TAH Recovery Takes Time – Pauline’s Story

I am at three weeks post operation today, TAH with ovaries preserved. Prior to the operation I thought I would be able to do my job, which is singing, at this stage. I realized a few days ago I was nowhere near being able to do this (I was dreaming). As I can’t cough or laugh without hurting whereas singing really involves all the stomach and centre of my body, its mostly dance music too, so sadly I replaced myself for what would have been my first booking back tonight. I am settling in for the long haul of recovery which is snail slow, I am beginning to realize. Three weeks is very early.

The bulk of the pain is over but the twinges are nasty and change a little each day, sometimes its like a throbbing hot needle for a couple of minutes, that was yesterday, today there is a heavy bruised feeling above the incision plus the odd string of pain which lasts just a few seconds. I hope that is normal. Its very hard to resist a nice cat stretch when I wake up in the morning. But perhaps I did that in my sleep and pulled something, feels like it.

I spend most days in bed, sleeping in the daytime sometimes too. When I first left hospital I was awake for only about 4 hours each day, my body seemed to need so much sleep and I feel that much sleep was really valuable and I got along the road of recovery well with that. It seems progress is slower now, three weeks in.

The swelling above the incision has a life of its own, swelling outwards much more than other times, for no apparent reason, pulling somewhat tightly on the incision when its bigger. It changes slightly every day. The incision feels like a tight elastoplast across my bikini line, it is pale pink though and even white in places, so no problem on the outside anyway.

I guess I just wanted to share that perhaps if expectations of quick recovery are lower, its is perhaps easier to deal with as the weeks crawl by. This six week mark to total recovery now does appear myth- like to me. I am 49 and pretty fit, but it has knocked me for six. Although I spoke to a nurse prior to find out what it would be like, the information was just “you will be uncomfortable and its hard to sit for any length of time in a normal chair”. This is true, but the recovery is indeed really quite debilitating as all movement I am finding is slow and restrictive. Its hard to deal with having been quite active prior.

Perhaps I am having a winge perhaps I have pulled a stitch inside and set myself back, I don’t know. I am looking for what is “normal” I guess.

I know I just have to wait it out – am going a bit stir crazy (in case you can’t tell).

My uterus was 22×40 cms as removed during surgery. Two fibroids inside, one 10cms and one 18 diameter, I also had several polyps. I always wondered why my tummy was so fat when I am not really a fat person.

I had lower back pain too, had been to osteopaths who only looked at the bones. When I saw the x-ray I said “what is all that stuff next to my lower spine” and the doc thought it was just stools. I see now it was swirling fibroids. He seemed to not be aware of such possibilities. So, my lower back pain is gone, that is truly brilliant and no more massive periods causing anaemia. My whole life was based around my menstrual cycle before.

I know I have a lot to look forward to once over this recovery hump. I am interested to know about all the different little pains others experience post operation, and what they possibly indicate. I am hoping these new prickly little pains are a new phase of recovery and healing.


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