I'm so happy to be fibroid free! On 7/24/18 I had a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove three fibroids from my uterus. I'm at home recovering and couldn't resist sharing my journey. I've been writing down my pain levels and experience in a diary format, not only to help pass the time but to keep me motivated. The past few days have been tough, and it's nice to have a reminder that I'm progressing little by little. I'm going to break my posts up into individual days so you'll get a detailed recap in case you plan on having this surgery. If you want to skip through all the details then scroll down to the bottom of this post for a special treat!
My surgery was scheduled for 7 am and I checked in for my surgery at 5:30 am. There wasn't too much for me to do aside from paying my co-pay and waiting to be called back to pre-op. I felt incredibly calm that morning and was beyond ready to get my surgery done. Once I was taken to the pre-op area, I changed into my hospital gown, answered some questions about my medical history, and the nurse started my IV. I've had some bad experiences with IVs in the past (I have teeny weeny veins) but my nurse had no problems getting things started. Afterwards, one of the brothers from my hall came in to say a prayer which calmed any of my remaining nerves. My surgeon came by the room to answer any last minute questions and then the anesthesiologist came in. The last thing I remember was being rolled down to the OR and waving to a few folks in the hallway. I fell asleep before I got to the OR.
I woke up and found myself lying in bed in a recovery room. My first concern was if my doctor was able to perform the laparoscopic surgery. During my pre-op appointment, I gave my surgeon consent that he could perform the open surgery if things didn't go as planned. The first thing I asked the nurse was if I had the lap surgery which I did. I didn't wake up in excruciating pain as I had feared and the two things that bothered me the most were a sore throat from a breathing tube, and a huge urge to use the bathroom.
Getting up from the hospital bed was really rough and I couldn't walk on my own. I hobbled my way down to the bathroom and was so glad that I could use it! I was fairly groggy from the anesthesia and was able to chew a few shortbread cookies and sip apple juice before the nurse gave me some pain meds. I felt a little bit of cramping but nothing major. I stayed at the hospital for a few hours after my surgery and was discharged to go home. My surgery took double the time since my surgeon found the third fibroid.
Back At Home
I couldn't walk without assistance the first day of my surgery. However, as time passed my family started to notice that I was getting stronger and stronger. By the end of the day, I was able to use the bathroom on my own. Getting on and off the couch was extremely painful, and the tummy soreness was pretty bad. Around midnight, I started to experience gas pain in my shoulders and lower back. The gas pain is worse than the pain from the incisions. An attempt to lie in my bed was an epic fail and made the gas pain excruciating. My appetite was minimal and I had to force myself to eat. My tummy was very swollen and I used ice packs on and off with a heating pack. My sore throat still lingered on and throat lozenges were a must.
Post Op Recovery Daily Diary
Day 1-I didn't sleep well at all the night before and woke up with horrible gas pain. It feels like my right shoulder is on fire! I put a heating pad on it which has helped the gas pain a lot. I've been able to get on and off the couch by myself in addition to using the restroom on my own. I've been able to get the gas pain under control and my heating pad has been in constant rotation. My appetite is slowly coming back and I've been drinking more fluids. Sipping on ginger ale has also helped with burping and getting rid of the built up gas. I've still been using my ice pack on and off for my belly swelling. Overall, I feel really tired but the pain has been manageable with my meds. My throat is no longer sore from the breathing tube and I've been drinking Smooth Move Tea, prune juice, and Miralax in hopes that I can have a bowel movement. Sorry, if thats TMI but the pain meds have a tendency to make you constipated. My biggest pain points for the day have really just been the gas pain and soreness.
Day 2-This has been the worst day by far. My gas pain has been horrible and I've felt constipated for most of the day. I've been feeling very nausea and ending up throwing up last night. I'm not sure if it was due to my pain meds or what, but I literally felt like my incisions were going to rip open. My energy is low and I feel way worse than I did the day before. I don't feel like eating and this day pretty much sucks!
Day 3-I'm finally starting to feel a little better today, YAY! I was able to sleep in my bed last night WOOHOO!, and I finally had a bowel movement this morning. Sorry, if that's TMI but this is a huge accomplishment for me. Pain meds can really back you up and my tummy has been in agony since the surgery. My shoulder pain has gone down some and my biggest complaint is the my lack of energy and soreness. My mom and I took a 20 minute walk outside which I'm really proud of! I've been taking some papaya digestive enzymes that have really been helping with digestion. I've weaned myself off hydrocodone and have only been taking naproxen.
Day 4- I'm happy to say that I've weaned myself off the pain meds. I woke up feeling really nausea and I think its because I haven't been eating enough. The gas pain has still been bothering me and I can't wait until it goes away. My shoulder feels like its been burning on and off and the stabbing pains in my stomach are the worst. Despite it all, I'm feeling a little bit stronger and it looks like some of my tummy swelling is going down.
Day 5- I finally feel strong enough to have some visitors. This is probably the best I've felt all week although my right side has been hurting me and I've been fighting gas pain on and off. Thankfully, the pain is no longer bothering me in my shoulder. I've still been taking the papaya enzymes which has helped. Two of my friends came over to visit and it was really nice to have some company.
Day 6- I finally left the house! I haven't left my house since the surgery and it felt so good to get out. I went to my sister's house for dinner and had a nice time, plus one of my friends stopped by to check on me. I was posted up on her couch the entire time, but it was really nice to get some air. My right side has been bothersome today and I think it's due to swelling above the incision site. Weirdly enough, sitting up and down today has been very painful and I'm starting to feel like this is a step backwards in my recovery. The gas pain is still harassing me on and off. The car ride over was short, but I felt every single bump.
Well there you have it! That's a recap of week 1. On post op day 5 I mustered up enough strength to record a short YouTube video! If you have an open or laparoscopic myomectomy scheduled then this one is for you. Thanks so much for all the calls, text messages, flowers, cards, etc. I appreciate all the love, encouragement, and support more than you know!