Nine Days Post Op

The Great Attempted Uterine Escape of 2015 is no longer just an attempt. Nine days ago, on November 23rd, the doctor liberated my uterus. Most of the time since has been kind of a blur.

I had to be at the hospital at 7. By 8:30 I was all prepped for surgery and waiting to go back. They took me back about 10. I remember them helping me move from the hospital bed to the operating table. They had already given me something to relax me so things were getting kind of blurry by then. I don’t even remember laying down on the table or anything after that point.

I woke up several hours later in the PACU. My back hurt so bad. They gave me pain medicine and put hot packs on my back. It turns out the back pain was due to the position I was in during surgery. A day later I discovered there was also incredible pain in my legs. The position they put you in for a vaginal hysterectomy is a position no human could get into without being unconscious. And there I stayed for 4 hours and 3 minutes.

The surgery went well. The doctors were very happy with the repair job they did. Apparently I was a mess. Now I am not. Amazing what modern medicine can do. They removed my uterus and fallopian tubes. The posterior repair of the rectocele didn’t require too much work. The anterior repair of the cystocele, however, required a whole lot of cutting and sewing and manipulation of my bladder. They put in the bladder sling which gave me my only exterior stitches, just a few on each side on the bikini line.

Monday night was horrible. They absolutely could not get on top of my pain. They ended up maxing me out on pain medications and I was still miserable. Usually, a vaginal hysterectomy doesn’t have such severe pains so nobody was quite sure what was going on. They’d give me morphine and it would bring the pain down from a 9 to a 6 for 15 minutes and then it would be back to a 9. Some things they gave me did absolutely nothing. The worst was one that didn’t change the pain but also made it so I couldn’t articulate anything or stay awake. At least I did get some sleep with that one. I think that’s the only sleep I got that night. I’d close my eyes and do some Bradley breathing and try to relax since tensing up made it worse. I’d think hours had gone by. I’d open my eyes and it had only been 10 or 15 minutes. It was a long night.

Tuesday morning they removed the packing in my vagina. Most people hate the packing. It didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I didn’t know it was in there until someone mentioned it. It wasn’t as uncomfortable as a uterus hanging out in my vagina. It really didn’t feel all that much different in there from how I’d felt before surgery.

Then it was time to remove the catheter and attempt to pee. They put water in my bladder and for the next two or three hours I tried to pee, but nothing happened. I felt like I needed to pee, but no matter what I did nothing came out. And I was in severe pain. Very, very severe pain. Getting up to go to the bathroom also is when I discovered just how sore my legs were. It was hard to walk.

After two hours I finally peed a little bit. I’d pee and then they’d use a machine on my bladder to see how much was left. It took a good 8 or 10 hours to finally be able to nearly completely empty my bladder. We also figured out the source of my pain in that time. I was having severe bladder spasms.

Bladder spasms can be a rather unpleasant result of hysterectomy and, especially, manipulating the bladder into the right place during surgery. It felt like labor. I don’t wish bladder spasms on my worst enemy. Unfortunately the typical medications were not allowed for me because they could mess up the repair. They gave me a muscle relaxer and it helped some. Because it was so difficult to get on top of the pain, they kept me a second night in the hospital.

I got home late Wednesday morning. A few hours later, in terrible pain, we realized they had not discharged me with a prescription for the muscle relaxer. A call to the doctor got that fixed. Thursday was Thanksgiving. To me, it was a blur of pain. By mid-afternoon I realized that 2 Tylenol 3’s every 4 hours is a lot more pain medication than 1 Tylenol 3 every 6 hours. No wonder my pain was out of control. We decided to use the dose I have been taking at the hospital. Once we were on top of the pain again, recovery started going much better.

Over the weekend I was able to go off the muscle relaxer without much of a pain increase. The bladder spasms got less and less over time. They finally went away completely yesterday. It’s amazing how much better I feel without those spasms. Monday night the alarm didn’t go off when it was time to take pain meds so everything had worn off and I woke up Tuesday morning in quite a bit of pain. The good news was my pain with no medication wasn’t as bad as my pain with pain medication had been the week before.

Now, at 9 days post op, I’m just on 800mg ibuprofen three times a day. I’m not in pain, but I am still sore. I’m sore from the internal stitches and pushing and pulling during the surgery. I’m really sore in my legs. That’s the most annoying part at this point. I’ll be happy when I can move my legs any way I want without a jolt of pain and can walk like a normal person. It’s like I did a hyper squat for hours, which I guess, really, I pretty much did.

I’ve only left my bed to go to the bathroom and little walks around the upstairs of my house. I’m confined to the upstairs for a few more days. I’ll probably be released to drive when I see the doctor a week from tomorrow. Mostly I’m supposed to stay home and in bed and only very gradually increase activity over the next few weeks. I should be back to pretty much normal in about 5 more weeks.

I said a few days ago that right now I hate this surgery. I don’t like pain. But in a couple weeks I’m going to love it. As the pain moves into just soreness, I’m also very glad I had it done. Already my lower back doesn’t hurt and that was hurting constantly from the prolapse. It’s been a long 9 days!

One thought on “Nine Days Post Op

  1. Pingback: A Year of Science Bags | Smaller on the Outside

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