I was told I needed to sit up today for about an hour, so this is my sitting up time. I'm still shaky and out of it, so I hope this makes sense!
Oh Senor Cystie. Because of you, I have one less ovary.
Want to hear how it went? I will spare no gory details.
I am writing this with about a four inch vertical incision from pubic bone up to belly button. It's not as long as my vertical C Section scar, but in the exact same place. Doc just cut through the old scar tissue to avoid making my lower belly into a map of surgery scars. It hurts like you cannot even imagine. Unless you've had a similar incision. Then you know the feelings of staples holding together your belly and muscles crying out in pain underneath.
The day began at 8am. I checked into surgery and was given a pager, ala popular restaurant style. It buzzed each I was needed. I was also given a number and a color coded page to give to Matt. As surgery progressed, he could look at a screen, find my number, look at the color of the number, and know how I was progressing in surgery. Sort of like flight information.
The first buzz meant registration. Hand over insurance card, ask if you have a living will, etc. Yeah, they ask you those awful questions. This time I answered yes, I do have a will. I felt so grown up! The second buzz meant give the pager to the husband and head into pre-op. Pre-op is a large room filled with curtained off beds. There is an area with loungey chairs where blood is taken to test blood type and platelet count. Then women of child bearing age head to the bathroom for a urine sample to test for pregnancy. Then you are escorted to your own private curtained off area, told to strip down and put booties on your feet and a cap on your head and a gown on your body. I always look at the people in their beds and wonder what they're in for. I also enjoy eavesdropping on their conditions, especially after they are given the happy drug. You wouldn't believe the dirty jokes when people are given the happy drug!
At that point, it was only 830am, so I had a lot of time to just sit there until surgery. I chatted with my nurses, all fascinated to hear the two babies two months apart tale. You think I talk a lot under normal conditions? Pumped on adrenaline, and I can't stop. I've said before I'm actually funnier when freaked out. I had a one woman show going on behind curtain #8.
When it's IV time, it's almost show time. You first get an injection of a numbing medication, which stings and burns, then the IV catheter is inserted. At that point, things go quickly. Anesthesiology drops by often with numerous questions. The big one being nausea and talk about how to control nausea post-op. I was given a patch behind my ear to control nausea and told not to rub it, then touch my eyes or my eyes would dilate. Then my husband was paged so he could come in to say goodbye. He didn't get to say much because that's when Dr Mac's resident arrived to discuss what was going to happen, the Anesthesiologist came back, the nurse came in, and so did Dr. Mac.
Dr. Mac said there was a big chance I would lose the ovary entirely. And if he found Cancer, it was all going and was I ok with that? I told him not to bother saving my fertility just save my life. A Pathologist would be there to evaluate Senor Cystie and tell him which way to proceed. There was talk back and forth about the operating room being ready, then Matt was told to say goodbye. I had to hold back tears. I usually cry when I say bye to Matt before surgery but this time I was just anxious to get in there and get the yucky out of my belly. That's what Boo calls it. "Mommy has a yucky in her tummy."
The Anesthesiologist then told me she was putting something in my IV to relax me. Ooooh baby! The happy drug! That's the only bright side to surgery. You get good and high! It's the best you've probably ever felt in your life. You are happy, you feel giddy, you don't care what is happening to you. You can barely focus your eyes or think anything other than trying to control the laughter bubbling up in your chest as you are rolled down the hall into the OR. Or you concentrate really hard on not saying something inappropriate. I think if you have partied a time or two in your life, you know how to control those things.
This time, she ran light on the happy drug. I wasn't pleased. I wanted to be good and stoned, darn it. But hey, I can give a more clear headed report about what happens once you get in the room. Usually it's all lights and pretty colors! You are told to roll onto the operating table from the gurney. You can look around and see the OR and the big lights and cabinets. You might even see the surgical table and the instruments. There are numerous people in masks and everyone seems to be talking to you at once. Some nurses like to chit chat and ask about your home life. When that happens, I laugh and tell them I'm too stoned to remember I even have a family. This time, I could clearly answer questions.
