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Overdoing it after 6 weeks

on July 31, 2014

After a hysterectomy you have to rely on a lot of people to do the most basic of things for you to begin with. Then there is no heavy work, so your husband/partner takes over as you get used to sitting there watching them wracked with guilt. I was also off work for 6 shift cycles, which meant others had to give up their free time to cover my shifts.

At the 6 week check up you are told that you can go back to work, drive, swim and generally get your life back. You still have to watch the heavy work, but life is yours, go grab it.

Please don’t! Take your life back slowly. There is nothing miraculous that makes you suddenly better at 6 weeks and 3 days. You are still the same as you were at 5 weeks and 6 days. I went back to work. I did a 12 hour day shift followed by 12 hour night shifts. I started cooking and washing up at home, I went shopping and running around various places for things we needed and getting meals sorted for us and the kids. After 4 days of this I’m back in agony. I ache all over and I just cannot get myself together. I’m so exhausted. More than I was during the recovery period. I just suddenly thought that I can stop everyone having to cover for me or do stuff for me, so I went back to my life. I thought I was being a bit more careful than usual, but my job involves sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer. The pressure this put on the healing area was probably made worse because I’m over weight and have a large lump of fat that pushes down when I sit up.

Pete has been doing everything at home, so when I had a hospital appointment and he said “while you are out, can you….”, I said yes to make up for everything that’s been done for me.

I’ve heard the phrase “so you can finish milking it now” at the end of the 6 weeks. Milking it! I wish. Major surgery that wipes you out completely and can only be understood by someone that has been through this. Sadly that isn’t the people at work covering you or your husband/partner and any kids.

On my last night shift the Head of Operations phoned up to speak to me. Normally that means something has been escalated through the roof. This time it was to tell me I was daft for going back to work. His wife has the same operation and 3 months later only just started getting her life back. She was exhausted and struggled. He had thought I’d be back in September and wanted me to take it easy. He asked why the Doctor signed me off as fit to work. The truth is I asked the Doctor to. You are told 6 weeks and it’s almost expected that at that time all the help, support and sympathy you’ve had has now been used up and you are on your own again.

I’m on my 3rd scheduled day off as I work a shift pattern. I am so grateful to have the house to myself. I’ve been trying to put on a smile and force myself to do things to help out again. Today I fell out of bed and on to the sofa. I haven’t even made it to the shower yet. Walking hurts, moving hurts, staying awake is hard. I am just so tired.

The lesson I hope someone else can learn from me is that there is no miraculous event that suddenly happens in your healing at 6 weeks and 1 day. Go back to your life slowly and don’t rush into work, start part time and see how you feel. The same at home. Just do small jobs and see what your body will let you do. Being curled up back on the sofa in pain really isn’t much fun.


One response to “Overdoing it after 6 weeks

  1. germanginge says:

    Chin up, and please, please, please take it easy.

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