Marathoner’s Hysterectomy – Day 10

Hi!

Yesterday I arrived in Los Cabos to visit my sister and the plane ride was totally fine, though it feels like I have to pee more often than normal? Not sure.

After some relaxing by the pool, I went for a “fast” 7km in the hot evening! The whole first half of the walk was uphill and it was awesome. Overall HR for the walk was 116 bpm!

Today we took a closer look at the bald incisions. The one in the right lower quadrant is almost unnoticeable, the belly button one just looks like a clean vertical slice, and the two in the left lower quadrant are more obvious but nothing crazy. I find it insane that after just 10 days this is all I’m dealing with, visually.

Today we walked 60 min in the heat of the late morning and it was another >100 HR walk sesh – 123 bpm. Tomorrow I’m definitely going again when it’s hot!

For poolside, the bandaids don’t stay on very well because it’s so hot and I’m so sweaty, but since I am not moving around much they’re good enough. The belly-button bandaid would fall right off so I just put a cotton ball in there LOL.

We spent the evening in San Jose and it felt okay walking around wearing real clothes, but I did feel a bit bloated being out of the high-waisted leggings or shorts I’ve been wearing straight-time. I also ate a bit too much at dinner and I had a few aches in my right-sided incisions when I took deep breaths, but nothing “painful.”

I also got into and out of a jacked-up Dodge without any help. I find that having upper-body strength has been really key because I can focus on isolating my arm muscles instead of engaging the core and straining to pull myself up, or change position or whatever it is I’m doing. Thankful for my job and swimming which has kept my upper half very strong!

Honestly, I wouldn’t have expected to feel this human just 10 days later. If you are someone who has this procedure in the future, I so, SO recommend working on physical fitness in the lead up, if it isn’t already part of your regular routine. Imagining what it would be like if I didn’t have the strength and endurance that went into it with… is not something I want to think about actually!

JK

Hysterectomy Recovery – Days 7 & 8

It’s been a week already! I can’t believe it. At this time last Tuesday I didn’t know if I was gonna survive, but today I’m kicking ass haha.

Yesterday I walked 5k at a medium pace and it felt totally fine aside from the mild low back ache from what I’m confident is just overall pelvic instability. It took less than an hour! I also did 25 minutes of the slow yoga/strength that’s been happening daily since late last week.

TODAY I felt so good that I decided to kick off Week 2 with a legit power walk, as tolerated, of course. My body felt awesome, no aches or pains, no sense of guarding or aprehension about movement (aside from the constant reality that I indeed still have 4 incisions in my stomach that have sutures covered with tape). I walked 6km quite fast, under 10min/km and under an hour total. I pushed it a bit up the steep hills around my neighbourhood and felt fantastic.

I couldn’t get my heart rate to stay above 100 bpm unfortunately, but I think some long efforts with sustained incline on the treadmill might do the trick.

Barely any period-feeling discomfort whatsoever today and it feels like my GIT is functioning at 80-90%. I did a weigh-in first thing in the morning and I’m 4 pounds lighter than on surgery day, which isn’t really a surprise since I haven’t had a real appetite until today. I ate a full restaurant dinner with my mom just now and I’m not having any bloat or pressure. The pressure and air sounds by the diaphragm are gone. I didn’t use the pillow in the car today. Beyond thankful for how this is going!

This is a really cool science experiment and I look forward to trying an inclined power walk in the morning at the hotel I’m staying at tonight. My surgeon said it’s fine to fly, so I’m going for it and continuing this walking/yoga/napping recovery routine in MEXICO for a week at my sister and brother-in-law’s !!!

Woop!

Marathoner’s Hysterectomy Recovery – day 6

When I woke up this morning I felt noticeably different than yesterday. I slept really long and only got up once, and even sitting up in bed I didn’t feel as fragile or cautious.

I had a super legit shower but was still careful not to blast my abdomen with water, took off the dressings that I replaced on Friday morning, and patted dry/air dried the incision sites that still have the tape covering the dissolvable sutures. Feeling minimally bloated, which is great. I do feel very weak in the abdominal muscles because it doesn’t feel safe to fully engage them, so I have more of an anterior pelvic tilt than usual, but will work on it over time.

After coffee I did 20 minutes of yoga/strength – again, single leg standing, lots of stretching and thoracic extensions, side walking, penguin walks, walking grape-vines, deep diaphragmatic breathing, slow bird-dogs.

