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Thoughts on Recovery III: 28 Days Later

August 13, 2003

It’s been four weeks since my surgery. When my doctor and I first talked about it, he said most people were off work four to six weeks after an abdominal hysterectomy. In my case, it’s going to be at least five, because I don’t even see him to get evaluated until early next week. When he filled out the paperwork for the disability insurance I get through work, he said I’d be off eight weeks, but I don’t think it’ll be that long. I think that was just so he wouldn’t have to fill out another set of papers in the event my recovery didn’t go well (after all, my time in the hospital didn’t go as planned). I think if I absolutely had to go back to work now, I suppose I could, but only if I could nap during the day or work part time or both. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that until I’ve made the drive there and back; who knows what might get shaken loose being in the car two hours a day.

I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I feel better than I did before surgery. I still think it was the right choice, since the fibroid was still growing and likely would have continued to do so until I hit menopause, but I’m not celebrating just yet. The pain from the incision is about the same intensity as the pain from the fibroid was, sometimes a little worse. I no longer feel like I have to pee every five minutes, but I do have intermittent bladder spasms instead. I’m not sure if my bladder is still protesting being jostled during surgery or is just freaking out because it got so used to the fibroid sitting on it that it doesn’t know what to do now that it’s gone. I am seeing healing, though. My waist is now only an inch bigger than it was pre-surgery instead of and inch and a half, so the swelling is receding. There’s still one small spot along my incision that hasn’t healed over, but that seems to be on the mend now, since snipped out what I think is one of the stitches that was supposed to be internal but that apparently worked its way to the surface and was irritating the spot.

The biggest problem I have right now is how tired I get. I’m getting more energy as time goes on, but it’ll be a while before I can run around like I did pre-surgery. Yesterday I had a big day; it was the first time I’d ventured more than a few miles from home all by myself. I went to visit Denise and Tess, and it was just what I needed. We had a leisurely walk from their house to the pub for lunch, then ambled back and hung out until it was time for Tess’s nap. We did try to go to a new craft store, which had signs in the windows claiming it was now open, which was well and good except the door was locked and there was a newspaper on the porch, as if no one had been in that day. Oh well, maybe next time. I loved watching Tess; little kids are masters at thinking creatively. Given some Play-Doh, I’d probably just mold it with my hands, but Tess showed me that stomping on it with bare feet was something worth trying out, too. She also thought outside the box at lunch, experimenting with using a spoon to eat a blueberry muffin and seeing whether the watermelon rind was good to eat. Too cute! I would have liked to stay and have more grown up talk with Denise once Tess went down for her nap, but I was running out of steam. I ended up taking a nice little nap of my own after I got home, which seems a little pitiful. Shouldn’t I be able to go out for a few hours and not have to rest when I return? Not just yet, evidently. Being patient is hard.


A year ago, I was feeling heavy.

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