A lot of people find my blog based on search terms about hysterectomies or being post-op and such so I feel it’s important to share so others going through this have a real-life reference.
I’m about 3 months post-op now. My 12 week post-op was actually last week and this week is 13 weeks post-op. Generally, I’m good. But I’m nowhere near back to normal. I thought being three months into it, my surgery would be a distant memory but that’s definitely not the case.
Early in December I started really pushing myself and getting more and more sore as a result. I was about 9 – 10 weeks post-op at that point and though I was cleared to do whatever I wanted, that’s definitely not the same as being able do do whatever I wanted. I really felt like it was a big step backwards and I was worried I did something wrong. In talking to others on a hysterectomy support forum, turns out the 10-week mark is pretty common time for overdoing it. And there were many other women in the same boat as me. Sore, aching, tired, fatigued and worried about what it all meant.
I stayed busy through the holidays out of sheer need but have been really paying for it in aches. I’ve been taking my ibuprofen typically one or two times everyday. (Either 600mg or 800mg depending on how I felt.) Now that the holidays are over though, I’m really trying to slow myself down a bit again. Rest. Take it easy. Because I’m tired of the deep aches. I can run around, do things, run errands, cook, shop, etc….but only for a few hours before I “crash” and need to stop. I pay for it in aches and deep soreness. Not to mention the dreaded swelly belly! So I’m trying to force myself to step back a bit and rest more.
My belly button incision is better but not perfect yet either. I still get zings/zaps and twinges of fire-like pain at random times. It’s much less intense than it was earlier in the healing and definitely not as sensitive. It too is not 100% yet though. I find that if I rub it in a gentle, circular pattern when it zings at me, it helps. Your mileage may vary! LOL
Three months out I get sad and overwhelmed sometimes thinking that I’m still sore. I’m still very much aware that I had surgery. I long desperately for the day when I forget I had it because I’m just so normal it doesn’t even cross my mind. Not there yet sadly and some days that weighs on me. Overall though, my mood is pretty positive and I keep trying to look big picture. But I won’t say I don’t sometimes get frustrated and sad a little. I think that’s normal.
I try to remind myself that I’m realistically about 50% or so healed right now. 6 weeks is 40% and six MONTHS to get to 80%. I’m only three months into it. Plus a full YEAR for 100%.
So, 12 weeks / 13 weeks post-op:
- still get tired easy / fatigued
- deep, sore aches on both sides at incision sites (manageable but uncomfortable)
- swelly belly (especially if I overdo it)
- hurts to bend over at the waist more than a few times a day (probably in part from the swelly belly!)
- generally well emotionally, though a little frustrated and sometimes sad it seems to be taking “so long” to heal
Right-side incision all but gone as is the one right on the hairline (not shown.) Left-side incision is where all the work was done. That still is sensitive and tender at times. Hard scar tissue still under that one as well as my belly button incision. One little spot just below belly button most sensitive and sometimes gets a little inflamed if irritated. Scars are still “immature” though so they still have more stages to go through before they get paler and fade out (in about a year’s time.)
Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Hopefully some of this helps someone else wondering what’s “normal” during their own hysterectomy post-op healing.