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Count Down Has Come

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

Well, ladies, Friday, January 19th, my hysterectomy is scheduled.  I got over my flu so my pre op is on Wednesday 1-17 and I think I should pass their approval.

Don't know what time surgery is yet.  I called my Priest.  My mother and of course, husband will be there.  

I am afraid even though everyone tells me to chill out.

If anyone has any words or wisdom, please spill.  This ain't easy for me.

Lots has gone through my mind.  The nurse told me all is coming out.  5 incisions and then an internal incision (vaginal cuff) will be created.

Will I be able to go to the bathroom without pain?  I am horrified thinking about constipation.  Got my laxative all ready.

Who's going to help me out of bed?  My husband is handicapped.  Has a spinal disease so he's not much help.  Mother is 92.  Doesn't walk very well.  So as you can see, I'm on my own.

Right now, I'd ready.  Don't ask me 10 minutes from now.  I'll shake like a leaf on a tree

Karen

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 498
Joined: Oct 2009

Hey, you are going to do fine. Just remember that the anasthesiologist will come into pre-op and will talk with you about anasthesia. An IV will be started in pre-op and they will give you some drug and you will not be anxious after that. The drug also makes you forget much of what happens once you say “see you when I am done with surgery “ “ “Love you! “

You will have a urinary catheter in but remember they put that in once you are in the operating room. The priest or hospital chaplain will visit you in pre-op if you request it. Praying helps bring grace to you in pre-op. You may be very surprised how calm you are in pre-op because finally the long wait to get the cancer out of you begins!

You will also need to make sure that when you get out of bed that you have a pain pill 30 minutes before. The nurses will show you how to get out of bed using the best technique. Sounds like you are having laparoscopic approach versus an open procedure. Laparoscopic recovery is no where near as invasive as open. You will likely have no problem getting in and out of bed. Splinting your stomach with a pillow when you get up will help. In open procedures they give you an abdominal binder to help reduce pressure on incision when you get out of bed.

Drinks lots of water during recovery. Don’ t be afraid of taking stool softners (like Ducolax) and you can take 3 or 4 at a time if you get constipated badly. Just think how relieved you will be once your surgery is done! Lots of us are keeping you in our prayers. Sending my gaurdian angel to be with your gaurdian angel to bring you comfort and grace as you undergo your surgery and begin your recovery. ((Hug))

Lori

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

you will do great and like northwoodsgirl says the laprascopic is much easier recovrery than the open (I've had a lot of abdominal surgery so she is correct).

I found gas to be an issue so get some GasX...especially when having laprascopic...it's the gas pains that hurt a lot more than the incision etc...

i found rolling to my side was easier to get up. I live alone so I had no choice but to do it myself (I did have my aunt stay with me the first few nights but she didn't help me out of bed). They will have you up and walking about before they release you so you will feel better about all of it that way.

eat a light diet over the next few days and if needed take a laxative to sort of "clean the pipes"...my friend's gyno has all his hysterectomy patients take a laxative to clear the gut so that they aren't constipated...I wish I had done that.

hang in there...it will all be over before you know it!!!!!!

xoxo

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

So kind of both of you for all the information.  I think I've got it down pretty well.

What about the cath for the urine?  nobody mentioned that.  Does that hurt?  is that when you are asleep.  I can't stand anyone trying to do something up there without pain meds.  I will scream.  And Plan on the Lactulose I have the day before to clean out the pipes as you say!  LOL!  That way I won't have to worry if I don't move the bowels for about 2 days.  After that, I'm going to have to or I will explode.

There is a video on youtube on getting out of bed.  I guess I better take a look at that again.

oxox

Karen

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 498
Joined: Oct 2009

They put in the urinary catheter in the operating room and I have no memory of that. I think they removed it once I was well enough to walk to the bathroom. Removal was fine since I was taking narcotic pain meds. Getting it removed sooner rather than later is good in that less likelihood of getting urinary track infection and also less likely to have issues with loss of bladder tone needed to urinate normally as before having been catheterized. 

