I decided to write out the basic commandments of hysterectomy; because this is yet another topic that NO ONE TALKS about. My cousins will have this in a few-Karen in a few months, Judy in a year or two, Kathleen too ...and possibly my nieces. So here goes-
1) Buy a body pillow. And keep an extra pillow around, because it hurts when you laugh or cough (and of course it is high allergen season for me). Hug the small pillow when you have to laugh or cough-it helps.
2) Gas hurts too. Badly. Plan your diet accordingly. The crazy people gave me broccoli and milk in the hospital! ;-)
3) Plan your aftercare for the worst possible scenario. I thought mine would not go well, and I was right, but I didn't have enough info to plan for THAT. The worst scenario is that you won't drive for three weeks, and the you should count on reclusive rest for a week. Why a week? Because one of the worst scenarios is that they'll nick your bladder while doing your surgery-this has me on a foley for a week so the nick can heal!
a) Shop to fully stock your pantry-and try to have seven frozen easy meals when you leave for the hospital. That "easy meals for a week" will save you from cooking while dragging a catheter. After hospital food so bad my DH laughed looking at it, it was nice that I could tell him how to thaw and bake dinner. And it was sooooo much tastier. If food and groceries aren't your area of expertise, make sure you thank your friend or S/O for the lovely dinner!
b) Find the long barbecue tongs and have them at the ready-bending is tricky for the first few days; the subscription cards from magazines, vitamins you spill, and all kinds of stuff will be easier to retrieve. Put a trash basket by your cocoon spot.
c) What do you wear? You want a knee length gown with IV friendly sleeves for the hospital-and knee length gowns for the recluse week. Yoga pants are good, except if you are a lucky catheter winner. Stuff with elastic waists are good-I'm wearing elastic waist shorts right now. Roomy grannie panties are spot on, too.
4) Use the scented soap you love, and buy a pack of hypoallergenic baby wipes. Be kind to yourself.
5) Get a pedi and a haircut. That helps a lot.
6) Make an activity box before you go in. I rounded up my projects and equipment I need to work while I am at home. I didn't choose challenging projects-I don't think my concentration will be much for the week. I also saved catalogs and the like as hospital reading material.
7) Make people help you. I can fold and sort clothes, but I made DH wash and dry, and pull all the clean laundry to a central pile, because my reach is stunted, and I am not supposed to lift.
8) Take your iron beforehand, and corral your meds. I was anemic in September, and had just rounded the corner with a hemoglobin of 10 when I went into surgery-taking 650 mgs each day. My levels plummeted to the sixes and I ended up having a transfusion. Now that I am home again, the sinus meds, the vitamins, the iron, the pain killers (2!) the horomones, and all the other crap live in one spot-and I just build a candy dish of drugs each morning. When the dish is empty, I have taken everything I was supposed to.
I'll be adding to the list as I think of things.