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Well, hello there. Catchy title, hey?!
So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to give a little back to this forum after all the fabulous help that was given to me in my time of need. Hopefully someone may find even just a little bit of it helpful.
My surgeon has confirmed at 37, I'm on the younger side for a posterior/anterior prolapse and bladder repair (I got him to throw a mirena coil in for good measure). That being said, after revealing to my girlfriends what I had done, I'm convinced many others in my age bracket, post childbirth, could probably have a conversation with their specialists...
Strangely, I chose not to do any research about my surgery prior to going to hospital. In a way I'm glad I didn't. I have learnt everyone's experiences are different. Ladies, out of the goodness of their own heart tell you about their experiences (just as I am now) in an effort to make you (and ourselves!) feel somewhat normal. This is great, though I have since been concerned I was never given a hormonal cream, and that I was discharged after only one day...
After the surgery, you are going to be uncomfortable. For me, having birthed my two children vaginally, I put the experience on par. Honestly, I actually found it a little worse. I'm not saying that to alarm you - just prepare you more than I was. I was not expecting to actually feel a vagina full of stitches through all the swelling. But, that was just me.
Let's talk about poo, or bowel motions. GET YOURSELF SOME MOVICOL, or stool softeners. Did you read that? If not, read it again. This is something I can not stress enough - and is probably the one consistent thing across all recovery experiences I have read. You do not want to get constipated. If, however, you do - try not to freak out, you won't be constipated forever. In my case, I was so constipated and in so much pain I was vomiting on the toilet. I ultimately had to manually evacuate my own stool. Seriously. It then caused all manner of bleeding which in turn caused me to freak out. By some insane magic, I didn't undo any of my stitches. I called the hospital and their instruction was to lay in bed with a couple of pillows under my knees and don't move. My specialist saw me the next day and reassured me all was still in place. Get some Movicol.
Rest. Initially I had no choice; I couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes without feeling nauseous. I'm assured this was my reaction to the anaesthetic. By the middle of week 2, I could walk 200m. I honestly slept for Australia in those first couple of weeks. I've been told that is how the body heals. Makes sense. I found standing for 'long' periods uncomfortable. It has been very easy to sense when I've done too much; I either get shooting pains in my rectum, or a fresh bright red blood bleed. Also, take your doctor or nurses advice when they tell you no lifting for 6 weeks. I thought he was kidding. Nope, deadly serious. And, you don't want a repeat of the surgery anytime soon, so heed the warning. My physiotherapist has instructed me no crazy gym activity, no skipping, jumping, running, sit ups etc for another 6 weeks. She is adamant the pelvic floor needs some TLC and, in the grand scheme of things, all that stuff can wait. I'm starting to agree with her.
What else can I tell you? I honestly feel fabulous now compared to 6 weeks ago. I am significantly less sore, less swollen. I can cough and sneeze without secretly peeing my pants (that in itself makes the whole thing worth it!). No, I'm still not lifting or carrying heavy stuff. My house is tidy, but certainly not as clean as I would like it - and you know what? That's okay.
Oh, and I got a urinary tract infection at about week 3. It was uncomfortable but apparently expected. A dose of antibiotics and I was right as rain.
If you're ever in doubt, search this forum for what is concerning you, I promise someone else has most likely posted a similar question and some very kind people have taken the time to respond. Take what you need from that. If you're still worried call or go and see a medical professional for peace of mind.
I hope this little memoir is even just slightly helpful to someone. To all the lovely ladies who cared and took the time to respond to my crazy questions, thank you.
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