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After an Abdominal Myomectomy: Part II

If you missed the first part of my abdominal myomectomy story last week, you can read it here 🙂

Myomectomy 2

Getting home was easy enough; hop into a cab and you’re golden. Wrong. Getting INTO the cab was painful and so was getting out. Plus any bumps on the road was another reminder of what I had just gone through. And although I was walking, I was taking baby steps and still holding onto my stomach to give it more support. The binder definitely helped, but a few days post-op, when your belly is still massively swollen, it still felt as if it was all just going to spill out. Lovely! But I was home.

It was nice to be home and well, there’s not much you can do but rest, so I went straight upstairs to my room.  Yes! I have stairs in my apartment, quite a few of them actually.  But I was able to walk up and down, slowly, without any issues.  My dad insisted I hold onto the banister, but for some reason I favored my right hand when holding my stomach so I didn’t heed his advice.  Sorry, Dad!

And can I say that despite the fact that I was happy to be home, I really wished I had stayed in the hospital.  Why?  My normally comfy bed was super uncomfortable.  Lying on my back in a was uncomfortable and painful.  It felt like my stomach was being stretched apart, ouch!  The beds in the hospital bend so it alleviates the pain.  If you have a recliner at home, do it.  The first couple of nights for me in my bed was not fun and my body ached from not really being able to lie in a different position. However, by Sunday I was starting to sleep on my side a bit.  Mind you, I was wearing the binder to sleep as well.  But having read other people’s experiences, a lot of them were only able to sleep on their sides after a couple of weeks.

Having my mom around was a God send.  You don’t realize how helpless you become until then, but I am so glad she was here to cook for me!  I don’t know how I would have managed cooking for myself every day, or even going to the grocery store which is a 15 minute walk one way.  And delivery in Singapore is not extensive, so I’m not sure living off of pizza every day would have been good for my waistline or my wallet!  But all jokes aside, I have a new found respect for all the ladies before me who actually gave birth.  I cannot imagine trying to recover while also taking care of a newborn.  Wow.  Massive respect!

At this point in my post, I would like to say that going into surgery, I was in really good shape.  I truly believe that due to my fitness level, my body bounced back faster than what other people experienced.  Again, this is MY experience, but it seems like I was able to walk for longer distances within a relatively short amount of time.  A week after my surgery, I could walk for about 30 minutes without stopping, but at a slow pace.  And can I say that this little stroll would leave me wiped out?  I would be exhausted afterwards and would need a nap.  With the days passing, I was able to walk for longer periods of time, but it also got to the point where if I had “big” day (ie 2 hours out), the next day I would be exhausted and not have much energy to do much.  I’m not sure if this is the right way to approach it, but I do know that the faster you’re up walking, the better, but LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  Only you know what your body is capable of.  Aside from walking, sitting upright was something I could only manage for about 10 minutes at a time.  It felt better to stand up, so I often got up during meals to just stand up a bit.

My doctor also told me that the first couple of periods would get disrupted, but I have not experienced that.  About a week after my surgery, I had the great joy of having my period.  My doctor thinks it discharge that happens post-op, but I’m quite convinced it was my time of the month.  And a few days before my period, I would feel this pain in my sides where I guess my ovaries are.  It feels like they’re tightening up or something, I’m not really sure how to describe the pain.  It’s not excruciating pain, but it’s definitely uncomfortable.  And the same pain happened when I got my 2nd period post-op, so I knew it was coming.  On time at that, go figure!  And of course, it is advised to wear tampons afterwards for a while just so there is no added risk of infection.  However, as to when you’re allowed again, I’m not sure.  Definitely a question to ask my doctor!

What really caught me off guard about the surgery was not surgery specific, but how tired I would feel.  This is to be expected, of course, so I’m not sure how my mind thinks sometimes! But I guess the tiredness was a way to stop me from being too active so early on.  After all, just because you’re healing nicely on the outside, it doesn’t mean the insides have healed.  The pain was annoying, of course, but it wasn’t too bad.  I was only given 10 days worth of pain killers, but I’m not really sure they did much.  Definitely did not take the edge off!

One of my main gripes with the surgery is how my stomach now looks.  I know, I shouldn’t be so vain, but I can’t help but feel insecure.  The swelling went down after a couple of weeks, but it is still tender and numb to the touch.  The binder is still part of my wardrobe, I find that my stomach area is more sensitive to the touch if I don’t wear it while I’m sitting.   I have also been obsessively applying Vitamin E cream to the scar as well as applying raw organic honey for the first 10 days after I was able to remove the dressing.  The scar is not an ugly purple as it was, it is fading a bit, especially the middle part.  Not sure why it’s not evenly fading!! But yes, I know its ridiculous to be insecure, but I am.  I can’t help it.  From the front, it just looks like a black line separates my lower half of the body with the upper part, the line being caused by the pooch above the scar.  I do hope this pooch goes away, I’m sure (I hope!!) it will….

As I mentioned, I was in really good shape prior to the surgery and it annoys me that I’m not allowed to work out.  My doctor said that come mid-August, I can start swimming for exercise.  I’m anxious to get back into the gym, but I do realize that even now, I am just about walking at my normal pace again.  And any uneven, sudden movements does cause me a bit of pain, so I will definitely not jump back in the saddle too fast. Hopefully by mid-September I can start body-weight exercises and I will also share my experience with getting back into the gym.

