Monday, September 03, 2012
so- I've had surgery and I'm still here - That's a huge relief!
Not only that, but the 'possible complications' of hysterectomy that I've been worried about for months didn't happen, and apart from a nasty cut down my stomach I've come through it all relatively unscathed. Phew!
Arrived at local hospital at 7.00am on Tuesday ... and sat in the Surgical Admissions Lounge all day, while the sun shone outside. Obviously, not allowed to eat since the evening before, and not allowed to drink after 12 noon, so I got pretty fed up with sitting there. Walked about and did some exercises using heavy paperback books as weights (So- I looked a bit strange- what's new??)
People came and went until I was the only person sitting there (just like last time I was there!) But this time I had expected a long wait, so took my ipod and phone chargers with me, plus fluffy warm socks, a book and a magazine. After speaking to my anaesthetist and consultant, and having bloods taken I was at last allowed to change into hospital gown and dressing gown, and FINALLY walked down to surgery around 4.30pm.
All quite jolly and chatty as I had canulas put in the backs of my hands (This is actually the bit I hate the most! Weird, huh?) Then had oxygen mask & anaesthetic & ... ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Back on the ward, several hours later, I was horribly sick due to the anaesthetic, and didn't sleep at all for the first night after the surgery (I wriggled about so much, one of the rectus sheaths delivering anaesthetic to my wound came out ... ) and being told to haul myself up to sit on the edge of the bed for half an hour at 6am is no fun either, but by 8am on Wednesday I was eating a yoghurt.. VERY slowly ... and by lunchtime I was washed & changed into real clothes, siting with all the other ladies in the day room. I even managed to walk up and down the ward a couple of times. It's amazing how much aftercare has changed since I had my first op years ago.
The next morning (Thurday) I sat in the dayroom for breakfast, & went for aeveral walks up and down the corridors outside the ward. All my canulas were removed by teatime, I was given my medication for home and shown how to inject myself in the stomach with blood thinners EeeeK! I don't like needles at the best of times, but having to do this freaked me out a bit.
I was discharged around 6.30pm, but then my son couldn't come & get me for a while, so I eventually left around 8.30pm. The ward which had been so busy & full when I arrived had almost emptied, and most of my last day had been taken up with piecing together a jigsaw with another lady who had to stay in a few more days ... yes ... we were that bored!
I've tried looking up advice about exercise on various websites, but opinions and experiences all seem to vary ... some women go home to 'complete bed rest' for 2 weeks (I wish!) ... and then was able to make herself a cup of tea at 3 weeks ... while another woman spoke of being back at her desk, working, the following week. Personally, I was able to make my own coffee as soon as I got home, & had to do some washing up! 6 weeks off? ... 12 weeks off?? There seems to be no fixed time for recovery.
I've found some exercises for core muscles that supposedly are ok from 2 wks after ... and I've managed some gentle squats and some upper body stuff already, but I suppose I'll have to be careful. All in all, I don't feels as rough as I thought I would. Having had 3 C-sections before, I sort of knew what to expect, and being able to use my legs to lift myself, rather than stomach muscles, is a big help. All that walking in the last few weeks really does seem to have helped. I'm managing to keep my painkillers to a minimum, and plan to start going for a short walk every day from tomorrow.
The most important thing is that I am finally rid of everything that has caused me such problems since I was 11 years old, including a fibroid the size of an orange which has been slowly decomposing inside me for the last two years since I had a fibroid embolization !!!!! YUK YUK YUK.. too much information!!! I'll hear about the pathology report from my consultant on Thursday this week, but he said he didn't expect to find anything that will need further treatment. Fingers crossed.
Anyway- I'd love to hear what anyone else has experienced after hysterectomy? All tips gratefully received.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
got a phone call from the hospital around lunchtime- short notice, but my consultant has a free slot next Tuesday, so am I able to go in then for my hysterectomy?? (he's been having a very busy spell, but luckily is in charge of his own operating list, & said if I can go in on short notice, he will do me as soon as possible- so I've only had a 3 month wait since being told I had to have one)
Had to go in at 3pm today for pre-op checks etc & to sign forms ... now I have 3 days to make sure everything is tidied up here & paperwork up to date, & mum's cupboards are stocked up, & that there will be someone who can go in & make sure she's ok two or three times a day.
It's all a bit daunting, but I'm now glad to finally be having the op - my fibroids have grown back after an embolisation procedure I had a couple of years ago, and they have been pressing on ligaments in my pelvis for months, causing backache & pain. But I am so glad I made the effort to re-start my strength exercises and walking again recently, as I feel more prepared for the op now.
