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After an Abdominal Myomectomy

I can’t believe it’s now been four weeks since I had my abdominal myomectomy and I’m now back at work. It’s pure craziness how fast that time flew by! Did it for you as well? I was initially scared that time was going to halt to a crawl, but in fact it was quite the opposite! I remember when my mom told me that she was staying until the 8th of July, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, why are you staying for so long?” But I am SO SO glad she did, I absolutely loved having her around and so happy that we got to have this time together, plus she was a total lifesaver! Thank you, Mom!! We also managed to have some fun and not get on each other’s throats (wow, I really must be an adult now!), so I am so sad that she’s back in NY. I am seriously contemplating moving back to NY just so I can be close to my family again, although I’m not sure B is too thrilled with that idea..!

Myomectomy

Now, the purpose of this post isn’t to reminisce about my mom, but really to share my experience in hopes that someone out there (hello internet people, are you there?) can read my story and take some comfort from it. I know that leading up to the surgery, I tried to read as much as I could on what to expect and most importantly the recovery process.  I think I may have freaked myself out a bit! My experience will not mean you’ll have the same of course, but it’s not all doom and gloom as I read!

An abdominal myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids – also called leiomyomas.  These are common noncancerous growths that appear in the uterus, usually during childbearing years, but can occur at any time.  Source

I elected to have this surgery because I want to have kids, or I hope to have kids in the future. When the ultrasound was performed, I knew I had a couple of large fibroids, but after the surgery and when it was properly measured, the largest was  6.5 x 5 x 7 cm big.  That’s pretty big, it’s like the size of a tennis ball! Wow! And can you believe that some have ones that are larger than that?!?! Holy crap! In any case, these pesky fibroids would hamper my attempts at getting pregnant and/or most likely result in a miscarriage.  Let’s face it, I’m no spring chicken and time is of the essence, so my decision was made.

The surgery was performed via cesarean.  I’m by no means the first to have had a cesarean, nor will I be the last.  I wasn’t too worried about this procedure per se, I was more worried about that tennis ball that was going to be complicated to remove.  Luckily, all went well and I’ve been told that they are also non-cancerous.  So that’s amazing news!

The morning of the surgery, I had my first experience using a bed pan.  Have you ever used one? Well, I really hope you don’t have to, nor do I hope to ever use one again.  It was such a weird experience just letting yourself pee like that.  It honestly felt as if I were peeing all over myself.  And the nurse was in the pre-surgery room with me, minding her own business, whilst I tried to let it out. HAHA  They then wheeled me into the surgery room and the gas was applied.  Going under general anesthesia is such a trip.  It’s funny how you are able to remember those last few seconds and then hours of your life are magically gone.  And how is that they can just wake you up when they tell you to?  Life’s mysteries, I tell you!

The moment I woke up, the pain immediately hit me.  And I really needed to pee.  That’s pretty much the first thing that came out of my mouth when I woke up.   The nurses told me to just go. Umm, how?  Well! Another first for me, I was hooked up to a catheter. Again, another strange feeling of wanting to pee like crazy and then next thing I knew, the urge was gone and my pee was collecting in a plastic bag. After that shock wore off, I have to say, I quite enjoyed not having to go to the bathroom and that this tube was just doing the work for me.  HAHA Sorry if this is TMI, but no mincing words here!

Back in the room, I had my IV drip and morphine drip hooked up.  I’m not sure what the hype on morphine is, but it did not do anything for me.  I definitely felt no relief from the pain I was feeling, but in all honesty, the pain was tolerable.  I was told it would be agonizing, but it wasn’t anywhere near excruciating.  Maybe I just have a high tolerance for pain, I don’t know, but I barely used the morphine drip.  I think I used it a few times just so I could try and feel the relief, but no such luck.  The pain remained constant .  My parents were waiting in the room for me and what caught me off guard was that talking was an effort.  I could barely talk without feeling the pain in my stomach and rib cage.  Being able to talk without it hurting took a few days, but what annoyed me the most was that I was not allowed to eat after the surgery.  I wasn’t allowed to eat after midnight the night before either so I was HANGRY!  Not only would they not feed me, but I wasn’t allowed much water either.  In fact, I was only allowed 15ml of water every hour and my throat was parched and I had heavy cotton mouth action going on.  I was pleading with them to give me something, like Sprite or whatever, but to no avail.  I later found out that eating generates poop and well, doing a number 2 would have been quite painful.  I told you I wasn’t censoring this!

The first day out out of surgery, I was basically in and out of sleep.  I was being woken up every hour it seemed so that they can give me painkillers. My poor parents were on holidays and spending it at the hospital, but I’m so glad they were there.  Despite being woken up all night long, I still managed to sleep and fall right back to sleep.  Day two was pretty much the same.  I was given a “bath” in the morning, where two nurses basically undressed me and wiped wet cloths over my body.  I’m assuming there was some kind of sanitizer mixed with the water? I was put in fresh gowns but what I really wanted was to wash my hair.  At that point, it was an oil slick! I was also finally put on soft food which was really bland rice porridge.  The physio also came round and she wanted me to get up and walk down the hall.  But first, I was given a lovely abdominal binder to wrap around my stomach to hold it all in.  That abdominal binder is my new best friend.  I’m still wearing it.

