Delia and Davina...?

I'm a positive person, when something unexpected in life is thrown at me, I try and make the most of it and look at the upsides. I'm doing just that about something which has happened today. Will maybe post about when I've reached that part of the glass!

When I knew I was going to be out of action for 8 to 12 weeks, I turned it around and thought it would be a great opportunity to lose weight and in the process get fitter! (Head in the sand time, wasn't even contemplating chemo would be needed! Did I mention that's another of my less successful coping strategies?)

I imagined once I was over the effects of the operation I would have the time to cook great, nutritious meals, exercise every day and lose weight. The books said I needed to walk, and I'd certainly have plenty of time to do that!

No problem. I thought I'd become Delia Smith in the kitchen, creating wonderfully healthy dishes every day and become Davina McCall doing her keep fit exercise videos.

Delusion is wonderful thing....not! It's been six weeks since the operation and I've been home for five and I am so much better;
- I can shower without supervision (feels fabulous)
- Be left home alone (peace and quiet!)
- Cook my own dinner and get what I wanted, the way I like it!
- Cut my own toenails (well,sort of, have to throw a few shapes to get there, but I could if I needed to)
- And the most important one - wipe my bum with ease!

But am I getting fitter? Am I losing weight? Am I hell!! Okay, I can cook a meal, but it takes twice as long. Whereas before I was whizzing around the kitchen, chopping this, blending that, braising and marinading and washing up as I went, I just can't do it! Everything has to be planned in a military fashion. I can't lift all the saucepans to get the one at the bottom or reach up to the cupboard to get my favourite baking tray out. So someone has to that for me. Cutting up vegetables - Do you realise how much you use your stomach muscles when cutting up really hard vegetables? Do you? Take it from me, a lot!
Everything is just so slow

And getting fit! Pah! I recently did 30 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus and used the equivialant of 48 calories (it was a lot of yoga, stretching and breathing stuff, no sleeping dog or whatever for me) and had to go for a laydown! Went on my new treadmill and the comfortable walking speed was 2km an hour. In real money that is 1.24 miles! 1.24 miles!!!!?? The 13 mile sponsored Midnight Walk I have in my diary will take me nearly 10 and half hours!!!!!

So my reality is not what I imagined and today I was feeling really down about it. And when I'm feeling down I write about it. So to prepare for this post I took a look at the Hysterectomy Association Website and some support mails I'd had, to see what I should be able to do at 5 weeks home from the operation.

The list reads:

Week 1 - after getting home from hospital
No household tasks at all
Lie on (or in) the bed as much as necessary
Sleep when you need to
Do as many of the light exercises as possible
Shower daily
Walk around the house 2-3 times daily – on one floor if possible
Lie down, rather than sit
Sit, rather than stand

Week 2
Lie on (or in) the bed as much as necessary
Rest for at least two hours per day
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
Help with washing up/drying dishes – sitting down if possible
Sit down to prepare vegetables
Daily walk outside – 10 minutes per day
Walking around the house – 2-3 times daily, including stairs once
Boil just enough water for a mug in a kettle

Week 3
Increase your walking by a 2 minutes daily
Try using the stairs at home 2-3 times a day
Light shopping in immediate vicinity – ie magazine or newspaper
Boil enough water for 2 mugs in the kettle
If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 4
Start walking further outdoors – up to 20 minutes twice a day
You can probably go out in the car by now
Should be able to make tea and coffee for three people
Help with dusting

If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 5-6
Can probably start some light routine housework
May be able to drive a car
Can possibly use an upright vacuum cleaner
Try gentle pelvic floor exercises – stop if you feel pain
Try vacuuming with a cylinder cleaner

If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 6-7
Try bed making (but not changing duvets)
(with either, stop if you have pain)

Notice how it doesn't mention any Delia or Devina type activities?

And do you know what? Looking at this list, I'm doing ok, I'm right on track! So I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I will get there when my body is ready. I just need to stick with the diet and make sure I am walking everyday!

And realisically, was this ever actually going to happen in 3 months?!!


  1. Nope, could not spot any Delia or Davina type of activities either!!
    It is fantastic that you are right on track, concentrate on recovering and be kind to yourself.
    Sending positive vibes. xx

  2. Firstly, we love you, whether you are the before picture, the after picture or points in-between!

    Secondly, you've been through a hell of a lot, and you're doing good. Better than good. You're doing great! So what if it takes some assistance to do things right now - there's nothing wrong with needing help, or asking for it either...And OK, you may not be doing the half marathon in under 2 hours - but then neither will most people. In fact a lot of them wouldn't even consider doing 13 miles at all, so puff out the chest and be proud!

    Don't push yourself too hard and take things easy, you'll be back to your normal, independent self soon!

    AJ xxx

  3. Hi Fay,

    Sounds like you're doing just great. It takes a while to build a routine with exercise and even if you are just doing a little bit every other day, you're steps closer to what you want to achieve Keep it up!

    And just so you know, housework is a Herculean task for me, and that's with no physical barriers to task execution!

  4. 5 weeks post-op, it sounds to me as if you are doing pretty fantastic.

    Take that time while you can, there is loads of time for dieting and exercise when you are back to full strength.

    Mich x

  5. Fay, when I worked in hospitals at one time they made women stay in bed for 6 weeks after a hysterectomy. You are doing brilliantly! Your mental attitude is great, just great. Small steps can take you along way. You're not in competition with anyone, this is YOUR recovery plan. keep up the very good work, both blogging and exercising!

  6. Fay, it sounds like you're progressing well. But it must be difficult to patiently await each next bit of progress. Keep up the good work!