuuuuuuuuuurts! Why does it huuuuuuuurt so muuuuuuuch?! *whimper, sob*.” After turning to my side, getting a heating pad for my abdomen, and receiving more painkiller, though, it’s been very tolerable.
Here’s my hypothesis: when I’m still experiencing the effects of anesthesia and painkillers, the pain is neither worse nor better than after they’ve worn off, but my perception of all my other feeling sensors is much stronger. When that happens to someone who couldn’t wear socks for years because of seams, it seems like the world is ending.The nurse told poor Mike to take my hand, and I pulled it away with a big whiny-crybaby “NOOOOOOO!” I was just so overstimulated.
Once I emerged a bit from the mental fog, the pain, which feels (rather ironically) like menstrual cramps is tolerable in the same way those are. Now I feel quite good, all things considered.
I made Mike go home and feed and snuggle and exercise the dogs, and I feel totally confident in my care here. What a good feeling!
Now, the aftermath:
Had surgery on a Tuesday. Took my last dose of Percocet Wednesday night and my last dose of Motrin Thursday morning. After that first day, I just really wasn’t in any pain! (Well, except from the digestive issues that accompany the pain meds, which I solved with a dose of Miralax.)
A week after surgery, I went to have the stitches removed from the laproscope/tool sites. There was an incision in the navel and one just above the pubis, both quite small. My doc missed a stitch in the navel, and I had to return the next day. These sites were the only reminder I’d had surgery, since they were pretty itchy. Otherwise, no real discomfort.
The sites were pretty red, so he put me on antibiotics as a cautionary measure. My first thought was, “Oh no, antibiotics are going to mess up my cycle — OH wait! No they won’t!”
Similar reaction to pain meds: “Oh, I should keep this super-Motrin on hand for when I get cramps — oh WAIT! That’s never happening again!” Hahah. Awesome.
A week and a day post-surgery, I co-lead a session at a conference: running, jumping, crouching, and generally doing full-body Shakespeare. I was a little tired the next day, but no serious fallout.
A week and a half post-surgery, I brushed my hand past my navel and came away with a section of thread. I think my suture sites were trying to eat the stitches, and I’m glad they were unsuccessful. Now that that’s gone, the wounds are settling into healthy-looking little scars.
Two weeks and a day post-surgery, I lead a session of improv games and did an active monologue from Henry V. I also carried a bag of books. By this time, I was supposed to carry no more than three-milk-jugs-worth of weight, and I’m a bad estimator, but I didn’t feel anything and figured I was okay.
The following evening, I started bleeding. It was similar to having my period (oh, the irony!) but BRIGHT red and no clots or tissue. I thought maybe I’d overdone it or something. No pain, though, except maybe a tiny little tweak from my ovaries that I’ve always felt when ovulating. But no serious abdominal pain, and no fever.
When I called the doc, he said the most likely scenario was that it’s just a normal part of the healing process. Apparently, sometimes blood pools above the intravaginal incision site — they pull the uterus out through the vagina and then sew the vaginal cavity closed, way up at the top — and over the course of time, the blood works its way through. Either that, or a stitch could’ve ruptured and allowed some blood through.
He said if it got heavier, and I was soaking through a pad in less than an hour, I should go to the ER. If it tapered off through the night, I was probably fine.
Luckily, it was the latter. I spotted through the next day and completely stopped by that evening. I called the doctor’s office again, just to see if they wanted me to come in, and they did not. The nurse said that kind of bleeding can happen up to a month after surgery. She said if I started bleeding like that again to give them a call, but otherwise, I could just wait for my six-week checkup.
I’ve felt pretty much fantastic. *GRAPHIC TEXT ALERT* The first few days, I was nervous in the bathroom, ’cause I didn’t want all my organs to fall out my vagina, but once I got over that, it was smooth sailing. *END GRAPHIC TEXT ALERT*
I’m still not supposed to carry heavy stuff, but that seems to be the only real restriction. Oh, well, and not putting anything in my vagina for six weeks.
It keeps occurring to me how great this is. No tampons! No cramps! No birth control! No “SURPRISE! IT’S PERIOD DAY!” No should-I-shouldn’t-I-take-a-bunch-of-painkillers. No children!
I think my acne is clearing up more. (It’ll be hard to tell until I’ve been through at least a month, ’cause it was usually worse twice a month.)
And, it just feels right. I told my mom when I was five years old that I didn’t want to have a uterus. I requested a hysterectomy when I got my first period. Now that it’s finally a reality, it’s like a weight has been lifted. I’ve always felt that I should not have a womb. And now I don’t.
Basically, for ME, there is no downside. I’m happy as a clam. Pun totally intended.