Holy crap, getting out the bed was f*^$@ painful.  The pain reverberated throughout my body and it was I could do to not cry, but crying would have hurt to.  I managed to get out of the bed and stand on my two feet to then get hit with a wave of dizziness.  I had, of course, been lying down for a long time by that point, so I had to stop for a moment and let the dizziness pass.  We were on the way!  So strange to be on my feet again, but my stomach felt as if it was all going to fall on the ground and I had to clutch it, so I was hunched over, the physio said, “Straighten up!” Nicer, of course, she is Singaporean after all… I tried, but I failed.  But I managed to walk down the hallway a bit and turn back, before gently getting back into the bed and passing out with exhaustion. Sheesh! Who knew walking 50 yards was going to make me feel like I had walked the span of the Earth?

My friends came to see me that night, which was really sweet.  I was given a unicorn and a cake as get well pressies, and my two girls in London had sent me a bouquet of flowers.  Love you guys! But as much as I enjoyed seeing them, it was exhausting.  Talking and laughing were still quite painful. I had some other friends also come round on Thursday, which was nice because I was able to talk without it hurting as much.  Thursday I was also told to be more mobile, so the physio came round and had me walk a bit longer.  I was told to try and do little walks every once in a while.  Plus by that point, I had learned how to get out of bed so it wasn’t as painful as the first time, but still hurt nonetheless.abdominal myomectomy
IMG_9601

I was finally discharged on Friday.  Before getting discharged, my dressing was changed and I begged for a shower.  She obliged after a bit of cajoling and so she put on a temporary waterproof dressing on and to the shower I went.  Oh what bliss to feel running water on me! Showering was a bit difficult, I was still slightly hunched over, and washing my hair proved to be a bit challenging, but I persevered and finally had clean hair! I got dressed and a new dressing was applied to my scar.  Not long after, I was discharged and wheel chaired to the taxi ! Hurrah!

WHAT TO BRING TO THE HOSPITAL:

– Loose clothing for when you get discharged

– Books, etc if you’re up for it, but I didn’t have the energy to read

– Toiletries – I only got to brush my teeth the day after surgery and showered the day I left

– Underwear: Only for when you are leaving, I was going commando the whole time until I left and the catheter was removed

Stay tuned for how I fared when I got home… I had no idea this post was going to be a novel!

Have you had surgery? What was your experience like?

 

 

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  • Girl that sounds awful!
    Also. Chris Farley seemed to love the morphine. Since he was like 5000 lbs heavier than you, I wonder how much he did!
    I’m glad you’re better!!! I love that unicorn. I love unicorns. I wish all horseys were actually unicorns. That would be so cool lol lol am I the only one who thinks this way?
    And my iPhone changes everything to sushi when I comment on your blog lol.

    • Yeah, maybe I should have asked for something stronger!! Unicorns and sushi rock! Man, your phone is slightly racist! Just because I’m Asian…! Just saying… haha

      • Lmfao, this made me spit water today. I sent you an email lady! So check your spam. Since I use yahoo mail, all my mail tends to go to everyone’s spam box. I should have thought of that beforehand but alas, I suck.

  • Did you get the special underwear to help hold your stomach?! No surgery for me, thank God cause I’m terrified of being put under! It sounds like it went really well considering you had major surgery!

    • Yeah, luckily it wasn’t underwear! it’s this so called binder, a tight but slightly stretchy wide bandaid that velcros at the side! It’s fantastic! You are lucky! This is my 2nd surgery!!

  • The White Dress Project

    Good afternoon- Can we share your story on @wecan_wearwhite and The White Dress Project: We Can Wear White on Facebook ? We are an organization dedicated to raising the awareness of uterine fibroids.

  • clara mcmillan

    I’m so happy you are doing well, and the test came back with amazing news! Thanks for sharing a big part of your life.

    God bless,

    Xo, Claire

    http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

  • What an experience! So happy to hear that you’re doing alright, it was interesting to hear about your time in the good ole hospital! Your friends are awesome, btw! 😉

  • I’ve been wondering how it went!! The time has definitely flown by for me too! I can’t believe it’s been that long. Glad your mom got to be there! It’s always so nice when they’re around!

    • Yeah, time is flying by, crazy! I’m glad all went well, but its amazing how tired I still am! Yeah, having my mom around was great!!!

  • Suzanne

    Hi Julie! I am having an abdominal myomectomy in 3 weeks and came across your blog in doing some prep to make sure I have what I need after surgery. I’m so glad I found you! 🙂 Haha. I, like you, am in really good shape and hope that helps with recovery. I am super bummed to not be able to lift heavy for months and months 🙁 Oh well, small price to pay I suppose. A few questions for you…

    What kind of abdominal binder did you use? I’m fairly petite (5’1″ & 118lbs) and worried some of these I’m seeing online are going to be way too big. And some of them are just a wrap and some have crazy straps all over…not sure which one will be best?

    Also- are you back to 100% with working out? How are you feeling these days?

