As I’ve shared before, I had a hysterectomy at the end of September because I suffered from endometriosis. I thought I would give an update on how things are going and some thoughts about the hysterectomy for those of you who happen upon this page because you had one or are planning to have one.

What was the worst?

Hands down, the worst part of the hysterectomy was the first 12 hours after it was over because of the gas pains. When having a robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, gas may be pumped into your belly to inflate it and give your surgeon a better view and more room to work. This happened to me. Turns out, although there was some pain with the actual removal of my female parts, most of the unbearable pain, which pain medicine did not help, was from  this gas being in my body. Since I also had a catheter, I couldn’t get up and walk around. Finally, a nurse explained to me what was going on (the next morning!) and gave me some GasX, and I walked around the hospital once the catheter was removed–then, it was so much better. So, if you are having this same procedure, talk to your doctor about the gas and the nursing staff about GasX.

Did I need a week to recover before going back to work?

Yes. I also feel like if I didn’t work from home, I might have needed 10 days off or to go back to work half days. You will be tired. You will still have some pain. You had major surgery. And in today’s world, we seem to not give ourselves enough time to heal from anything.

qtq80-fnKjgOHow do I feel now?

So, it’s been 5 weeks. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday for my final checkup before I am supposed to resume normal activity. In the last couple days, I have felt more like myself. But in general, I can’t imagine I am going to resume “normal activity” by Friday. I am still so tired. If I overdo it, I still have a bit of pain or discomfort. I think this is perfectly normal and will discuss it with my doctor at my visit, of course. Someone just said to me today, “It may take you 6 weeks on the outside, but just remember it can take up to 6 months on the inside.” I have some smart, smart friends. I have had  a lot of trouble with my appetite, which I’m told is also normal because well, I HAD MAJOR SURGERY!

What about my hormones?

Since I had a full hysterectomy, I am doing hormone replacement therapy. Currently, I have an estrogen patch I wear and change every 3-4 days. I think I’m still adjusting. I think I need some clarification on if there are better places to place it than others. I have a lot of stress in my life; one week during this recovery, I felt a bit like I did when I was suffering from endometriosis and my hormones were all out of whack. But this past week, I’ve felt much more in control and stable–so I’ll talk to the doctor about this, too.

To sum up, I’m glad, so glad, I had this surgery. Once everything gets back to “normal”, I have high hopes that I will feel better. I will be more like myself. I will have survived this patch in my life and come out stronger.

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6 thoughts on “Five Weeks Later: After the Hysterectomy

  1. Glad you are taking your time and listening to your body. It’s not the same long-term with the hormones, but I had emergency gallbladder removal a few years ago after suffering attacks for years. They used the gas the same way, and I totally agree about the pain. It settled in my shoulder and left me in six times as much pain as the actual operation. Wish I’d known about Gas-X! Friends talked about going back to work the day after this kind of surgery, but I was flat out for a week or more. Don’t let anyone tell you how to heal! Take the time you need. Big hugs to you!

    1. I am not sure why doctors and nurses don’t talk more about the GasX–I told the hospital that when they called me for a survey.

      You are so right. Don’t let anyone rush you into healing. Everyone is different!

  2. Pat is correct. You know your body better than anyone. After all, you have lived with it all your life.
    My advice: Mind what the doctor says, do NOT overdo, walk a lot (Walking shifts and pulls on your innards. That helps circulate the blood, which speeds healing.) Ease into your routine. By Christmas you will be surprised how much better you are doing. I didn’t have endometriosis, but my hysterectomy was a life changer for me. Hope yours is for you, too.

    1. Thanks, Judy. The good news is I have been walking a little over a mile with my dog a few times a week and of course I get plenty of exercise chasing Katie around. 🙂

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