So, tomorrow is my first 5k since my hysterectomy this June. I have been running for the last 6 weeks with a group of friends and that has been really motivating. However, the other thing that has been great about it is the weather! We have had beautiful weather on all of our run club nights, which for October in Canada is far from guaranteed. But that is all about to change tomorrow. It’s been rainy and cold for the last two days and there is some nasty weather moving in: wet flurries, 5mm rain, high winds and 3 Celsius! So none of my training has prepared me for this! Now I know there are many runners who wouldn’t blink an eye at this – but that’s not me! I really wish I didn’t have to do this. However, that is where having a group of fellow runners really helps. I know they’ll be out there tomorrow too and we’ll make it through and it will be one more thing that we have shared together. But still, if Mother Nature had a change of heart, I would fully support that too!
Since my hysterectomy was an emergency situation, I did not have time to research the procedure as much as I would have liked. I was picking up bits of information from passing doctors, nurses, and even a patient, and tried to piece it all together. I learned that the surgery would have a recovery of 4-6 weeks and started to make plans for not being at work for that time. I also knew that I would have several incisions afterwards with which I would need to be careful. I figured there would be pain and soreness in those areas.
Once out of surgery, I was pleasantly surprised with the minimal amount of pain I was dealing with, nothing that ibuprofen couldn’t handle. However, I was quite surprised with where I was hurting…my shoulders! What? How exactly is this surgery done and why are my shoulders even a part of it? I clearly missed something in the explanation! Well, I soon discovered that when having a laproscopic hysterectomy, they need to ‘puff’ you up with air so they can see what’s going on. After you’re all sewn up again, some of that air remains in your body for a little while. It’s common for this air to move up into the shoulders causing some discomfort. Who knew? The shoulder pain subsided within a day or so as did most of the puffiness I had acquired during my hospital stay.
There are a lot of difficult and possibly life-changing decisions that need to be made when deciding whether to have a hysterectomy or not. I do not want to make light of such decisions. However, I hope to include the occasional light story about hysterectomies as I think humour is a healthy and needed aspect of our lives.
I recommended a great book in my previous post but I was not able to read this book prior to my hysterectomy as it was an emergency surgery. Had I read the author’s section on “Things You Should Not Do When You Get Home”, I could have avoided this whole incident. Streicher tells her readers “Do not weigh yourself”, but, having not read the book yet, I did exactly that.
I was in the hospital for 4 days prior to surgery and given the uncertainty of my situation, I was often told that I couldn’t eat “in case you’re called down to surgery”. But I love to eat! And I don’t just mean that eating is an important part of every day. I mean that every meal I indulge in is a highlight of my day. Having limited meals in the hospital apparently made me delirious because I was even craving hospital food. Craving…hospital…food!
I needed to come up with a positive thought in this situation. The best I could do was, “Well, at least I’ll lose a couple of pounds while I’m in here”. So, you can imagine my shock when, upon weighing myself at home, my weight had changed by about 9 pounds…that I gained! I couldn’t believe it! Within a few days, I was back to my normal weight, which is what happens in most cases. Apparently, all that weight gain was just from the intravenous fluid I had been receiving for 5 days in the hospital and as Dr. Streicher says, you will soon, “sweat it off and pee it away”. Yes, indeed!