Post Hysterectomy Life

Here is a follow-up to post My hysterectomy experience. This post tells about how the first 4 weeks went after my robotic laparoscopic hysterectomy. I hope it is helpful!

Post Hysterectomy Life, hysterectomy, life after hysterectomy, surgery

Post Hysterectomy Life

Four weeks ago, I had my hysterectomy. It’s strange, because it seems like it was so long ago. I will start at the day of when I got home. The day of, and the day after was just resting and trying to remember when to take pain meds (setting a timer on my phone helped). They had me on narcotics – which I don’t do well on (so I took half a pill at a time) and ended up feeling out of it for the entire time. Every time I “woke” up, I got up to go to the bathroom and walk around. I actually made myself walk for a certain amount of time every time I was up. It sucked, but I knew that in the long run it would help – and it did. The first 2 nights I slept on the couch, it reclined, and it was more comfortable to sit (and sleep) with my knees up. Plus, it helped that it was lower to the ground than our bed and easy to get myself out of.

Two days after the surgery I had changed over to ibuprofen. I took 4 every 8 hours, it was great – the first time in months (maybe even years) that ibuprofen actually worked for problems regarding my female reproductive tract. Living with endometriosis, it wouldn’t work, and I finally got to the point where if I was in pain, I wouldn’t take anything, just because it wouldn’t help. Also, at 2 days out I was able to take a shower. It really is amazing how much a good shower will help you feel better.

After my first shower is when I noticed a massive rash starting to develop on my stomach. With a little more inspection, I also noticed welts under both breasts – which were from the straps that I was being held to the table with. The rash itched, which was a bit of an irritation since the incisions were still tender. I tried lotion and it didn’t help, I finally got out my daughter’s eczema lotion (or balm) – ‘Aveeno Eczema Therapy, Itch Relief Balm’. It’s a little thicker and helped within a matter of days. I was careful not to put it directly on the incisions.

The rest of the first week was pretty much the same as the first 2 days. A lot of resting and watching tv – I didn’t eat a whole lot and tried to make sure I got a good amount of fluids. Getting up from a sitting position was hard. I had to roll to one side then push myself up. I also had trouble the first little bit when I tried to put the footrest down. A BIG thanks goes to my daughter – she was a great help. I did try to rest in my husbands’ recliner – which would have been great (it’s super big and fluffy) – except, I got stuck and couldn’t get out by myself.

The next two weeks were pretty much the same, I was getting sick of looking at the walls, so at postop day 9 my husband took us out to eat. It was so nice to get away from the house. I had been walking around the back yard, but a change of scenery was definitely needed. After dinner I was still feeling ok, so we went to the grocery store also. Let’s just say I was quite a sight, with my pink pajama pants and the look of exhaustion. But I didn’t care, it was the first time in days that I felt human again.

At two and a half weeks I went to church, let’s just say I shouldn’t have. I was feeling fine that morning, made sure to take ibuprofen before we left, and took a pillow. The first hour and a half I was fine, but halfway thru church I started getting sore and by the time we made it home I was in pain. I ended up being in pain the rest of the day and the next day.

By three weeks I could wear jeans, but I couldn’t button them up. Which was ok, I didn’t do much, it was just nice to not be wearing pajama pants. Also, something to keep in mind – between week 3 and 4 you will probably bleed a little. It’s ok and normal. They (usually) put in dissolvable stiches and around 3/4 weeks is when they start to dissolve. Between that, and any old blood that was in the area that is starting to become loose. I will admit that it did startle me, the first thing that went through my mind was that I did too much and pulled something loose. Luckily, I didn’t. I did bleed a small amount over 2 days, then I was fine. I did read that any excessive amounts of bleeding to call your doctor and let them know.

By 4 weeks out, I felt fine. I would wear out a little faster than normal, but I expected that. I was down to taking 2 ibuprofen every 8 hours. And sometimes I would forget and would go 10-12 hours, then I would feel a twinge in my abdomen and remember to take something.

