Day 7 after surgery

 

Wow I really love the frame that’s frozen on the screen for this video!

I finally realize that the type of incision that I have takes the longest to heal. I didn’t really investigate that until now. Friends who’ve had c-sections have been very informative and helpful but I realize now that there is a HUGE difference between a c-section and what I had. There is just way more going on internally for me, my hysterectomy, to have all of those cuts deep inside to detach the uterus from where it has been all of my life.  Whew. I am feeling so relieved.

Spring is here. In 5 minute spurts, I have gotten up to clear my closet a little; taking out all of the wire/paper hangers I’ve unintentionally collected from the dry cleaners. I’m giving away all the clothes I never wear but think I might some day. Done. It feels so good to open my closet and see only things that I love and know I will wear. I am so ready to get back to where I was 7 years ago, my former energy and enthusiasm, my anything-is-possible self. I feel the lightness coming back.

I have been holding this vision since January, when my doc and I decided that this was the best option. I have been excited by the idea of being rid of the heaviness, the pain and the drained energy. I have been imagining emerging in Springtime as my renewed self, eating fresh berries and going on a hike. I am so delighted that its all coming. I’m basking in it already and having gratitude and reverence, however slowly it’s coming to fruition.

Love, Amy

Day 7 healing slowly but surely.

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Day 7 after surgery

Going home…but first…

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE SOME GRAPHIC IMAGES IN THIS POST. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH! 

AND I’M LOOKING PRETTY ROUGH. BUT WHATEVS.

 

I made that video a few days ago on my phone. I was feeling rough and dazed from the pain meds but SO happy to be getting outta there. I think they make the food and the beds  just bad enough to make sure you WANT OUT as quickly as possible. Although my last morning there, I had some delightful blueberry pancakes and coffee that really made me happy.

I wanted to kind of scan through the timeline/highlights of my stay there so if you’re headed down the same road you can get an idea of what to expect.

The first few hours after surgery: through the night nurses were coming in very hour or two; I can’t remember but it was often. It was all about pain management. On a scale of zero to ten (ten being excruciating) I reported my pain level. They told me that I didn’t want to get any higher than a 5 because it is hard to get the pain down from a 9 or 10. So communication is key. Anyway, I think they were giving me Norcol? something like that. And it worked well and knocked me the fuck out.

6am: One of the resident doctors came in to check on me and look at my incision site. She said everything looked fine. My belly was very swollen (and still is a little here on day 5) . Having to cut through all of those ab muscles is NO JOKE. She set some goals for the day like “starting on a liquid diet”, “walking” and “peeing on my own”. Oh yeah, I had been catheterized. All of that of course happened while I was completely out. Weird right? Just spreading my legs and putting a thin tube up my pee hole.

8am or 9am?: The nurse came in to empty the pee bucket and to take the catheter out. HOLY SHIT that was the worst thing I can remember about my experience in the hospital. It was probably good that she gave no indication about the utter awfulness of it (and I’m sorry to tell you now) but WOW. I wish she had told me to take a deep breath in… and on the breath out taken it out smoothly. But there is nothing smooth about this experience. Just accept that it’s going to suck. My first pee on my own had small blood fragments in there.

They told me that the TIMING of the pain meds was the most important thing of all- every 4 hours and not a minute sooner. Otherwise it builds up in your body and you need more to accomplish the same effect. I suspect that is the source of the rising number of over doses and deaths due to opioids.

12noon: Time to pee! This was the first time I stood up after surgery. It took about 5 minutes for me to get up out of bed. Its the abdominal muscles! Nothing works and shifting from being horizontal to vertical is so incredibly painful. Gravity pulled everything in a new direction and that was the most painful part about it. Also, I was unable to sleep on my side for about 4 days following surgery. I’m not a “back sleeper” so that was a bummer. I went on a short walk. I was surprised by how easy it was to move ONCE I WAS UP. Its the getting up that sucks.

Early/Mid Afternoon: My doctor came to see me. He showed me a picture of my extracted uterus. I am going to post the picture below for you. If you’re grossed out, sorry! But I’m super fascinated with it so I have to share.

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A normal, healthy uterus is 7cm. As you can see, mine measures 14cm! It was twice the size of a normal uterus. And completely PACKED full of large fibroids. But a friend of mine had the same procedure and hers was 4 times the size of a normal uterus!!! She had two fibroids the size of grapefruits among other smaller ones.

My doc told me everything was fine with my ovaries and I still had my cervix. I wanted to keep  my cervix because I COULD. Seemed to me that my pelvic floor kind of depends on the cervix…and people report that without their cervix orgasms are not as intense? Who knows. It just seemed to me that the benefits far outweighed the relative risks.

He also told me that if I had walked already, which I had, that I could go home that day. That I would be more comfortable at home. I really couldn’t imagine that. Plus I didn’t have anyone arranged to stay with me until the following night.  I opted to stay. The rest was just pain management and slow walks until check out the following day. Whew! Now I’m home and will post more tomorrow. Until then…sending you love.

Amy

PS Just so you know: laughing, sneezing and coughing are TORTURE so do your best to avoid them. If you tend to have allergies, take your Allegra or Claritin or whatever, every day!

Going home…but first…

A Brief Timeline of Symptoms

 

Hello! I just wanted to give you all a little summary of the events that led up to this place. After 15 years in Los Angeles, I had moved back to Texas to take a break and figure out what the hell was next with my life. I had a brother in Austin with two kids and I just wanted to be Aunt Amy for a while. It was around this time (2010) that I noticed my periods had become so heavy I couldn’t even make it through an hour (super plus tampon and full pad) without soiling myself. I would teach a yoga class for one hour and would be running to the bathroom immediately following. A few times I almost fainted…and I became severely anemic.

At the time I didn’t have insurance so I didn’t see a doctor until 2012. An Ultrasound showed that I had 3 Uterine fibroids that weren’t terribly big. We would watch them and in the meantime I had an IUD (Mirena) put in. The Mirena IUD is made of plastic (as opposed to the copper kind) and it emits the tiniest amount of progesterone which controls the bleeding. That part was an incredible relief. But I will say, almost immediately I had weird joint issues, mainly in my hip flexors. I would be standing there and out of nowhere I would get this crazy pain that would make me buckle over. So embarrassing. Also, I would get the craziest rush of water as discharge. Gross right? Sorry, but I have to share. The worst symptom, however, is the low grade depression. I have NEVER been a depressed person! Always hopeful and productive and full of ideas and action. Since making my film, North Blvd, I have been so unproductive, feeling hopeless and generally foggy. I started to connect the dots. A lot of women have no issues with IUD’s but I am not one of those women. I think they are best for younger women. But when over half of women over the age of 40 have uterine fibroids, things can go wrong- in my case, the fibroids grew and basically pulled the IUD deeper into my Uterus.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful and feel free to comment and ask questions. Have a good day.

Love,

Amy

A Brief Timeline of Symptoms