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I posted on a thread yesterday as I was petrified my sacropinious fixation had failed. I had cramps in my stomach and I felt an obstruction. I had a look and it looked different to a week ago. When I push I can see a dome shaped obstruction. I worried all night so went to the doctor this morning.
The doctor had a feel but I said I wanted her to actually look with a speculum. I more or less insisted. I have no further post surgery appointments apart from physio next week...so I felt I was entitled to ask for an opinion. She was very nice and happy to do so and said my womb was still in place. I'm elated that the sacrospinious fixation hasn't reversed! I am not going through that surgery again, not yet anyway! The bits of skin I can see she thinks are inflamed scar tissue. I've asked whether I can be referred to a gynaecologist anyway as I am supposed to be having the urine test but have now been discharged. I'm not sure if this is possible. I'm waiting to hear back.
I think I probably overdid it yesterday which is why I had cramps and soreness and things look differently down below to how they did before. I went shopping and had to split my groceries into manageable bags and make 4 journeys up 38 stairs. Maybe that inflamed the area? I also did a few arm exercises and legs raises and also a plank for 50 seconds. Another doctor had said I could go back to full gym class a 6 weeks - which I haven't - but figured as planks don't involve movement it would be ok. After reading helpful posts yesterday I realise that was way too soon. My doctor today (a different one) confirmed that swimming will be the best exercise.
I have said this before, but there is too much contradictory advice on the internet and also what we have all been told. For example: I was told to do pelvic floor exercises immediately after my surgery- others on here were told to wait 6 weeks. There really needs to be standard detailed expert information of 'dos and dont's' ...Telling women to "take it easy" , have "lots of rest" , "listen to your body", don't lift anything heavy" ... it is all way too subjective and open to interpretation. For example; what is heavy? And if that means only half a kettle of water as some have said, for how long? I've been told various different things - 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 6 months , for ever! The standard NHS guidance is just not informative and detailed enough, firstly on the level of pain to be expected, (absolutely useless there - e.g no mention of sciatica as referred pain, no mention of abscesses developing, like I had, or when buttock pain from SSF was likely to recede, and expecting women to deal with terrible pain by taking paracetamol and ibuprofen : come on! That's just rubbish - stronger pain killers are needed if you get buttock pain).... secondly, there is little guidance on what behaviour you should avoid post surgery and for how long. I've read so many info sheets from various health authorities around the UK , maybe 20... none are detailed enough and done appear to give contradictory advice , e.g time off of work. What would also be helpful is some real photos on the internet of how a 'normal' and prolapsed uterus looks. All I can find are drawings or computer diagrams. They are useless for making comparisons. Another thing that we are given different info on is sex. It's almost like the advice is for the man's benefit ("you might scratch him with the stitches " etc...) but what about from a female perspective? - such as advice on when an orgasm is safe.
So at 7 weeks post rectocele, enterocele and sacropinious fixation (of my cervix as I haven't had a hysterectomy, so it's not vault fixation) these are my recommendations:
1. Get the supermarket to pack your groceries and take to the car and then have someone to lift and unpack at home. Or if you can, do on-line shopping. Don't lift more than a bag with a pint of milk and cation if orange.
2. Still have rest periods and if you have only been signed off for 6 weeks like I was, do not go back to work if your job is not desk work but is manual. Insist on further time.
3. Walking is good exercise and it seems swimming too. Also Pilates and yoga and the instructors should be able to say what exercises to avoid.
4. If you are anxious and waiting for a post op examination, which for some on here seems to be 3 or even 6 months ... go to your doctor in the meantime, as I did today. Say you aren't sure if it's worked and ask your doctor to examine you, like I did today. But with a speculum so he or she can actually see rather than just feel. It's allayed my fears and had also been a wake up call for me to take things more easy.
5. Any lifting - bend legs. With the washing machine I drag towels out one at a time and along the floor and only lift onto the drying rack at the last minute. ( wish I had a tumble dryer!)
6. Sex - abstain from penetration (sorry, this is about us, it's not just about how it affects the man - and 6 weeks is too early in a healing area, even if you feel like you want to have penetrative sex. I think maybe 10-12 weeks. The stitches take about 5 months to dissolve so it might scratch him. But 'man flu' comes to mind here. I'm sure it's not damaging for him, just uncomfortable, but I may be wrong here.
7. Orgasms - I asked my surgeon and he said about 4 weeks is ok. But 6 weeks a better option as obviously the walls of the vagina will contract.
8. Keep taking laxative - I have 2 sachets of movicol a day.
9. Try to accept this is life changing surgery. A lot of adaption is required. I've found this hard and am so thankful to the women on here who are getting me through this. This was initially for the pain period (which receded at 4 weeks for me) and now for the recovery/ behaviour post op period....
I have days where I have no motivation, feel down - I usually 'snap out' after a cry! But the adjustment and psychological side of this is hard at times, and I'm generally a positive and stoic person.
10. Accept help and ask for it. My boys have been pretty useless (22 and 19) ... it's almost like me being ill annoys them ... but my mum has been great (I don't have a partner). If you need help and support ask friends to come on certain days to help shopping etc ( I can't have home delivery where I live). Ask your doctor about home help for cleaning etc. I've just engaged the services of a cleaner as I realise I can't do it. But if you can't afford this, ask your doctor who to contact for help.
I'm not sure how helpful any of this is and you might disagree with it, but it's just a few tips I can think of and ones I think I need to follow myself!
Take care everyone ..
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