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2017

Saltycandy, also wrote on your other question but want to assure you all will be well. I had mine one year ago, Jan. 25.  At 77, I had lots of possible dangers but it went beautifully and I was on my feet and moving well 2 days after. I also had chemo and radiation and blood clots BUT today I am exercising 5 days a week, tutoring, volunteering and planning on a horseback ride in a month!!! Relax and have fun for the next 3 days. Go to a movie, buy new pj's, go to an expensive restaurant... you will be so glad it is over come Jan. 20!!!  

linmk's picture
linmk
Posts: 58
Joined: Sep 2017

I never had surgery before, so I was terrified to have a hysterectomy. I knew nothing about laparascopy, but apparently it's an improvement over an open hysterectomy. A few friends had open hysterectomies some years ago. People were delivering meals to them, because they didn't have the strength to cook--maybe? One was in a wheelchair for a week afterwards. I walked with her in her wheelchair.

Early in the morning after my laparascopy i was standing in my room trying to decide what to have for breakfast when the surgery team walked in and told me that I was ready to be released from the hospital. I said, "Wait a minute. I haven't had breakfast yet." The next day I went grocery shopping and prepared a fresh shrimp salad for a dinner party. There were times when I had to sit or lie down  for short periods of time over the next few days, but I was not incapacitated. Hopefully, your surgery will go as well. Good luck!

LA123's picture
LA123
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2015

I had my laparoscopic hysterectomy in June 2015, everyone is different, I was up and about two days later, even went car shopping with my husband (OK, that was not a good idea, but I just needed to get out of the house). Got back to work in a week, (my job is not physically demanding). Let your body decide when you are ready to start getting back to your normal routines, dont push yourself.  Something that helped me a lot was tying up a bedsheet to the end of the bed, that way, when I needed to get up I could simply pull on the sheet as I got up, it was a huge help. I wish you a speedy recovery! Be kind to yourself.

Lucy

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

they will put the catheter in while you are still under anesthesia in the OR...i got out of surgery at midnight (i know...crazy...but the OR's were tied up because my hospital is a Level 1 trauma unit in a big city) and had the catheter in until mid-afternoon the next day. My hysterectomy was open because of the cancer (she wanted to see it all and my uterus was the size of 3 months pregnant) but I was up and walking the next afternoon after they pulled the catheter and I had my pain blocks in. I never really notice the catheter (I've had a few surgeries that required them after) and it's just annoying but not painful...

you might want to be sure you have plenty of pillows for home recovery---I found it more comfortable to lie at an angle (I have a big wedge pillow) than to be flat like I normally sleep. I am a side sleeper but that was not comfortable for a few weeks so I just sort of built a pillow "fort" and had myself and had pillows on each side of me to keep me laying on my back...

xoxo

 

MrsBerry
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2017

I know the anxiety well! I had my laparoscopic hysterectomy just last Thursday, and I am amazed at how good I feel already. I have no memory of the catheter, it was already out when I woke up. I had some post anesthesia nausea and dizziness, and my appetite was lousy for a couple of days, but honestly, today I feel pretty normal. I am also really , really glad to have it over with!  

The nurses taught me the best way to get in and out of bed. I am sleepimg in a recliner in the living room, seems to be the most comfortable And easier to get ina nd out, so if you have or can borrow a recliner, that may be a help to you. The constipation was handled with dulcolax and stool softeners, and went away as soon as I was off the narcotics 3 days post-surgery.

Be kind to yourself leading up to surgery, and know that you are Taking Care of Business, TCB!

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1304
Joined: Oct 2015

I had my hysterectomy in September of 2015 using the DiVinci robot at about 2 pm. At 10 the next morning I literally danced out of the hospital. I took it easy for a few days. If necessary,  I could have gone back to my desk job. My only problem was diarrhea. I have had chronic diarrhea for years and after taking Miralax,  I really had a problem!!! That took a few days of Immodium to stop it. The surgery was so easy!!!

