Reminders of Recovery

Dammit.

All I did today was some light housework!
Vacuumed a couple rugs, dishes, laundry, cleaned the vacuum out & washed the filters on same.

And yet, my body seems to have turns against me.

I started bleeding again.

Just a little, but enough to tell me that I phucked something up.

I have my 6 week checkup on the 5th, & I have to be fully healed by then!

I will accept nothing less.

Dammit.

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2 Graphic

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.

image

image

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 a lot), & 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.

2 Graphic

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.

image

image

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.

Graphics

Fair warning: Graphic TMI on the medical stuff… if you don’t like that sort of reading, move along…

Ok, so I haven’t really gotten into the “bare bones” of my surgery.. why I had it, what happened, and the aftermath.

Here goes.

I’ve been having pains near my right hip bone for, what seems like, forever. Right after my period would stop, the pain would start, & would continue for about a week.  I figured it had to do with ovulation, or some such crap, so I didn’t pay any attention for a couple of years.

And then, this year, it changed. It started happening more & more often, at different times of my cycle, & it would get progressively worse during my period, until it was so painful I couldn’t stand it. 

So, I finally started going to the doctor.
At first, since I’ve had so many problems with my kidney over the years,  I thought it had something to do with that.  Fast forward through a bunch of pointless tests, and that was a “No”.

Instead, I found out that I had a cyst in my right ovary that wasn’t acting like a normal follicular cyst (being the kind that spits out an egg occasionally & disappears), but instead was staying, month after month, & generally aggravating me.  Oh, & I have a small cyst on my kidney, too, but the doc assures me that that’s no big deal… *sigh* (ok, so let’s just hope that’s true)

Anywhoo… by now I’d been dealing with this serious & debilitating pain for about 6 months, & had been taking pain meds (read- prescribed narcotics) for about 2 months just so I could continue to work & get through my day.  I was worn down, tired of feeling sick & hurting all the time, missing work due to the pain, & struggling just to stay sane through all the doctors who were basically telling me this was “No big deal, it couldn’t possibly hurt this much.”

FINALLY, I found an ob/gyn who listened, ran a couple tests,  & told me that I had justification for my pain. He said I was most likely suffering from- not just a cyst – but endometriosis & adenomyosis.

Now, for those who don’t know, Endometriosis is a condition which causes aberrant menstrual tissue to grow outside of the uterus, attaching itself to…pretty much anywhere it damned well pleases…but mostly on the reproductive organs, like ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside of the uterus.

And Adenomyosis is a condition which causes aberrant menstrual tissue to grow inside the uterus, but attaching & growing into the uterine wall.

Both conditions can be very painful, & the best way to eliminate these (at least in my humble opinion) is to remove the organs affected.

In other words, a hysterectomy.

So, *clapping hands & rubbing them briskly together* this is what my doctor & I planned for me.

(To be continued, as this post is already too damned long.)

Recovery

I’m home again from my surgery.

All went well, according to my doctor, even though there a couple of complications.   I’m still a bit out of it from the pain meds they prescribed,  so I’ll keep any explanation for some other time.  Needless to say, all the parts that needed removal are gone, & 90% of the broken stuff has been fixed.

Suffice to say, when the doc came to my room today,  he told me that the largest majority of my pain didn’t come from an ovarian cyst, but from me having both endometriosis and adenomyosis.  Both painful in themselves, he said that when you put them together…well, he was surprised I made it through that much pain for as long as I did.

Anyway, I’m home, sore & moving slow, but I’m moving.

Here’s to hoping for a swift recovery.