Horses After Hysterectomy
Yesterday was a good day. I had my first appointment with my surgeon after having a hysterectomy. And I had a lot of questions for her about what could I do, how long, what is too much, etc. I got all of the answers I needed to progress to the next phase of my recovery. Horses after hysterectomy, or during the initial recover phase has produced a lot of questions for me.
And before my appointment, I had been trying to research what I could and could not do by doing google searches. Now I know, doing google searches to find health information isn’t as reliable as asking my doctor. But I did it anyways. I was curious. And From doing my google searching, no matter what I would type in I always got the same result, how long after hysterectomy before I can ride my horse.
But that isn’t what I wanted to know. My horses are at home, and I wanted to know what others were told in regard to feeding, or grooming, braiding, and bathing their horses. This is the information I was searching for, and continued to elude me. Again, I know I could have just called my doctor, but I didn’t. I used the first two weeks after surgery to do pretty much nothing. I really have been a good patient.
And as a nurse who deals with post operative patients on a daily basis, I had a general idea of what to do after surgery. But I deal with people who have had broken bones, amputations, and things of that nature. So even though I have certain knowledge as a nurse, it is different when you are the patient. And I had no idea of what I could and couldn’t do after an abdominal surgery.
2 Weeks After Surgery
My post-op visit went well. Everything is healing, and I am progressing just like I should after surgery. I think this is because I haven’t been as active as I usually am. I still have discomfort, I would not call it pain really. But when I do too much, my body lets me know be increasing the discomfort of my abdominal area.
So just in case you are doing the same google searches because you have had some sort of abdominal surgery and you have horses, let me share my questions and the answers I got from my doctor. And as a disclaimer, please don’t take this as medical advice. I am not a medical doctor, or a surgeon. If you need real advice, call your doctor!
Here are the questions I asked, and the answers to my questions from my surgeon (who is really incredible by the way).
These are the burning questions that I had. And when I went to my appointment I had come prepared with my questions written down. I also had my husband with me, in case I forgot anything.
When Can I Groom My Horses?
This was the most burning of my questions. I wanted to know if it would be safe for me to spend time grooming my horses. And her answer was what I pretty much already knew. Yes, I could groom my horses, just pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you do too much, the next day you will know.
Can I Walk, Like 10,000 Steps A Day?
And after I heard her answer I was like, “duh, you knew that Lisa.” She said I had no restriction as far as walking was concerned. And yes, it was ok to walk 10,000 steps a day. BUT that does not mean going for a 5 mile walk right now. Again, listen to your body and walk. But when you are tired, or start having discomfort, stop. If you over do it, you will feel it the next day.
Can I Give My Horses A Bath?
“With a hose?” She asked, and I said yes. She said yes, you can give your horses a bath. (YAY!)
Can I Sweep?
Yes, it was ok for me to sweep. This may sound silly, but I wasn’t asking for housekeeping purposes really. I was more asking because my barn is in dire need of being swept.
Can I Pull Weeds?
She told me it depends on the size of the weed. If it is a huge weed, no. But if it is little weeds, yes. It was ok for me to pull weeds. And the reason I was asking this is because I like to pull a handful of tall grass for my boys, and my chickens. I guess I could have just asked if I could pull some grass, but I didn’t know if she would understand why I asked about this. In my mind, pulling weeds seemed similar enough.
Can I Drive?
As long as I could turn side to side, and off all narcotic medication, yes I could drive.
How Much Weight Can I Lift?
This restriction hasn’t changed. No more than 10 lbs. for the next 4 weeks. I was hoping I could lift more now, but I can’t. I can live with this for another 4 weeks. But this means no lifting a saddle or moving furniture.
What Is The Danger If I Do Too Much?
This was one of the questions I really wanted an answer too. And forgive me if the answer is a little graphic, but it is what it is. The danger if you lift too much after abdominal surgery is your intestines could push through the incisions. For me, the easiest incision to pop open would be the one in the vagina. This means if I over do it, and lift too much, my guts could literally fall out of my body. And if that’s not enough to scare the crap out of you, I don’t know what is. Personally I like my guts inside my body. So I will heed my surgeons recommendations, no lifting over 10 lbs for the next 4 weeks. Now if I can only get that picture out of me head…
And with that, all of my questions had been answered. I did also ask when I would be ok to ride, even though I already knew the answer, thanks google, I can ride 6 weeks after surgery. That means 4 more weeks of not riding. And I’m ok with that. I have the ok to groom and play with my horses. I also have the ok to walk as much as I want too. And even though I will not be putting my horses on a lunge line (potential for “lifting” over 10 lbs.) I will walk with them in my arena, and in their pasture enclosure. I will not be venturing off property because there is always the potential for something to happen.
And even though this puts a damper on my summer, it doesn’t end it. I still get to play with my horses, the weather is still beautiful, and I have been very fortunate with my recovery, and the surgery itself. A year from now I will be doing whatever I want with my horses with this surgery being a distant memory.
I didn’t realize how many issues I was having until after surgery, and now I am not having the problems I was having before the surgery. I am so grateful I had this surgery. And I am very excited to get back into the saddle and never take for granted the moments that I have with my family, and my horses.