Love, 

Eldri 

evolo58
Posts: 292
Joined: Dec 2017

Oops. Wrong thread. Sorry about my previous response. That made NO sense in this thread whatsoever!

But I echo what many write here ... take it easy and slow, and Mr. Pillow is your friend after surgery. I took that pillow around everywhere I went in the earlier days post my myomectomy.

You may be asked to use a spirometer. It is useful. I know I thought it silly, though I still followed instructions and used it, but a nurse here has already told us it's important. I would tend to believe the nurse! :)

Hope everything turns out even better than expected!

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I've had two cancer surgeries which were both very extensive open procedures (for stage IVb UPSC) and to be honest, very painful.  One included an appendectomy and gall bladder surgery, the other had two resections of my intestines.  If you find yourself with a lot of pain after surgery (hopefully you won't), I would consider getting a visiting nurse to come to your house and advise you of the best way to do things.  I thought I'd pull myself off the john using my towel bar, but the nurse said sometimes towel bars fall off the wall, so she recommended putting my forearm on the nearby windowsill and pushing myself up on that.  She told me to roll over on my side in bed and push myself off my heavy nightstand to get up.  I found I couldn't even get into my very tall bed after surgery and had to spend a week and a half on a low sofa.  At the hospital, I had wicked pain running down the back of one leg and had to have a nurse or a tech lift my leg out of bed for a few days after surgery until I could tolerate doing it myself.  I tend to be very independent, so I felt like I was being a bit of a pansy, but the pain was just so bad that I felt I had no choice. 

For me, the Percocet I was given really didn't even work.  After taking it for 3 or 4 days in hopes that it was doing something for me, I was so constipated by it that I had to stop it.  The constipation was just making the pain worse.  If they give you that, my advice is to get off of it as soon as you can.

Beware of UTI's caused by the urinary catheter.  You probably have to have the catheter so you don't pee when you're unconscious in the middle of surgery, but watch for UTI symptoms after surgery, like burning and frequency of urination and ask for a urine culture and antibiotics if you get those symptoms.  The insertion of a catheter can push bacteria up into women's very short urethras into the bladder all too easily. 

I hope all goes smoothly for you and you don't have any of the problems I did.  Most people don't.

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 887
Joined: Jan 2016

I’ve had 2 csections, a kidney removal and divincy hysterectomy for uterine cancer and that one was the easiest. Plus for me I had a lot of stomach pain before the surgery and I felt amazingly good afterwards for that relief. I am a regular user of miralax and fiber supplements. Probably repeated abdominal surgeries radiation and chemo make for regular constipation, but I work with a gastroenterologist tweaking dosage etc and it has helped. I’m very cautious about tasking prescriprion pain meds but use as needed.

hopeful56's picture
hopeful56
Posts: 73
Joined: Jul 2017

I want to wish you well with your upcoming surgery.  

I had a complete hysterectomy using DaVinci robotic In August. I also had two c sections.   Comparing the two procedures, it's abdominal surgery, your body has to heal and don't overdo it

I live alone so these are some tips and my experience so I hope it helps you.

Before surgery, I shopped bought all the heavy items like canned good, kitty liter, dog food and so on.  For food i bought soups, yogurt, fruits, for a light diet to recoup after surgery.  You wlll not have too much of an appetite...I know I didn't.  It will also help your body to get everything working.  

I received the annointing of the sick before surgery from my priest.  That helped me so I understand you want to see a priest. After that I was ready.

You will see the team prior to taking you into surgery including your surgeon.  You will be given something to keep you calm before you go into OR.  When you wake up in post-op you are carefully monitored and will have meds for pain.  You will not leave post op until they know all your vitals are stable and you are not in pain. Get up out of bed as soon as you can when you are in your room when they ask you to try. The quicker you can get up and move the better!  You will have assistance, however, do not leave that hospital until you know you can get out of bed by yourself, go to the bathroom and walk around.  I did not take any of the narcotics, I was able to control any discomfort with motrin.  I found that better than the tylenol.  I also wanted to be able to get around feeling stable on my feet.  I used a pillow to protect and cushion my abdomen.  That pillow was my best friend and I used it at home.  Just felt good to have there.

