Happy Thanksgiving and a health update post-alien fibroid uterine removal

Posted on 26 Nov 2010 at 7:44am

UPDATE: Just got labs back from blood work done just before surgery, and in fact my blood count was lower than the norm (as in I bleed way too much during my period). Duh, I could have told them that without a test. I don’t know whether the doctor will put me on iron on or not, but it’s likely to bounce back on its own over time.


Happy Turkey Day! It’s time to give thanks for what good we have in our lives. I am thankful for my family, my friends old and new – online and offline — and for readers who have been kind and generous. A special shout out to others in the hysterhood, who gave me good pre- and post- surgery advice.

Our Thanksgiving was relatively quiet, we were home and I was unconscious most of the day, getting up at regular intervals (about 4 hours or so), to take pain meds. The doggies loved having us home. My follow up appointment with the surgeon is on 12/7.

The surgeon has me alternating doses of ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) and hydrocodone (hard core opiates). Both work ok, though pain relief is never as good as you receive in the hospital. I am usually able to ditch the pain meds after a couple of days, but post-hysterectomy pain is way worse than when I had my gall bladder removed.

Details below the fold.
If you missed following my Facebook and Twitter updates, I was released from the hospital yesterday, only after I was able to do #1 on my own. Otherwise I was either going to be sent home with a catheter or stay another day and be re-cathetered. Both were bad options, but around 2PM yesterday I was finally able to go. It’s kind of a surrealistic experience – you feel the urge to go, your brain is sending the signals to go, and then nothing happens. At all. This went on every few hours as I would attempt it. I thought I was losing my mind. Anyway, once I did, I got dressed and was outta there.

Whack-a-mole holes in the gut

I was left with five holes in my abdomen from the laproscopy, including one entry point in my navel, which will probably be one of the last to heal. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the complications of my surgery was some tearing of vaginal tissue as the uterus was removed in one piece after it was severed from the fallopian tubes/ovaries. Since the largest fibroid was the size of the uterus itself, it’s not surprising it wasn’t going out easily.

The area with the stitching to close that up is somewhat swollen, which inhibited my ability to void. So it’s a small miracle I didn’t have to do another day in the hospital.

Needless to say, even on the percocet I was on in the hospital, I was still in some pain, just not excruciating. The nurses were wonderfully attentive in giving meds to me upon request and kept checking my pain levels.

So once home, what I can report is that I’ve done little else except sleep, get on and FB and tweet when I’ve had to test my blood glucose and take my needles/pain meds. Kate has the alarm set to every four hours to wake me to take the pain meds and to test. So I’m getting more sleep than at the hospital, but it’s still interrupted sleep. Good thing I am testing regularly, since my lows have been around 72. So I’d pop a few prunes and go back to sleep.

There is a L&O marathon on TNT today, so I watch some random episodes that I fall asleep on. I am too weak to be bored, so that’s a good thing. As you might imagine, the worst part is standing up and lying down. Your abs simply don’t want to work after this kind of surgery. The only comfortable position is flat on my back, which is crappy since I’m a side/tummy sleeper, but I’m so drug-addled I don’t even care. I just want to sleep.

Today’s adventure — my first shower since arriving home. Kate took all of my dressings off — three abdominal incisions required stitches, two were glued shut — and I feebly got in the shower and, well, it was a painful experience washing that area. But it was good to get clean. I will have to do this for a while, so Kate can help with the dressings. My abdomen is very swollen due to the surgery and the 4 IV bags of fluids I took in. That added another 10 lbs over night. Argh.

The only clothing that fits comfortably at this point are my sundresses with a shirt under them or my night gowns. The elastic waist pants that I thought would be a good choice post-surgery hurt like hell.

I’ve taken to shooting up my insulin in my arms since my abdomen is so sore. All of this sucks but at least I wasn’t blindsided — I was told to expect this. My appetite is not very good. I can eat solid food, but clear broth soup is better digested.

I expect to feel about this bad for a week, with each day getting a little better. I did try stairs today. That was a mistake. Oh god that hurt. Going down is worse that going up. Guess I just like testing my (in)abilities. Bad blogmistress.
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