I did three walks today, one being almost an hour but pretty relaxed as I was visiting with friends. Total walking distance today was 7.8km. Since it’s Sunday I decided to tally up the walking kilometres for the week as well – 19.6 km! Today I have a big air pocket near my diaphragm and it’s making it hard to breath from the low belly. Hopefully it will pass. I also had a couple random, very mild aches at the incisions here and there, but it was towards the end of the walking and I am done for the day now.

After Cam Levins broke his own Canadian record in the Marathon today in Eugene at Worlds, I started to get really fkn pumped. I think in a few weeks when I’ve healed up a bit more, the combination of long efforts of uphill walking, yoga, single-leg strength stuff, hikes and whatever else I come up with is going to set me up with a half decent base for CIM training. It feels so good to be seeing this recovery process as a project. It’s encouraging diversity in movement, patience, and simply the mindset of “do what you can.”

All that being said, I repeat what I will say probably every day, which is that I will not rush. I won’t fk up my body. I won’t disregard my surgeon’s orders. But I do feel like my mind and body is going to be ready in some new ways when it comes time to start running again!!!

This is fun in a way.

JK

Marathoner’s Hysterectomy Journey – days 4 & 5

Guess what. I’m bored.

So the first night’s sleep in my own bed on Friday night was decent for sure, I had to get up to pee once or twice but that’s my normal anyway. It felt good to get some real rest and not have such disruptive bloat-pain.

I’m really happy that after that last dose of 1mg hydromorphone on Thursday night at the hotel, I have only taken 1g of acetaminophen a couple of times. Period-cramp pain I can handle, pressure and pain from a backed up GIT, I cannot.

Yesterday, Day 4, I started going about my morning as I usually would, having coffee in bed and then I started very slowly and gently putting things away from the wedding/surgery trip and placing a few things, one at a time, into the washing machine. I watched some TV and did some shit on my computer, my mom came for a visit and then I started feeling sorry for myself. After she left I had a hard nap, which surprised me because I didn’t expect that just easily moving around the house over the course of the morning would tire me out to that extent. Have to remember that healing is energetically expensive!!!

When I woke up I needed air and I needed to move. I set out to walk outside for 40 minutes and ended up getting in 3km in 39 minutes. It felt good, and uphill is feeling better than downhill. I held my abdomen on the downhills again. I did some single-leg stands in the mirror (to ensure no hip-drop) for 45 seconds/side x 2, some thoracic extensions on the wall because I feel so hunched, and a bit more stretching. The fact that I can squat down to the floor to sit down, and stretch out my hamstrings and adductors amazes me. I have zero pain in the general crotchal region whatsoever – pretty much just tender from the ovary area to the belly button.

I don’t have much of an appetite still and I was scared of how my GIT would react if I tried to put down a whole chicken breast, so I had about a third of one, some rice and some salad and everything was fine. Still feels like period cramps, bloating is way down, just feel mildly tender at the abdominal incisions and I feel very paranoid about coughing/sneezing/laughing hard.

Walking really does feel fine, but I feel unstable. It doesn’t feel safe to totally engage the core so I’m not walking with a totally normal gait and I don’t feel like I can go very fast, which fine for now, obviously. But, I do look forward to feeling less sore/floppy/guarded through the abdominopelvic region as a whole so that I can ever-so-slightly increase the intensity of the walking.

Today I walked 4km. It also felt great. It’s hard to breathe diaphragmatically but I’ll keep working on it as time goes on. After a few visitors and some reading, I did ten minutes of very easy “yoga” – really slow and controlled bird-dogs, thoracic extensions, single-leg kneeling and making big circles overhead with my arms, diaphragmatic breathing on my back with hips and knees flexed, and then some side-stepping along the length of my house to keep the lateral movers of the hips awake and engaged.

It’s funny because I don’t actually feel like running still – my running burn-out seems to still be a thing – but because I’m not allowed to, I keep tricking myself that I “want to so bad.” I have to keep reminding myself that the break is good, I can set different goals for now, and once my abdomen doesn’t feel freshly stabbed and super vulnerable, I can start building up to really long walks on incline on the treadmill. I know I’ll be able to run CIM in December, and I actually feel pretty confident that my body will permit me to run it well, but this is just based on optimism and feeling better than I thought I would on the 5th day.

