HEADS UP – this post will contain pictures of my incisions and a large discussion about my bowel movements. If you don’t want to read or see this, maybe skip over this blog.
Narcotics fuck me up. I hallucinate. I can’t tell dreams from reality. I (usually) am projectile vomiting when I try to do anything other than sleep. This time around, it hasn’t been as bad as it usually is. I think some of it might have been the anesthesia they used (they skipped the gas and just went straight into IV since I have such a pukey history). So far, 3 days out, nothing has come back up, so that is most certainly a win.
I’ve forgotten how needy I get when on narcotics. The last time a friend of mine had to take me to the ER, it was all I could do to keep myself from asking him to hold me (he probably would have, but it would have been WEIRD once I sobered up). This time around, with my mom in town, I can get a little more human contact, though I still don’t like asking for it.
Being touched didn’t become an issue for me until high school. Before that, I was the kind of person who said “We don’t shake hands in these here parts; we HUG.” I’m not really sure what set off my DO NOT TOUCH policy, but it’s lasted the better part of a decade. Sure, I’ve got Dinah and Sophie, but sometimes (and I can’t explain WHY) it needs to be from a fellow human. Essentially, I want to find the nearest person and play little spoon.
This pisses me off. It makes me so NEEDY. I’m – usually – independent to a fault (just ask any of the poor souls who’ve tried to date me). But this isn’t something that I can just take care of on my own. I crave physical closeness when on pain meds. There’s nothing sexual about it. They need to have a Tinder-like app just for situations like this. Hey, developers, get on that!!
Another side effect: “the good stuff” wreaks havoc with my eyes. I can type alright, but I can’t read. The words start moving around on the page. I should probably email my professors and tell them I might not be as close to caught up as I’d originally thought when I was planning this out. This is also why there won’t be any editing done on this post – I literally can’t read what I’ve just written. It doesn’t help that I start to doze off within a few paragraphs of anything I’m reading.
Last and probably most unpleasant: pooping. We all know how great it feels to have a good BM (admit it, don’t be ashamed, we all do it). I’ve had trouble with moderate constipation since I was in diapers. I’ve been careful, making sure to drink plenty of water and get plenty of fiber each day, but I knew that my surgery was going to throw this all off.
Pain killers are notorious for constipation. I’ve had issues with them in the past, and I wanted to avoid it as much as possible this time around. A swollen colon is not a pleasant sensation when you’ve had lesions burned off of the outside of said colon. I learned this from my first laparoscopy. I came prepared for this one – prunes in the fridge, miralax in the pantry, Smooth Move tea by the coffee, even a bottle of Mag. Citrate if I didn’t have a BM in a week.
Here’s where my plan fell apart though – I’ve lost complete track of the days. I was starting to worry last night that I hadn’t pooped yet. I’ve been sleeping so much, it feels like over a week has passed rather than just a couple days, so I felt the situation especially dire. I wasn’t constipated (or if I was, I wasn’t feeling any pain), but I didn’t want to get to that point…so I doubled my prune rations, drank a HUGE mug of Smooth Move (seriously, this stuff is great if you have regularity problems), and had a does of Miralax on top of all that. I didn’t do this all at once – keep in mind that I’m not doing a very good job at tracking the days.
I woke up to my alarm reminding me to take my painkiller a few hours ago. Something felt…wrong. I wasn’t getting the telltale cramps of an impending toilet annihilation, but something was up. In hindsight, it probably just was my colon signaling me to get my ass to the WC – a lot was done in my abdominal cavity. It makes sense if some of the sensations have/will change.
I’ll spare you the goriest of the details. I’m pretty sure you can guess what went down in the bathroom. However, as I’ve been nosing around hysterectomy forums, I’ve noticed that quite a few women worry about that first bowel movement being incredibly painful. It makes sense that it would be.
Here’s how I felt. Before, as in right about the time I waddled my swollen abdomen into the bathroom, I wasn’t in pain. Right as I was getting ready, there was pain to the point of tunnel vision. This stopped as I sat down. The movement itself was nothing spectacular pain-wise. Urinating still hurts. and it hurts more than pooping does, but they are far from unbearable.
One very VERY weird sensation is that that of the missing organ and tubing. I’m not experiencing anything “phantom” (is there such a thing as a phantom uterus anyway?), but I can feel were there used to be something. It’s a bit like getting your hair cut and trying to tie it back. For a moment, you forget you have less hair and there’s a bit of a surprise. The same goes for the uterus – certain movements or even just the act of bearing down feel different. Things inside have moved around. It’s not painful or unpleasant, just insanely weird. Abdominal binders have helped with this a LOT.
Last but not least, here are some photos of how the healing is going: