Chronic Illness, Fibromyalgia and Hysterectomy
Having any type of chronic health condition requires that you be diligent with your health. By itself, a hysterectomy is a major surgery that requires some planning. Combine surgery and fibromyalgia, and you will need to be prepared and proactive to allow for the best and smoothest outcome.
First, make sure your entire medical team is fully aware of the upcoming surgery so you can start working together to help the whole process go as smoothly as possible. The doctor who primarily treats your fibromyalgia may have some specific tips for you to prepare you for surgery. S/he may also want to adjust any medications you are using and see you more frequently during recovery. Your doctor may also want to speak to your surgeon about any unique issues for your case and to answer any questions your surgeon may have. If at all possible, use a medical facility where both doctors have privileges so they can both take part in your care during your hospital stay.
If you are taking medications for your fibromyalgia, you will need to know in advance if you are allowed to continue using medications as usual, or if any adjustments need to be made in the days leading to surgery. Anti-inflammatory medications can cause bleeding problems, so your surgeon may ask you to discontinue them up to 14 days prior to surgery. Your fibromyalgia doctor may have alternative medication choices your surgeon would approve during that time.
Be sure to discuss with both doctors what medications will be best for you during your hospital stay. Patients with fibromyalgia may require longer acting pain medications as well as their usual maintenance medications and possibly sleeping medications.
If at all possible, speak to the anesthesiologist before surgery. S/he will monitor and manage your pain during surgery and can make a huge difference by choosing medications more appropriate for your condition. The anesthesiologist can also position you extra carefully for surgery if s/he knows about your fibromyalgia.
During your hospital stay, make sure the staff is aware of your fibromyalgia so they can treat you accordingly. If you, or they, have any questions, know how to contact the physician who generally manages your care. You may want to request an eggshell for your bed, bring your own pillows, use ear plugs, etc. to help your stay be more comfortable. Be sure to move around gently so as not to stiffen up during your stay.
You will also need to carefully monitor your pain at home. Make sure to talk to both doctors about all medications you will be taking for surgical pain and to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. Work with both doctors to make sure you will have adequate pain control without over medicating. Be on the alert for any symptoms signifying that you may have an infection so you and your doctors can treat it quickly.
When released to do so, be sure to walk as a light form of exercise, but don’t over do it. Staying in one position too long could cause you to stiffen, increasing your fibromyalgia symptoms. Moving about the house a bit and changing positions can be helpful. Don’t plan to spend all of your time in one chair or your bed. As always, drink plenty of fluids and follow a balanced diet to keep your body as healthy as possible.
You should also ask if physical therapy would be an appropriate part of your recovery. With fibromyalgia, your recovery may be extended, and physical therapy can help keep your muscles from tightening during that time.
You, your surgeon, and the doctor who manages your fibromyalgia will need to be a team during your hysterectomy journey. You will want to keep the lines of communication open and be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have with both doctors. You will all need to be on the same page in order for you to have optimal results.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com and published by permission. The original article can be found here: Fibromyalgia and Hysterectomy.