Umbilical hernia repair recovery (with pictures)

I've just completed the fourth day of my recovery after umbilical hernia surgery. I'm going to detail it by hours because that's a more accurate way to describe the roller coaster that recovery has been.

To read about the discovery of my hernia click Here or the day of my surgery with tips of what to pack click Here.

The first 12-hours

The first 12 hours were mostly a haze of sleeping and answering questions about how I was feeling. To everyone who asked, I replied that I was great. And I was! I only took the pain medication because everything I read said to not get behind on the schedule of taking the medication. I couldn't believe how much of a beast I was at handling a surgery that I read was tough. High five! Go me!

The only pain came when I needed to be helped out of bed. I watched a YouTube video (yes, I did) about how to get out of bed. Even though I followed the instructions, it still hurt. It felt like something had grabbed my muscles and incision and pulled it down while I was trying to pull up. It wasn't pleasant. There's no way to make it easy.

I've got to mention this non-surgical site pain that I nearly forgot about. My throat was on FIRE! It was from the breathing tube. For two days my throat hurt and was very dry making swallowing difficult. It's long gone now and I nearly forgot that it existed. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand, especially when eating.

Sleeping that night, was a little tough, though only because I was tired of being on my back and there was no alternative.

24 hours

The 24-hour mark met me with a giant wake up call. I'm assuming that all of the anesthetic properties had left my body. I doubled up on my prescription (I'd only been taking half the dose) and started using an ice pack, but sleep was the only thing that nearly helped. My stomach was hurting like crazy and my back and butt were numb. There's nothing good to say about these hours from hell except that my husband and kids have been incredible with helping and letting me sleep.

48 hours

At the 48-hour marker, the terrible pain subsided a bit. I wasn't feeling good enough for a shower, but better. I also still didn't want to get out of bed, but it hurt to be there in the same back-lying position. I made incredible effort to try and get out of bed and walk around my house as much as possible and even ate dinner at the kitchen table. I was super strict with my pain meds and icing often. Then sleep. High five. I survived.

60 hours

Sixty hours passed and I got out of bed with only a bit of pain. I changed my clothes and walked around the house. Then made a possibly wise decision to go back to bed.

When my medicine alarm went off at 9 am on the morning of day four, I felt like a new woman, well compared to the last few days. I got up, ate breakfast (duh), took a shower, put my contacts in … I mean I did normal stuff. My goal was to stay away from my bed all day but because I know not to push it, I only moved my position to the couch with a few trips to the kitchen or a simple walk around the house.

80-something hours later, and I feel like the end is near in terms of pain. I'm still swollen and will still be taking it easy, but I finally feel some relief. Check back in a couple of weeks for an update.

Okay, pictures. Notice that there are no pictures from 48 hours because I was in way too much pain to document my recovery.


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