Be careful getting in the car, you will feel everything and the pillow will help you.  I was able to go up the stairs at my first  night to my bedroom.  Take everything slow and "listen" to your body.  I have two sons, one stayed until he went back to school that weekend.  My other son and his wife stayed in the house at night a few more days.  Overall, I was alone duirng the day, moved around, dressed myself, etc.  Just take it slow.  I also found having a grabber to get things, or pick up something from the floor.  Believe me if you drop a tissue you will not be able to bend down and get it.  

You will do well.  Just take it slow.  Be sure before you leave that you are mobile on your own, can move around, and you can go to the bathroom.  You will also have stool softners to help your body until everything was working.  I was fine by the time I left the hospital.  I was released the next day.

You will have little incisions.  I had 3 on each side and one above my belly botton.  They are topped off with a clear glue. 

I was grounded for 3 weeks from driving.  At home, I kept myself mobile by walking, going outside and walking around just don't do too much.. If you do, your body will let you know!

My post op appt was duirng my 4th week and I drove to my appointment.  My 5th week I started back to work, also began chemo and just took time off as needed during my treatments.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.  Everything will go well and I wish you all the best.  I hope I eased some of your pre-anxiety.  You are on a wonderful site for support.  The ladies here helped me get through my preanxiety jitters when I was going to start chemo.  That is when I found this site.  You will find a lot of support courage and inspiration from all the wonderful ladies with this support group.  

I hope this helped you.

Hugs,

Sandra

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

That's a good point about the pillow.  i wish I'd had one going home from the hospital.  The roads I had to take to get home from Albany, NY were atrocious, full of potholes..  I'm sure there are a lot of roads across the country that are bad from the weather at this time of the year.  I had large incisions each time I had surgery and wanted to give the road crews a piece of my mind every time I got jostled.  A pillow underneath me would have cushioned the blows, and one to put on my belly would've been great, too.  

bluesmama
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2014

you mention 5 incisions so i'm guessing you're getting lapro/davinci. you may wake up with a catheter. it's annoying but not painful. when they pull it out, they should ask you to cough and they'll pull it out quickly. normally they discharge you rather quickly. some have been discharged after a few hours but many get discharged the following morning. 

you might have neck pain if you had lapro and feel a little bloated. they have to pump you up with air in your abs and sometimes it gets stuck inside. it'll get absorbed and excreted within a few days.

take your pain meds at least for the first few days and definitely take colace and keep well hydrated. when your bowel movements resume, it should pass relatively easily. i had an electric zing (for lack of a better phrase) whenever i had a bowel movement for some time but it's not awful. the other thing i remember my body got a little lazy with peeing. i had to slowly breathe out while i sat on the toilet to make sure i emptied myself out. not sure why that happened.

once the bloating and headache was gone, i think the worst was the sore tummy for a few weeks and especially noticeable when getting out of bed. The first week, I did what the other ladies did - roll on one side, push using your arm up to a seated position. The second week got easier. No heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks I think. But once the 6 weeks passed, I was out jogging again.

the only thing I would add is if you end up with abdominal (I did for surgery #2), I wish I had used the velcro wrap around my abs much sooner. The staples they used popped out in a spot and my wound ended up opening and taking much longer to heal. Had I been using the wrap, I wonder if I could have avoided that. quite sturdy and adjustable. cost me about 40 bucks. i hear some insurance will cover it if a prescription is given for it.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 498
Joined: Oct 2009

SaltyCandy13, Your big day for surgery is tomorrow! There will be many “sisters” keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Please post on the discussion board again once you feel up to it. ((Hug))

Lori

 

MugsBugs
Posts: 102
Joined: Jan 2018

Good luck tomorrow!  I know it will be a relief for it to be over!  I will be praying for you.  My surgery is scheduled for the 29th so I will Be happy to hear how smoothly things went for you.  I have found the responses to your post comforting - thanks gals!

