Post-Op Recovery Week 5 - Prolapse Surgery - Rectocele RepairJan 18, 2021
As I write this I am at the tail end of week 5 post-op. Tomorrow will be the 6 week mark but technically 6 weeks will end on Monday the 25th.
My prolapse symptoms are gone but I am struggling with how weak I feel. I recently reviewed my DUTCH test results and it showed that my estrogen is in the post-menopausal range! Here I was thinking I was being proactive and doing the surgery before I reached menopause. I was quite shocked by that result but it could explain some of the laxity I feel in my pelvis. I will be starting vaginal estrogen again (I was only on it for 2 weeks prior to surgery) the week of the 25th.
I am surprised by how weak I feel. I was strong going in to surgery and I felt like the repair to the vaginal wall would make things feel more 'tight'. So far I don't feel that. I know that my strength will continue to improve and I am going to be fitted for a pessary so I feel that may make a difference.
I am more aware of my urethra which I believe is related to the estrogen but also I wonder if the bulge of the rectocele was masking other symptoms or if some of the symptoms I felt before surgery were not actually from the rectocele. It could also be that new symptoms, or what I perceive to be new symptoms are a result of the incision and the healing/adhesions. I will know more once I see my surgeon and my pelvic floor physio.
My pooping, especially later in the day, has definitely improved so that is a win and I no longer feel like I have gas or stool trapped.
My perineum is finally feeling better. I determined that Epsom salts were actually irritating so I went back to my perineal herbs and I also started using a perineal herb spray as well which seemed to help. I did red light therapy about 3 times this week.
For exercise I am now doing the core breath, the bridge, the clam, the bent knee lift and added in the seated march. I noticed my incision a bit more being seated on the ball and missed a couple days but have aimed to do my exercises at least once but usually twice a day. I checked in with my friend and former business partner Julia who is a pelvic floor physio in Toronto. She supports kegels and the core confidence program for my recovery. It was nice to get her reassurance too!
I am really interested to see if my 'lift' part of my Kege is better after surgery or not. I feel like it might be so I am hoping what I feel is what my physio feels. My lift was hindered prior to surgery and my physio wasn't sure if it was from the rectocele or because I was already partially contracted (not releasing).
I am doing about 50% of my hypopressives as well which feels good. I really missed them!
I have found this week hard mentally because of the weakness I have felt. I found it hard to be patient. I worried about what fitness will look like for me if I continue to feel weak. I worried about sex and what it will feel like. I worried about if all the things I was doing were right. I worried about a lot. I kept reminding myself of a quote I heard from the Chopra App "worrying is like praying for what you don't want." I am trying to stay focused on a positive outcome and remind myself that the return to higher intensity fitness for postpartum people is 4-6 months at least. It is the same if not longer for post-op.
I had a day of frustration and tears yesterday when I got my DUTCH test results and crying felt cathartic. This has been a VERY emotional process.
My mantras and affirmations each day go something like this;
I am strong, calm and confident
I am getting stronger every day
I will return to pain free sex
I am healing beautifully
I am grateful for my body
Oh - and....I had 2 orgasms this week. No penetrative sex for at least another week (not sure I will be ready then to be honest) but we tried some other stuff ;-) including my Empress from VUSH