Update: Ovarian Cyst Removal & Recovery

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So I’m now five days past surgery and feeling pretty good. I’m moving pretty well, but not doing any activity other than walking. If the weather were nicer, I’d probably go on a walk around the neighborhood, but instead I’m just doing laps around the house.

One of the worst parts of surgery for me was the unknown. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and I was definitely nervous. I looked online to see if other people had talked about their surgeries, and most of what I found was stuff about hysterectomies, which I suppose is similar, but a much larger surgery. So I thought I’d put my experience out there.

My scheduled surgery was a laparoscopic procedure to remove a large dermoid cyst on my ovary, plus the ovary and Fallopian tube. For funsies, my doctor had me do a bowel prep, meaning I needed to be totally empty prior to the surgery. That way if something happened and the bowel got nicked, it wasn’t as big of an issue. And the bowel prep was totally not bad at all. I think staying hydrated definitely helped. I never had bad cramping or any issues.

Surgery day dawned with an insane windstorm. Tropical storm strength winds. So that made for a slightly sleepless night the night before. Not that I planned to sleep all that well anyway. I made my way to the hospital with my mom and my sister, who flew in for my surgery. It was definitely nice to have them there.

Not long after we got there, we headed back to the pre-surgical area. I got into my super cute gown and they hooked me up to a saline IV. And then the waiting began. I think I was in a bit of a daze from exhaustion and hunger. I expected to be freaking out and I didn’t feel as stressed as I thought I would be. As most things go with hospitals, there was a lot of waiting. I also saw a lot of people. There was a pre-op nurse, and the surgeon came by, as well as the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist. Finally, after a couple of hours, it was time to head back to surgery. I got to ride on the gurney into the operating room. I didn’t have my glasses on at this point, so it was hard to see much other than the giant lights on the ceiling. They had me shift over onto the operating table, which was cushioned, something I didn’t expect. Then I remember them saying they were going to hang the good drugs, and that’s all I remember.

I came out of anesthesia in a chair, pretty much in a daze. I had an oxygen cannula in my nose, and my head was definitely spinning. I was never nauseous (thanks to the drugs from the anesthesiologist), but I couldn’t get my eyes to focus. They gave me some additional pain meds, and after the debacle with my “high” heart rate (my HR is higher as part of my heart rhythm, I hadn’t had my normal anti-anxiety drug, and they kept saying surgery was “more” than expected – which I worried meant cancer, but really meant the main incision was just a bit bigger), I was released, given some ginger ale and graham crackers, and my family was allowed to come in. I had to very carefully get up, but I was free.

Walking was a bit rough due to pulling in my lower abs, but stairs were never an issue. Stairs didn’t hurt at all, which was totally unexpected. I credit this to my general fitness level and all the PT I’ve been doing to strengthen my hips and legs. After the first day, I stopped taking the “good” drugs and have just been taking ibuprofen. The pain is like the feeling the day after you do a crazy ab workout and regret everything. It hurts, but it’s just the muscles, and once I’m moving, it’s not so bad. At first rolling over to get out of bed was rough, but that’s much better by now.

I’m really taking it easy and doing a lot of lounging. Catching up on tv and reading. Petting the cats. Because even though I’m feeling pretty good, my body is still healing. My abdomen is definitely still bloated, and I’m a little afraid I will be wearing yoga pants when I finally do go back to work. I took a full two weeks off, but will likely do some telework next week to stave off boredom.

I’ve got a Follow-up with my surgeon in a few weeks, but I expect to be fully cleared to get back to training. It’s all about easing back in (and also continuing to rehab my hip), but this surgery seems to just be a bump in the road.

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