Sunday, November 14, 2004

What happens when you are having a myo

I'm on bed rest one week and two days post abdominal myo and I'm feeling great. Tired but healing quickly. Since you were curious about the before and after...

Pre-op consult -- they take your blood pressure, weight, check your blood to make sure you aren't anemic and get your blood type if they don't have it on record. You meet with your doc and ask last minute questions and sign a few forms. Sometime you will get to meet with the anesthesiologist at this time but I didn't. They give you instructions on when to stop eating and drinking prior to surgery.

Day of surgery -- check in 2 hours beforehand. I brought knitting to keep my hands busy and mind calm. The hospital seems to make you keep signing forms that say the same thing (whatever). My surgery was delayed by more than an hour so we went home for an hour and I did some last minute housecleaning.

When it is your turn they take you into an area with a gurney and give you a hospital gown to change into. My partner was allowed to be with me until they were ready to take me into the operating room (my doc said -- be sure to ask yours ahead of time about this). They hook you up to an IV and the anesthesiologist asks you questions about your previous experiences with anaesthesia. You have the option of asking for an epidural with sedation if you prefer, it is up to you and the anesthesiologist. I did the general and it was fine. They take your bag and you say goodbye and then they wheel you in to a freezing cold room. They hook you up to a blood pressure cuff and the oxygen monitor (little finger cuff) and then put a blanket over you. The anesthesiologist puts a mask on your face and tells you to breathe in oxygen and the next thing you know you are waking up in recovery.

They keep taking your blood pressure alot post-op and you are groggy and have a hard time opening your eyes. You are hooked up to a PCA, where you are able to dose yourself with painkillers as needed -- don't hold back because staying on top of the pain at first will help you a lot. After about an hour they wheel you to your room. They put some pressure stocking on your legs and some cuffs that compress/decompress automatically to help prevent blood clots. My wound was covered with a bandage so I couldn't see the incision -- thankfully. I had a catheter in for not even a full day, but know that the first pee can be really difficult. The nurse gave me warm water to run over my vagina while on the toilet and that helped get things moving. I recommend drinking unsweetened grape or cranberry juice for a week afterwards to help ward off a urinary tract infection -- it helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of your bladder, etc.

They will have you up and walking less than a day after surgery, take it slow and roll onto your side slightly, then drop your legs off the bed and use those side muscles to lift you up. The first few times you get up will be very awkward and painful. Stay on top of the pain meds and breathe a lot and you will do fine. The pain isn't excruciating, I ranked the worst at 5 on a scale of 1-10 but it was mostly around 3-4.

And then do as I've been advised from other post myo gals -- take it easy and don't push yourself. Even though my incision looks great I can't see my uterus and it has a lot more healing to do than my skin.

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