Bowel movements, swollen tummy and driving

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I'm 3 weeks post anterior and posterior repair surgery. I have issues with constipation (from before surgery). I am using movicol, prunes juice and lots of fibrous food to help. But because I've been chronically constipated and had prolapse for at least 5 years, I'm worried about any damage from straining. What is the difference between pushing and straining? Is it normal to push a bit?

My tummy as swollen up (I look a bit pregnant!) and I've had some pains in the last few days. This is normal at this stage isn't it as stitches are tightening/dissolving.

Driving - my discharge notes say when I can an emergency stop without pain and concentrate. I've not really had any pain after the first few days, and think I can do this - how do you know without actually doing an emergency stop!

Thanks!

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi,

    Hope I can help a little. 

    With regard to pushing/straining, the advice I was given was to use several sheets of toilet paper folded over and to hold it over the vagina, pushing gently upwards while doing a poo so as to lessen risk of straining/ weakening posterior repair.

    As for driving, it's impossible to know if you're fit for driving unless you do an emergency stop! More importantly, you must check with your car insurance. They generally stipulate 6 weeks before driving. Phone to make sure, otherwise you'll not be covered in the event of an accident!!

    Good luck with recovery, and take it slowly! I felt fine after similar ops and hysterectomy and must have done too much as I'm now waiting a second op for vagina vault collapse!

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  • Posted

    Matron use to always say 'when you can stamp your feet without pain', usually it is nearer 6 weeks.

    You would want to also check with you'd insurance as you may not be covered in earlier weeks.

    You don't want to damage your repair in event of having to actually do an emergency stop while your repair site is still in early weeks of healing.

    X

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    • Posted

      I can stamp without pain.

      The issue for me is collecting my children from school. On the bus this takes 1.5 to 2 hr round trip to travel 1.5 miles. And also the claustrophobia and isolation. I ran out of milk one day, and couldn't make a cup of tea for 4 hours until husband came home!

      I'll ring the insurance company and ask. I really don't have any pain, little muscle twinges, like ovulation pain, but nothing that requires pain killers.

      I never thought I'd find resting so frustrating and difficult!

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    • Posted

      Is their anyone who could maybe cover the school run for another couple of weeks just to give you that little more healing time, or even anyone at the school who may be going by. Years ago when my kids got chicken pox the nursery teacher picked up and dropped off my older kids to ensure they got to school.

      Please take care don't want to undo your repair.

      Phyl x

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    • Posted

      There isn't anyone. We could out them in the before and after school club, but that costs £21 a day for both of them. I'll have to keep doing the buses.

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  • Posted

    You shouldn't be doing more than 2 x5 min walks from about 2 weeks post op working up to 2 x 20 min walks by 6 weeks and only really doing light lunches such as sandwich and just starting small amount light low level dusting around house. At 3/4 weeks post op.

    Wish I could help; I'm in country north of Glasgow if that's any good.

    I can't begin to imagine how you are going to cope with long bud journeys. I went back to work at 1e weeks post op and couldn't cope with long journey (2 hours each way )to and from work. You need to still be mainly resting at only 3 weeks.

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    • Posted

      My consultant discharge notes say walking up to 15 mins from week 2. I am mostly resting. The bus stops just by house and just by school. I'm just sitting on the bus. The journey itself is only 10 mins, but it's the waiting around for buses (sitting at bus stop). It'd only 2 days a week, my husband does the other 3.

      I started doing some cooking this week, but not lifting. It says household shopping (2 bags), cooking and light lifting on the chart she gave me.

      Today I've been to play park (driven) sat and watched them play and pottered to a cafe.

      I am so bored! But forcing myself to rest!

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    • Posted

      That's good that your consultant has given you clear guidelines, many ladies don't get clear guidelines.

      After my first repair only had the gradual walking and lifting guidelines and at 2 weeks was mopping floors and all sorts but nothing heavy. I reckoned that if i was ready for work at 12 weeks then i needed to work toward being back to normal by then so was walking much longer distances and doing much more in house far sooner. Looking back I know I was doing far too much too soon and my repair failed (having said that my prolapse gad been pretty bad that time).

      Anyway sounds like you have a good consultant who is looking after you.

      Take care,

      Phyl x

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    • Posted

      She is good. She works out of a private hospital, although my treatment is on NHS. She gave me a grid/table with the weeks and when you can start to think about doing stuff. I'm definitely not doing much walking. It's so hard to judge what is the right amount of activity. I've found it hard to judge the right amount, even with the guidance.

      Thanks for your advice.

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    • Posted

      When I had my 2nd log of repairs I found this forum and like you one of the other ladies had a timetable with guidelines on do's and dont''s over the 12 weeks. It was handy to have bug I found that I was running a week or 2 behind. But I did feel that my recovery went really well that time I didn't start to have problems until a few weeks after returning to work, not easy to control what happens at work and can't just go and rest when you need to.

      They are meant to be updating the useful resources section on this forum sometime soon.but like you say it is hard to judge as by the time your body tells you you have overdone things it can be too late.

      I often think there is a fine line between doing enough to keep your fitness levels up and overdoing things.

      So important though to rest in these early weeks to allow internal tissues time to heal. It's not like normal wound that can be rested while you potter about. The pelvic floor bears the weight of the pelvic organs so when you get up on your feet your repairs as bearing the weight of the pelvic organs.

      Take a cushion in a bag with you so if you are having to wait about on buses you can at least cushion your pelvic floor. I went to a wedding around 7 weeks post op and while it didn't seem to bad at the time I did need to rest for a few days afterwards at that was even though I left after the meal.

      Hope you get connections quickly or even a lift home.

      Phyl x

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  • Posted

    Dear Run,

    I have the same issue... I am now 7 weeks post op from a sling and posterior rectocele repair.   My surgeon told me to take 2 Dulcolax (laxative) if I had not moved my bowels after three days.  I did, and took more, and was in a ridiculous amount of pain.  Finally at day 5, things broke loose.  I am in the US, and not familiar with Movical.  

    As far as straining, I still strain at times, and stitches are great.... my post-op appt with my surgeon was fine.  

    Its hard to manage if you are prone to constipation.  I am finally on Miralax every day and doing better.

    best of luck to you!

    Sherry

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  • Posted

    Hi RunLikeaGirl

    Some great information here from women who know! Aside from the advice you specifically requested, I'd also like to add for the constipation. Lots of water, take magnesium and get a Go Better Toilet Stool, or Squatty Potty. This will help you to align your bowels into a comfortable position for full elimination. Keep the anus and perineum moisturised as excess wiping drys it out and adds to the discomfort. One reader recommend vaginal splinting, you can do this manually with loo paper to take the pressure off the perineum, or with a product called the femeze vagina trainer, you insert and it vaginally and it helps to put the bowel back into position.

    Either way, please make sure when you are a few weeks down the line and feeling stronger everyday (you will!) do not ignore your pelvic floor muscle exercises. These are so important to make sure you are not one of the 1:5 women who will have to have this surgery repeated. 

    'If you do not change what you have always done, you will get the same again' - a physio said this to me, so changing your posture (see Tasha Mulligans free dvds on You Tube). Good luck with your continued recuperation, stay strong and keep kegel exercising so the surgery lasts.

    Stephanie

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