Early Retirement Journey Summer 2018

4 Months Post-Op: Some Unexpected Things (TMI)

Welcome back. I’m just sharing a quick update on my health four months post-op. Quite a few unexpected things have happened and I want to document seemingly everything on this My Early Retirement Journey. I did browse HysterSisters pre and post-op, but sometimes it’s information overload. If I can’t find what I’m looking for within a few clicks, I quickly lose interest. It’s a great starting place though. Anyway, here’s my personal account of what life has been like down there over the last four months.

Related content: How the Hysterectomy I Ordered Online Helped Save $70,000 for Early Retirement

Background.
I had a dual-port laparoscopic hysterectomy March 2018 because of heavy bleeding, polyps and cysts. Conceivably, I could have gone with more conservative management (i.e. contraceptive pills, intrauterine device (IUD), tranexamic acid (TXA) or endometrial ablation), but I tried a few of those. Hormones gave me some weird side effects (i.e. skin falling off in weird places, mood changes, weight and diet changes, and spotting > 100 days).  In my design thinking post, we talk about achieving flow, this was not that kind of flow if you catch my drift. I really couldn’t take it anymore. Earlier this week I had a follow-up visit. It was really a follow-up from my 3-month visit.

My Early Retirement Journey - post op hysterectomy

Here are some unexpected things that happened to me that my doctor just doesn’t understand; can’t explain; or didn’t tell me.

  • Recovery is weird and the carbon dioxide used in laparoscopic procedures takes 2 weeks to painfully escape your body.
  • You feel deceivingly okay after 2 weeks, but three months later you don’t feel totally okay. Take more time off work or life, if finances allow for it. Even if they don’t, take your time to heal properly.
  • Weird discharge – either the wound is weeping or infection
  • Bacterial vaginosis (read more here)
  • Granulations (surgery site not healing due to internal moisture)
  • Loss of tone in bladder and rectum
  • Weird heaviness in hip girdle area
  • Funny bulge around mid-section
  • Your guts just feel loose. I feel like my waist has just spread like there’s nothing keeping it in place.
  • Anatomical or positional changes when toileting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Prolonged constipation after surgery
  • Still hurts to do a jumping jack.
  • It can take 1 year for a scar to fully form.
  • Light bladder leakage when you pass gas; incontinence feels like it’s right around the corner.
  • Just that overall feeling that things aren’t quite right in your genitourinary area.

For those of you that have been through this, please share your experience!

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