Faleena's Love Stories

Friday, September 27, 2019

How long does it take to heal from lady-surgery?

When an unexpected surgery left me minus one fallopian tube and months of recovery, I made a very personal live video to help other women - and men who accompany their women to the emergency room.

I googled and googled and googled with tears of frustration running down my cheeks when I needed help. 

Only the doctors were talking. 

Not the patients. 

And the doctors didn't know what they were talking about, when the surgery is over and you go home a different woman than when you went in. 

I hope this helps you, if you're googling like I was. 

On July 17, I thought my appendix was bursting. 

It turned out I had a growth twisting my fallopian tube (benign, thank God) that had to be removed. 

Because of its large size they were not able to do laparoscopic surgery. I had open surgery with a full 8in incision and a big chunk of me missing and having to come back together, afterward. 

I'm sorry to say that the doctors who predict it will take 6 weeks to heal, are wrong. 

Maybe it does for some of us. But from the response I got from my fans in the live video, for most it took much longer. 

Women, did you know our ovaries regulate our cholesterol levels 
not just our estrogen?

Yep, I didn't either. In fact not one of the hundreds of women I interact with did.

The physician's assistant let that slip right before the surgeon came in and suggested I have everything removed. 


As a preventative. As a preventative!!!

If you have healthy ovaries, leave them where they are.

If they have to go, fine, they have to go. But only if they have to.

You could be on cholesterol pills for life, why? Read on.

They will suggest hysterectomy even if you don't need one, probably to protect themselves from a future lawsuit.

My favorite thing the surgeon said was, "Well, since you can't have children, we're going to remove..." and then she listed one by one each item of my lady parts. 

Wait, what?

Since I can't have babies, let's remove my reproductive system?

Turns out they recommend this a lot.

My readers shared their stories.

So have my friends.

My neighbor was told she should have one because her bladder was acting up. Her bladder! So she should have a hysterectomy?! WTF.

What they don't tell us is the impact it will have on our bodies, the ones we have to live with for the rest of our lives. The ones that are precious and house our souls. 

But hey, at least they won't get sued. 

I told them no way.

They argued again, "But you could have trouble on your left side in the future." 

I said, "Then I'll have surgery on my left side in the future. But I do not give you permission to take out what is healthy."

My story is more detailed in the live video if you'd like. It's a half-hour long.

If you're like me, googling the hell out of this stuff to find some relief, I hope this video helps you know that you're not alone. 

Two things in the video that could help you: 

Arnica is a topical ointment to apply not on the incision, but around it. My life changed. Before Kathleen gave me this tube, every garment I wore hurt. It was a struggle to sit, walk, anything. This eased my pain so much. I hope it helps you. 

Portable Laptop Desk - I put this under my blankets, over my naked body while I slept on my back. It formed a canopy, covered and warm with NOTHING TOUCHING ME in the place I hurt.

This freaking amazing contraption is what I used. 

Things you might go through.

When you walk, you might feel like there are two parts of you, the upper and the lower, and they could just break off at any moment. Perfectly normal. Don't test it.

Nevertheless... walk as soon as you can. Even that day. It will help you heal and not atrophy. But do it like the slow zombies on the walking dead...like you've got nowhere to be and nothing but time. Then do it like the faster zombies...later. There is no rushing this healing process. 

In addition to sleeping with that desk, I also put pillows under my legs so that I'm not so stretched out and the incision isn't pulling. Much more comfy. It's like I'm on my side, only I'm not. 

They told me not to lift anything heavy for six weeks. They were right. Not that I could. I swear I had the strength of a three-year-old for the first three weeks. 

When you're doing normal stuff like, you know, scrubbing a pot, it might feel really freaking weird. Jiggling is really, really, really, really, really, REALLY weird. 

You might feel like there's someone inside your tummy and they've attached a string to your belly button and are tugging it over and over. For days. Guess what? That goes away! Woohoooo!!! Hang in there. 

You might lose weight. Because, you know, you can't exercise and foods that make you bloated might be most foods. And bloated in this condition is the worst. Ugh. THE WORST.

Avoid foods that bloat. Here's an article that helped me about which foods cause bloating and what to eat instead.

Clothes suck. Go for soft dresses that hang and don't cling. I had only two and you know, there's five more days in the week. So I logged onto Amazon and bought five dresses for about $20 each because I couldn't walk to return them if they were terrible. And they kind of were. I didn't wear them in public, but in private I thanked them their ability to not hurt me.

Patience ebbs and flows. For me, at least. I am a very optimistic person but there have been days when I felt it was never going to get better. It does. And getting depressed will not help. In fact, laughter has been shown to aid healing...but since you can't laugh with abdominal surgery without a pillow over your incision, try smiling a lot instead. Watch light-hearted comedies that make you feel good. Spend time on some serious self-love in your mind. Watch those thoughts and when you feel down, ease yourself back up. 

And what I didn't say in the video but should have. 

It sucks bad, and it's okay to cry. But you know what? You're alive. You're breathing when so many aren't. You will get better. 

How long will it take to heal? I'm still working on it and I'm over 9 weeks now. Luckily when I shared that video, another woman who'd had her F-tube removed shared that it took her 3-4 months. 

Is it weird that that made me feel better?


Because we women need to know we're not alone with all the stuff that is thrown our way. 

So hello. Nice to e-meet you.

You're not alone.

You will get better. I am getting better every day, and boy, do I have a new appreciation for walking. 

Yesterday I danced for the first time since I told that cabbie, "Drive fast!"

It wasn't my normal all-out dancing...but it was something. 

Keep taking those steps in your own recovery. 

You're almost there. 


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