The response I got about sharing my surgery was overwhelming! Do you know how many of my friends have had a full-blown hysterectomy? A LOT OF THEM! I really valued hearing your success stories, having your support and in general the prayers & well-wishes. It is really encouraging...to be encouraged.
I'd say the biggest encouragement I received was simply to REST. I'm quite sure I got that from everyone because of my overachiever nature. Over & over I was told "take the time to rest!" So, I set my schedule up as such that would afford me one solid week of rest. Yes, I was supposed to get two full weeks of rest but my mom could only be here for ONE. I figured if I "did a really good job" that week, perhaps it would set me up well for the following week back on my own.
The other thing I did was enlist the kids! I asked them to carry ALL things, lift heavy stuff and run and get things I normally would just do myself. While this all seems pretty simple and exactly what they SHOULD be doing all of the time -- they were not. Why? Because I just did it myself. BUT, not any more. ;) This little shift has been very welcomed in my home and something I'll continue to do -- ASK FOR THEIR ABLE BODIED HELP. Duh.
I also had amazing friends that really took care of us. Meals were delivered and if it wasn't meals, it was gift cards. It is really so kind to be loved in that way. Even if I wasn't eating or hungry (which at first I wasn't), I knew my family was cared for in a meaningful way. It was very appreciated and valued. Thank you sweet friends, my tribe of moms!
But what I'd say was the most important thing to happen during that week (and the following week) was that I TRULY rested. And you know what? I kinda liked it. I very much enjoyed not rushing. I absolutely loved crawling into my bed before the sun set and not making up excuses for why I needed the rest or feeling guilty. I SO loved binge watching Netflix ALL DAY ONE DAY. I loved the extra hands on deck and not being responsible for an entire week. When at first I felt guilty and strange for taking the REQUIRED rest, I soon settled in to the nice hum of listening to my body RELAX.
And you know what ... my body responded so well. It was as though she said "what IS this you are doing to me and KEEP doing it." I loved the mental break, the feeling of NOT rushing everywhere and NOT being busy. It really made me take a GIANT step back and think about WHY am I rushing everywhere? WHY am I trying to bust my butt for demands that NO ONE is placing on me but that I am merely placing on myself? And finally I thought ... "Perhaps if this rest thing is SO GOOD and my body is responding THIS WELL ... I should do it more often."
Yes. Yes. Yes. Rest. I will incorporate more rest into my life (and our lives) because we will all be the better for it. I felt recharged after my time of rest, despite having major organs removed from my body.
I'd encourage you to not wait until a doctor tells you that you have to have a full set of organs removed before you find real, true, authentic rest. You will be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, employee and person for treating your body to the rest it deserves. Trust me, I'm going to be taking my own advice as often as possible.