I finally started to feel a bit brighter. Much more my old self. I was able to work without my recent anxiety. Then, on Friday, I started to feel a bit sick. I’ve been nauseated all weekend. I dragged myself to work but felt so awful with nausea that I went home after just a couple of hours. Am I losing weight? Well, that can’t be a bad thing… but I feel so rough I can barely stand upright. Looking at my anti-depressants, nausea is a common side effect so I have a GP appointment at 5pm today. I’m hoping that I’ll feel better with a different anti-depressant.
I’m a little surprised. I’m finally in virtually no pain aside from muscular pain in my shoulder – which to my mind doesn’t count because, although it’s a painful annoyance, it’s nothing like what I’ve been through with my gynaecological issues! So why am I feeling down?
I think it started a few weeks ago when I woke up from a disturbing dream: I was at Helios’ office and I was speaking to a number of his colleagues. They were all women and they were all heavily pregnant. All of them asked me when I was going to have a baby. I had to say I’ll never have a child because I had a hysterectomy.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want children. Having a hysterectomy was an easy decision for a number of reasons. I certainly don’t regret doing it. However, I think something in the back of my brain may be surprised at the lengths I’ve gone to. I’ve been left with the feeling, once again, that no matter what I do I’m just not good enough. Perhaps I will always have a voice in the back of my mind telling me these things…
I have a number of other very stressful things happening at the moment: my father in law has cancer and has been very ill; the building where we live has a structural issue and all the flat owners are negotiating who will pay for what and how. I’m finding that situation very stressful. So I suppose it’s little surprise since the night of the nightmare I’ve been feeling less like my old self. In the run up to Christmas all I want to do this year is curl up in my bedroom and read my way through the winter. I really don’t have any desire to do anything. I simply cannot be bothered. A cloud is settling around my heart.
I decided to do something about it when I found myself crying in the toilets at the office on my dad’s birthday. He would have been 68. I went to the GP on Friday afternoon and asked for advice with the hope that she would decide some anti-depressants would be appropriate. She agreed and I’m under strict instructions to see her again in two weeks to make sure I’m getting on OK.
I’m still a little surprised at how little pain I’m in. The past few months have flown by and I haven’t missed the pain at all. Well, when I say I’ve not missed the pain – I have been having shoulder pain that prior to my operation I simply ignored. Now I find it harder to avoid and have started visiting an osteopath.
Years ago I saw an osteopath for my neck pain. Back then at work I was regularly using my shoulder to hold a phone to my ear – an act that I would strongly discourage now! My first osteopath was brilliant. She instantly found the problem, gave me a little bit of massage before cracking my neck into mobility. It was scary because, when I heard my neck crack with astonishing ferocity. For a brief moment I wondered if I was dead!!
The current osteopath is much more gentle. Like the first, she immediately found where my spine is cemented. Like the first, she is keen to ensure that my whole spine is in a better alignment. However, she has me lying on the table with her hands strategically placed under my back, pelvis or neck. At one point she was holding my feet and it started to hurt in my pelvis! I’m told that the pain is everything relaxing into a proper alignment and only lasts while I’m on the table. I will say I do feel rather “Psychadelic Man!” afterwards so I’m sure there’s something to it. So far I’ve had two treatments – I am still having problems with my shoulder but it is starting to feel better…
I’ve been holding off telling you about how I got on during my first post-hysterectomy fully-penetrative sexual experience because I’m trying to put my usual (funny I hope) spin on events. The trouble is that getting back into the saddle proved to be rather serious business. I mean, I would have felt awkward climbing back on the horse after all this time even without the added complication of ensuring that none of my internal tenderness gets pushed about.
The hospital said that I would be perfectly OK to “climb aboard” between 6 – 8 weeks and we tried a small amount of penetration during the 6th week with no discomfort. So just before the 8th week, I decided I could wait no longer and threw myself at him.
I am delighted to report that all the things I really like about intimacy with Helios are still there. Everything appears to work and I’ve not been turned inside out during the experience. However, my stamina isn’t what it was and I asked to stop before I began to feel uncomfortable. Also, the following day or two I did feel a bit sore – as if someone had been poking a bruise deep inside. I didn’t bleed, but I was moseying like John Wayne the next day. It’s a fetching look if high fashion takes a distinctly “redneck” turn. (!)
To be honest, I probably should have looked at the hospital guidelines and added two weeks. They’ve got me on some sort of naff “speedy recovery” plan but let’s face it, a body can only recover so quickly after a strenuous surgery! I still think that, had I only had access to public transport, I would not have been able to manage after only four weeks recovery. It’s only because my work have been keen to look after me that I’ve had access to a car parking space so close to my office which, in turn, has enabled me to return fully-functioning to work as quickly as I have. With hindsight, I feel I should have known that waiting just a bit longer would have made the first journey in the saddle a bit more comfortable for me.
As it is, I feel as if I’ve taken a step back because I’m aware of where my cervix is. That may sound bizarre but I know my body and if I am aware of something, I generally find that it’s not quite right. This sensation, it’s not discomfort, it’s an awareness of that exact part. If it were working properly and totally healed, I would have no notice of it. I would take it for granted. I think of it like my laptop or my refrigerator – I know it works well and only notice when it’s not.
The plus side is that so far I’ve only had a little spotting for a couple of days about four weeks after my hysterectomy. I may be expecting more from time to time but I’ve not had more just yet. I’m still recovering well and am still taking care to pace myself.
