So it’s been over a year since my surgery, and I am FINALLY sitting down to tell you how it went – I know…too damn long! So first off, I will say that I was scared to go into surgery, but luckily I had the support of loved ones to get me through the jitters and the unknown. It was my first time going under the knife, or even having to stay at the hospital. It was strange being on the other side of things, as I had become accustomed to being in hospitals when my dad was sick and had his stroke, but it was defiantly different being the one who was “sick”. You truly do put all your faith in the hands of those who are taking care of you – such as the doctors and nurses.
As you may or may not recall, I was supposed to get a laparoscopic myomectomy. They were to make 3 to 4 small incisions, insert tools, and remove the fibroid. It was supposed to be a quicker recover that way. However, the story didn’t quite play out like that. When I woke up I was groggy and in some pain. After a bit, they wheeled me into a room, which surprised me, because I was expecting to go home that same day. No one really told me at that point that instead of the small incisions I was expecting, they had actually had to open me up – as in a c-section style incision called an open myomectomy – about 5 inches near the bikini line, and a smaller one inch incision right above the belly button. I found out when I saw a familiar face come into my room and was told that my fibroid was too big to have been taken out as had been planned by the doctor. How big was it? The size of a softball. And instead of being slightly attached to my uterus via a stem like the doctor thought, it was actually growing into the wall of the uterus, which made it more difficult to remove laparoscopicly.
I think I was kind of shocked that they had actually cut me open like that. Yes, I always knew it was a possibility, but I guess I never really prepared myself for it. Anyways, I ended up having to stay in the hospital for at about 2 extra days, which I was also unprepared for. Was there pain? Yes. I could barely get out of bed. Every little movement or jerk hurt. We don’t realize how dependent we are on our core – our abdomen – for even the slightest of movements. Laughing or coughing was very painful. I literally laughed so hard I cried one day because it hurt so bad. I also felt like my insides were jello – all jiggly and loosened up. It was the strangest sensation. Along with that came the feeling of having to pee/poop right away, because I felt as though I had lost some control over being able to “hold it” the way I used to. Getting in and out of bed was impossible in the beginning, and for some reason the first day I got back home, I decided to get into bed, and believe me – it was the worst mistake EVER! LOL. I got so pissed off because I could not get myself out of bed. Every movement hurt, and I had no strength or ability to pull myself up or even roll to my side. I needed help and even that scared me because I was in pain. I ended up sleeping on the couch with a bunch of pillows lifting me up a bit, and that’s how I slept for some time. Eventually, I was able to sleep in my bed, on my back, but that was about it. Rolling to the side was a bit painful and uncomfortable. So because of this back pain wasn’t uncommon.
Another memory I have is of how extremely winded I was. I mean like hard core winded – I literally could not stay up on my feet for too long because I got so tired. It was really crazy. Walking was a pain too, because I was as slow as molasses. Taking walks took a lot of time, and I had to really go at my own pace as there was some pain and discomfort. Discomfort throughout the whole thing was the key word. My stomach was all puffed up and it didn’t go down for a while (hell, it still puffs up). I ended up gaining weight throughout my body, but especially my stomach. Not using those muscles for such a long time really screwed me over.
I ended up going to work a bit too quickly, now that I look back. I believe it was 3 weeks after the surgery. Bad idea too…lol. My back was killing me and I just didn’t have the energy. My advice – give yourself as much time as your body needs to fully recover. Don’t rush to go back to work – it’s not worth it and your body really does need extra time to feel better.
Fast forward to today. The actual surgery pain is all gone. I can sleep any way I want now, though sometimes sit still feels weird sleeping on my stomach. There is still a “discomfort” associated with my stomach. Even touching the incision area or pressing down feels a bit weird. Some areas are still numb. For me, one side of the incision seemed to take longer to heal than the other. There are times when I get some sharp pains or discomfort in the lower abdomen area. Not sure if it’s my ovaries or just scar tissue acting up, but it’s not bad – just annoying. My menstrual cycles seem shorter, but don’t know if that has anything to do with the surgery or not. I’ve gained weight since the surgery which I mentioned above (but I do attribute this to my lack of exercise, which I really need to change). My muscles are weak, and I really need to build muscle back up again. Good thing is I am able to move around and run and do all the things I used to before the surgery – so the pain does go away eventually. In fact, there will be a moment, where you don’t even realize that you are now able to put on your own socks, or bend over without pain. It will just happen – I promise. My insides no longer feel like jello. And as far as the bathroom goes – I do have to say that I can’t hold it for as long as I used to anymore. I guess when they go in and move around all your insides, it really fucks with your body. Not to say that I need a diaper or anything…lol. It’s just that when I start to feel an urgency, then it’s really time to go and I can’t say “in a little bit”.
In addition to some of the items mentioned above, it is important to note that 2 things (should I ever get pregnant) will happen as a consequence of this surgery. One is I will have to deliver via C-section. My body cannot due a vaginal delivery because my uterus would not be strong enough. And secondly, because it is not strong enough, I will have to deliver early. These things are a bit scary as at my age of 37, I am already at a difficult age for pregnancy. Technically if I were to get pregnant, it would be considered a “geriatric pregnancy”. So we add that along with the fact I’d have to have another C-section and deliver early, and that just makes for a scary decision.
Will I have a baby at some point? I don’t know. I have been grappling with this decision for a while, weighing the pros and cons. But now, even more, it’s an even harder decision. Because I would never want to put my life, or the life of my child’s at risk. Nor would I want to experience any complications. But I guess we shall see…..only God knows what will happen.
Anyways, that was my experience – or at least a quick version of it. Should you have any questions, let me know!