Hey endometriosis warriors! I am one-week post-op from having my endometriosis removed. In this post I will discuss:
- Each day in detail following surgery
- How I felt
- What helped me post-surgery
- Questions to ask your doctor.
I was so scared going into the surgery because I have never had a surgery like this and my worst-case scenario was that I died during surgery. No joke my mind always goes to the worst case, but I have the best therapist that helped me process what I was feeling. My therapist walked me through three scenarios, my worst case, best, and then what probably would happen. This really helped me process what I was thinking and prepared me for surgery.
Surgery Day – Friday, July 12
Let me start off by saying I have the best doctor and his staff is amazing. I hope you too feel the same way about your doctor. If you don’t, find a new one!
I arrived at the hospital to get checked in at the registration desk. Twenty minutes later I was taken to my room and my husband was able to come. I changed into the glamorous hospital gown and booties. I was ending my period, so if you are also on your period, ask for underwear and a pad.
The nurse came into put the needle into my vein, but I have stubborn veins so the anesthesiologist came into do this part. The anesthesiologist was amazing and made me feel comfortable. He promised me I would not wake up mid-surgery and I considered that a win!
After that, the nurses came in to introduce themselves and lastly my doctor came in to make sure I was still good to go and did not have any additional questions.
Time For Surgery
I went into surgery about 10 am and was in recovery around 1 or 2. The part I remember is waking up and then going to my room around 4:30. I was in my own room and that was nice.
The doctor left pictures with my husband and this helped me understand what happened during surgery. My doctor also informed my husband when we could have sex and that my fallopian tubes were both open. The doctor wrote the stage of endometriosis on the pictures. I had all the information I needed until my post-op appointment.
I think this is hospital protocol so prepare yourself to eat, pee, and walk around before the hospital would release you. I was groggy but determined that I wanted to get home and into bed.
I immediately ordered the food because my nurse told me that would take an hour. I ate whatever I wanted on this day. The doctor said to eat light, but you know what I just had surgery and I was going to have a piece of cake with my meal. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, chicken noodle soup, cake, and a diet coke. AND on the way home I made my husband hit up Dairy Queen for a blizzard! Yes, I know I am crazy, but I had not eaten all day so I knew I had the calories.
Going to the bathroom was not bad. I remember after having my son, it was the worst pain trying to pee, but this was not the same pain. Thank goodness for that!
Walking was not bad. I was still on my meds from the recovery room so I walked before I ate and after to satisfy the nurse. Oh, and I made sure she saw me so I did not have to do more than what was required!
I was out by 6:30 and headed straight to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions.
Questions you may have on this day:
- What do I need to do to before I can be released?
- If it is late and the pharmacy is closed, ask if the doctor can provide a couple pain pills until the pharmacy opens. Otherwise, ask what you can take over the counter.
- Is there a limit on the foods I can eat following surgery?
- When can I have sex (if you are wondering)?
- When can return to working out?
- Will you have pictures to provide family members waiting for you post-surgery?
- Schedule post-op appointment if you have not already.
- When can I take my next dose of medicine?
At Home – Day 1 Post-Op Saturday, July 13
I woke up on this day feeling exhausted and I had the shoulder pain that everyone talks about from laparoscopic surgery. If you have not heard of the shoulder pain, apparently the gas used to expand your stomach travels to your shoulder and it hurts!
I went about my daily routine of brushing my teeth and hair and washing my face. I put on some yoga pants that were not tight, but a little support helped the tummy area not feel as sore. My go-to shoes were my slippers.
I did nothing all day except catch-up on TV. I had given my husband a list of stuff to get done before surgery so I did not have to worry about any of this stuff.
My husband ordered out for dinner and we chilled the entire day.
That night my husband agreed to help me with my shower. I really have the best husband. Honestly, if I had to do this all over I would not have taken a shower. It was the worst part because my shoulder hurt so bad. At one point I remember my husband making me laugh and I was covered in soap, doubled over in pain. I was afraid I was going to slip and fall. This really was the worst part of the whole surgery.
