Day 12 after a hysterectomy for PMDD – it’s easy to over do it

by msjekyllhyde

I worked a half day on day 5 post op (a talk at a nearby art college that I chose not to cancel). I felt pretty fragile physically so I took a taxi there, used a small roll-along suitcase for a handbag, didn’t carry it up any stairs myself, and gave my talk sitting down. Pertinently, it was a seminar about The Body. Another artist talked about having to conceptually rethink what her body’s purpose was, after finally accepting her own infertility and realising that she wanted to be a parent regardless. Her talk couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I too now need to rethink my sense of self, now that my (chosen) infertility is concrete not abstract.

I’m now day 12 post op. I’ve taught a couple of full days (degree level), where I’ve been able to sit down frequently, that’s gone really well. I’m taking less painkillers, but I still need them. I’m a fast walker, and need to be careful not to over do it.

I drove short distances 1 week after the operation. I checked with my insurer first (very important to do this), they said I could drive whenever my doctor gave me the all clear (I’d been told 7 days).

I’m tracking my mood daily, along with my HRT doses. I’m not taking the Citalopram (I only took it for a couple of days post op). I’ve had a few blips where I’ve cried / felt low, but given that it’s not been long since the operation, I’d been stuck at home, and historically general anaesthetic has made me feel depressed, my mood has been better than I expected. I saw a particularly cute tot whilst out on Sunday, which triggered a mood swing (my partner and I had bickered too) – but it passed within hours. Deep down, while I love the idea of babies and toddlers, I know that I don’t want to be a parent for two decades. I’m waking up feeling positive and rested. I’m glad I had the operation done at this time of year, we’re having beautiful cool spring days now.

Update (written day 13): It turns out I’ve being overdoing it

I had a late night out on day 11 as I was feeling so good and sociable, after a full day’s work. It turns out that I need to rest more than I have been, and be more careful about how much walking I do. My mood crashed last night (on the evening of day 12), because I was tired and started over-thinking (worrying about possible loss of sexuality, and my infertility – things that I am calm and rational about when I’m rested). I had a good night’s sleep and feel happy again this morning, but a little sore. Plus I’ve just had cystitis, which isn’t surprising, when you think about the bladder being moved due to the operation. A post op NAPS forum friend of mine puts it very well:

Its easily done with a laparoscopic hysterectomy as you don’t have the wounds to remind you that you’ve had major surgery…I was advised to stay in pj’s for two weeks to remind myself I needed to relax…..when you do too much you will know like you’ve found out as it affects your mood…stress and tiredness lowers your oestrogen levels so always make sure you make time for yourself each day to have a rest and a nap…at least for 6 weeks.