Now with fewer internal organs and more blood inside!
Well, I had my surgery on December 12, and I’m finally feeling up to posting about it. The only pain killer I’ve taken today is ibuprofen, and so far, I’m making it on that. First time in weeks I don’t have narcotics in my body while at home.
They were not able to do my surgery laparoscopically, as was originally planned, because all of my insides were such a hot mess. They ended up doing the big incision, which means six weeks of recovery time. I wasn’t happy about that, but hearing the doctor talk about the chaos in my pelvis, I know they did the right thing.
(Warning to the squeamish: Details ahead!) He said that where my left ovary should have been was a giant ball of infection. Where my right ovary should have been, was my inflamed appendix entrenched in a battle with said ovary. It was unclear who had started the fight, but the clear loser was Janet. (Also, this explains the excruciating pain I’d had on my right side for a week. I mean, with all the other crap going on, how could they have ever known my appendix needed to come out too?!) Upon seeing that disaster, they backed out the robots and hauled out the scalpels. They also called in another surgeon who was more experienced with challenging surgeries.
They removed my uterus (littered with fibroids inside and out), both ovaries, and my appendix, plus an awful lot of endometrial tissue growing hither and yon where it didn’t belong. Turned out my uterus was also filled with a giant polyp, which my doctor says was likely the cause of my uncontrolled bleeding. They had to give me another unit of blood before I could even go into surgery (finding a vein for the IV was super fun in that situation. Not. They stuck me seven times before they hit pay dirt.) Then I needed two more units of blood during the five hour surgery. I wasn’t settled into my hospital room until 9:30 that night.
I now have a scar across my lower abdomen (Which I actually had before from a surgery ten years ago to remove fibroids. They were kind enough to just use the same line this time.) plus five little scars in a rainbow over my belly button from the failed attempt at the robotic surgery. Which do not coincide with the five little scars from last year’s two laparoscopic surgeries. I’m considering some sort of giant flowering vine tattoo to make sense of it all.
So, here I am, ten days later, and what’s the verdict? It was a success! I was in pretty severe pain that first night, and I’d been on oxycodone since (until today!), but honestly, beyond the first night, it’s been less pain than I was dealing with for the past two months. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m not bleeding! I’m keeping all that precious blood inside my body, instead of steadily leaking it out as fast as they could pump it back in. I’m no longer dizzy, lightheaded, and weak just from standing up and walking to the mailbox.
It boggles my mind a bit to think of what could have happened. I was against having a hysterectomy for a long time, despite the menstrual horrors I’ve dealt with since I was eleven. But honestly, 100 years ago a woman in my situation would have just died. So, I’m grateful for my doctors and for medical advancements, and for kind people who donate blood.
I will be off work for four and a half more weeks, which isn’t ideal in a new job situation, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and my boss has been very supportive.
I got on the treadmill yesterday and did a whopping 0.4 miles at a staggering pace of 1.5 mph. Baby steps.
With my trouble-causing organs removed, my new job, and my extraneous house finally on the market, I’m excited to see what 2017 holds in store for the New and Improved Janet. I think it’s going to be a banner year!