Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Pelvic Floor Surgery Tidbits

Now that I'm 7 weeks post-op from my pelvic floor repair, I'd like to share a few things that helped during my recovery. It's not a lot of tips, but a few that may help some others.

1) Don't believe everything you read online. Everything I read suggested recovery would be horrible. Other than being tired, drained, and somewhat painful for the first week, it wasn't SO bad.

Now do remember, I didn't have a hysterectomy. Just a rectocele and cystocele repair.

2) Have what you need close by. Remote control, tissues, water, snacks, phone and charger, heck, even a laptop. Pills if you don't want to get up and to take them. Pillows and blankets nearby so when you're cold you don't have to reach far.

3) Things I bought (or had) to help and let me be clear - I have no affiliation with Amazon for these products. These are just things I thought would be helpful and were.

Perineum bottles - Something like this. I had leftover ones from childbirth.

Perineum ice packs - You can buy disposable ones or get them from the hospital if they give them out, but I found these on Amazon and really liked them.

Bedside table/tray - There are a few different ones. I liked this because it had the lip and things wouldn't roll off, however it does bother me when I'm typing on my computer.

Reacher - This helped me picked things up from the floor or reach things farther away when I didn't feel like moving.

Maternity underwear from the hospital - I asked for extra, they gave me some.

Sitz bath - Don't use until your doctor tells you it's okay. I don't use the bag. I just fill it up with hot water and sit in it.

Stool softener - Follow your doctor's orders. Something like these. I bought mine at the grocery store.

4) Let other people help. Spouse, children, mother, anyone around. Have them take care of other children, have them go to the store for you, have them clean, help with homework, have them cook you dinner. Yes, they will get overwhelmed. But this is what you do on a daily basis. Let them experience it. It won't be forever.

5) Take your recovery and return to life slow and easy. Start with one thing, then add another, and so on. I'm not 100% yet at 7 weeks post-op, so don't expect to be either. To me, this felt a lot like childbirth, and that took me a good 3 months to recover from. So that's the time I'm giving it. Then I'll try to get my act together a little more.

I hope this helps at least one person prepare. These things really helped my recovery besides pain pills.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Pelvic Floor Repair Update

It's been 6 weeks now since my pelvic floor repair. I had a cystocele and rectocele repair. The doctor built up my perineum again too.

How am I feeling? Meh - would be the word I use. I don't have a lot of energy. I find that I'm tired most of the time. But, still better than I was a few weeks ago. I don't have much pain unless I'm having a bowel movement or at the end of the day I seem to be "achy" down there - the perineum area. There's one spot at the back of my vaginal hole where it meets the perineum that has a bumpy feel to it and when I wipe or push there, it hurts. Every once in a while, I get a shooting pain inside, but nothing more than that.

Bowels - well, they haven't really gotten any better. I took the stool softener up until my 6 week appointment when the doctor told me to stop. I took Miralax for about 10 days starting day 4 after my surgery until that 2nd week follow up. After reading some things about it, I hope to never have to take it again.

So before my journey started I was going every other day and spent 3-4 hours in the bathroom. Formed at first, then mushy stool. I hated it. I hated the time it took, hated my kids were always complaining I was in the bathroom, hated that I had to plan my appointments around my poop. How stupid. I was weak and always felt blah afterward. So that's when I started my journey last year to try and feel better, to poop better.

I'm worried it failed.

I'm now going pretty much every day and it's always mush. I've tried suppositories, enemas, both to help clean out "quicker." BECAUSE 3-4 HOURS OF BEING IN THE BATHROOM IS INSANE!

This weekend I took a 3 day cleanse from Renew Life. It hasn't seemed to do anything different. I'm on the last day of pills though, so we'll see how I clean out today and tomorrow.

My next step will be adding 1-2 fiber pills a day, maybe more. Than 1 supplements one-by-one and really hope that something helps. I also bought Calm which has some sort of Magnesium in it. It's a powder to mix and drink. I just hope to find something to help.

My 6 week checkup went okay. The doctor said I am healing well. I have no restrictions other than to not move or pick up anything REALLY heavy (like furniture, heavy boxes, or big kids). And no sex for a few more weeks - but with the pain, I'm not looking forward to any sex. She said I can exercise, run, kickbox, squat, whatever *I* feel up to. Start slow and easy and work my way up. Seems so different than what I read online. My doctor said she wants me to have a full life, not a life full of restrictions.

