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The Uterus Removal Journey: Getting Back To Work


 

Y'all, I started back to work last week, only working a total of 8 hours between working in my clinic in Olympia and my on-call Skilled Nursing Facility job. I did not realize how much my socializing skills have taken a nosedive since the operation a month ago. Tasks like word-finding, filtering my facial expressions and generally being overwhelmed when being around more than 3 people at a time makes me wonder if in addition to ADHD I might also be on the autism spectrum and have just been masking my entire life. However, with treating patients, it's been great and I am in my element in my clinic.


I am working on creating content that explains the hysterectomy process and my exercises that I've been doing the past couple of weeks. I keep getting distracted by my boyfriend's half-feral cat that is finally snuggling with me after two years of dealing with my desperate antics to gain his love and attention (cat tax pic below). I wanted to keep this post a bit short and sweet to try to describe what I'm feeling in my own body as things continue to heal.


Digestion: I have a 20+ year history of indigestion, bloating, and intermittent constipation. I notice that bloating and indigestion have improve about 50%. I have not experienced any constipation since about 1 week after the surgery. In fact, I'm having BM's 3-5 times a day. None are exemplary and my surgeon was a bit concerned when I had a follow-up Zoom meeting with her this past week, but I told her that it is quick, doesn't hurt and is a bit of a relief. I'm sure as things progress, it will adjust to a more regular schedule but I think the adhesion of my sigmoid colon and the uterus to the rectum were likely causing my previous problems.


Pain: After the two week mark, I have not had any pain. There is occasional aching and quick "zinging" pain where my cervix was, but that is what I am contributing to nerve endings healing. The only other discomfort that I have experienced was lower abdominal soreness when overdoing things (deep cleaning, lifting 25lbs or slightly more, etc) and some skin irritation at the incisions where my pants hit it.


Strength: I preface this with saying that I never had a child, but things just feel different in my lower abdomen and pelvic floor. It feels more "delicate" and as if something is missing (obviously, there are a few things missing). I'm activating my pelvic floor with every cough and sneeze and am way more aware of my pelvic floor with laughing. It does not feel unstable, like I have a prolapse, but I am just acutely aware of that area way more than previously- and I am a pelvic floor PT.


Endurance: Walking has mostly been my endurance building because I don't want to bicycle and have been avoiding HIIT activities due to that training type involving jumping/plyometrics. I also noticed that cleaning gets my heart rate up, so I've been integrating that, also. Cardio is on my list of things to work on as I find my new normal as I have always hated doing cardio.


Anywho, hope this is helpful and I'll be doing a post of exercises soon! Hope you're all enjoying your summer so far.


Love,

Kathleen Neal, DPT




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