How do we measure success? How do I measure the success of the surgery? Is it an all or nothing thing?
This morning I awoke feeling crampy and aching all over. I’ve got pain on the right just around the ovary and my brain is kinda fuzzy. Feels like PMS………well in my case PNothingS. Great! Just wonderful!
Honestly, from Friday I was feeling like my hormones were getting wacky. I decided to adopt a wait and see attitude. I don’t know about others but after gynae surgery my cycling goes haywire and takes some time to settle down. According to my charting before the op, I should have ovulated last week. Obviously with all the organ handling, separating and removal on May 10, I was still in post op pain and mode last week. I now need to start charting again to establish what the cycle will be.
So, what does this pain today mean? As I am writing here I have already taken some meds and the pain is between 6 and 7…………livable/ doable. Does this mean that the surgery was not successful?
I think its too early to even think that. Things need to heal first before I can truly assess the pain. Even then, if the pain levels are still as they were before does that mean no success?
I’ve thought about this, spent a lot of time on it actually. I would say no; success is not as cut and dry as pain before surgery/ no pain after surgery OR horrible pain before surgery/ less pain after surgery. I think I should look at the little things, small progresses made and see how they add up as opposed to looking for the drastic change.
So far I’ve noted success in:
- Bowel function- I can have a BM now without intense pain, stretching and cramping and having to move from bathroom to bed and stay there for at least half an hour before I go anywhere or do anything.
- Sleep- I am sleeping more now that being awake throughout the night from pain. I still need to wake up to empty my bladder but for the most part I can sleep.
- All day pain- previous to the surgery I was in pain all day long. Up until today that was not the case since the op. There is pain yes but not consistently throughout the day. It will take me some weeks to work through what is happening now and see if the pain has reverted to mainly cyclical and minimal in between.
- Mental State- the impact that chronic pain has on mental health should never be discounted. Previous to the surgery, the flare I was in had lasted so long that I was really down in the dumps. I smiled and did what I had to/ what I could to fulfill my various roles but beneath it all I was seriously struggling mentally. Right now I am in a better mental space. Partly because of the improvements I mentioned above and also because I was able to get some questions answered by having the procedure i.e what was stuck to what, where the growths were etc. So no matter what happens going forward at least I start from a more stable space.
Each of these things is major in its own right. Each one was a source of worry for me before the op and contributed to my overall disposition. The improvement equals success to me. I claim the small victories.
If we continue to look for the big earth shattering changes, most times we miss the small but significant ones.
Yes, I’m in pain today. It may continue for a few hours or a few days I have no idea. What’s good though is that I am in a better place to deal with it now. That’s success.
As the quote above says, this is a storm that I am in. I don’t know how I get through most times (actually I do………it’s all God) and I have no idea if it is over or when it will be over. However, the one thing I do know is that when it is over/ when it wanes before picking up again I can see my growth. I can see how I have developed and how I have become stronger. The person I was going in is not the same person coming out.
This to me is success!