I already shared about the surgery and early days of recovery, and now I want to discuss the later stages of recovery. We came back to Kingston on Monday (5 days) after the surgery. We had tried to leave on Sunday, but only made it to the edge of town before the pain from the vibration of the car was too much.
I had saved two of the Tramadol tablets “Just in case” and I took the first about 20 minutes before getting in the car on Monday morning, and it made the ride so much more bearable. We made it to Port Hope before I was desperate for the second pill and a break from the road. We had some lunch and it was nice to be sitting in a chair that wasn’t moving. I felt pretty rough that night but it was nice to be home and sleep in my own bed.
I know that every day I felt better than the one before, but I decided not to push myself back to school in that first week after surgery. I focused on building up my stamina for sitting and walking. We went out for dinner with Mark and Leah a week after my surgery and I struggled to sit in the booth. My body desperately wanted to recline more than the seat would allow and I spent most of the meal walking around because that was far more comfortable.
I think it was a week out from surgery when I started to feel creepy crawly sensations around the incision sites, it was almost itchy, but it also kind of felt like bugs crawling in my belly button. I tried my best to ignore it. After surgery my wounds were stitched shut with dissolvable stitches and then covered with tape. I was instructed not to take the tape off, and to let it fall off on it’s own. I have to confess, I pulled the tape off of my bellybutton, partially because of the creepy crawly feeling and partially because it wasn’t even covering the wound anymore.
I think it was just over a week out from surgery when I started to get some very strange pain in my pelvic area, I had read somewhere before surgery that during the recovery stag some women feel some twinges in that area as the site heals, and it’s like how a scab itches. That is NOT TRUE. Did you ever lick a 9-volt battery as a kid? Imagine that on your unmentionables. It would stop me mid-sentence, and take my breath away. They were at their absolute worst, almost constant shocking 13 days post-op (I know because I posted in the Abbyloopers Facebook group desperate for tips and tricks on how to make it go away. On my own I discovered that a full bladder or bowels made it worse, so relieving those helped. Tight clothes made it worse, Dresses and loose sweatpants were my saviours. Walking around made it better. The zapping was gone until a couple of days before my next period came, but even then they were intermittent and not nearly so intense. and they only lasted until the bleeding started.
On the whole I found the more I walked the better I felt.
I went back to school a week and a half after surgery and I was able to sit through my lectures, and carry my bags with no problem. My belly was still tender, and the Zaps sucked but I managed quite well.
I had to sleep on my back for the first two to three weeks, and when I was finally able to sleep on my side, my right side was far easier to sleep on than my left. I was only able to start sleeping on my left about a month out from surgery. I still haven’t attempted to sleep on my belly.
The adhesive slowly peeled away from my wounds, and I toyed with the idea of pulling it off myself but I just couldn’t do it. I felt so uncomfortable every time I tried. Three weeks after surgery they had all fallen off or pulled away from the wounds far enough that I felt comfortable pulling them the rest of the way off the the healthy skin they were stuck to.
I am almost 5 weeks post op and I feel like my old self. I still haven’t had the guts to put on a pair of jeans and the stitches haven’t fully dissolved yet, but this far out from surgery I feel great.