Legacy of the Dead

It is only because

you are not here

that I continue

to put one knee

in front of the other.

It is only because 

of your rage towards women

that I no longer have a womb.

Everyone knows 

the best mothers are barren

because their blood stains no one.

You taught me how and what to believe

and now I cannot even think of myself

without finding something of you mixed in.

When I am happy

it is only because I have found

something deeply unfamiliar,

something that you

can not claim from beyond the grave.

In my mouth

there is a fist

pushing back the feelings.

These feelings which belong

to no one in particular.

These feelings like stars

which bloom only in darkness.

I do not move across the sky

in an arch of fire

when the night has passed.

For me the night does not pass

it only remembers

and whoever I might have been

prior to birth is daily extinguished

by the voice of my past.

Week 2 Day 1

So first some links

The whole site has useful information but I have been using this as a guide. The information I have found on her site corresponds with everything my doctor has said. She also has a youtube channel and I will link that too.

https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/walking-after-surgery/

https://www.youtube.com/user/MichelleKenway

Okay so I believe I have a subconjunctival hemorrhage. My left eye is bloodshot and I can see a red blood vessel, the blood is mostly at the bottom of the eye. It feels weird but it doesn’t hurt. Actually both my eyes feel the same so it might be beginning in the right as well. I took my last blood thinner shot last night so it should probably heal in a week or so. It’s a side-effect of blood thinners anyhow. I have to say taking the blood thinners makes me feel fragile so while I see the need I am glad to put it behind me.

Day 6 and Day 7 were similar pain-wise. It is possible even that Day 7 was a little worse.  The walk was worse but perhaps because it was very cold. Today though the pain has lessened.

I am now getting into the bed reasonably well I have found a method that works but I am still having a hard time getting out of my low platform bed (I have a day bed which works fine) without hurting myself.

I took one pain-killer last night and that helped I slept until like 7:40 which is really a record because I usually rise early, All in all a pretty comfortable sleep.

I cleaned my bathroom sink and mirror today (I know exciting stuff) and was able to stand well the whole time. I will try to do a few simple house chores in the day starting with things that are easily accessible and not too strenuous obviously. I am hoping to start doing a little cooking to help out the hubs in the next few days. Sam has been amazingly considerate.

My sneezing came back today!

I have had sex dreams every night but one which I take as a sign that nothing has really happened to my drive. Provera really diminished my sex drive but now that I am not taking it I suppose it must be more similar to what it was prior. Obviously though I don’t want to explore anything like that right now.  No penetrative sex for 6 weeks minimum. After my LEEPs it was 4 weeks I think but I always found it uncomfortable until about 5 weeks. Because many of the questions women have around hysterectomy are sexual I will try to share some info along the way but at the same time I don’t want to violate my husband’s privacy so I will try to keep it informative but discreet.

I am enjoying cuddles and affection. Obviously I can’t be held tightly or anything but there is still a desire for touch/connection. I definitely don’t feel cold or distant.

 

Day 7

Yesterday I was more successful getting up from the floor using a lunge (with Sam for support/stabilization). The lunge I find works best for retrieving objects that have fallen on the ground.

I have still not mastered getting in and out of bed, it is hit or miss. Even though I know the proper technique my body is just so stubbornly uncoordinated.

I am still queasy every morning for 2 hours or so. Sam thinks it might be the blood thinners I take in the evening via shot. Today is my last day taking them so I will soon be able to confirm/deny this theory. I haven’t been bleeding vaginally I only did the first two days. The incision site bruises (sometimes) but honestly I don’t bleed much with the needle or anything. I am avoiding sharp objects for the time being just encase though.

I tried sleeping without painkillers last night it was a little tough, I was certainly more tight in the hips but I managed.

Just had my first sneeze and survived! Also laughing/coughing is getting less painful.

I almost feel like I can feel the stitches where my cervix was it’s not painful really but it is just an awareness whereas before I felt nothing at all.

