When my alarm went off at 5am on August 12th, I was already awake. In fact, I’m not sure I dozed that night for more than 15 minutes at a time. I was exhausted. I drug myself out of bed without a fight because I wanted to get the day over with. Within 25 minutes we were out the door. Abby was still asleep as my parents were in town and would be dropping her off at school before making there way to the hospital. At least I had a cute bag to pack in:
We checked in at the hospital at 5:45 on the dot. Why your arrival time is almost 2 hours before your surgery start time is beyond me. We sat in our pre-op room for what seemed like days. At 7am, my room became alive with activity. The anesthesiologist came in for a visit to review my medical history one more time and make sure I understood what would be taking place in the operating room. One nurse started taking vitals while another began the game of Where’s Waldo looking for a good vein for my IV. The numbing medication they put in your hand before they insert the IV may be one of my favorite medical inventions. My anxiety was through the room. Hubs offered words of comfort between levels of Angry Birds (he is now a full-fledged addict).
At 7:20, the OR nurses came for me. This time there were no tears (I cried like a baby when they came for me during my hysterectomy). While I was scared, this time it was different. I had Bert by my side (yes, they let me take him in the OR).
Everyone in the operating room was bright and chipper (just how I like them!). Everyone introduced themselves – not that I remember any of their names. Bert was a hit. Laughing before surgery is a good thing as it was the last thing I remembered before going under.
Hours later I awoke in the recovery room wondering if anyone caught the license plate of the semi that ran me over. I’m not sure how long I was there before I was transferred to my room. As expected, my doctor had to perform a laparotomy which meant at least a weekend hospital stay. I was greeted by my family and a friendly nursing staff who tried to make my stay as comfortable as possible. While this was my third surgery at this hospital, this was by far the best care I have had (even though I have no complaints of my prior visits). I think Bert would say the same as I believe he got excellent care:
As far as the surgery details, I ended up with three incisions – my belly button, a small incision on my right abdomen (where they attempted a laparoscopy), and my laparotomy incision. They reused my hysterectomy scar but had to make it slightly bigger which I would estimate to be around six inches in length. There was no scar tissue or ovarian tissue to be found which was a big cause for celebration. Scar tissue was a major source of complications during my hysterectomy so we were pleasantly surprised to see that it had not returned. The only unwelcomed guest was endometriosis. While I was never on a large dose of estrogen as a part of my HRT and had been off oral estrogen for almost a year, it had made its comfortable throughout my abdominal cavity, especially on my bowels.
All endo that was found was excised, including the removal of my peritoneum. However, to ensure that it does not make its return, I will begin an aggressive progesterone treatment after recovery. She said that the treatment I will be taking will be the same as that she gives uterine cancer patients. As much as I want to ensure that endo is gone for good, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. The side effects aren’t that pleasant as one of the most common is weight gain. I am hoping that will all the endo removed my pain will be gone so that I will be able to actively fight it. I will get more information about it on first post-op appointment on Friday.
Being a week out, I feel like recovery is going fairly slow. My incision is killing me and I cannot seem to get comfortable. Wearing normal clothes below the waist is next to impossible. It doesn’t take much to wear me out. My parents took Abby to VA for a couple days but now she is home! I missed her so much! So far she has been very understanding that Mommy can’t pick her up because my “belly is sick.” She is such a sweet girl. I swear she grew 2 feet in the last week. Hopefully I will get back to posting regularly this week! Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers over the last week! It means so much!!!