Just call me sushi...9:20:00 PM
No matter how hard I tried...I could have never guessed what it would feel like to experience a hysterectomy, until it actually happened of course. I did my research, darn it. I talked to others who have walked this path. For goodness sake, I have had 4 c-sections. I figured by all means, I have GOT this. Boy, was I wrong. You can call me Sushi. I feel like a gutted raw fish.
Leading up to surgery I was preparing myself mentally but truly had no way of preparing for it physically. My dear friends threw me a Happy Hysto party where we sat and ate awesome food. Gorged on delicious fatty desserts and partook in yummy Berry Martini's. We dressed up, laughed till we cried and celebrated the pending disappearance of my baby house. Bye bye, baby house. You were great while you lasted. But now it is your time to vamoose. Skidaddle and scoot. Lord knows I will never forget the fond memories we shared, but I can no longer deal with your pain. My friends gave me cards that made me laugh and some that made me cry. Gifts to get me through the upcoming weeks of modified bed rest in the form of devotions, journaling bible, books, magazines, chocolate, movies and even comfies to wear.
Day before surgery it was recommended that I take Pepcid, drink Miralax, extra water and limit the amount of solids I took in. Let's just say...DO NOT...I repeat. Do NOT, leave your house! Stay home! Just, trust me on this one!
Morning of surgery, my mom arrived. She stayed with my baby. We took the big kids to school like we normally would. Teachers prayed with me as I left my middle daughters school...and then we went to the hospital. I had an AMAZING nurse. She got the IV on the first try and it didn't even hurt. They ask you a million and one questions and before you know it you're meeting with the anesthesiologist and your doc comes in to say we will head in soon. We had some good friends and pastors come from church and we prayed. Throughout the entire morning I stayed oddly...calm. NO panic attacks. Just completely content and OK about the whole thing. Days leading up to then I was NOT that way!
When I woke up in the recovery room I was in a lot of pain. The nurse gave me a shot of insulin and said they had to give me "medical amnesia" when I first woke up. I apparently, was panicked and frantic when I woke up the first time (I do not remember this AT all!) but when I woke up from the "medical amnesia" I was happy, content and in shock that I had reacted and was flipping out! Because of the "freakout" my blood sugar shifted UP. The had to bring the sugar in my blood down so that my body would be able to properly heal.
I had to have oxygen while I laid in my room. I kept setting off the alarms as my breathing coming out of the anesthesia was shallow. That was pretty scary. My tummy was bandaged and all I knew is I was in a ton of pain. I am one of the lucky few that pushes meds out of my system super fast. Because of this pain meds when you are in excruciating pain...don't do much. Each time a nurse came in they noticed my Jamberry's and asked me questions about them! You can bet I handed samples and catalogs out!
Oh...it got worse the next day. They prescribed me special anti-itch pills to help. Now 2 weeks later the incisions are looking much better. The rash is almost gone (the large hives are still there) and the bloating is going down...slowly.
One thing to be aware of. They fill your abdomen with gas. They try very hard to get as much of it out as possible, but it's impossible as the gas is like air and rises as you elevate. You will have sore shoulders, neck and head for a day or 2 after while the gas works its way out. My recommendation is to get FLAT it will make it shift back down. Take Gas-x (it helps!) and drink lots of fluids.
It is NOT easy to keep me down. Even after a c-section. This has brought me DOWN. Like, imobile. Lots of pain, a whole lotta sleeping and I have spent the last 2 weeks on the couch. The first week I really felt no change from day 1. Now that I am hitting the 2 week mark, I am slowly feeling human again. I put makeup on today. That made me feel good about myself! Pants hurt. Even the comfy sweats I bought ahead of time ON purpose. So I pretty much live in my ugly gaucho pants. I have everything I need at a fingers reach (including a side table for my bevs, snacks etc!) and I am IN love with my flax seed heat pack that I heat at 2 minutes and 15 seconds which is the perfect temperature to lay over my sore abdomen. Sleeping is getting easier at night. During the day pillow under my knees and partially flat feels best. Sitting upright too much is exhausting. But at night, side with a pillow slightly propped against the "owies" is most comfortable.
We have had the most incredible support from family and friends. Meals, some days lunch AND dinner. Snack deliveries, flowers, treats and items to busy the babes who have brought my hubby to the "crazy stage" he can come home and find ME in some days.
Not being able to lift my 19 month old for 3 weeks has been so hard. The first few days she cried and the tears streaming down her face as she reached out for me NOT understanding WHY mommy wouldn't lift her, carry her or hold her were enough to break your heart. She has gotten better and slides up to see me...but I feel like she resents me not being able to snuggle her. I miss her a lot. My 4 year old has been on of the easiest. She snuggles me a ton and spends a lot of time on the couch with me. My 6 year old has found the last two weeks a great time to act out and do every single naughty thing he can as a way of rebelling against us. Something completely out of the norm for him. My oldest who is 7 1/2 has been emotional. She is very helpful at times, but she has been very emotional since my surgery.
I will say...have help. AS MUCH of it as you possibly can. Talk to your kids, letting them know how they can help. Have items to keep them busy. Prepare snacks etc beforehand (stocking up your snacks and beverages!). Be prepared in knowing your home will not run the way it does when you are up and active. My home WAS clean...and now. Well. The litter box needs dumped, the floors are not vacuumed as often as I like and I haven't seen my countertops since the day I came home from the hospital. My laundry is heaping, my couch pillows are rarely ON the couch and chores have been "forgotten" about. My children some days, go to school with their hair NOT brushed. But their teeth are! Today my 4 year old looked like a scrub, but as she said "I comfy today mommy". Just like the tee shirt I am wearing today says...or the Frozen song. LET IT GO. It will all be there waiting for you...when you're finally healed.
The books I planned on reading. I didn't. The posts I planned on typing, didn't happen. The thank you cards that I had planned on finishing...haven't EVEN begun to start them. Relax. Be still and recover.
As my scars start to form and the healing as begun I am thankful to my family and my friends. My husband stepped up. The doctor told him I HAD to be down (their words to us were she needs to "wear a tiara and ring a bell"!) you are not to bend over (trust me DON'T!). DO NOT eat popcorn (made that mistake and the kernel that got stuck in my throat made me cough and cover...OH boy! OUCH!) Be careful when laughing (for real...no comedies!) and say yes to ALL that ask if they can help. I have a hard time with this part and I wouldn't have made it without them! I have a few more days of being down. But tomorrow starts the week of venturing UP. I still am unable to pick up my baby for another week...but...I made it!! I DID IT!! Although the pain is still here, I see the light glimmering at the end of the tunnel!
Remember this is major surgery. I had someone tell me it's routine. My doctors, nurses, medical staff at the hospital and mother in love who also is a recovery nurse all said "You had MAJOR surgery". When your abdomen is cut open and an organ is removed it will take a long time to be back to normal. The bloating will fade, the incisions will heal...and expect at least 3 months for the fatigue to stay. Take it easy on yourself and just breath. God's got this.