Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process

I am a dumb workaholic who tries to do too much every day, hence this note to my future self. I’ll add to this and refer to this to try to keep myself from being an uncontrollable nut after I have my surgery. Wish me luck!

WEEK 1-2

  • Rest
  • Rest some more
  • Accept help
  • Drink water
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than ten pounds
  • Don’t open heavy doors
  • Take pain meds on scheduled (I hate medication.)
  • Write it down when you take pain meds so you know what the fuck you are doing
  • Don’t shower alone in case you need help getting in or out of the shower
  • Shower, wash insition with antimicrobial soap and pat dry insition. No baths. (Damn. I love baths.)
  • Call doctor if pain gets much worse, fever over 101 for 24 hours, nausea, difficulty breathing, unusual bleeding, and/or leg pain

WEEK 3-4

  • I’m probably feeling better, but don’t rush things
  • Life will wait, rest if I am tired
  • Accept help
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than ten pounds
  • If tummy hurts or is swollen, I am overdoing it
  • Go slow, watch movies, do art, sit still, nap, read, internet
  • Engage with your post-menopause wellness plan
  • Walk but not too far from home
  • Don’t go in to the office
  • I can make a simple dinner or fold laundry, but no vacuuming or gardening

WEEK 5-6

  • Keep listening to your body
  • Be sure to actively work your post-menopause wellness plan
  • Doctor should schedule an appointment around week six
  • Ask her about working out and sex
  • Ask for copies of pathology and surgical records



8 thoughts on “Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process”

  • Great lists! I really liked seeing the “Accept help” points. It’s so important! And at times too easy to easily to ignore when you are a strong, independent type (right there with you 😉 ). Your understanding of self care is impressive and admirable. I wish you did not have to go through all of this- very glad you have Ant and a brilliant head on your shoulders. <3 xo

  • Just catching up on your recent news and sending lots of positive vibes from my part of the world. Just a quick word of advice from someone who’s had a couple of cesareans, an appendectomy, gall bladder removal, all in the span of 8 years, take the lift advisory VERY seriously. A bag of groceries, your purse, a large book, a gallon of water…all those things could potentially be “too heavy” to manage for a while. It’s okay to ask for help. Also, get yourself a bottle of surgical soap….Hibiclens or the generic equivalent. Secondary post-surgical infection is NO JOKE. I got so sick after my first cesarean because no one at the hospital told me how to keep my incision clean. I spiked a 105 degree fever about three days after my surgery and then got cellulitis along my incision a few weeks later. So painful and totally unnecessary if I had know beforehand that I could wash the skin on my belly with surgical soap and keep all those bad germs away.

    • Sorry your tummy had to go through all that! Thank you for this advice. I’ll take advice from a tough cookie like you.

  • A few post-hysterectomy thoughts from someone who’s been there:

    Not being able to have baths really sucks. I love baths too! If your shower is in a tub, stepping over the tub ledge might be rough for the first couple of weeks. I found that lifting my leg high enough to clear the edge pulled painfully at the incision. You’re short, like I am, so you might have this problem. I didn’t think of doing this at the time, but putting a stool next to the tub could help.

    Also, they told me the same thing about the 10-pound lifting limit; comfort-wise my limit was more like 3 or 4 pounds. They also told me to be careful with pushing or pullingheavy doors, useful info since I was living an apartment building then. I felt like an old-fashioned lady with my partner always holding the door for me when we’d go out for short, therapeutic walks. 😉 Every body is different; every surgery is different. Just offering this in the spirit of support.

    Those pain meds are going to be really important. A medical psychologist once told me that they don’t give out martyr awards to people who turn down pain meds.

    Again, all bodies are different, but, as part of preparing I suggest having lots and lots of pillows on hand. My body was really fussy about the angles when lying down – just an inch off in any direction pulled at the incision.
    Sending lots and lots of love, and admiration that you’re sharing this process with your followers.

    • I am so happy that surgery is over for you. And thank you for sharing this with me. Now I don’t have to learn the hard way. Cuz I can be thick and try to do everything the hard way. lol

      • Hey, your body is already doing it the hard way for you. That means the rest of you gets to do it the easy way…well, the easiest way possible. And, I’m serious about the pillows – all sizes, all levels of firmness. I ended up lying on a body pillow for the first week.

        Oh, and a reminder to add to week 3 and beyond: Just because you have energy doesn’t mean you should max yourself out to the point of exhaustion. Relatedly, if you go for a walk and feel like you have the energy to go farther, remember that you have to keep the engine running long enough to get back to your bed. 😉

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