Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Adventures in Laparoscopic Surgery

Well I had the surgery to remove my endometriosis last Friday.
Play by play after the jump:

Because we were fairly certain I had some bowel involvement my RE had me do a bowel prep in case he needed to remove growths from the bowels (cleaned out = less likely to cause infection). As someone who's family history is significant for colon cancer and suffers from IBS, I am no stranger to the bowel prep. This honestly was one of the worst parts of the whole affair. I won't go into the gory details here, but it was not a pleasant situation

I also had to go on the birth control pill, which made me pretty nauseous - trick here was to eat small, frequent meals. 

So I was fairly terrified of this whole affair. I've never had surgery of any sort before and as an icu nurse I've seen enough intubations to know I wanted nothing to do with tubes down my throat. I wound up having the procedure at the hospital where I worked. I was extremely distressed about this because if my name showed up on the OR schedule (which gets printed out on all the surgical floors as well as the unit where I work) I would be effectively outed as infertile. 

Long and the short of it is, I have no idea if they were able to censor my name on the OR schedule. I'm going to act like it wasn't on there and if anyone approaches me or asks about it I will *deny everything* and look at them like they are crazy cakes. Overall I was really glad I had it at my hospital, I knew a lot of the staff very well and they really took care of me. My OR nurse wound up being related to someone I took care of in ICU last year and she was unbelievably sweet to me. Plus if you wake up from anesthesia sobbing uncontrollably for no reason shouting "this is a fuck of a lot of work just to get knocked up!" it really helps to have someone motherly who knows you there to talk to down from that particular ledge.

All in all I was blissfully unaware of the whole procedure, I don't even remember hearing the stereotypical "you're going to go to sleep now" business. I woke up in PACU (post anesthesia care unit) and after a short stay there (and a hefty dose of toradol) I went to the ambulatory recovery unit. They got me up to a chair right away. My biggest job there was peeing (since I was catheterized during surgery - another item I was blissfully unaware about). Took about an hour or two, 4 bottles of water (since I was dry from the bowel prep), some creative dancing around and running the tap but I was finally able to go :p

At home that afternoon when the toradol wore off I was in some pain. Mostly it just hurt to engage any core muscles so I did need a decent amount of help sitting and standing (DH is a saint :). I made due alternating tylenol and advil but did take one dose of oxycodone that first night to help me get some sleep. 

The worst part of recovery was getting the CO2 they pumped into my abdomen out. I had a little pot belly (looked like I swallowed a grape fruit whole) and this caused a decent amount of discomfort. My best advice for this is walk around as much as you can. 

By post op day 2 I was pretty much getting around on my own with no difficultly and had stopped taking anything for pain. 

The last of the dressings came off today (post op day 5). I was really scared about this (have I mentioned that I'm a big baby?) and honestly, my cat has given me nastier scratches. I'll likely return the expensive bottle of scar cream I got. I cannot believe how little the incisions were and how much they've healed already.

I took a week off of work (since my job is on the physical side w/ lots of heavy lifting) but I think I could have gotten back to a desk job after 3 or 4 days without too much trouble.

What they found:
I had stage II endo almost exactly where I thought it would be. It was a little vindicating to know that the ice pick stabbing me through the gut every month feeling was endo and not just "normal period pain"

Both of my tubes were patent, but my left ovary was all kinds of jacked up. It was very adhered to the sidewall, and it's fallopian tube was twisted and had a cyst on it. This was something we were not expecting going into surgery and my doc was able to correct everything/remove the cyst. 

Left ovary was also small (consistent with my DOR) but my right looked relatively healthy (right got an "A-" and left got a "B-/C)

So I'm off the pill and waiting for my withdrawal "period" to start, once it does I'm clear for my very first round of IUI (will be doing a letrozole round)

All in all I'm really glad I went through with surgery. I feel really happy that my doctor was able to fix so much and in a strange way it feels good to have had something that was physically wrong that is now better. I'm finding I feel more hopeful right now about this whole thing than I have in a long time.

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