15 Hot Topics for Hysterectomy Recovery – Part 2
No one knows better than a HysterSister the ups and downs, ins and outs of hysterectomy recovery. What’s normal? What’s allowed? When will I feel better? What questions should I ask?
All these questions and more are answered in the HysterSisters Hysterectomy Recovery Forum, but here is a collection of helpful, non-medical advice for 15 of the most common concerns during hysterectomy recovery.
Housework, or, Revenge of the Dust Bunnies
- Housework that seemed important before surgery is suddenly not as important as resting and following doctor’s orders
- It doesn’t matter if the carpet looks like a ticker-tape parade went through. Repeat after me, “IT DOESN’T MATTER!” (And it’s not worth hurting yourself to vacuum!)
- The kids really do know how to do laundry, vacuum, and cut the grass despite what they’ve told you in the past.
- How many times can the family pass the cat puke on the carpet without cleaning it up?
- The grabber tool will really help you when you just have to pick up that tissue, paper, or anything else off the floor that your family seems to not see. It’s a way to clean the living room in five minutes without bending. Chasing the cat with it is also fun.
- Clutter expands to fill the available space. That is, the little pile of stuff your kids left in the living room last night that you didn’t pick up because you were trying to be a good Princess will have become a huge mountain that eventually takes over half the house and requires a bulldozer to move. This is the Princess’ version of that old Physics 101 rule, The Entropy of the Universe is Always Increasing. Corollary: No one in the house will notice this but you.
- Children do not need daily baths, especially if they’re swimming. Every other day (or less) is probably enough. And they’ll love you more for not fighting with them about it!
- Just because you feel good doesn’t mean you can actually go out and push a shopping cart. They have those cute riding carts at most stores that can really save your life if you can get over the complete embarrassment of being seen in one. Your kids will be completely jealous that you can handle the curves faster than they can.
- Wal-Mart: Just Say NO! New Princesses should avoid Wal-Mart like the plague!!! There is something like a black hole in that store that will suck you in with its seductive charms, then spit you out in pain with buckled knees and a cold sweat on your brow! Resist the pull—new sheets, cute sandals, and toilet brushes are just not worth it. If you’re not well enough to be at work, you’re not well enough to be at Wal-Mart. Besides, if one of those ‘falling prices’ hits you on the head, you could get amnesia and forget where you parked the car you weren’t supposed to be driving yet.
- Resist the temptation to get out and go shopping, after all, that’s what the Internet is for! Discover the delights of the electronic “mall.”
- When you congratulate yourself for getting someone to carry the groceries to the car for you, don’t undo the effect by bringing them into the house yourself.
- If you buy three 8-pound bags of cat food (or bird seed, or dog food) to avoid lifting 25 lbs, don’t congratulate yourself for being “good.” If you pick up all three bags at once, you’re still lifting 24 lbs!
Chocolate and Other Major Food Groups
- Chocolate really does make you feel better.
- If you watch too many cooking shows on TV, you gain weight just from the power of suggestion. Or maybe it’s from the calories being transferred by osmosis through the TV screen.
- Chocolate IS one of the major food groups, and a new Princess can knock off a carton of chocolate Heavenly Hash ice cream faster than it can melt in the microwave.
- As soon as you can eat at the hospital, ask your doctor if you can have someone bring in REAL food. It might have some nutritional value to it, and it might be recognizable too!
- If you are a coffee drinker, don’t cut it out of your diet pre-op. If you wind up with a terrific headache, see if your doctor will let you have some REAL coffee.
Family and Friends
- When friends and relatives volunteer to help, let them. Better them doing the laundry than you!
- Thank all your helpers frequently. They’ll be more likely to continue helping you.
- Friends who say, “Call me anytime,” are never home. EVER!
- When your church wants to bring meals for 2 weeks, don’t ask if you can pick the cooks, just say “thank you.” And mean it.
- Grown children who move in with you to help during your recovery don’t help much at all. They have their own agenda, so prepare to be left alone!
- Everyone in your household is concerned when you’re in the hospital and only a couple of days after you get home. Then they want to know “what’s for dinner?”
- No one but you cares if your family has clean underwear.
- You may well find out just how spoiled your family really is.
- Men go through MENopause too, and they often choose our recovery time in which to do it. Another attempt to make themselves the center of attention?
At the Hospital, and Other Medical Matters
- Try to have someone with you at the hospital at all times until you can get out of bed yourself. The nurses are so busy you need the extra hand to go track them down.
- Doctors don’t know everything. The best ones will admit this and ask their colleagues for help when they realize they’re in over their heads.
- When nurse Nancy decides you need to have an enema AND a suppository because they want to “get things moving” on day 2, do not let her out of your sight; you can’t get out of bed by yourself, remember?
- Shower time? Make sure you have hot water before you are buck naked. Not a pretty picture.
- A bladder can hold a quart and a half. This does not feel good. A catheter really CAN be your friend.
- When you’re at the hospital, it helps to have someone stay with you who can pull those TED hose down when your big toe keeps popping out that little hole in the end.
- Ask questions! If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor. If s/he doesn’t give you a satisfactory answer, keep asking. If your doctor doesn’t have the time to explain things to you, maybe you need a doctor who does.
- If you are a coffee addict, ask for the earliest possible surgery. If that is not possible, ask your doctor about managing your caffeine headache the morning of the surgery. The headache from caffeine withdrawal coupled with the stress of the day of surgery can make you more miserable than the surgery!
Continue to Part 3.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 15 Hot Topics for Hysterectomy Recovery – Part 2