I am 10 weeks post op a total hysterectomy – removal of the uterus, cervix and tubes. Every surgeon will tell you that complete healing takes 6-8 weeks. They will downplay this major surgery, because it happens so often. Your mom’s friends who had this done at 50 years old will tell you it wasn’t that bad.
I am here to tell you that this is a whole different ball game when you have a hysterectomy at 26, scar tissue and nerve damage from years living with endometriosis, pelvic floor dysfunction and multiple pelvic surgeries already under your belt.
When I first woke up from surgery I had more energy than I usually do afterwards. I was up and walking sooner than ever before and had a really hopeful outlook because of this. The next two weeks I was alert and wide awake with minimal pain, even though every source said that I would be exhausted and need two naps a day. It was strange. I thought maybe I was just special. But I did my best to rest as I am supposed to, other than that huge wedding I had to do 4 weeks post op….not my smartest decision. But doc said it was fine! I’d be well recovered by then. In what world, buddy?
Six weeks passed, my cuff was healed and my doctor cleared me to resume activities. I started walking again about half a mile a day because my hip was becoming weak and painful. I started up my light exercises, and even went on a trip to Ohio with my husband (WORST IDEA EVER). In short, I literally went from 0 to 100 (because light walks and flying is my 100, sadly).
I am now 10 weeks post op and my body is saying fuck you. I’ve been in a flare for 2 weeks now and am back to laying in bed. My best friend from Italy came to visit and I had to sit most of the weekend out. I’m trying not to beat myself up for this set back, but I can see now that I so desperately wanted this recovery to end and that I rushed things horribly.
As for that euphoric energy and miraculous bout of no naps after one of the most difficult major surgeries a person can go through — well that is now hitting me and I can’t stop sleeping at 10 weeks post op. I wish I could pause work and life for a minute so that I can re do this recovery the right way.
I learned through therapy that the reason I couldn’t rest or sleep was because my mind was too stressed and alert to allow my body to. This surgery was so tough on me emotionally, it’s unknown outcomes weighed on me heavily – to the point where I literally couldn’t rest.
So. If you’re having a hysterectomy, please take it slow. Learn from my mistakes.
Recovery is longer than the 8 weeks your doctor told you.
Ease into things. It is OK to take it easy and rest, even if that means skipping out on a trip or event and letting other people down. This is an ideal time to stop caring what people think about you. If someone can’t be respectful of your limitations with chronic pain or illness, then fuck them.
Here are my new affirmations for bad pain days and recovery. May this be of service to you. Sorry for any spelling errors and this atrocious writing style. Proof reading is so 2018.
in bed or active, i am enough.
it’s ok to rest.
it’s ok to recover.
it’s ok to not feel good and give my body a break.
it’s ok for my S.O. to take care of me.
it’s ok to do nothing today.
i am loved.
i am worthy.
i am doing the best i can – truly, i am.
i will feel better again.
this will pass – it always does.
good days will come again.
everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen, because the universe works with me not against me to achieve harmony and balance.
my body loves me and i love it.
we will get through is.
i am ok with today.