5 Ways to Help Your Body Heal After Pelvic Surgery
My recovery from my exploratory laparoscopy to try to diagnose chronic pelvic pain was BRUTAL. During which they removed a bunch of growths, which flared up my existing pain. No recovery from surgery is ever easy, so here's my top 5 tips to help your body heal as much as you can.
Take your pain meds RELIGIOUSLY.
Set alarms, keep them near you, but don’t ever let them wear off. It’s hard to get the pain back under control once you do. I had to take prescription pain meds as well as regular Tylenol and Advil, so I staggered them so that I was taking something for pain every two hours.
Get past your ego and ASK FOR HELP.
It can be uncomfortable, especially when you’re not used to it. It's very humbling and makes you feel vulnerable. I relied on Isaac for almost everything, from making sure I ate and took my meds to helping me get out of bed to go to the bathroom. When he was at work my mom would come and stay with me. On other days I asked friends to bring me food. For someone who’s depression and anxiety is triggered by feeling like a burden, this one was a tough one for me. But it also helped me realize there are people who love me, and needing help does not mean I’m an unwelcome burden.
Rest as much as you can
Lay as flat as possible for as long as you can. For me it seemed like this took the pressure off my organs that sitting could cause, especially when everything was swollen and tender. Laying flat also meant I could ice my stomach, something that helped numb the pain (heating pads made it even worse).
move a little regularly - baby steps!
Walk a few steps every hour, even if it’s just to the bathroom or a loop around your apartment. As you start feeling better, increase how much you move. Try standing to cook a simple meal, walking down your apartment hallway or just outside. Go slow, add a little more each day, and rest when you need to.
Be kind to yourself
Your body was just sliced open, and if they found anything suspicious your organs were just chopped up so they could be analyzed. Humans were doing things that you have no idea of while you were asleep. When you sit and think about it, that's fucked up. It's also super traumatic for your body. You'll have a lot of feelings around it, no matter what the results were. It will take time to heal both physically and emotionally. Be gentle with yourself. Do NOT push yourself. Be patient. Take the time you need.