Exile From Hysteria

When a hysterectomy is not the ending, but a beginning.

Tag: exercise

Baby steps

Wearing jeans never felt so good.

After spending almost three weeks in nightgowns and sweatpants, I have managed to squeeze into my jeans.

By the end of the day, I slowly unzip them, to give room to my swollen belly. From my research, “swelly belly” is common in the evening hours after a hysterectomy.

Each day I measure my success in baby steps.

Now that the doctor gave me permission to increase my walking, Matt and I have decided to go on one field trip a day. It’s about all I can handle, and it helps to do it early in the day. Usually these trips are simple, such as going to the local grocery store to pick up a couple items for dinner.

Yesterday I broke through to a new accomplishment. I walked the entire distance of Costco without getting dizzy.

I had found myself getting woozy anytime I walked further than from the recliner to the loo. But  not yesterday. I made it from the entrance to exit, just as focused as when I arrived.

Unfortunately, I am now paying for my bravado.

Last night I noticed a burning/pulling pain in my groin. By the time I woke up this morning, the pain was still there. My mind went berzerk. Is it recurred endometriosis? A blood clot? A hernia? After a panicked call to my surgeon’s nurse, she told me I pulled an abdominal muscle.

So for now, I’m grounded. No more stairs, and I’m taking it easy. With all this walking stuff, I had gotten cocky. Today I had planned a full day, including a trip to Kinkos, Costco, Kohl’s and Petco. What was I thinking??? Instead I will stay in my jammies and watch some bad TV.

Anyway, I want to rest up. Tomorrow we are adopting a cat. Her name is Cora, and she has 25 toes.

Steppin’ out

Charlie and I celebrate my first adventure outside since returning from the hospital.

Charlie and I celebrate my first adventure outside since returning from the hospital.

I knew my first walk outside since I got home from the hospital would be a big deal, but nothing could truly prepare me for the experience.

Since most of the snow has melted, I chose to walk out back with my pup Charlie. The experience left me truly overwhelmed … by the amount of dog poo that needs to be picked up. That’s right. Without the snow to camoflauge, I was out for a hike on Poo Mountain.

Normally I would grab a couple plastic bags and take care of the situation. But with strict restrictions on bending/lifting/twisting, the Poop Patrol was a no go. So I skillfully bobbed and weaved my way to the back of the yard, surveyed my path, then scouted out a return trip. The mines were everywhere. I didn’t want to step on one, especially with my nifty new slip-on Merrill shoes. So I let Matt lead the way, and managed to even avoid the puddles of mud.

For the last week, the most exercise I got was traveling from my recliner to the loo. When I was feeling feisty, I would loop through the kitchen and grab a cup of coffee. Or maybe to the bedroom to pretend I was putting on something other than a nightgown. Again.

It took days to work up to the trip outside. I starting talking about it at the beginning of  the week. “I’m gonna walk all the way to the neighbor’s driveway!” I would declare to no one in particular. Usually such bravado would be followed by a serious nap.

I would look out the front window, and imagine walking along each cement square into unchartered territory. Then the doctor’s voice echoed in my brain. “Remember: As far as you walk, you need to still make it back.” She was right. My next door neighbor’s yard seemed an attainable goal.

I surprised Matt by suiting up this afternoon. I even traded in my nightgown for a pair of black sweatpants and a grey turtleneck. When I started zippering my coat, Matt sat up on the couch. “Hey! Where are you going?” he asked, genuinely amazed to see me up and about.

“I am going for a walk,” I said. Matt quickly hopped up and slipped on his shoes. “Why don’t we go out back?”

I hadn’t even considered that option. But I liked it. If I fell, or contorted into some ungodly post-hysterectomy shape, I wouldn’t have an audience. Save for Tangelo, our neighbor’s newly adopted golden retriever. But he’s a trustworthy fella. I doubt he would cause trouble.

So we went out back. Charlie bounded between the piles of poo, and I made my self dizzy staring down at my foot placement as I made my way through the yard.

Once I got back in the house, I surprised myself with a burst of energy instead of a nap.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect today to go this way. Last night I abandoned my recliner and tried sleeping in my bed for the first time. The experiment ended badly, and I woke up with my back in painful spasms. This morning I could hardly even roll out of bed, and definitely didn’t have any form of exercise on my agenda.

But in this I found a lesson. I pushed through the pain, and kept moving.

I don’t see another option.