    If this is too personal of a question- don’t feel obligated to answer. You mentioned that you wanted to have babies in the near future. Are you TTC? I will be looking to about 1 year post surgery.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!! I’m thinking of doing the same on my blog. I have tons of questions and there isn’t much out there…especially for younger women who are in good shape and looking to conceive in the future.

    Cheers!

    S

    • I’m so glad you found me too! Although I’m sorry that you found me because of this…! I’m glad you’re in shape, it will help tremendously for sure – especially when it comes to walking! It will be painful at first and you will get wiped out walking just 15 minutes, but every day you will get stronger faster. But yeah, it sucked not being able to work out!! As soon as I was given the ok by my doctor after 4 months, I was back in the gym but we avoided doing anything that involved jumping; getting my core strength back up. I was back to doing back squats with just the bar and slowly progressing up in weight. 9.5 months later, I am working out as if I had never had the surgery!

      As for the binder, the hospital actually gave me one. It was just like a white stretchy bandage that velcros at the side. Definitely a really simple contraption but defo did wonders…! And keep it on for at the very least a month.

      I would love to have babies in the future, but my man and I split up so… Hehe Oh well, maybe I’ll meet the right guy soon!

      If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at jewelswandering at gmail com And let me know your blog link!! 😉

  • victoria jack

    This is a great write up, I was also a victim, having uterine fibroid for many years. The size of my fibroid was very large as a grapefruit in my womb, trying to conceive was so hard. My difficulty was not only getting pregnant, but keeping the pregnancy. I occasionally had reoccurring bouts with dysfunctional uterine bleeding due to fibroid tumors. I even came close to having a hysterectomy, but due to future/possible complications, I refused. I learned about some herbs mixture prepared by Dr.Leonard and that was my breakthrough to a long standing problem. I already gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, very healthy, happy, and bright. I forgot to mention that my non-existent sex drive returned within just a few weeks of starting the herbs, this was a pleasant surprise. If interested and ready to give a try check out his blog: http://curetouterinefibroid.blogspot.com/ or contact me for my detailed experience; vicjack39@gmail.com.

    • Sorry to not have responded sooner, somehow I missed this. Yes, a year plus later I’ve had some random bleeding as well as I still have some fibroids left but I took some meds and for now, all ok. That’s amazing that you have been able to give birth! I hope too one day as well, but let’s see if I meet the right person! I will check out Dr. Leonard! Thank you, Victoria!

  • jessical alba

    ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR GETTING MY WIFE jessical OUT OF FIBROID WITH HIS HERB One of the greatest moments in this world is when you see your own wife put to bed, this awesome moments makes you a man and not just a man a real man. My wife suffered from Fibroid which made her unable to get pregnant and give us a child for almost 18 years with multiple surgeries done and none seemed to help the situation. I almost gave up but due to the love i had for her because i married her a virgin i had to find a way to help her. I told a member of my church who recommended Dr. williams to me, i contacted him and he sent me a medicine and this medicine shrinked it naturally in a weeks it was like magic but it’s science. I am happy writing this because he delivered a baby girl. Do not loose hope too soon contact him on drwilliams098765@gmail.com and i am confident she will help you too.

  • Ofosua

    Oh wow!!!! You just told my story!!

    Today is 2 weeks since I had an abdominal myomectomy and an ovarian cystectomy in a foreign country. I came here for work and discovered I had been walking around with 6 fibroids unknowingly for God knows how long, the biggest 6cm by 5cm by 3cm.

    Though your story differs in many ways (like living with someone post surgery, physio, belly band, family over), it’s mostly the same. Glad you shared.

    Pain has gone down pretty much for me. I rather battle with other symptoms more like acute occasional mood swings (in all kinds of moods, trust me, quite frustrating) and my random and exhausting granny walks, painful laughs (I love to laugh)… all sorts aside excruciating pain most of the time now, unless discomfort is pain… lol

    My apologies for going on and on, I am naturally talkative but I guess I’m just super excited someone actually told my story… Really, thanks for sharing… it’s encouraging…

    • Two weeks is still too fresh! But I hear you! It was hard to have friends over to keep me company and not laugh!! I do find that I still have some pain around the beginning of the stitches but all in, it’s ok. I also did have some random bleeding a year out but I took some meds and that sorted it out. Take it slow, your body will heal!! Do email me if you have any questions or want to vent!! Thank you for reaching out!! Xx

  • Jess Sims

    Hi Julie! I’m having a myomectomy on the 12th June to remove 7 bastard fibroids. 2 of mine are huge (one the size of a cantaloupe melon and the other the size of a watermelon). Really enjoyed reading this post and preparing me for what lies ahead. Thank you for taking the time to do it and for giving details!

  • Michelle C.

    Thank you for the honesty and graphic details in this post! It helps to see a detailed perspective on what to expect. I’m having this surgery next month and I am very scared as I have never had major surgery before. My largest fibroid is 11cm x 9 cm x 9 cm and my uterus is stretched all the way up to my belly button. I’m so uncomfortable all the time and my stomach is so swollen. I hope this surgery changes my life.