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I've benefited so much from lurking on these boards before and since my surgery, so I wanted to share my story. Plus I'm so tired of laying around already! I'm 5 days post-op today. I'm 42, generally healthy, with 3 kids. After my 3rd, I started having stress incontinence that was pretty troublesome. Having to leave work to completely change clothes or wear a maxipad to walk the dog type of troublesome. I also had the uncomfortable bulge and difficulties with bowel movements getting redirected into the wrong place that I now know mean a rectocele. As several of you experienced, my regular ob/gyn didn't think anything was wrong that some Kegels couldn't fix. I researched pelvic floor stuff online and started working with a pelvic floor physical therapist. I had to quit after about a month, though, because it was hard to carve out the time with a new baby and work. Plus, I kept falling asleep during my appointments, hahaha. She would tell me what exercises to work on, set a timer, and walk off, leaving poor ole exhausted me LYING DOWN with nobody screaming for my attention, and BOOM fast asleep every time. The issues became more and more problematic and I finally researched the problems online until I figured out what was wrong and how it gets fixed and contacted a urogynecology specialist. Apparently I had a large repair, the entire perineum was reconstructed and I ended up stitched from the vaginal entrance all the way up to my cervix.
I'm in the US, so I was home two hours after the surgery. When the good drugs wore off that evening I was in agony. Called the after hours number sobbing and the poor resident was very concerned but didn't think my pain level was normal...suggested I go to the ER. Of course that's wildly expensive here and it was the middle of the night and I couldn't face getting the entire family up and dressed and having them all sitting in an ER for hours, so I took some more painkillers and did ice packs all night and finally fell asleep for a couple of hours the next morning. When I woke up, the pain was reduced and controllable with the opiate every 3-4 hours and alternating ibuprofen/acetaminophen. Ran out of the opiate yesterday and left a message at the office asking for more. THAT set off a storm--according to the surgeons, it is not normal to need narcotics 4 days after this surgery. Meanwhile, any time I'm upright for more than a few minutes, the pain becomes unmanageable for at least an hour after. Not much bleeding, just this deep ache that isn't relieved by changing positions, combined with a raw feeling on the outside and some burning pains that are obviously an inflamed nerve. And of course the famous pressure everyone else talks about on here and the swelling. It all sounded pretty much like what I've read here, and I didn't think there was likely to be anything wrong with me, but I was definitely hurting. They insisted that if I thought I needed more pain meds, I needed to come in for an exam, and on my side I started talking myself down and got really embarrassed for being such a wimp, and almost didn't go in. But I went on in, mainly to get the doc to check out some hanging stitches and make sure I didn't tear anything up sneezing yesterday (pollen season in the south).
So it turns out, I have a hematoma! That's when you keep bleeding after the surgery internally and the blood builds up in a pocket where it doesn't belong. This causes more swelling and inflammation and pressure and pain. Apparently they're a common complication with gyno surgeries and can cause dangerous infections if not treated. And there was absolutely no way I could have worked that one out myself. It was way up inside of me near the top of my stitches. They had to open up the stitches near the top to let this thing drain, and I've been promised that in a couple of days I'll feel brand new. I still don't believe those tricky you-know-whats, because everyone knows you can't trust anyone who says , "you're going to feel a little pressure" or "just a little pinch." I have to admit the exam was very scary and uncomfortable, for obvious reasons right after surgery. They tried to be very gentle and kind, though. It did hurt when they took out the stitches, but it didn't take long. Anyway, the moral of the story is just go in and see somebody, because there's only so much detective work we can do on our own.
In other news, I have no unintended peeing and I pooped completely hands-free for the first time in a very long time. So the surgery worked, even though I have spent the past several days questioning whether it really would have been that bad to spend the rest of my life pooping with my hand in my hoo-haw...
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