Friday, December 7, 2007

After the Surgery

I realized that in that last post, I made it sound like I felt just fabulous after the surgery! Not exactly . . . Of course, having a 5-inch incision in one's abdomen is painful. :-) But after a couple of weeks, I was down to just taking Tylenol for the pain. I was able to climb stairs (one at a time) after leaving the hospital, but I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for a couple of weeks. Even after that, I was really careful! I tried to do plenty of walking, and I did do some work on my computer at home. If I did too much, I'd start to feel more pain or just feel really tired. Over the six weeks, the bruising and swelling slowly went down, the pain lessened, and my stamina increased. Every once in a while, I would feel kind of guilty, like I was malingering or something. Then I'd do too much and end up sleeping a whole lot! Exactly six weeks after the surgery, I went in for a half-day of work. Some of my coworkers were going to meet for breakfast, lunch, and happy hour after work as motivation for us all to stay on track working on our projects. I made it in for lunch, but didn't last till happy hour, and I spent a lot of time sleeping for the next two days!

So, it took me a while. Once the pain from the incision was reduced, I started to have some internal discomfort off and on. I was glad that the nurse had warned me about that, so that I wouldn't freak out about it! For instance, the first cycle after the surgery, I had quite a bit of ovulation pain off and on for a couple of days--which makes sense. I mean, really, removing a chunk from an ovary should probably cause a little pain the next time the ovary tries to do something!

One of the best things I did was to sign myself up for a dance class in the fall. It started about eight weeks after the surgery. The class met for two hours, twice a week, and I was almost 15 years older than most of the other students (and about 10 years older than the teacher, for that matter!). That class totally kicked my butt! I hadn't taken a dance class like that in . . . oh, probably 15 years! But I was so out of shape, and this gave me a way to make myself get some exercise in a fun way. Of course, after the first two-hour session, I couldn't form sentences for the rest of the day . . . but in the end, it was really good for me!

At this point, I'm doing really well. Things have healed nicely. The weird thing (to me anyway) is the sensation of my skin between the incision and my belly button. It's a weird combination of soreness (kind of like a bad sunburn) and numbness. At first, it covered that whole area of skin (the whole width of my incision, and all the way up to my belly button), but it's slowly decreased, so that now, it's just an inch or two in the middle of the incision, up to my belly button. I guess it takes a while for the nerves to heal!

So, if anyone's still reading after all of that . . . :-) I hope it's helpful to somebody! When I first started reading blogs about infertility, I couldn't find anyone who had gone the NaPro technology route, and I would have loved to hear someone's experience with all of this stuff. When I registered as a patient with Dr. Hilgers, I received a copy of their book, Women Healed, which includes the first-person stories of many patients. It covers lots of different conditions they treat (like PMS and post-partum depression) in addition to infertility. I think I read the whole thing the day I received it. But, being me, I wanted even more detail! So, I figured I'd write about my own experience in the hope that someone else might be looking for the same information and my story might help.


allyouwhohope said...

I am your target audience! I could read posts like that all day.. not that I have a thing for surgery.. but because I don't personally know anyone who has gone to PPVI, let alone the exact same surgery. My question is.. when did you have the surgery and did he say it went well? Do you have to have any hormone treatments? Dr. Hilgers said I'll start that a couple months after my surgery, but I'm not sure how it works.

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