I made it through and I will tell you I used anti-bacterial soap the next week following surgery. I used regular Band-Aids to replace the bandages they put on following surgery.
That night I tried getting into bed and it was impossible with the shoulder pain, so I fell into a bunch of pillows on the couch and slept the best I could.
Other than the shoulder pain it was smooth sailing. I was able to walk, but I reminded myself to take it easy.
I looked at the surgery pictures every night. I find it fascinating what is produced in our bodies.
Day 2 Post-Op Sunday, July 14
The shoulder pain was fading! YES! At this point, I was sore and tired from not sleeping well. I was still trying to relax and do nothing. I was still taking the narcotics and ibuprofen for the pain.
I woke up and went through my morning routine, minus the shower because I just had one the night before. I ordered groceries through Wal-Mart pick up and had my husband get them.
I tried to walk a little more, but not too much. I also made an easy dinner.
Day 3 Post-Op Monday, July 15
My husband went back to work and I was okay with that because I could get around pretty well. I still avoided things that could have had bad outcomes. For example, I have two big dogs and they like to get out of the fence from time to time. My mom took off work for the week and when she came by I would let her take the dogs out so she could watch them. The last thing I wanted was to limp through the neighborhood tracking down my dogs.
I was still trying to relax as much as possible. I was only taking the ibuprofen by this day and stopped the narcotics. This is important to me because I have an addictive personality (addiction runs in my family) and I do not want to become dependent on painkillers.
I started taking daily showers and getting back into a normal routine. I took off work the day of surgery until Thursday. I thought this would be a good amount of time to heal. I do work from home and thought it would be easy to go back to work. If needed I could move my computer and work from the couch.
I made dinner and watched TV all day. You could do so many things, like read a book, organize your budget for next month, plan dinners, but I did not want to think about anything and why I opted to just watch TV.
Day 4 Post-Op Tuesday, July 16
Again, I started my day the same each day. I have a routine and wanted to get back to that as soon as possible. I still opted for stretchy yoga pants and a t-shirt.
I was mobile so I decided to see how many steps I could get in on this day. I started by walking slow on my treadmill. I walked about two thousand steps. I walked around my living room while I was watching TV and by the end of the day, I was able to get in a little over five thousand steps.
I was sore and probably overdid it a little. Be careful and kind to yourself. My doctor told me it would be two weeks before I could workout.
Day 5 Post-Op Wednesday, July 17
I followed the same routine in the morning. However, I was feeling sore on this day, but needed to get out of the house. My mom and I went to Kohl’s and then grabbed lunch. This took a lot out of me because it was so hot here. I rested the remainder of the day until it was dinnertime.
I made sure dinner was quick and easy, like tacos.
Day 6 Post-Op Thursday, July 18
Back to work on this day. I went through my morning routine and took a 15 minute walk before starting work. I was on the couch a majority of the day, but I would be lying if I told you it was easy.
I have a job where I am in a lot of meetings. Just talking made my stomach sore. I was also mentally exhausted by the early afternoon. I decided that I needed to take Friday off.
I cooked dinner and walked some more, but not much else.
Day 7 Post-Op Friday, July 19
I woke up early and drove to Weight Watchers for my weigh-in. This was the first time I had driven a car since my surgery. I was tired but I needed to weigh-in. Besides surgery day, I ate really well and if you are familiar with Weight Watchers, I only ate the daily points provided. I ended up losing 3 pounds and I was super excited. I also think it made me feel better. I think when we don’t have a plan, we tend to eat whatever is around. I have to be on the WW plan because it holds me accountable.
Every day I focused on the following:
- Drinking at least 100oz of water or more. I believe water plays an important part in the healing process.
- Incorporated more fruits and vegetables in my meals. I love eating vegan so this was easy for us.
- I am on Weight Watchers so I only ate the number of points provided each day and tried to stay under if I could. I ended up losing three pounds!
I hope running through my days following surgery puts you at ease and prepares you for your surgery day.
Take a look at my article that reviews the items that I found helpful following surgery.