By: Jean Johnson for Fibroids1
Part One |Part Two | Part Three |Part Four
Come along on the real life journey of Argelis Calderon as she undergoes a myomectomy to treat her fibroids. From a nervous beginning in the operating room to a successful recovery, take a glimpse into one woman’s fibroid removal success story.
(Editor’s note: Any treatment undertaken to combat a medical problem has varied results for different individuals. The experiences portrayed here are those of Argelis Calderon and would be different from the experiences of other myomectomy patients. A conversation with your doctor is the best way to determine the appropriate course of treatment for you.)
“The day after the operation they got me up, and I walked for two minutes until I felt nauseated and had to stop,” Argelis Calderon said. “I almost had more problems from gas than I did from pain at the incision.”
|On the Road to Recovery:|
Get plenty of rest – your body needs time to repair itself.
Follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.
Keep yourself comfortable – comfy, fun pajamas are a must.
Avoid heavy lifting or any activities that place undue stress on your body.
Take it easy – don’t attempt to do too much too soon.
Find an Internet discussion board where you can discuss your recovery with other women who are recovering.
If your pain is intensifying rather than decreasing or if something seems off, call your doctor for advice.
That’s not news to the health care community where professionals understand that anesthesia slows peristalsis in the intestines, and that half the battle of recovery is getting the digestive tract to resume its normal function. In addition, as Calderon observed, lying about in one’s bed and not eating much, simply compounds the problem.
“At least I had a nice view from my window,” she said. “Houses with gabled roofs and mature trees all leafed out. There wasn’t much traffic and so all was rather quiet in the misty rains. Portland is really quite pretty in the spring.”
Indeed, one of Portland’s infamous spring rains was pouring down when Calderon’s husband drove her home from the hospital. That said, sometimes only a treat will do.
“I wanted a scone,” Calderon said. “So we parked across from the coffee shop on a busy street in the downpour. No umbrella, no nothing. Still my husband ran across and ducked in to get me a blueberry scone. It tasted wonderful.”
They took the scone home and Calderon ate it while they watched an episode of Perry Mason on the afternoon tube.
“The thing that hurt the most was when Paul Drake came on. He was so unintentionally hilarious that I couldn’t stop laughing, and even though I held my stomach, I could sure tell I’d just had major abdominal surgery.”
Calderon scheduled four weeks off from her job as an editor to recover from the procedure, and as time has progressed, she’s found she’s needed every bit of it.
“Pain hasn’t really been a problem. The doctor gave me a prescription for something strong, but I’ve managed with just Ibuprofen.” Calderon had on thick socks, a knit lavender mini-skirt, and pullover, and took small baby steps back and forth across the living room.
“But what I’ve found is that my belly is swollen. It’s miserable. That and not being able to sleep at night. Between those two things, there wasn’t a day in the first three weeks after the surgery that I didn’t end up crying.”
“Also, I was very optimistic about how long it’d take me to recover. Instead, at the end of four weeks when I thought I might be ready to return to work, I had to delay one more week. Sitting for long periods makes the swelling worse, and I didn’t feel ready for the stress of my busy job.”
The Calderons did end up contacting the physician for some sleep meds, but the bloating is apparently something that goes with the body trying to recover from the dissection down through the muscles and tissues that a myomectomy requires. Still, it can be frustrating to be the patient experiencing the symptoms.
“I’m usually so strong physically and emotionally, and that’s how my husband and family think of me,” said Calderon. “But during this recovery, I’m finding I feel so bad that I’m just not myself. Surgery and its aftermath is definitely not something to be taken lightly, even if you do get flowers and your neighbors bring you soups and things.”
Continued in Part Four