Emotionally I am okay. Izzy says less grumpy. So for the moment at least I am not weepy or depressed especially.

Pain is still concentrated more in the lower abdomen as would be expected. It feels hot, tense, and sometimes like pins and needles there. I can tell from my belly button tightness that I still have some swelling. My bloating is going down but my stomach still doesn’t look normal. I wonder if I unconsciously sucked it in/tensed the muscles every time I looked at it? I’d say that is possible ha

It is getting easier to be strait and to stretch.

I am still having a bowel movement everyday! This is the best my bowels have worked in a long time. I weighed 62.4 kg this morning. So still losing. Is it because my bowels are working? Was I full of shit literally?

 

 

 

Day 6

Unbelievably I have gotten this far already.

 

My days are pretty simple at the moment. I wake up around 7:00 am and was able last night to make it to my usual bedtime of 9:40 (yes I go to sleep early, on a workday I would wake a little before 6:00). I am eating all my meals and I am now able to eat good-sized portions. Hunger is back to normal proportions. I get up like once every hour and walk around for maybe 5 minutes or do some of the safe exercises on my list. I have one walk I do outside each day where I try and increase the distance each time. It’s tricky outside because I have a very steep driveway and stairs to account for but my distance is increasing and my walk today went much better than the one yesterday. I have stopped taking naps now I think after Day 3. I only take pain meds before bed. I still take the gas meds. I felt a little better this morning than yesterday so far everyday feels a little better than the previous one. I had a bowel movement this morning as well. I can say I get quite queasy with the urge to go to the bathroom and have been rather queasy this morning in general. Peeing still hurts a little especially when my bladder is full and the pressure is high. Could be some bruising.

I feel like I am healing. I weighed 62.7 kg this morning so I am still losing but I am assuming that now we are entering the temporary loss zone, weight that will come back once I am further along/closer to normal life. I am worried about the muscle loss but I am doing what I can and believe me I am following my instructions to the letter!

On another note while getting my sick leave stuff sorted for my bosses I noticed that it still says in my file I have Epilepsy that is not being treated and a prescription for medicine. They also asked me about it before the surgery. No matter how many times I try and explain the situation (which granted is bizarre) I can’t get my records to reflect it.

 

 

Day 5

So last night I got the best sleep I have ever gotten according to my fitbit. I definitely needed it. I remember in one dream I had been transported in time to another country unspecified. I had no passport and kept trying to speak Swedish and/or English to everyone which is really all I know well enough. At some point I realized it was a dream and said to myself “Do I really want to go through all this hassle with not having my papers, not knowing where I am, when I am? And I thought yeah let’s see what happens lol”

 

Okay so onto business.

I felt better on waking up though getting out of my low platform bed is still a pain. I can’t grasp not using your abdominala since I initiate every movement from the core naturally. I had another successful bowel movement. A healthy movement which I have probably not had in years so at the moment my bowels are better than they were before the surgery. Don’t know if my hormones were to blame for that or if it is a coincidence but whatever the case it is fantastic to not have problem with that when I have so much else going on.

My allergies aren’t as bad either usually they are year round but could be the cold weather that is helping or just a coincidence.

The gas medicine is really working well. Initially I weighed more after the surgery than before but as of today I weighed 63.1 kg (63.8 kg before) so to me that seems about right I guess. My stomach is not as tense/hard. I can’t say it is normal but it is coming along.

I have the most pain around the pelvic girdle and the incision site obviously and that can be quite intense at times.

I was able to fold some laundry this morning. Isadora carried the bag and actually did the laundry but I could do some of the folding and putting away.

I picked something up off the floor today. I read a lunge was the best way to go and that worked pretty well.

I am able to eat and hold food down. I am queasy on waking but it eases up. I actually got proper hungry yesterday but I can’t eat so much at once. Warm tea is helpful/soothing. I mostly want to eat dry bread but from a digestive standpoint I can’t do that. I have no sweet cravings. I got a chewable aspirin because it is easier on my stomach but it tastes so violently sweet that I find sweet things revolting except fruit.

