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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Nitty Gritty

If you are prone to scream, TMI (too much information), then you may want to stop reading right now.  (Judy V.  You may want to just close your browser now!)  But if you are a little bit like me and enjoy gritty details, then perhaps this post will be right up your alley!  No photos, so no worries there but for those truly interested in the whole journey, I'm happy to share these funny little details.  It really is true that misery loves company so I'm feeling the need to invite you into my pain!
First the facts.  One of the main reasons that the surgery became necessary was because of large fibroids that were making my uterus large.  I joked with Doug that I had a giant uterus.  We had no idea.  Even my Dr. was aghast once she got in.  She had to make a bigger incision because she couldn't get it out with a normal cut.  The cut is 6.5-7 inches long or (16-17 cm).  I think she had to go deeper on the left side because it is much sorer on that side than the right.  A normal uterus weighs between 1.7-2.8 ounces (50-80 grams.)  Mine weighed in at a whopping 2.2 pounds or a full kilo!  My Dr. said that I will be amazed at the ways in which I will feel the difference!  She didn't remark on the ovaries except to say that nothing looks amiss.  So far, the cut looks really clean and tight.  There is considerable bruising, of course.  The internal pain remains very minimal.  The wound burns and hurts when I move but otherwise, the pain is much better than I expected.  The bandage comes off later this week and there are no stitches to remove.  They will all dissolve.  I don't see my Dr. until July 11 although I will call her tomorrow with a few questions.
I must admit however, that surgery is humbling.  There are no ways to soften that reality.  Things that were once simple are now highly complex.  Bodily functions that you take for granted, once stunted, leave you baffled by the reality that at the end of the day, post surgery, the entire quality of your life comes down to how well you eventually pee and poop.  Fortunately the pee part is going well.  But, perhaps you might've guessed it, my friends, public enemy #1 after abdominal surgery is...drum roll please...flatulence.  Yes indeed, good old fashioned gas has been my largest obstacle and biggest source of pain thus far.  I am told that this is perfectly normal but I had not really counted on how difficult this would be.  I was very nervous about my system getting going again and I feel lucky that at least the intestines are moving.  But wow...now I know why a baby screams when he has gas!  Walking around, certain leg exercises, drinking water, taking GasX, and somewhat watching ones diet are all helpful tools toward recovery.  I am seeing progress with each new day, but jump starting one's system is really quite an undertaking.
Of course, sneezing, coughing and blowing one's nose are terribly painful as well.  Laughing has its drawbacks but it remains the best medicine so I will put up with it!
So...it's kind of been back to basics.  Don't feel that I can venture too far from home right now but truth be told, don't want to either.  There are so many ways that the body is incredible.  It knows what it needs to function properly and revolts when something interrupts that.  But with the proper action and time, it does heal and rebound.  I look forward to a full recovery 5-6 weeks down the road and for now, I am celebrating being a couple of pounds lighter!  Once all the air gets out, I'm sure I'll feel even lighter on my feet!