This is weird. I’m tired.

JK

Marathoner’s Hysterectomy Journey -Day 3

Okay, 2nd night’s “sleep” was WAY better than the first, though not great. I got in a solid four hours, but then I kept getting out of bed every two hours to walk around and try to get my GI tract moving. Having no catheter or IV was very freeing and even though I was still very uncomfortable, it was okay. I haven’t taken a narcotic pain killer since last night around 9pm. F yeah.

I’ve still had some off-and-on extreme “period cramps” type of pain all day, but it’s definitely manageable and comes and goes, it’s not always terrible. My husband had to go pick something up from Home Depot before we left Prince George, so while he stepped out I went for a walk and managed 2km in half an hour! I wasn’t trying to push it or anything, I just wanted to try moving for 30 minutes and it felt great, and the kilometres took me about 15 minutes today instead of 16-17 minutes yesterday.

At the hotel breakfast I had some Shreddies and a mandarin orange, and then I started having some good burps so I ate two more oranges and it felt good to put down some food and to expel some air. Coffee was good too. No BM today, but since I haven’t eaten much at all since Monday I am feeling okay. The gas bubbles that are trapped in what feels to be the areas both above and below my diaphragm are still there and I can hear them (and so can my husband) when I’m deep breathing. There is no pain from this but it’s not comfortable.

We decided to really, REALLY take our time getting home (it’s an 8 hour drive) and to stop for the night if needed, wherever that may be. But, we stopped for real about every hour, and I fell asleep three or four times quite deeply, and it went by pretty fast and I didn’t have any problem with coming all the way home. Most of the stops I walked around for at least five minutes. The pillow from Lisa is so amazing and I felt relatively comfortable in the truck with it cushioning my abdomen. The few bumps in the road had me bracing myself, but I didn’t have pain, it was more guarding just in case.

Once we got home, I had a shower! I mainly let the water hit my back only, and stuck my face in the water to wash, but it was nice to have a rinse. I took off the dressings to have a look at the tape bandaids, which I have been told need to stay on for one week. This is how it looks – I am in disbelief that this is the extent of the carnage on the outside LOL.

Still pretty bloated and my low back and hips are so achey, but I feel so lucky that I can walk and get dressed, etc. Also, still rocking paper manties. I think I have 2 pairs left haha.

My surgeon wants me to come back to Prince George for a follow-up appointment in early September, and in the meantime, any concerns I have will be directed to my GP. I can’t remember if I mentioned it yesterday, but no driving for two weeks, simply due to having major surgery, but she did okay me to go on a plane…so I am looking at flights to go visit my sister who recently moved to Mexico. What a good place to go walking.

Crossing fingers for 4+ hours of uninterrupted sleep tonight and for more gas bubbles to leave my body in any way possible as time goes on. Tomorrow I want to try two walks, some calf raises and some time spent standing on one leg at a time for hip strength. I’ll try some gentle stretching, too, as long as it feels safe, but if not will abort mission.

JK

Hysterectomy – the rest of Day 2

Today basically kept getting better. An intentional 15 min walk outside, a bit of real food (toast with some sort of prune potion that my nurse gave me), another BM and more walking with a friend, Gillian, who has experienced far more when it comes to gynecological surgeries than I have, and a nap.

Still feeling bloated but nowhere near to the degree of last night and this morning. I was able to get in and out of the truck without help, the seatbelt pillow that Lisa gave me is fantastic, and I even went to Lulu, though they didn’t have what I was looking for. I would not have been able to try on clothes but I know my sizes there.

There was one last nurse visit where she gathered all the gear and equipment, gave me more of my new favourite outfit (see mesh manties below) and took the IV out of my hand since the earlier bloodwork showed no need for antibiotics. I was officially discharged from Hospital at Home but we are spending another night in the hotel – the though of driving home today was out of the question. If you have this surgery or one like it, I would not travel the next day!

I feel so thankful that I went for two purposeful walks today, both about 1km. They were slow and I did feel a little soreness after the first one, but I think this is pretty good for the day after the operation. I used my Garmin to keep track so that I can build on the time spent walking and also, in time, the pace at which I’m walking.

Good night, I’m gonna get some legit rest tonight I believe.

JK

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