Last night my body started releasing some endorphins and it has done so today as well. Sam’s body does not do that in response to pain so I wondered if other people have that function or not?

The blood thinner shots are getting more painful. I am not exactly scared of needles and they are very thin needles but I will still be glad when it is over.

Day 4

The good news

Sam found a gas medicine that helps relieve some of the pressure and has lessened the gas cramping

I feel like sitting down is going a little better

The leg work I did in preparation has helped with stairs and such

I feel I can stand up a little straighter when walking and was able to do 1 of the 3 posture exercises that I use to treat my kyphosis, I can almost do the 2nd I feel that is just a matter of a few days

Less weird twinges (feels a bit like ripping or burns, I think my bandage could be pulling or irritating my skin as I am not bleeding or anything)

I can still feel my nipples. Some women said they lost sensation in theirs after having a hysterectomy but I still feel mine. Obviously I can’t report on sexual function because it’s too early in the healing process to investigate.

I haven’t noticed a difference in my emotional capacity. Some women said they felt cold. I still feel moved and stirred by things, still get endorphins and tear up (I saw a sad story about a dog okay). I am rather bored already though!

There are moments when seated that I feel a little more at ease

I had a bowel movement! I am super excited about this one, I didn’t even need a stool softener

The uncomfortable truth

It still hurts quite a lot

My stomach is so tense it feels like I have been doing plank for like 3 days now: looks pregnant

I did not sleep well last night and kept poor hubby awake besides

Coughing and laughing are not fun, coughing is pretty scary if I am being honest. I had a pretty bad choking fit last night. Congestion can occur after intubation and then add that to my allergies and constant post nasal drip/dry mouth and well unexpected coughing is just plain scary

The random

My body temperature is lower now that I am not jacked up on hormones. The hormones gave me a permanent slight fever which I had adapted too now I don’t have that constant sense of being flushed. So now my temp is 36.8 instead of 37.5 weird huh?

Surgery and Recovery

So I thought I would write to you about my hysterectomy experience so far. I am going to be honest so it may be uncomfortable for people who don’t like to speak of bodily functions or medical things in general.

 

Day 1

I had an abdominal hysterectomy on Tuesday early in the morning. Before I went in to hospital I had to shower with this special soap Descutan which I read could cause severe allergic reactions in some people. I was concerned having sensitive skin but luckily I did not have any type of reaction. Bonus I have had no body odor at all since! I am sure it will come back but right now I don’t even need deodorant. I went in at around 7:00 am I was checked in asked to change into my surgical gowns, given some antibiotics, sent to the toilet and then I waited in a room by myself for sometime but I am not sure how long. I was then taken to the operating theater where I met a lot of nurses. Perhaps 4 and an anesthesiologist. The nurses were all extremely kind. They explained what was happening, held my hands, stroked my hair, and made me cry because they were so nice. I cry even now thinking of it because when people are nice it moves me to tears. Am I the only one? Anyways I was scared, mostly it seems that I wouldn’t wake up, that it would be like dying to be put under, of having no control over anything. I have been put under before once at 5 and again at 16 but for some reason that didn’t console me. They gave me meds to help me relax, drug unspecified. The worst part was the epidural because the anesthesiologist could not find the spot so I had to take several shots to the spine and nerve clusters in the middle of which my blood pressure fell to something like 83/38 and I became ill and they had to let lie me down a bit before resuming with the shots. The epidural I received when giving birth was much, much easier. After that I took a few deep breaths in the mask without anesthesia, then with anesthesia. I assume I went out immediately because I don’t remember anything really. I never saw the surgeon but I was told that the surgeon I had met previously did the operation and that one of my doctors was also present.