JinVa's picture
JinVa
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 2017

hi Karen,

just wanted to add my voice of support to the many others here. Everyone has shared great advice and wisdom; I hope you can draw strength from that and comfort from knowing that we are all rooting for you. Tomorrow we will all be Team Karen!

hopeful56's picture
hopeful56
Posts: 73
Joined: Jul 2017

Thinking of you Karen.  Hope everything went well and you are resting comfortably.

Sandra

NoniK
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 2017

Hi Karen,

I hope your surgery went well. I had the same surgery in November. The recovery went well and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I worried it would be. My recovery problem was breathing. The gas they use to inflate my abdomen got stuck in the upper right portion of my chest. I used the spirometer everyday as often as I remembered it. It hepled move the gas and aided me in taking deep breathes. 

I’m so glad you’re on the other side of the surgery. Now let the healing begin. Be kind to yourself and do not rush to get going. It took me the full 8 weeks until I felt really healed and back to myself. This is a big deal and your body deserves as much time as it needs to heal.

 

HorseLvr's picture
HorseLvr
Posts: 102
Joined: Nov 2017

Hope all went well!

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

All of you wonderful ladies!  I am home now.  Everything is gone.  Ovaries, uterus, tubes, and cervix.  Yes had the laprascopic DaVinci thing done.  My abdomen is a mess.  all purple and blue.  I developed a blood clot under my left lower rib and my red blood cell count went down so they almost wouldn't let me go home and then I stabilized, thank God.  Another day in there and I would have cracked up.

Aside from the blood clot, everything else is okay.  Now we are waiting for pathology.  I want this nightmare over with.  Love and hugs to all!  and thank you so much.

Karen

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

What I found is that all doctors do things differently and Dr. Google isn't always correct.  I had no catheter.  I got to wear my gown (no nudity) and had to use sterile wipes 3 times, one night before, morning of and then in the operating room.  They used also some iodine so I'm all yellow from the boobs down.  LOL  And all female staff except for the dude that knocked me out.  Really didn't like him.  He wasn't the least bit warm and fuzzy.  So it's not as embarrassing as I thought it was going to be.  They really gave me privacy, dignity and all.  So if anyone gets upset with Dr Google, don't.  All doctors have their own style.  I am glad I don't feel degraded with this surgery

barnyardgal
Posts: 185
Joined: Oct 2017

I'm glad most everything went well! I was shocked at how much bruising I had, but now I just have 5 tiny scars. I had to spend a 2nd night at the hospital, too, as my salt level dropped too low. My recovery was quick, and I hope yours is too!!

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 498
Joined: Oct 2009

So glad to hear you are home from your surgery. The blood clot is scary! A warm wash cloth will wipe off the betadine on you torso. They put that on you to try to minimize the amount of bacteria, virus or other things that could infect your surgical wounds. It stains clothes and sheets so hopefully you have washed it off by now. Hope your recovery is uneventful! 

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

yes I did clean that off.  Horrible stuff.  LOL

JinVa's picture
JinVa
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 2017

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for updating us; sounds like the surgery itself went well. I am so glad that experience seems to be overall positive. Wishing you a speedy recovery and good news from the pathology report. Please keep us posted!

HorseLvr's picture
HorseLvr
Posts: 102
Joined: Nov 2017

Glad it's behind you now. Best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery.

cheerful
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Karen:

  Glad to hear that your surgery went well.  I hope you have a speedy recovery. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 (UPSC) in February of 2011. My 7 year anniversary is coming up in the next 2 weeks. It took me 8 weeks to recover from the surgery as I just had a normal hyserectomy and could not drive for that time.   I went through chemo had 6 rounds of it and 3 brachytherapy treatments as I started in April of 2011 and finished with brachytherapy treatments in October of 2011.  

  Keep us ladies posted as to how you are doing.

Cheerful

a/k/a Jane

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

thank you Jane for your kind words.  I will.

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