Then your arms are strapped down to the table, a mask comes at your face, you are told to breathe in deeply and soon you will take a nice nap.... I remember thinking, wow, that mask is pink! What a pretty pink mask. Did I get a pink mask because I'm a girl?
Darkness. It's so fast with general anesthesia. No drifting away slowly. One moment your la la laing in your head and the next you are OUT. No panic, no falling into darkness. Just... darkness.
I woke up, knowing I was in Recovery but couldn't focus my eyes. The eyelids are too heavy and the vision is blurry at that point. I heard a nurse talking about a blood transfusion and full hysterectomy. I tried to speak, but after a breathing tube has been put in your throat, and it is when you have general anesthesia, you're a bit hoarse for a few days. I managed to eek out, "Me? I lost blood?" The nurse said, "Oh no, honey, that wasn't you. They just took out your right ovary and right tube. You're doing great."
I closed my eyes and have no clue how long I was out. When I opened them, I saw a clock that said 145pm and I was still in Recovery. Surgery had begun at 10am. No clue how long I was in recovery but at that point, I knew clearly that I HUUUUUURT. It felt like labor pains. I still couldn't see or talk well, but managed to say, "Pain. Hurt. Help." The nurse told me to press a button she had placed in my hand to deliver pain meds. I did, it didn't work. I heard her say, "We need to get this girl something stronger. I hate to see her in pain." She came back with morphine, I think? Felt like morphine. Not that I have a lot of experience with drugs, but I have been in the hospital a time or two. Yep, morphine. One quick injection into the IV and I was out again.
Then I remembered something very familiar. When Avalon was in the NICU, she was hooked up to breathing monitors. Preemies often forget to breathe. When that happens, the alarm has a shrill ring and the nurses know to watch the baby. The baby usually begins to breathe on their own. If they don't, the nurse can pat the baby and the baby will come to and start breathing again. I was in morphine land when I heard a beep. I instantly thought my alarm was going off and it was time to wake up for the day. No... I was hitting the alarm clock and it was still ringing. Wait a minute... I know that sound! I must be back in the NICU! I kept trying to reach for Avalon to shake her little body so she could breathe. Why wasn't Avalon breathing? Oh well, someone will help her. I'm just too tired to save Avalon. Beep beep beep! The nurse said, "Honey, take a breath. ... come on... breathe for me. BIG breath." ANd I thought, "Yeah Avalon, breathe for us! Huh? Oh? She meant ME! I took a deep breath and the alarm stopped beeping. She said, "Ok, remember you need to breathe, ok? Don't stop breathing on me again!" Breathe breathe breathe... morphine la la la la ... hope I don't die in the Recovery Room. Must stay awake and breathe breathe breathe... stay awake, ZZZZZ.
The next thing I knew I was looking at at Matt's face looking over me. I thought I was dead and saying goodbye to him. I saw people behind him in the waiting room. Was I dead or not? I refuse to have a death experience with strangers watching me from the waiting room. So typical, I have to die on display! I instantly began to cry. "That's normal after anesthesia," the nurses told him. "We're going to take her to her room now." Oh, I'm not dead. YAY I kept breathing! I fell back asleep, then woke up in a room. Opened eyes, more sobbing. Another nurse said, "Honey, it's ok, it's normal to cry after surgery. Are you in pain?" I tried to say I wanted more morphine, but was given that IV pump trigger. I hit it and ahhhh much better. It worked that time.
I'm not sure what happened after that. I talked to Matt a bit. I dope dialed some friends. It's just like drunk dialing, especially since friends don't expect to hear from you. I don't even know how my cell phone got in my hand. Matt I guess. I wonder what I said??
I was in a shared room. I told you that would happen! Worst of all, I was sharing with an old lady who couldn't control her bowels. I named her The Smellderly because she could really stink up the room. Sharing a room is the worst. She was in bad shape and when nurses when come to check on me, they had to quickly do something to help her. Luckily she just slept during the afternoon so I slept too. Until about 9pm, when every relative in the world began calling her. I kept hitting my pain meds, hoping I could just dope myself into sleep. It worked.