Next post: Tidbits.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Post Op Appointment #1

Since I wrote last, I've had ups and downs. Good days and bad. Some days I hurt and others I'm okay. I went without an ice pack a few days, but most days need it after a BM. The BMs have been diarrhea. Sometimes easy and forceful to get out. Other times it needs help. I'm still taking 2 stool softeners and 1 dose of MiraLax every day. Keeps it diarrhea like. But it's hard because it usually hits around midday. And I never know how long it'll last.

Today was my first post op appointment. The doctor did a very gentle exam. I didn't even feel it. I was worried it was going to hurt, but she was awesome. She said I was healing nicely. No popped stitches. She said I can take sitz baths now, drive, and do normal things. Still no lifting more than 5 pounds, no squatting. I can go upstairs as long as I feel good. No running, no aerobics, nothing like that. But the rest, take it easy. Do what I can.

I go back in 4 weeks and she said I can start PT at that time. Told me to keep on the laxatives if that helps. I missed today's dose though.

Things are going to be okay. I'm not sure how okay, but okay. I'd like to make a post with all the things that helped me and hope to do that within the next week.

I hope the things I've been posting about have helped someone out there.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Recovery From Pelvic Floor Surgery - 9 Days

It hasn't been easy. Hasn't been horrible either. I've read horror stories online and am extremely glad I'm not one of the small percentage of people who have enormous pain or problems after surgery. I had my second BM since surgery on Wednesday, 2 days after the last BM. This time though, I just sat on the toilet and soft snake-like poop came out. I sat there about an hour. Every 10 minutes or so, I'd go again. And then the last 2-3 times were more like diarrhea. The nice thing was the ease of going. No straining. I did then have some more diarrhea later in the day and right now my tummy is making so loud noises. I'm still taking 2 stool softeners every day and 1 dose of Miralax mixed in my OJ. We'll see what happens.

Pain wise - not too bad. I had some sort of ovulation cramp - which is weird since I think I just had my period (hard to tell with all the bleeding from surgery). The cramp came out of nowhere, was one sided, and intense. I immediately took pain meds and got a hot pack on it. The pressure made my perineum hurt, so I got an ice pack down there. Weird day.

There is one part down there that looks white-ish. I'm a little concerned that it's not healing right or I popped a stitch or something. It's hard and bleeds when I touch it. Sitting is still difficult. So I lay around a lot. Walk some. My energy is okay. But, today was my anniversary and I didn't want to go out. With he diarrhea and the uncertainty and the not wanting to sit down for long, I thought it was better to wait. Thankfully hubby is understanding.

I'd hard to remember not to bed over and squat down. Nothing hurts when I do. I just have to be very careful and try and let other people do it. It's hard with the kids. They're rambunctious and I'm afraid they're going to hurt me.

Sleeping has been hard too, so back to Klonopin or some sleeping pill to keep me from tossing and turning all night. The weighted blanket has been a good help too.

My follow up with my doctor is next Tuesday. I will update before then if anything changes or is new or I'll update then. Please comment if you have any questions.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Prolapse Repair Day 8

OMG. I slept like a baby. My husband rubbed my shoulder, I put some Arnica on it, then a hot pack. I took a Klonopin. I slept on my stomach again under my new weighted blanket (12lbs) and I didn't toss and turn. I fell asleep and I slept until 8am! It felt so good. I got up to pee and went back to bed for 2 more hours. No pain. No poop. Just tired and wanting to rest. I got up, showered, had lunch, and plopped back in bed to bing watch Lost (since Netflix is removing it on Jan 4th). I didn't get too far before I had to go on my first outing to a post op for a nasal polyp I had 3 weeks ago. He seemed pleased out the outcome and my mom stopped at a couple stores on our way home. I walked slow, but it wasn't too fun. Every time I turned just right or walked just fast enough, I'd feel a prick, like a needled being jammed into my vagina for a second.

