Ever since I earned the title of “mother” I have become a planner; a title that would ultimately help me during my hysterectomy recovery. When my boys were born, I was used to prepping bottles, diaper bags, etc in order to set myself and our babies up for the day. However, when I was staring down the barrel of a major surgery, it dawned on me, I needed to do the same for myself as I would do for any other family members, friends, or kids!
In general, I live my life on the go. My idea of relaxing is taking a run or hiking outdoors. So to say that I was expected to slow down for a bit after my hysterectomy was an understatement. I needed to wrap my head around how to let my body and MIND rest post-surgery. To do so, I leaned on and trusted the people around me. While that felt unnatural to do so, it was necessary in order to heal properly and get back to my normal way of life.
Depending on the type of hysterectomy you have, your hospital stay can range from a few hours to a few days. Your doctor will monitor you to be sure that there aren’t complications and get you up and moving before you go home. The Cleveland Clinic averages recovery time to be around 6-8 weeks post-surgery.
Before I went in for surgery, I wanted to make sure that I was ready to kick back and rest when I got home without having my typical “mom brain” going a mile a minute. I tried to think of all the things that I would usually be doing so that I could divvy up the workload and prepare the house. Here are some easy ways I shifted our household routines in order to make life a bit easier when I came home from the hospital after my hysterectomy.
Top 5 Tips for an Easy Hysterectomy Recovery
When it came to household chores I made a few tweaks to our current system. I usually cook meals and my husband does the dishes. I ordered an air fryer (yes, I finally caved to see what the hype was all about) so that he could make healthy meals and our boys wouldn’t be living off of frozen pizzas for days on end. Not only that, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to exercise for a bit and wanted to make sure I was eating as healthy. My husband loved the air fryer and used it daily. I practically lived off of frozen salmon, veggies, and rice. Most of our favorite sheet pan meals can easily be prepared in the air fryer if you are ever looking for ideas.
Creating a meal train or schedule where friends and family can opt-in to bring food by or send you a meal is also a very helpful gesture.
Get Creative with Laundry
Part of hysterectomy recovery restrictions involve lifting. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to lift anything heavy for a few weeks I tried to keep our laundry routine simple. Instead of the usual place we put our laundry, I moved and rearranged things so that heaving lifting wasn’t required. Ironically, our laundry room flooded around the same time so my neighbors were amazing and offered to do our laundry for 3 months until it was fixed. However, if that didn’t happen, having laundry organized so you don’t have to lift it would be helpful! This is one place where extra helping hands are most definitely needed.
Utilize Grocery Delivery & Pick-Up
Luckily the concept of grocery delivery or grocery pick-up came about right in the nick of time. I utilized grocery delivery and pick-up for a few weeks. Because most stores offer free shipping or pick up if you hit a certain limit, I looked for the deals, got a little creative with where and how I shopped all while staying true to our weekly grocery budget.
Basket of Meds and Things
Before our newborn twins came from the hospital I also prepared baskets around the house with all of the changing and feeding necessities. Instead of diaper cream and formula, I made sure to have baskets set around the house stocked with all my meds, chapstick, Kindle, phone, chargers, AirPods, etc. These are the baskets I used, but anything small will work. One of the things I ended up using daily was the heating pad during my hysterectomy recovery. This is the one I purchased on Amazon and I’d highly recommend it. It heats up quickly and has an automatic turn-off if you fall asleep.
Stock up on books & movies
Gather books and shows. I reached out to friends and asked for their most sought after TV shows I could binge and books to read. Although I was tired often during those early weeks post-surgery, I watched more TV and read more novels than I ever had in my life. It’s nice to have a line-up of good and entertaining TV to watch!
Ultimately. even if I didn’t do any of these things, I would’ve been just fine when I came home from the hospital. However, getting things a bit more organized was something I needed to do so that I could truly let myself relax and take care of myself throughout my hysterectomy recovery. What are some of the things you did when coming home from the hospital to alleviate that stress while you recovered? I’d love to hear from you!