 

I woke up with the sense that I had been dreaming but I can’t say what I was dreaming about (Sam/a tree) it may have been the last thought on my mind because one of the nurses told me that if I thought about something nice when I went under I would wake with that same thought and that seemed to be the case. I don’t think they had problems waking me. First things I noticed was pain at the incision site, pain in the throat, thirst, trouble talking. I was easily able to move my legs. My blood pressure was still low and once I started to move a little I got dizzy and nauseous and vomited a couple of times. Nausea with anesthesia is common but even more common if you’ve had a gynecological surgery and if you have low blood pressure on top of it, so I had kind of an unfortunate mix. They did seem surprised that I felt pain exactly at the incision. I must have been in that room for hours and hours because I don’t think I made it to my actual room until like 3 something so my husband was in a panic because that was way longer than projected. I don’t think the surgery took longer I think it was the transitions that took a long time.

I stayed pretty numb that first day so the pain was not horrendous. I mostly felt the pain where they cut was and the rest of my abdomen and body felt just like normal honestly. I was horrible nauseous though. I tried to eat a small dinner, a sandwich, which I later threw up. I had to stay on fluids because I could not even hold water down and could drink so little water at one time that hydration was not possible. Changing from one position to another resulted in a lot of dizziness so they had to keep the catheter in that first day and night. I managed only to stand with assistance initially and my feet felt firm but the blood pressure issue made it really impossible to walk about. That said I did change into night clothes later that evening and I did walk to the bathroom. The nurse was present but outside and did not really explain how I was supposed to navigate the change with the catheter. It never occurred to me to sit down so I balanced on one leg and did all sorts of weird moves in my confusion. She did come in eventually and help but by then I had overcome the most complicated aspect of changing. Remember you can sit down and dress apparently! I usually dress standing.

I had to stay overnight, Sam stayed with me for a while but had to return home to be with Isadora. I could not sleep in the hospital but I was able to rest. At some point I began to itch a lot particularly in the nether area and the nurse brought tablets for that (which helped some) and a shot to thin my blood which she said could either go in the stomach or thigh. I picked the thigh obviously, as it was still numb. I can say morphine didn’t work as a painkiller for me. I still honestly had my knee pain which I always have and was so surprised that I should be able to feel my everyday aches and pains while on such a strong drug. During the night my pain became significantly worse but I decided to wait until morning to ask for painkillers. My right shoulder was also very painful, I am not sure of the cause it almost felt like it had been pulled out of its socket. The pain in my shoulder honestly competed with my stomach pain for a while even. I am not sure if I laid on it incorrectly or if it was positioned poorly in the operation but it is royally jacked up. I can also say the pain on the right side of my incision is much more intense than on the left.

Before I go on if you are planning on having a hysterectomy practice how to get in and out of bed and in and out of a chair a lot beforehand if you suffer coordination issues. I am having a hard time transitioning positions. Apparently I use my abs a lot naturally and it is super hard to unlearn fight against your natural inclinations. Also taking on and off socks is the worse thing ever!

 

Day 2

My catheter was removed in the morning. I was overjoyed! I was afraid of the catheter (outright phobic) but the numbness, had on the first day, made it only a minor inconvenience in regards to movement. I felt it more the second day but it was not painful. That said taking it out was uncomfortable/creepy. I then had to drink to see if I would be able to urinate. After drinking a few cups of water I got the urge and went to the toilet. I had read it was hard to void your bladder after surgery but I just went there was no trick to it really. I did remain on the toilet longer and adjusted my positions to make sure I had done a good job. I am not sure if I am emptying it as much as before but I seem to be emptying it a reasonable amount each time. I decided to go to the cafeteria for breakfast. I went just as it opened and had to wait sometime. I decided to carry the trey back with me which was maybe not a great idea since I had barely walked at that point but I succeeded. I did manage to eat and hold down food but my appetite is not the same and I can’t eat as much as before. Part of the reason, aside from nausea (which I have now to a lesser degree), is the gas. I have so much gas. The first day my stomach looked fairly normal, the 2nd day it was very bloated (still is). I can pass gas but it’s not easy. Actually that has never been easy for me, my bowels are pretty low functioning to start. Anyhow Sam came again around 8:30 after dropping Izzy off at school. I learned from the nurse that I would likely go home. Shortly after Sam arrived the doctor came in to see us. She told me the surgery went well. They took out the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and the cervix. They did not need to remove the ovaries and they did not see anything inside that looked concerning. They will send my uterus to a lab and I will get results which might explain the menorrhagia we have to wait and see. Later we saw the head nurse who showed Sam how to give me the blood thinner shots (he is not happy about it) and they removed my ports which I had in both arms. I was so happy to go home but Day 2 was a very high pain day. Much worse than Day 1. Very intense. Pain at the incisions, pain in my lower back, pain in the shoulder, pain in my usual spots, PAIN. I stayed up 8:30 but it was a difficult day physically and emotionally.

