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Post Op Recovery Questions – Lina’s Story

Hi Linda and fellow hysters. I am 43 and after 3 months of decapeptyl (and suffering the debilitating effects of a radically enforced menopause) treatment, I had my abdominal hysterectomy (kept my ovaries) on 30 Nov in order to remove an 8cm uterine fibroid.

All went really well as was expecting a longitudinal cut but with an unexpected change of surgeon at the v last minute (my own surgeon was off sick) I had the under-tummy incision, which was great.

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Post- op ok-ish except I suffered 5 continual bouts of dreadful vomiting on the first day after the op which was incredibly painful, and trying to hold off the urges as i was instinctively wanting to protect myself from potentially ripping internal stitches. Little advice on movement etc and constipation lead me to experiencing a v v painful first post-op poo with blood and gp diagnosed temp piles -argh!

Since being home, wound has healed beautifully and I’ve had no vaginal bleeding-discharge. I have been v well cared for my husband (who is almost totally blind ) and a great team who have visited us everyday with shopping/cleaning and home cooking.

Now I am more mobile, my tendency is to be on my feet more and to physically do more as i go into ‘carer mode’, including changing/replacing bed sheets and folding washing/ carrying plates/yesterday. In the last week i have also started a daily walk – today I went for my daily walk (accompanied!) and managed 45 mins.

For the last 2 days I’ve noticed a pain on my right side abdomen – and it’s the side that was most tender post op and felt most stinging/pain/discomfort when moving to get up/ sit down/turning in bed during first 2 weeks. It’s also where I wanted to self-protect when I vomited. I am taking less pain meds (2 tramadol/ 4 paracetamol/4ibuprofen per day) and still maintaining a regime.

My questions are: 1. am I doing too much physically (which could be causing pain) and should I consult my gp at this stage regarding my pain? I am getting told off by my husband and yet a neighbour keeps telling me how v different she was with her op last year and why am I still on pain meds and should be doing more with being younger than she is.

2. What would constitute ‘resting’ at this recovery stage? (Think you can tell I am a do-er!) 3. I am giving myself a full 12 weeks for recovery – yet contemplating commuting to London at the beginning of February as I am doing a Masters degree. Will it be safe for me to travel on train/tube and dealing with the London crowds? I look forward to hearing some wise advice – thank you x

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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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