Cocoa’s C-Section Recovery Log – Week 1

 

cocoabrace
My incision brace (the shirt tied around my waist)!

I could have come up with the right words if I had been able to go for a long run.  The longer my run is, the more I find answers to whatever questions may be on my mind at the start of the run. In fact, I am pretty sure if world leaders went for a 20 mile run together, they would find a way to make world peace.

But instead of clearing my jumbled brain on a long run, I spent the entire week with a frozen bag of peas down my pants.  And, I kid you not, that frozen bag of peas did more to help my pain than any Motrin or Tylenol ever did.

Seriously, though, one thing I noticed this week was that every day was 100% better (in terms of pain) than the day before. The exception to that was day 6 (though I had overdone it the day before).  Day 6 felt like day 3 in terms of how much pain I had. But then day 7 felt better than day 5 (does that make sense???).

Every ounce of my being wanted to walk in a hunched-over position.  I forced myself to stand up straight when walking around.  Standing up straight wasn’t fun at the time, but worth it in the long run. It’s humbling how fast I went from running marathons, to just trying to stand up straight when walking!! Onwards and upwards, my friends!

Anyhow, with no further ado, here is my day-by-day progress week 1 after c-section.  Of note, I took Tylenol and Motrin around the clock this week, and iced immediately after every walk.

  • Day 0 (e.g. baby birthday). Walked to nurses station and puked at the end. It was only about 30 feet max. I couldn’t really feel my legs very well during this walk and am pretty sure I was duck waddling.
  • Day 1: Walked a few loops around hospital halls, very slow and painful. But I did take a shower that afternoon! I even managed to wash the soles of my feet somehow.
  • Day 2: Left hospital! I love walking my dogs. It’s one of my favorite things to do. So my husband and I decided to take our dogs to their favorite park (about ¼ mile from home). We walked towards the park, with me taking very slow and fragile steps. I then realized I could not make it that far, so we headed back. After maybe walking 200 more meters, I could not take another step. My abdomen felt like I was being stabbed with 10 sharp knives. I couldn’t stand up straight. I felt like a little crippled old lady.  No joke, my husband had to get the car to drive me the last 200 meters. Ugh. At this point, I can’t imagine ever feeling normal again.
  • Day 3: For this walk, we went to the elementary school across the street. Why? Because the school has lots of bleachers that I could rest on. And oh, were those bleachers needed!! I also timed my Tylenol and Motrin, so that they would be in peak effect during my walk (so I took them both 1 hour before we left for the walk). Thanks to better planning, this walk went much better than my day 3 walk. We lapped the school 3 times, which is about ¾ mile. I couldn’t have made it that far without the bleachers to rest on.
  • Day 4: Walked our dogs in the woods by our house. I took baby, baby steps and knew that if I slipped on the dirt trail, I’d be toast. Halfway around the loop, I discovered that if I pushed on my incision site with my hands while walking, it actually decreased the burning that I was feeling. That led to me tying the dog leashes around my lower pelvis area to act as a sort of brace. And it helped- a LOT!  Total walking distance: ¾ mile.
  • Day 5: Mom arrived today! Hubby and I went on a “date” downtown to walk around the lake.  I found that the best “brace” for my incision area was a long-sleeved shirt. I evened out the sleeve of the shirt and used that as a belt over my incision, then I tied the sleeves in a knot behind my hip bone, pulling the sleeves as tight as I could. From now on, when I refer to my “belt”, this is what I am talking about. We walked 2 miles at a pretty quick walking pace.  I felt great!! Amazing!! Feeling elated!
  • Day 6: Feeling deflated. Definitely overdid it yesterday and I am paying for it. My incision site burned like the dickens, and my whole lower pelvis area throbbed. I walked a slow, tender, defeated mile around the neighborhood with husband to recover.
  • Day 7: Walked 2 miles with my husband and dogs, just around the neighborhood. I had my “brace” on which helped. For the record, this is when I started tapering my Tylenol and Motrin. Instead of taking them around the clock, I tried to just take them when I couldn’t stand the burning anymore.  I still was pretty reliant on them, though.

Salty readers, have you ever experienced recovery from surgery? What are your memories or tips for coping with the first week?

I am a 30-something new mother (pet mother too), marathon and ultramarathon runner, healthcare professional, and outdoor enthusiast. I'm working on completing a marathon in all 50 states. I will be blogging about motherhood, running, and any random running-related rant I might come up with.

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