Day 3

After sleeping in my own bed I feel more rested but I am still pretty tuckered out. My pain has lessened thankfully. I have not taken painkillers yet today because they hurt my stomach so much and I can handle it at this level. My incision hurts when I move from one position to another but not so much when I am still. I have tried to be good about moving but it’s tough because of the fatigue and pain. My favorite exercise has to be mountain pose (I can stretch and assume good posture without force which counters the hunching and fetal sleeping position) and shoulder rolls. I have not been able to take as many steps as I want but I try to take them at least once an hour. We have stairs in the house so I have had to go up and down a few times. My fitbit does not pick up my steps that well because I have to be more cautious and I use the rails when on the stairs so I don’t actually know how many steps I am getting but I wear it because of the hourly reminders to move. The gas is quite bad and causes pain, if I did not have gas I think my stomach would really only hurt at the incision. I feel optimistic that tomorrow I will feel better than today.

 

Oh yeah I forgot!

I had a slight fever after surgery as is normal but I have absolutely no fever now. I have had some bleeding but not much at all, not nearly what I expected if I am honest. I haven’t experienced any difficulty breathing or taking deep breaths either. I can’t take off the bandage for like 7-10 days so I have no idea what the wound looks like only that on the surface the bandage is perfectly clean. I have dissovable stitches so nothing will need to be removed. No doctor visits either. I will get a questionnaire periodically and only come in if I feel something is wrong.

Week 3

So given recent events I do not have a lot of time right now, I am in a major crunch to get everything done now that the surgery has moved up.

Nevertheless I did stick to my plan this week. So far I have hit my steps and I have done well with the calories. I even met my goal of a 1 minute and 30 second wall squat. I have eaten out too much this week mainly yesterday and today due to the crunch. So I did lose some weight before the surgery, I have improved my fitness, so that is something. After the surgery I will be switching gears obviously. The first 4 weeks is about healing, recovery, I will be doing what is prescribed by the doctor. As the body does not totally heal for 3 months I will be cautious. Only activities safe for the pelvic floor. Then 3-6 months will be about recovering my fitness/building up my strength at a gradual pace. Then at 6 months we will see if I can resume as I was doing but high impact will be gone from my life because of the risk of prolapse. I am creating a little journal so I know what is safe and how often I can do it. I can’t say as I ever lifted especially heavy so I think I should eventually be able to lift as I did but I will start slow encase! I will have to focus a little more on diet especially the first 4 weeks given my limited amount of activities. I won’t be trying to lose in that 3 months just maintain because I just want to heal properly so I can have a good life after.

 

Starting Weight: 65.1 kg

End of Week 1: 64.5 kg

End of Week 2: 64.2 kg

End of Week 3: 63.8 kg

Hysterectomy

I had been planning to have my hysterectomy in January I hadn’t even spoken to my bosses about it yet so imagine my surprise when the doctor calls and says that it will be Tuesday next week at 7 am. So that obviously puts a halt on all the preparations I had planned. I basically have to switch gears!