Since we’re still getting to know each other here -and because I am having a less than optimistic 24 hours- I thought it would be helpful to lay out my ‘before and after’ so that you can know what kind of progress I have had with this last procedure. So here we go…
At my worst (May 2012-August 2012) I was constantly in pain to some degree. The pain was steady at the 7-8 mark with a few breaks dropping down to 5-6 on a ‘good’ day. I was taking plenty of Advil and roughly 5-9 Percocet a day just to make it through the day. I was constantly swollen/bloated to the point that anything without a stretchy waist band was not an option. The pain was easily aggravated by touch, pressure or simply sitting in the same position too long. My family has learned to hug me around my shoulders and my husband knows not to put his arm around me in bed.
When I would lay down there was only one position that work-on my back. Laying on my side would increase the pain considerably and laying on my stomach would hurt so bad it made me cry. There wasn’t a whole lot of touching going on for me because we couldn’t really snuggle or wrestle or be close. When we went to bed at night we laid on our backs side by side and held hands while I stacked ice packs or hot packs on the lower half of my body.
Most nights I would end up on the couch so that I wouldn’t keep Bob awake. I was in and out of bed so much to switch out ice packs, re-heat my hot pack or take my next dose of pain meds that there wasn’t much sleeping for me. Even if I was comfortable in bed, the pain would wake me up and I would be right back where I started. Hot pack, ice pack, Advil, Percocet, try to sleep. Repeat.
My cycle was worse: Ovulation was about 5 days of simply being unable to do anything. The pain was steady at an 8-9 and it was painful to move/sit/stand/lay. The process of a period lasted about 10 days: 5 days prior I would bloat up-even more so than normal-and I would get this insane lower back pain that nothing could make go away. I would get stabbing pains throughout the lower half of my torso and the pain would spread through my hips and down my legs to my knees. These symptoms typically lasted straight through until the period was over.
*Now I know you are thinking I should have gone on the pill or tried some form of hormone suppressing therapy to help with all this pain. I promise you we did. Nothing worked.*
For a while I got relief from doing yoga and non impact cardio but eventually stopped even trying to workout. It is really hard to focus on getting in shape with your body is so exhausted from being in pain all the time. Also, hitting the gym on pain meds never sounded like a smart idea. Even my yoga practice was abandoned, it just hurt too much. Towards the end of July the pain was so constant I only went to work and home. The idea of trying to be comfortable any where else was too much for me. I needed to be home in order to have access to sweatpants, ice packs, meds and my bed. Even just sitting at the movies was too painful for me and again-when taking so much medication it is hard to go out and be lively.
Ok, so that’s the basics of before.
Keeping in mind that I have really only had about 1.5-2 weeks since my surgery that don’t feel like recovery this will probably be brief. Also, after my follow up with my surgeon yesterday I know that there is still a fair amount on untreated PCS in my pelvic floor. So, I am not “all better” just “improved”. As I said before, PCS is hard-if not impossible- to completely cure forever.
In the last 2 weeks I have seen that there is minimal bloating, and I am excited to wear my clothes and feel like I get dressed everyday again. The pain is still there, steadily about a 3-5 daily but it is much more manageable, though I still haven’t been able to break up with the narcotics. Seems Advil just doesn’t help much for this kind of pain.I did however have 2 pain free days last week. (Pain free= 1-3 on the pain scale. 0 is never going to happen.) It was an amazing thing to experience.
I am primarily no longer tender to the touch which is huge for me. My family can hug me!!! I can snuggle up close to them on the couch and I even sleep on my stomach some nights. It is fantastic 🙂
I feel like most days I have more energy and I am starting to remember what being in a good mood feels like. It is so nice to have the pain no longer be in the forefront of my mind all day long. I feel like I have more patience and just an all around better mood.
I have started doing Yoga again and it is amazing how quickly my body has responded to the practice. It’s obvious I was missing it. I recently got the ‘okay’ from my doctor to start working my way back into a gym routine which also makes me really happy. Blaring headphones and a good cardio workout is my best stress relief.
I still get sore after being on my feet for a while. The amount of time I spend active depends on the day and how much I am doing. Honestly, I wish there would have been more improvement so far, but I am taking what I can get and I am hopeful that these next 6 months will bring me a bit more relief as my body continues to heal.
I am sure the “after” will continue to change over the next few months, so I will come back and add things to it as it changes.
Thanks again for reading 🙂