All in all, the worse thing I think about the whole experience has probably been the hot flashes/night sweats. I would wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. Going out and rolling around in our newly fallen snow actually appealed to me. But as soon as it comes on, it’s done. And I was left freezing. What a mess! Luckily that stopped just short of my 4-week mark – YAY! At 4-weeks I also had my post-op appointment. The doctor told me that since I had such bad endometriosis, cysts and fibroids that I would need to take it easy for another 4 weeks, but that I could start upping my exercise, and I could finally take a bath and soak – YAY again!

Here are the top things that I found useful:

  • try using ‘Depends’ for first week – I know it sounds crazy, but the first little while you will have drainage. I have also heard that some women had problems getting to the bathroom on time – luckily, I didn’t have that problem. I was told to use pads, but I hate pads. I did have to cut slits down the front a few inches in the and fold them down, so it didn’t rub against the incisions. I actually seen this tip from another blog – I wish I could remember which one – but they did help. I did have to hear a couple jokes about them – from my husband, but it was ok. I would rather him joke about it, then have to clean my couch and mattress.
  • not doing anything the first 2 weeks – boring – yes. In fact, the first 2 weeks I didn’t want to do anything. My energy was shot, and I couldn’t concentrate very well. After that though I started feeling better and was able to read (and remember what I read!). It’s a good thing too, because I had back issues of my ‘Outdoor Photographer’ subscription to catch up on.
  • walk! – The first few days I just walked around the house and a little around the backyard. Then I started walking a little more. By the end of the 2nd week, I could go around the block – slowly – but I was able to do it.
  • I found it more comfortable to have my knees up, or leaning forward – It was that way the first 3 weeks, even after that sitting with my knees up was a bit more comfy.
  • Ice pack for tummy -I used this mostly over the incisions that were a little painful.
  • two words: Heating pad! for your back pain – even before the surgery I had horrible low back pain from the endometriosis. I would joke with my husband that there were times I loved my heating pad more than him – and he laughed and agreed! After surgery the back pain wasn’t much better. I even remember thanking the nurses that brought heated blankets for my low back right after the surgery. I used it a lot at first, and by 3 weeks out it was only when I did too much.
  • keep on top of meds, don’t fall behind – I set the alarm on my phone so I wouldn’t forget
  • wear comfy, loose fitting clothes
  • even when you start thinking you are ok, take it easy – very little will make you tired, you have to build yourself back up.
  • ask for help – This was the hardest one – I am ‘the one’ that does everything in our house. Asking for help wasn’t easy. My husband and little girl were my helpers. I was so thankful that they were there even just to get water and to save me from the woman eating recliner! We also had family and friends offer to come help. We didn’t need them because of preplanning, but it was nice to know that they were there if needed.
  • clear everything off your schedule – know what we had to do during the first 4 weeks? Nothing! I ended up binge watching ‘I dream of Jeannie’, ‘Frasier’, and ‘Vicar of Dibley’.
  • give yourself proper amount of time to heal and stick to weight restrictions– When I found out I needed surgery, one of the first things I told my husband was that I wasn’t going to do anything – or at least not much – for the first 6 weeks. I did this to help reduce my chance of adhesions forming. I know that there is a good chance they will, but I have seen – and coded – too many people that did too much, too early, and ended up having problems in the end. I figured that this was my opportunity to pamper myself a bit.
  • take enough time off work – I talked to my doctor and she told me I could take as much time as I needed, and since I had had a laparoscopic surgery before I kinda knew what I was in for. In the end, I was approved for short term disability and decided to take 8 weeks off. I know a lot of women don’t have that option. If I went back to work early I would be in the middle of the busiest time of the year, and I didn’t want to put that much pressure on myself or my recovering body so soon after a major surgery.

I hope these tips help you! – If you had a hysterectomy, what did you do that helped you the most?


Still looking at information regarding hysterectomies and post-op? Check out the Update: 6 months post hysterectomy post!

4 thoughts on “Post Hysterectomy Life

  1. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

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