I had a laparoscopic surgery (keyhole surgery) on Christmas morning to remove ovarian cysts. When I woke up the next day to find myself the recipient of so much love (via the likes and comments on my Facebook page), it made me realize there is so much kindness in the world. I just wanted to say that I'm very grateful for all your support.
Special thanks go to:
My mother, who has been taking very good care of me since the day I was born;
My family, for all your caring and support;
My big brother, words cannot convey how lucky I am to be your little sister;
To Sao, for thinking of me and for the oh-so-lovely roses;
To Ben, for the หอยทอดกร๊อบกรอบ from Central Embassy, which was so yummy I can’t stop thinking about it :P;
To my sweet little nieces who go out of their way to cheer me up, you’re just beautiful souls;
To everyone who has helped me through this difficult time, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
In an effort to pay back a little of the outpouring of support I’ve received, I thought I’d make a few notes about my experience in order to better prepare anyone else who is about to undergo this kind of surgery.
1. Prepare yourself.
- Have the fridge and freezer fully stocked.
Be open about your surgery to friends and family; line up people who can help during your recovery – you will find an outpouring of love. Say yes to everyone who offers to bring you food. It’s hard enough to sit up, not to mention cooking!
- Wash your hair a day before surgery because after that you can’t have a shower for at least a week in order to keep the stitches dry. Even then you might not be able to lift your arms or move your body as easily as you would like.
- Tie back any loose hair because one of the most common side effects of anesthesia is nausea and vomiting, and you really, really don’t want to puke on your own hair. Yuk!
2. You are not alone.
Ovarian cysts are common. It is estimated that nearly all women who still have periods, and about one in five who have been through the menopause, will have one or more ovarian cysts.
I had endometriomal cysts (also known as chocolate cysts) in both my ovaries: a cyst of 7cm diameter on the right and about 3cm diameter on the left. They were discovered in me about five years ago and were causing me severe period pain and mood swings.
3. Anxiety, fear and high levels of stress.
If your surgical nurse offers you anti-anxiety medications, I recommend you take it. (One valium prescribed) It’ll take the edge off. Honestly, I asked for one the day before, but the nurse only gave me the morning they wheeled me into the OR.
4. Surgery is a major trauma for your body, don’t be fooled.
After my surgery, my doctor said it only needed three days’ recovery, which could be done as an outpatient. I’m glad I stayed in hospital for the three days. There were tears running down my face on the second day from soreness and sharp pains: the worst PMS of my life! I thought I was having a heart attack. My abs were very sore and to get up I had to roll on my side and use my arm to push myself vertical. I felt fine after three or four days … not much pain, but sore when I tried to bend over, reach for something or sleep on my side. Everyone is different … I would take up to two weeks if you can.
5. CO2 gas is evil.
They pumped me with some gas to lift the skin up so they could see the organs. My doctor told me exactly where I was going to feel the pain and she was right on. My throat hurt for three days from being intubated (they stick a tube down your throat) and a lot of pain in my shoulders, neck and everywhere else from the air they pumped me up with. That pain lasted for approximately one week. Do some deep breathing if you can, that is helpful with the gas. I also would recommend bringing lip balm and cough drops or something to help with a dry mouth because my lips and throat were very sore.
6. Get up and move with attitude
It's been pretty well proven that patients who are optimistic about their recovery recover quickly than those who are pessimistic or apathetic. You will heal faster and get rid of gas quicker if you have a positive attitude. Walk as much as you can, even though it's painful – expect to be very short of breath. For example, the fourth day after my surgery, I did a few laps of my house, and I gradually increased that as I started feeling better. My stitches were taken out after one week, but there is still a lot of healing to be done internally. I've found gentle stretching and walking around as much as possible (slowly and with assistance) to be beneficial.
7. Digestive problems
Your meds will constipate you and hurt your stomach. Eat as much fruit, vegetables and fiber as you can; hold back on the wheat and meat. Definitely stick to a healthy diet. Try prune juice, orange juice, or another liquid source of fiber; oat bran makes a delicious warm breakfast cereal and bran muffins are always good. Fresh tamarind is an excellent remedy for constipation. Be sure to drink plenty of water and hot fluids, which will flush out all the stuff they pumped into you during surgery.
8. Pillows for Peace
I was extremely fatigued. My legs cramped from lying face up because I can’t lie on my side for a month. So make sure you are very nice to yourself, cry when you need to let it out. I also have several pillows of different sizes and firmness. You will be in bed a lot, and it’s hard to turn to your side. If you prop up a little nest out of pillows on either side of you, you can kind of turn sideways on your back and it's like sleeping on your side – but you're still on your back. My niece gave me a small pig bolster pillow that I could press on my incision to lessen the pain every time I laughed, coughed or sneezed. A heating pad is useful too: put it on where it hurts.
There is definitely some swelly belly around the incision sites. They hurt! I suggest maxi dresses, loose robes or bedshirts (no elastic) and granny panties. They are so comfy and they don’t pinch around the waist.
10. Lots of movies.
I was prepared to read a stack of nice books. But the surgery and the meds make me loopy and I had the worst attention span ever! All I could do was watch junk movies and fall asleep. It’s very painful to laugh so no comedies. After two weeks, the icky feeling starts to disappear and I got back to reading and writing little by little.
11. Sleep and rest.
My doctor said it takes a good two to three months to heal internally, so don't stress your body during that time: no heavy lifting, no heavy housework and no extreme exercises. I can’t practice yoga for at least six weeks after surgery.
Listen to your body. Seriously, don't let anyone tell you you're recovering too slowly – it’s better by far to have a slow recovery than to do more damage to your body by trying to do too much too soon.
Finally, I’d like to wish the best of luck to all of you who have had this surgery or are going to have it. It would be great if everyone put in their two cents’ worth so we can all benefit from a range of experiences. I hope yours was more fun than mine. This has been a truly grueling and challenging time.
Thanks again to everyone for all your help, information, friendship, and especially the love.
A flat, minimal design, with a spacious chaise for exquisite comfort. By Domayne
Choose a sofa that’s long enough for a nap in case your friends stay over.
Choose flexible armrests that can be moved from left to right or removed entirely.
Look for optional accessories on the arms and backs for convenient storage such as tables or pockets.
If the budget allows, think about integrated control technology for relaxation at your fingertips.
Cut a paper template the size of the sofa you have your eye on, place it on the floor, and see how it looks before you buy.
Large, flat arms provide optional seating for guests to join the conversation if the sofa is full.
modern sofas are too low to be practical. When a woman sits down on a
low sofa, she has trouble keeping her legs together. And older people
may have trouble getting up. The absolute minimum seat height is 600mm
In a room with a high ceiling, go for a high-backed sofa that’s proportionate to the room.
big patterns or trendy colours for large upholstered pieces. Leave any
hot colours and pattern to throw pillows, which can be easily changed if
you want to update the look and feel of the room.
Tufting details might look elegant but they collect crumbs, so avoid them unless you never eat on the couch.
Have a question about styling? Send us yours with a photo or two attached (questions with photos get answered first).
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