It’s been over 6 weeks since my operation and I’m now officially back into the swing of life at work. My first week back was semi full time as I managed 35 out of 37.5 hours that week. Last week and this is the final run up to the final production of a project at work so I’ve been doing slightly more than I probably ought – I did 38.5 hours last week and am set to do more again this week. Luckily, the project deadline (emphasis on DEAD) is Thursday this week so I’m hoping that my working life will quieten down soon.
Having said that, I do still feel well looked after at work: I have had a car parking space outside the back door since my return to the office so I really cannot complain. I prefer to get into the office early and then I leave on time. I don’t get too stuck in traffic on either journey and I’m doing the hours required without the extra effort of a hike to and from the train station each way every day. As the nights draw in, I’m planning on taking the “park and ride” (Aside: this is a car park outside the city where we leave our cars and take a bus into the town centre. The price is a painfully cheap £7.20 per week but means an extra leg on my journey. It’s worth it when the weather is OK and I don’t have free parking provided by work.) which will require a bit more effort but not as much as walking to the train station every day. Once the weather takes a turn toward winter I’ll be on the train again. I much prefer public transport when the roads are bad.
Physically I’m doing well. I’m not in pain per se but I am still a little uncomfortable on my left hand side. At the weekend I climbed into a pair of jeans and felt a bit sore an hour or two later so I climbed back into my pyjamas. Helios thought that the jeans may be pushing on some scar tissue and that might be what is causing my discomfort. I’m going to ask about it at my follow up (Date and time TBA) so I’m taking it easy and trying to pace myself when and where I can.
My stitches have finally fallen off on their own – which was a relief when it happened!
The other good news is that I am just managing to keep my hands off Helios while I’m healing internally. I am finding holding back to be difficult because I feel more like myself now. It’s also tricky because I only associate good things with being physical with Helios and my mind and body are saying “Climb aboard!” However, it’s that time in the healing process when I could set myself back if I’m not careful so I’m being good and keeping well away from him for now. So far when Helios and I fool around I’ve experienced some pain – basically when I climax I have the feeling that I’ve pulled a little at my stitches. It’s sharp but not agonisingly so, followed by a dull ache. It’s not terrible, but it is a localised and specific sensation. Needless to say, it’s not put me off wanting to be with Helios at all but it has given me a better idea of how well/quickly I’m healing inside.
I would like to say that I’ve been good and have been doing my Pilates everyday but with this project effectively hitting the fan at work, I’ve not been as good about taking some me time everyday as I was before the operation. It should get easier to find the time next week… I suppose it’s little wonder I’m still feeling a bit on the fat side. After my operation and stomach bug I ate and ate and ate with little heed to what it was that I was eating or why. I don’t look too bad when I stand properly (Shoulders back, tummies in ladies!!) but I know I’m not as trim as I was pre-op. Again, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself and am doing what I can, little and often.
I completed my first full week back but only did 32 hours out of the usual 37.5. Although I am a secretary and not a manual or skilled labourer, I was still incredibly tired by the end of each day. Monday was tiring. I went home at 4:30pm instead of my usual 5pm. Tuesday was fantastic. I felt great. I was nearly bouncing around. However, in an effort to pace myself I left the office at 4:30pm. I was tired on Wednesday but went to a friend’s house for dinner. Although I got home at 9:30 – which under normal circumstances is certainly early enough for me to feel fine the next day especially as I didn’t have a drop of wine! I had a little sore throat and I started to wonder if I was picking up Helios’s cold. I took a night nurse and slept like a log but I was tired again on Thursday. I left the office before lunchtime and had a nap on the sofa. I went to bed that night at 7:30. After sleeping like a log, I managed to stay at my office at 3pm on Friday. I may have done better had I paced myself last week. I’ve had another good rest this weekend. I slept overnight and had a nap on Saturday. I slept well again last night.
Tomorrow I’m back to work again. I am still fighting off a cold but am eating well and (clearly) sleeping a lot! I have a car park space just outside the back door of my building and I’m sure my stamina will return quickly!
In other news, because I had a sub-total hysterectomy I can expect a little bleed every 4 weeks. Well, I had my first period which consisted of a couple of days of a light bleed requiring only panty-liners. I had pain but nothing that a paracetamol couldn’t handle. It may mean that I will finally feel like a normal woman – and all it took was a hysterectomy!
I spoke with my clinical nurse about my stitches which still haven’t fallen off. She suggested that I go to my GP if I’m concerned about it and they can take them off but I’m enough of a wimp to leave it for a while longer to hope that they fall off of their own account. Also, regarding scars, I cannot recommend Bio Oil highly enough. My scars have shrunk measurably since I started using it – just add a little dab on the scars twice daily is all it needs!
My first day back to work after 4 weeks away was Friday 14th September. I have to say I’m feeling very lucky. We only have 4 dedicated car park spaces at my office reserved for managers, partners and clients. However, I had one of those spaces on Friday and will again all next week.
Coming back on a Friday was a good option because very few people were in: I had a quiet time to get back up to speed with what I’ve missed. I should be able to hit the ground running tomorrow!
I am a secretary at an accountancy office so I’m not expecting to do anything manually strenuous. Having said that, I found my first day back to be tiring but good. I’ve obviously been moving around more at work than at home and my left-hand side is in pain (again). I left the office about 30 minutes before quitting time because I was so tired on Friday. With any luck, I’ll have more stamina next week.