To continue my surgery story.
Again, if you don’t like reading about surgery- in detail- move along. This ain’t fer you.
When the day of my surgery arrived, my Mom drove me down to the hospital. It was a 2 hour drive, as I trust the local hospital about as far as I can throw the building.
We had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn, about 4:30, due to Mom forgetting her medication at home the night before. So we drove there, first, then headed if for Bismarck from the old hometown, taking the back roads & struggling to stay awake. It was…
interesting, exhilarating terrifying, as Mom almost put us in the ditch a couple times (sleepy driving, not a good thing), but we made it with a few minutes to spare.
Check in, pre-surgery labs, & a walk halfway across the hospital later, I was sitting in the pre-op area waiting when my doc came in to see me. He briefly went over what they’d be doing, & left, only to be followed by the anesthetician, who asked about the normal stuff, allergies, reactions to meds, blah, blah.
And then it was time.
Gathering my lovely designer patient gown around me, I followed the nurse into the operating room & got up on the table, scooched myself into place, & listened as the techs/nurses told me what would be happening.
Then the anesthetician told me it was time for the oxygen & put the tubes in my nose.
I laid my head down.
And woke up as they were pushing me into my hospital room.
The nurse was amused when I asked her if she wanted me to move to the bed, or if they were supposed to move me, but I surprised her when I slid myself onto the bed without any help.
It wasn’t the last time I surprised the nurses, but then in my family, the women aren’t much for being helpless or dependent. (I can hear snorting in the background as my daughters laugh at that)
Mom & Schnicklefritz (the grandson) came and went, they brought me flowers & a little plaque the midget had picked out for me.
Both chosen by my grandson – he’s got good taste for a 4-year old!
Mom told me some of what the doc had told her, that the endometriosis was pretty advanced & wide-spread, & that my uterus was so enlarged that they had to take it out in 2 pieces, but that there hadn’t been any major complications.
I looked down, once I was alone, to realize that I only had a small, 1-inch incision right at the base of my belly button, glued shut, and a catheter still in place.
Yeah, kinda gross & uncomfortable, but necessary, since I couldn’t move much, & certainly couldn’t get myself to the bathroom.
Pain meds every 2 hours intravenously meant I spent quite a bit of time loopy or sleeping, so when supper rolled around, I settled for oatmeal & a chocolate shake.
And then I asked to go for a walk.
They do want you to get up & walk as soon as you feel able, but the nurses hadn’t quite expected me up so soon. But the nurse on my watch helped me up, & we shuffled slowly down the hall, further than she thought I’d go the first time around, but, I felt alright about it.
I got up & walked 3 more times throughout the night, once at 2am, since the pain meds threw my sleeping schedule all to hell. But I was determined I was going to recover as fast as possible & get out.
The next day, it was time to prepare me for going home, & after they took out the catheter, I figured I was done. Wrong. They insisted I had to “self-cath” for a while to completely empty my bladder, or I’d end up with an infection. So, the nurse brought in the tools, & told me what to do.
She said that she’d give me 2 tries before she’d help me insert the catheter, that no one got it perfectly right away.
So, when I got it right on the first try, she asked if she could take me to the other patient rooms to show me off.
Um, no thanks.
Finally, the doctor came to see me, & told me that besides my uterus being enlarged, I’d had 13 inclusions of endometriosis (kind of alot), & that he could understand totally why I’d been in so much pain prior to the surgery. (Actually, he said he couldn’t believe I’d been standing upright when I got there) They took my uterus, the fallopian tubes, & my cervix, but left the ovaries, to help hormonally. He also said that the cyst I’d had on my ovary hadn’t been the cause of my pain, but the endometriosis that had been attached all over, especially around the pelvic region.
And then… blessedly, they let me come home.
It was a very long drive home.