I didn't drink my Miralax until I got home, which was dinnertime. No poop today. Not sure if that's good or bad. My bleeding was heavier yesterday and today. Did I do too much yesterday? Do I have my period? Did I pull a stitch? I don't know. And probably won't until next Tuesday. Oh and apparently I yanked off my underwear last night. Don't remember doing it, but I didn't have any on this morning. Oops. Thankfully the bleeding wasn't so much that it got all over the place. Just my PJs.

Today felt okay. I was up more, but tried to take good 30 minute breaks every few hours. I took a sleeping pill tonight and am about to curl up in bed with my blanket and see if I have another good sleep.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Just hope I'm strong enough to face it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Prolapse Repair Day 7

It's Christmas. My tummy hasn't felt good in a couple of days. It's like building up poop in there and just waiting to explode. I put off drinking the miralax until presents were unwrapped and then I started having horrible cramps. Thankfully all the fun morning stuff was over and I disappeared into the master bathroom.

The first few were small and hard. Not pebbles, good size, round, hard pieces. It was VERY hard not to push or bear down or do the things I normally do. I had 3 hours of this. Then after some hard ones, it turned to mush -- must have been when the miralax kicked in -- and that was just as hard to push out.

For me, my body doesn't know how to poop properly. Stupid right? I have dyssynergia. This is a condition when "external anal sphincter and the puborectalis muscle contracts rather than relaxes during an attempted bowel movement. There is the sensation of incomplete emptying of the rectum. Normal bowel movements involves relaxation of both of these muscles."

So basically I never learned how to poop. My mom laughed at this. She asked how is this something that is taught, you just do it. I don't know. I never taught my kids to poop. I just said when you feel the urge to go, sit down and go. 

So this mushy poop was sitting there, giving me cramps. It wasn't diarrhea or loose like I had expected the Miralax would do. More of a forceful evacuation. But there was no normal, formed poop siting on my anal sphincter telling it to open up and let it out. So it was a very hard, difficult day and it sucked because it was Christmas. I spent hours in the bathroom. Hours! Some of it in tears wishing I could be normal. Some of it in pain because of the surgery. Some of it wondering if the increase in bleeding was from a ripped stitch? a failure of the surgery, or my menstrual period. My period was due days ago and I'm not sure if it's here or what. It doesn't seem as heavy as usual, but it's heavier than what the bleeding had been. 

I don't see the doctor for another week for my follow up. Unless it gets worse, I'll keep doing what I'm doing and hope it gets better. 

My shoulder has really been bothering me too. Slept in in wrong? Something happened in surgery and was just in a bad position? Also the IV spot hurts. I mean really hurts. If it touch it in the wrong place, it's like pins and needles and weird feelings. I told them that day it hurt and something was wrong. It was like upside down in my hand. I hadn't had an IV like that...ever. I didn't like it. The anesthesiologist said they'd change it in surgery, but once they found out I was going home, they left it alone. 

Tonight I'm taking a Klonopin. I think I'm done with the Tramadol. Too strong. Can't mix the two. Haven't had the Tramadol today, so I think I'm okay. That and laying with my new weighted blanket. I hope it helps. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Prolapse Repair Day 6

When I got up this morning, I didn't feel as good. I did use both pain meds overnight. But I also slept on my tummy and I think that was a bad idea. I got up in the middle of the night and my back hurt. Oh did it hurt. So I slept some other way for the rest of the night.

I noticed more blood this morning. I actually put on real underwear last night because I hadn't had any blood drips and found them stained with blood this morning. Sigh. Then I remembered that my regular period was due and maybe this was that. However, the blood loss has been minimal throughout the day. So maybe not. I don't know. I'm sure my uterus is confused.

I've had more perineum pain today. Not bad pain. Aches. It aches.

No BM. Double sigh. I mean really? 2 stool softeners everyday and now 1 dose of Miralax a day and still nothing. I drank my 2nd dose this morning at 10am. It's been hours and nothing but stomach cramps now and then...period related? BM related? I don't know. I'm scared of what this poop will be like. I hope I don't have a big problem and I hope it doesn't hit me tomorrow morning - Christmas morning.

It's a little itchy down there too. Trying to be good and not itch. Sometimes I'll use hot water and just spray it. Other times I have to distract myself.