Hopefully, I will only be in until Thursday lunchtime if all goes well, but will then have to take it easy for a while. So I expect I'll be out of circulation again for a week or two till I can get near a laptop! Wish me luck & I'll be back again soon.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
this time last year I wrote a long and rambling blog entry, which I then managed to erase by mistake before I posted it. On reflection, it was probably a good thing, because I had been standing in my garden crying & feeling sorry for myself before I wrote it, because my kids were all out and I was alone on what should have been my 34th wedding anniversary.
So, today is my 2nd Un-iversary - (or- NOT my 35th Anniversary!)
Two of my sons are going to Amsterdam for a couple of days to celebrate a friend's birthday. My youngest will no doubt also be out later with his friends. So again, I will be on my own, and I'm sort of wondering what to do.
Firstly, I think I will buy myself a nice big bunch of flowers- not something my not-so-dearly-departed (no- not dead- just walked out!) thought of many times in that 34 years. A posy from the hedgerow would have been a nice thought- but seems he didn't think the same way as me.
Sadly, this also extended to the anniversary cards bought hurriedly at the supermarket because he couldn't spare the time to go to a proper card shop. And who writes 'love & BEST WISHES' on their long-term partner's card??? The writing was on the wall as well as the card!
No card tomorrow then- but maybe I should buy myself a book? (for my 'Paper' Un-iversary??) And maybe I'll spend a little time sitting in the park reading that book?
And wine- there has to be some wine ... or maybe some fruit cider that I have in my kitchen cupboard ... or maybe Crabbie's Ginger Beer, which is excellent. A drink anyway, so that I can toast myself for getting this far on my own. I'm still not 'out of the woods' but like Little Red Riding Hood I'm managing to keep the wolf from the door! (me & my dreadful puns!!!)
And for my Un-iversay plan to work I think this also means that I won't be tracking what I eat today, as it might be a little erratic and I don't want to feel a failure for eating too much or too little or the wrong things, so I will turn a blind eye and make up for it during the rest of the week.
Not sure yet whether to try to find friends to go to the pub with ... not keen to go out alone ... nor do I want to stay in alone, in case I start moping. And although I will go and see my mother as usual during the day, I'd rather not spend the whole day there.
I will resist the urge to post some 'relevant' song on Facebook ...('I Will Survive'?? hmm... bit of a cliche ... 'I Am Woman'??? ... an anthem, but not really me ... Ian Dury's 'What A Waste'?? ... or how about Dean Friedman's 'I Never Really Liked You All That Much!' ?? ... bitchy but very funny...
'I'm not sorry to see you go,
Don't bother to stay in touch,
There's one thing you oughta know, sweet darlin'...
I never really liked you all that much!'
Thank goodness I still have my sense of humour & absurdity. I am woman... I will survive!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
so- some time ago I decided that I should walk everywhere and see if I could do 10,000 steps a day ... I needed a pedometer.
STEP ONE: I knew the kids had a couple knocking around, so I wouldn't need to buy one, but I did have to buy new cell batteries for the one I found. Fitted batteries... worked out step length& entered info etc ... tried using pedometer whilst walking ... Massive fail- it didn't work! Took out batteries & put them in the second one I found- which also didn't work.
STEP TWO: Went to local sports shop and bought myself a pedometer- nothing fancy- not the talking one with radio... just the basic Miles/Km/Time/Calories one which also counted steps. Great, I thought- I'm in business. Just have to remember to clip it on every morning!
A few days later, my new pedometer fell off my belt without me noticing, and I lost it. Hmmm.
STEP THREE: OK- don't give up. Thought to myself 'I will actually COUNT my steps for regular journeys, and store info on my phone, this will also give me something to do as I walk backwards & forwards to my mother's house, several times a day (3,320 steps from my door to hers!) This worked relatively well, but if anyone saw me muttering " 64-65-66-" under my breath as I marched past them, they would think I was a bit strange!
STEP FOUR: Whilst tidying up at Mother's, I found a 'JML Talking Pedometer... with radio'! New, unopened and probably destined to be a Christmas present for one of my sons (... it could join all the other pedometers they had & never used!)...
so I'm sorry to say I 'Half-Inched' it ... (Cockney Rhyming Slang = I 'Pinched it!')... or maybe just borrowed it long-term. I could always return it if she mentioned it .. which so far she hasn't ... Which is probably a good thing, as after a week of using it & finding it was accurate & really useful, it fell off my belt as I was coming down mum's steep staircase, bounced all the way to the bottom, where it landed on her tiled floor with a 'smack'. The next day when I checked my steps after hours of dashing around, it had hardly clocked 1,000 steps, let alone the required 10,000. Hmmmmm. Reset it ... counted my steps ... checked. Again, not accurate. Bother!
