Day 14: Post-op appointment

by Jillian Bogater (Exile From Hysteria)

Matt was good enough to escort me to my two-week post-op visit this afternoon.

I swear I didn’t know about the pelvic exam, honey. Sorry about that. You were a trouper.

Well, the good news is that everything — from the 9-inch incision to the stuff under the sheet — looks great!

The surgeon told me to schedule an appointment four weeks from today to recheck my progress, and make a decision about my return-to-work date.

I was happy to report that I completely stopped all painkillers. I started weaning myself from the narcotic about a week ago, then conveniently developed a nasty allergy to it a couple days ago. I switched to motrin for aches, then nothing.

The doctor told me I also could stop taking birth control pills and a medicine my family doc prescribed when we thought I had a gall bladder problem (during my hysterectomy the surgeon discovered that pain actually was endometriosis that was high in my abdomen).

She also gave me the OK to start walking short distances, and to work on strengthening my endurance. I’m now allowed to bend/squat/twist as long as it feels OK to do so.

I just about cried. Finally I have permission to walk outside the confines of my front room, and to even accompany Matt on trips to Kroger. Shopping for eggs never sounded so luxurious.

Matt and I decided to celebrate with a walk through Costco. I was ecstatic because it was my first major walk since the surgery. I walked by the greeter, my heels bouncing. I strutted through the veggies, tables of folded clothes, pallets of toilet paper.

I made it all the way around to the grain aisle, before I felt the floor shift. I had to lean against the shopping cart and collect myself. Matt got me to a table in the refreshment area, then got me a soda. After a few sips, I felt myself pulling together.

Sheesh. All the bravado in the world couldn’t have prepared me for how exhausting that walk would be.

Shortly after we got home, I was visited by a wonderful colleague who brought with her a lasagna (her mother’s recipe!). It was great seeing a familiar face, and catching up on the things I’m missing at work.

In the last two weeks, Matt and I have been blessed with visits from several of our friends who have brought meals and great conversations.

We can’t thank you enough, especially in this first crucial healing period when it was nearly impossible for either of us to get out of the house.

Asking for help was difficult for Matt and myself; accepting it seemed nearly impossible.

But one by one you broke through to us, in your messages, your phone calls, your couch-side chats.

We want to thank each and every one of you for proving us wrong.

Accepting help never felt so good.