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Recovery from GA/operation

(8 Posts)
KurriKurri Sun 02-Nov-14 12:17:33

I had a major operation 7 weeks ago, - extensive surgery and a long GA (10 hours) I am healing well as far as the wounds are concerned, but don't feel right in myself.

I am terrible tired - in fact exhausted all the time, I feel very lethargic and utterly unmotivated to do anything. If I could lie in bed all day I would. I can;t sleep at night - usually don;t get off until 3 or 4 in the morning and then wake at six then fall asleep again until about 11a.m. (so sleeping all over the place!) I have very restless achy legs at night which makes sleeping hard. I feel as if I have no strength in my muscles.

I feel quite down generally. I ran a temperature for the first 4 weeks after my op - no infection, the docs. said it was just my bodies reaction to shock of the surgery.

I'm on iron tabs (I lost blood and was a bit anaemic after op) but tests show all is back to normal there. I'm on anti depressants, I have pain killers, sleeping tabs ( to take if needed) calcium meds., vitamin D3, as well as all my usual medications which are quite extensive.

I'm under quite a lot of stress in my personal life too, which doesn;t help.

I don;t know what I;m asking really, I just want to feel better - am I expecting too much too soon? I'd like to go outfor walks, go swimming etc to get my fitness back but I can make myself get up and out to do it. I have to make a massive effort to get showered and dressed each day. I'm normally a cheerful active person, despite underlying health problems.

My appetite is OK, but friends have said I look as if I am losing weight.

Any tips, insights (or grips grin) etc would be gratefully received. After another weekend spent lolling about doing nothing I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself I guess.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 02-Nov-14 16:35:53

You have had major surgery and then what sounds like a serious infection afterwards. Be kind to yourself you are going to take while to heal, it can take up to twice you energy to recover from surgery so you may need to eat more to maintain your weight etc.

mawinter Sun 02-Nov-14 17:42:53

Like you I had a major operation a few weeks back, along with some setbacks. I can relate to the tiredness and general feeling of blah. As much as I want to do things, i know that I must take things easily for awhile longer, having ADHD on top of this has made things a bit more difficult, but I have found taking baths and watching a bit of tv shows helps to distract and make me feel a bit better about not being able to do much.

thenightisyoung Sun 02-Nov-14 17:48:17

Hi Kurri, good to hear from you but I'm sorry you're feeling rather low. I don't think feeling how you're feeling right now sounds all that unreasonable given everything you've been through. I think some weight loss is also fairly normal because it takes a lot of energy for your body to heal and that may be what's tiring you out if you're not eating enough. However keep an eye on it and tell the doctor if you keep losing weight when you're eating normally.

From my own experience I found getting back to normal a really slow and rather frustrating experience. Even when I started going out again I would end up pushing myself too hard, getting exhausted and going back two steps.

I would give yourself another couple of weeks of taking it really easy and see how you are then. Obviously if you feel worse or don't feel any improvement, go and see your doctor.

Take care xxx

abitwrong123 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:06:06

Hi,
I don't think 7 weeks is that long ago if you had such major surgery and such a long GA.
Your body is working overtime to heal so I would think you're bound to feel shattered afterwards.
I had an unexpected emergency abdominal surgery about 18 months ago and I was off work for 2 months. I had exactly the same experience as you with tiredness and disturbed sleeping patterns.

I spoke to the doctor about it as I was so worried that my recovery was too slow and she said that my body was basically working overtime and that my mind was probably working overtime too to process the whole experience.
Also, sounds like you're on a lot of different drugs ( as was I) and that can put your body out of sync as well.

If I were you I would be kind to myself and try to take it as easy as I can for another couple of weeks before worrying about recovery time.
Could you try a sleeping tablet for a couple of nights to try to "reset" your body clock if the daytime sleeping is bothering you?

Hope you feel better soon. x

waddleandtoddle Sun 02-Nov-14 18:25:06

Take care of yourself. You have to remember your body has a lot of healing to do on the inside. I had an op where I was under for 3 hours and it took at least a month to feel right. The hardest time was when I did go out, felt really happy to be getting fresh air and exercise and then all of a sudden out of no where I'd need to sleep/go home asap.
Would pottering around in the garden help (I know not the best time of year!)? Spa or woodland retreat and change your environ? I spent several nights by the sea and that livened my spirits when I was where you are at now :-)
Another bit of advice I got from the Consultant was to keep myself standing straight and never slouch as I'd heal differently - therefore I stretched loads!

KurriKurri Sun 02-Nov-14 18:29:56

Thank you all for your kind replies smile you have reassured me that what I'm feeling is normal. Ithink I am a vey bad patient - I feel so frustrated and get cross with myself for not being able to do much.

You are right about the healing taking energy - the doctor said I should take in more calories than usual, and I think I have been a bit lax about that - so will try and add a bit more into my diet.
I've had surgery before but nothing quite as big as this,so it was a bit of a shock to the system - I think I am basing my recovery eexpectations onprevious ops. which were a bit less involved.

Perhaps I need to take a more positive or proactive approach - maybe make plans for some nice things I can do when I feel a bit better, or get round to doing some of those tasks that get put off when you are active - (like putting all the photos in albums!) Will maybe treat myself to a box set or something as well smile

I have to see my consultant for a check up in about three weeks so will talk thing sover with her too.

Good luck mawinter and abitwrong sorry to hear you are going through the same thing - hope you are both recovering well and feel better soon.

Waving to LoneCat and TheNight lovely to hear from you - hope you are both doing well and life is being good to you xx

KurriKurri Sun 02-Nov-14 18:35:21

xposted waddle I think like you I am desperate for a bit of fresh air, but can't walk far without getting exhausted. I have a lovely friend who has been picking me up and talking me for coffee, or just letting me sit in her conservatory and read for a change of environment.

I've been doing the exercises the hospital gave me to help with healing.

What I'd really love is to go for a swim - oh well, maybe I could just start with going to the pool and floating about a bit smile

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