An hour later, I woke up thinking I needed to change a diaper. I remember thinking I smelled poop, Juna must be dirty. I paged a nurse to help me get up to change my baby. When you're that drugged, you can kind of process thoughts, but not too coherently. The nurse came in and her eyes got wide and she whispered, "OH MY GOD. " She told me it wasn't my baby and go back to sleep. She gave me some anti nausea medicine and quickly cleaned up The Smellderly who had pooped all over the bed. WHich meant all the lights came on and there was a lot of commotion. No more sleep for me. Hit the pain pump, nothing. You cannot sleep through The Smellderly.
That happened all night. It was a bad night. Between her pooping and her IV pump alarm going off every ten minutes with a shrill beep that could not be stopped without a nurses help, I did not sleep. Thank goodness I was so high that it didn't seem real.
The next morning I put off drugging myself so I could beg one of the friendly young nurses to please move me to a private room oh please oh please. She agreed no one should have to endure that stench, and in a few moments, I had a brand new room assignment but the room wouldn't be ready for five hours Five hours of The Smellderly. And Smellderly would not call the nurses to empty her bed pan. She'd leave them to stench up the room. I ended up pressing the buzzer each time I smelled her poop. WHY was that woman put in a shared room? She needed her own room from the start and she'd already been there one week.
I was taken off the morphine and told to get out of bed and walk the halls. Wander I did. Matt had come to visit and he and I traveled all around the halls so I could escape The Smellderly and her stench. Did my red Disney Crocs cause a sensation or not! Nurses appreciate Crocs and they really liked the Mickey head holes. That is one setting where red Disney Crocs are appropriate attire. I was told to try to pee and poop and as soon as I could, we could discuss me going home. Pee and poop? I could do this! But the bathroom? They dumped her dirty bed pans in the bathroom trash can. The bathroom reeked over The Smellderly. I was supposed to sit in there and concentrate on my own business??? Oh, and have you ever sat on a toilet after abdominal surgery? Wow, paaaaaaainful.
Soon my room was ready!! I settled happily into my own room and watched as much TV as loud as I wanted without the covers over my nose to block out the stench of rotting intestines. I had dinner, which I could eat because I wasn't gagging from Smellderly. I refused pain meds in favor of strong Ibuprofin. I had enough of that stoned feeling. A control freak like me can only take so much. I managed to sleep through the night, which isn't saying much in the hospital. Vitals are taken every few hours. The nurses would say hi, I'd hand over my arm, then go back to sleep. So unlike me. I usually get so freaked out in hospitals I don't sleep for days. I was loving being alone in that room, I just relaxed and passed out.
Your nurses can make or break the experience. I had a lot of nursing students when I was with Smellderly. They were so frazzled by her and the demands of the floor that they kept forgetting to tend to me. I had to give reminders for meds or food. Once the older nurses came on staff, everything changed. They kept on strict schedules and everything ran smoothly. And once I got into a private room, no one ever forgot any of my needs. That's the key-private room means better treatment. More than one person in a room and things can get off track and confusing. Especially when the room is stanky.
I had the best nurse on night two. She was from the Phillipines and would come in and say, "Hiya Mama Mia. Time for your medicines little mommy. " She was hilarious! I always get the best nurses on the nights I don't need their help. Most of them come by to say hello and chat for a bit and tell me their stories. It's nice to have that company.
The next morning I was told I could go home right after breakfast. I felt great! I got to shower and get ready. Matt got me and brought me home about 9am. Juna instantly rejected me and wouldn't come near me. Avie just smiled and waved and kept playing. Boo was at school but I was told she had been crying for me. It's awful to come home feeling so out of control. I cannot pick them up or care for them for a week. That's when the pain hit. I took some medicine and slept all afternoon.
The cyst had grown so large within the ovary, it had taken over the ovary and made it useless. It was pretty much all cyst at that point. My right ovary hasn't functioned in quite some time. I was told my cycles will still be normal, but might hit menopause two years earlier than usual.
I am to do nothing for one week. Between Matt and my mom, we should be covered. I feel like hell, but should feel normal in two weeks time. Juna will warm up to me again, Boo will adjust nicely and Avie is always Avie. Nothing phases her.
My hour is up and I am going to lay down and watch QVC. Goodbye until I can sit up for longer periods of time. Thanks for the well wishes, too! Much appreciated!