STEP FIVE: Back to actually counting my steps ... up & down mum's stairs to bathroom/bedroom = 40 steps. Mum's sitting room to kitchen & back = 20 steps... etc etc. TEDIOUS!!!
STEP SIX: Admit defeat and go back to sports shop where I purchased my first (working) pedometer. It now calls itself a 'Discount Outlet' and only has limited reduced price stock ... which doesn't include pedometers.
Visit other large sports chain in town ... the only pedometer they have is like the ones my sons had, which didn't work. Finally found ONE pedometer amongst the tiny sports section in TKMaxx discount store. Read blurb on box. Seemed ok until I got it home & read the instruction book properly, to find the only way pedometer could be updated was through a computer, once all data for 15 days had been downloaded. HMMmmmmmmmmm. Too complicated! Took it back for refund the next day.
STEP SEVEN: Why didn't I think of this before??? Just Google the JML Pedometer & buy a replacement online! ... WRONG!! I should have known that anything my mother had bought would be verging on the antique ... JML no longer seem to make/stock their Talking Pedometer ... or in fact ANY pedometer. BLAST!!
STEP EIGHT: Looked in my usual supermarket (Asda ... Walmart to you!) in the Fitness/Sport section. Purchased pedometer for around £6. Set it up with my step length, weight etc. Put it on a belt under my dress ... making sure that the 'security leash' was also clipped on this time so that if the pedometer came unclipped, it wouldn't fall off this time.
Started using it... seemed to be fairly accurate ... some of the time ... but I became frustrated yesterday to find several times that it had somehow re-set itself while I walked, and several thousand steps had suddenly become '134' or '49'. Grrr.
Back to WRITING down steps, zero-ing & starting again, adding all the totals at end of day. Managed to get past 10,000 eventually, but sure I did a lot more! Not a happy bunny!!
Which brings us to TODAY: I have walked to & from mum's, (6,640 steps) plus up & down & in & out at hers, plus walking around town. My legs are telling me I've done my 10,000 + steps ... so lets check what the pedometer says??? ... 3,662. THREE thousand, SIX hundred and SIXTY TWO steps. NO (Bleeping!) WAY! Tried walking up & down whilst counting ... 40 steps... and it shows ... 1!
I GIVE UP!!!!!!
well ... rather ... I WON'T give up counting steps ... but maybe I should just buy myself an old fashioned ABACUS next??? It can't be any worse than a so-called 'pedometer'!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
gosh. in one of those strange coincidences, I decided I should try to log on today, and saw that I'd joined Spark People on 21st July last year... ok ... so it's technically 22nd now as it's gone midnight ... but what's an hour or two?
Anyway- my intention is to get back to recording what I eat- maybe not every day, because getting online is still a problem- but regularly enough to keep an eye on what's going in my mouth! So far I have managed to keep off the weight I initially lost, but haven't managed to lose any more.
AND I want to log the steps I've been walking, because boy, do my legs ache!
Mum is now back in her own home (after 7 months living with me, followed by 3 weeks in hospital with a broken wrist & fractured shoulder after a fall) but now with all the other things she has wrong with her, she also has early dementia, so I'm having to walk to & from her house several times a day (3,320 steps each way there/back) to make sure she takes her meds, help her with meals and bedtime & tidy up after her.
I did intend to stay with her more or less full time, and did so for a week until her behaviour towards me made me decide that I needed to sleep in my own bed and tidy my own house! (I have spent the last few months clearing junk- cardboard- plastic bags- junkmail- old clothes and broken china- from her house, with a concerted effort to clear the floors in the weeks that she was in hospital, as the social worker said she would not be allowed home unless it was safe for her, with nothing to trip over. Phew.
Our relationship is still difficult, especially since she has had her arm in plaster and has needed help to do everyday things. The dementia is also affecting her behaviour, so that I am frequently being told to 'shut up' if I say something she doesn't like. I am trying hard to stay calm and be efficient but detached, but it is difficult, and I still find myself comfort eating when she upsets me. Fortunately, I am on an Alzheimer's Society course for carers for one morning a week for 6 weeks, and comparing notes with the others there is helping. My next task is to organize things for mum to do outside her home, so that she can meet people again.
And I must also try to find some time each day for myself, so that I can stay healthy and fit enough to look after mum. She's a cantankerous old bat, but she only has me, so I still keep trying. Hey ho.
I have so much catching up to do- havent had a chance to read a magazine or book for months, let alone log on to read email etc. But I miss all of you and your achievements, so I must make the effort to read what you've all been up to soon.
Time for bed now. More walking tomorrow.
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