It has been a much better experience than my last surgery. Last time, I was crying coming out of drug induced sleep, begging for pain relief, wishing I was dead, had some very mean nurses, was stuck in the hospital for two days... it was awful. I had a good, capable doctor but a horrible recovery. What was meant to be an outpatient procedure turned into a long nightmare.
But this time, things have been much better. Everyone (not just my doctor) has been amazingly kind to me. I came out of sleep in a recovery room with my own tending and thoughtful nurse. She administered pain relief quickly and chatted with me to help distract me from my pain (First nurse, I am sorry but in my drug induced blur, I cannot remember your name. But where ever you are, thank you so very much.). My second nurse, Annie, was amazing as well and helped me above and beyond what I expected. And I have been given the pain medication I need to handle what's happening. Everyone was encouraging, thoughtful, and helpful.
However, despite the wonderful qualities of McKay Dee hospital and my capable endo-specialist surgeon, these are not the sole reasons for my better initial recovery. There is a whole spectrum of reasons. Unlike my last surgery, I have been very mobile leading up to this one. Even though it hurt, I did some form of exercise almost every day (mostly biking, yoga, and swimming). I kept up on my chores and tried to stay independent as long as I could. I was up on my feet everyday.
But wait--there's more! I endeavored to keep my narcotic pain relievers to a minimum before this surgery. Both my doctors believe that my rocky recovery last time could be somewhat attributed to the high level of tolerance I had built up to pain killers. Even morphine was inadequate to manage my pain. This had somewhat to do with my worsened condition prior to surgery. My insides were red as a tomato, I had a tumor, and a lot of endometrium. I was in pain, my pain pills were justified. But this time, I fought harder against the pain and managed it better.
Another important quality of this surgery was my mood leading up to it. Being bedridden and isolated for so long before the prior surgery made me depressed and pessimistic. I was stuck in a dark place. Negative moods impact healing and I think it countered my body's efforts to heal. This time I have worked hard to stay positive, happy, and optimistic. I believed that this surgery would help me, more so than I did last time.
The last tip I can throw in for having an easier recovery from surgery may not apply to everyone. But for those it would help, it is an invaluable tool. You can't know if it will help until you try it for two months. My gluten free diet has helped incredibly with my inflammation. I was the least inflamed this time between all three of my surgeries. Put simply, I was more pink than red this time--a huge achievement for me. I think it hurt less to be cut open too.
I know everyone is different. Every endometriosis case is different. The methods and doctor I chose made a huge difference for me. My doctor last time was great, but my endometriosis is very difficult to treat. I am a 'special case' as one doctor put it. I needed an endo-specialist. And I have to acknowledge the small chance that this surgery won't help in the long run. But I believe it will and I know my preparations in the months leading up to it made a difference. Take the time, learn what works, and prepare. Play an active role in your own healthcare and recovery!