The first week back at work, I was exhausted.  And I should have taken little walks throughout the day, so not to be sitting all day – just because it wasn’t all that comfortable.  My boss, luckily was understanding, so I was able to leave a little earlier on some days, or come in a little late in the morning.  The extra sleep was definitely good, but come the weekend I was shattered.  Definitely taking it easy as I ease back into the daily grind.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch!

 

 

 

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  • It sounds like you were almost having contractions! Which makes complete since for your body to heal. Also i bet it was SO nice having your mom around afterwards, plus its just nice to have your mama when you aren’t feeling great.

  • Omg I would be screwed. I hate swimming for exercise! And I hate pain. I have nooooo tolerance level for it at all! Sorry you had to go through all this-just sounds terrible! My husband had leg surgery last year and I was a nurse forever. He couldn’t leave the bed. I saw how much pain he was in and I was like geez I hope I don’t ever have to have surgery!
    I hope you’re feeling better asap!!

    • Thank god I could leave the bed! Yep, this wk I’m definitely feeling a lot better… Surgeries are never fun…

  • Jen

    Oh goodness! I had a fallopian tub removed last year and the recovery was the worst. Any sudden movement to include laughing or sneezing was utterly horrifying. Sending lots of good vibes your way!

  • Things Sarah Loves

    Make sure you keep taking it easy!! You are doing amazingly well and ai’m sure the fact that you went into the surgery fit and healthy is boosting your revovery. Sounds like the recovery has been really difficult and I hope you’re getting a good nights sleep! My cornea transplant recovery was awful, the pain was unlike anything I can describe but more frustrating was the favt that the rest of my body worked and wanted to do stuff, but couldn’t!! You rest up and take advantage of your boss being so understanding! Xxxxx

    • That is the frustrating part, you think you’re ok and then you end up pushing yourself too much! Oh wow, a cornea transplant?! I wasn’t expecting that at all! You all good now? xx

  • What a nightmare! I’m glad you had your parents around to help out. Hope you start to feel back to normal asap.

  • I had surgery a few years ago and having my mom around was the best thing ever. I hope you’re starting to feel better! Take care of yourself.

    • I am definitely on the mend, save for a few moments when my body reminds me of what has happened! Thanks 😉

  • The being in shape thing definitely helps a ton. But still, ouch! It doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience at all! And I’m right there with you on being vain. After each kid, I’m always trying to squeeze back into regular clothes as soon as possible.

    • It wasn’t at first, but now I’m pretty back to “normal”.. Girl, you are one hot mama!

  • Bunny Taw

    Hi Jewel ..I found your story helpful for me.I am from Perth and today is my 7th post op day .I had my first shower next day morning after Opt which was done on Tuesday arvo.
    I was discharged on 4th post op day together with painkiller .I heard many ppl like us used tummy binder but I wasnt given one but I feel excatly like what u mentioned in your post .
    I have been walking along with ?posture or pressing a small pillow on my wound.My opt and post op experience is worse as my veins are small and got many cannula punches during and after Opt I was under effect of GA but I felt terrible pain in my forearm as IV needle puncutred my vein and had to complaint with that barely enough energy to talk.Until now my veins are swollen.
    UnfortuNately I have no family members here.So I take care myself or my bf take cares when he can or is free.Dying to shampoo asmy hair is long and now limpy with oil now.Problem is I dont like dry shampoo.As we know we cannot bend over sink to shampoo too or take long shower to soak wound wet .Risk of infection!!
    I started having sudden intense cough with secretion at home.May be due to immobilization after opt immediately.
    Thanks Jewel!!
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah, I’m glad you found my story and I wish i were there to help you out. I would highly recommend you get an abdominal binder, maybe order online for one if your boyfriend can’t find one? Ooh, I’m sorry about your punctured vein, that doesn’t sound fun at all!! Just rest as much as you can and only walk for a few minutes at time!! Or if you’re able to, try and treat yourself to a wash at a hair salon? 🙂 Big hugs, Sarah. I hope your cough goes away asap, it must hurt!! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions! <3

      • Bunny Taw

        Hi Julie
        Thanks for your hugs ,care and mpathy .I had some blisters near my wound edge so I think I may be not be using binder at the moment.My cough is better as I now watch out what I eat.Australia geez there are hair salons but not near my house and plus I cannot drive yet.I may try over basin next day.
        Actually I had to be taken to ED this morning due to sudden intense pain and later I found out it was due to laxatives causing my gut rebound spasm.I had constipation on second post op and it made me conscious to take laxatives regularly.Now I am better .Thanks a lot Julie

        Sincerely Sarah xx

        • Oh goodness, I’m so sorry to hear about all your complications post-op. I do hope you get on the mend asap! Sending you lots of love, Sarah… Feel better asap xx

          • Bunny Taw

            Hi Julie
            Thank you .I felt some swelling and noticed bleeding tiny bit ,redness at edge of wound .So yesterday I went to my Mentor Gp and he suspected infectiom .now I m on waterproof dressing again and anribiotics as well.Well May be I moved amd did things a lot as I like clean and tidy environment .Huee School holiday is coming ..my bf ex ‘s son visits us almost everyweekend which make me moving amd doing more as they make messy n left things on floor.I cannot bend so I used my legs to pick things .As a result I ended up having thigh pain and stopped doing that .Ans my period starts today ans cramp is awful which I handle by using heat pack.Thanks
            xoxo Sarah

  • Hope

    So glad you did this blog as I wasdreading having my parents move in for 2 weeks while I recover.

    This is definitely a good read!!