Everything seems to be based on six weeks for my hysterectomy. No swimming until 6 weeks. No hot tubs until 6 weeks. No vacuuming or other labor intensive activities until 6 weeks. No sex until 6 weeks. Six weeks has come and gone! 🙂
I actually had my six week follow-up at just over seven weeks. I was out-of-state on vacation … and that’s a whole other story. Would you like some digression before the details of my six week follow-up? Who doesn’t like a little distraction?
My husband and I recently got back from Seattle, Washington. On the second day there I had raw oysters. I was afraid and excited to try these little suckers. There are loads of photos from restaurants and general pictures of Seattle with people eating fresh oysters all over the internet … so, I thought this was the thing to do. The only raw oyster I ever had was over 20 years ago and was a big fat gulf oyster where I nearly vomiting after getting it down my throat. I’m open to second chances and figured that these oysters, the Pacific Northwest, would be quite different. We also watched a few YouTube videos on how to eat raw oysters. Yes, I’m that nerdy.
We went to a happy hour at a well-known restaurant along the bay and ordered six oysters … baby steps, right? The oysters were from Pickering Passage … this has no particular meaning to me. They were DELICIOUS! I ended up eating almost TWO DOZEN by myself … my husband ate fewer than me because he saw how much I enjoyed them. They were light, sort of salty sweet and juicy. The oysters didn’t have that liveresque taste that the fried ones or ones that come in soup do. They were completely different and a far cry from that past gulf oyster!
TWELVE HOURS LATER I woke up, running to the bathroom (it gets graphic here) to have explosive diarrhea and vomiting. Bleh to say the least. 🙂 The oysters were the only possible culprit. The only. This five day diarrhea marathon made my hysterectomy experience look silly. The abdominal pain was worse than any, and I mean any surgery pain I had with the hyst. I was cramping, bloated and sitting on the toilet with huge tears streaming down my face on a couple painful episodes. It hurt so much it felt like a thousand little ninjas with daggers tearing into my insides while brown sewage soup poured almost endlessly from my raw bum into the toilet. Yum yum. I cried silently in our hotel bathroom a few nights around three or four a.m. so I wouldn’t wake my husband.
Despite the intermittent urgent episodic diarrhea, I was able to see quite a bit of Seattle. What I can say about this experience is that Seattle’s Zoo has A LOT of bathrooms spread out over the entire zoo — a very good thing with urgent diarrhea … or Crohn’s or IBS-d (the diarrhea type) or ulcerative colitis or dysentery … I’ve never used so many bathrooms on any trip! I lost about four pounds that I’m sure is all water weight. I learned that I like raw oysters … at least the going down part, but I’m over any possible oyster addition; this illness was not worth the oyster experience.
I went to a doc-in-the-box clinic before I left Seattle because I had to get checked out; there was no way I wanted the explosive diarrhea on a four and a half hour flight! Seriously, can you imagine climbing over another person in your tight seating area, leaking brown liquid in your pants while making it to one of two occupied bathroom boxes on a turbulent plane?! There was no way I was going to chance doing that.
The doctor, who I might add was one of the nicest docs I’ve ever encountered, believed I probably had norovirus. She asked if I’d been on a cruise ship recently and I told her no, that it was simply the raw oysters. She examined my abdomen and saw the new scars asking about them. I told her I recently had a laparoscopic da Vinci hysterectomy and she quizzed me about any complications from the surgery. I told her none and that I was healing perfectly. She then gave me a prescription for Imodium (loperamide) which I promptly took and haven’t had diarrhea since. 🙂 I felt kind of dumb because I could have bought the Imodium over-the-counter, but I got check out and had peace of mind … so, the trip to the doc while on vacation was worth it.
Personally, I think I had Vibrio poisoning:
How much have YOU learned about microbiology? Microbiology is cool … except when you are the victim!
LEARNING ABOUT MICROBES: Vibrio parahemolyticus. This organism is not communicable from person to person. Cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus usually occur during the summer months, due to the fact that the organism can be found floating free in coastal waters and in fish and shellfish. During cooler months, the organism is commonly found in silt or mud on the bottom of marine environments.
So, hysterectomy vs. shellfish poisoning? I’d take a hysterectomy again … but it’s really only a one-time deal. The raw oyster eating is now completely off my bucket list! And now I understand why my father with probable Asperger’s said, Aurrrrgust with a rather pronounced letter R after I told him we were going to eat oysters on our trip.
Apparently, you’re not supposed to eat oysters in the months without the letter R in them (May through August) because the coastal waters are warmer promoting bacteria. My father didn’t expound upon this after saying the distorted August … I simply ignored his weirdness … not understanding he was trying to express his usual encyclopedic knowledge with his often cryptic way of relaying messages. Now I realize why my mother was crazy. Everything’s a puzzle with him. However, I know that if I’d been forewarned about the cautions of avoiding oysters during these months I would have eaten them anyway … I’m like that sometimes. OK, I’m like that a lot. I didn’t reveal my shellfish poisoning episode to my dad when we returned … I didn’t want to hear him say Aurrrrgust again because I would have felt like telling him to put a lid on it.
DIARRHEA AWARENESS. Diarrhea is most commonly caused by gastrointestinal infections which kill over 2 million people globally each year, mostly children in developing countries.
Sooooooooo … how did my six, but really seven week post-op check go?
Great. 🙂 My gyn doctor looked inside stating the vaginal cuff was healing nicely along with my incisions, said I could resume ALL regular activities just like before my hyst and gave me some sympathy in regard to my recent oyster experience in Seattle. He also answered my question about having a bilateral salpingectomy (partial or complete fallopian tube removal) for ovarian cancer prophylaxis. Apparently ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tube … who knew? He was up on the latest data and said that the jury is out whether or not performing a salpingectomy causes the ovaries to prematurely die, and stated NOT having a bilateral salpingectomy was right for me based on my current health and medical history. Whew! No worries about that “should have” issue in regard to having a salpingectomy with my hyst. He’s such a great doc. 🙂
As far as how I’m recovering currently:
- No vaginal discharge or spotting
- Sex after week 7 (after the diarrhea abated, of course!) was fine, normal, no problems. My husband said he couldn’t feel any difference. 🙂 … AND I enjoyed no more pokey-poke on my cervix!
- No abdominal or pelvic pain of any sort, that left upper quadrant stitch pain is completely gone
- Low back pain at the end of most days, especially after walking and prolonged sitting
- Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, hormonal headaches and teariness started after being on the EstroGel for two weeks, so I started back on the Lo Lo Estrin a couple days ago and shelved the EstroGel
- Energy level almost back to normal
Here’s my latest POST-OP photo:
SIX WEEKS POST-OP