So. Yes. There was a totally expected and planned-for interval in which I felt Under The Weather. In this case the Nice Drugs kept me from getting too miserable in pain terms (though if you ask him, H will tell you all about the bitching and whining about the cramps and backache I did have), but I spent 24 hours being sick every hour, on the hour, like goddamn Old Faithful. With stitches around the belly-button, this is startlingly uncomfortable. And it leads to blog silence. I think I worry very much about being sick into the laptop keyboard.
(This is a horribly real possibility. I sometimes get mere seconds of warning. I was even sick into the basin I was carrying as I ran from the living room to the bathroom. This is a small flat. That’s 24 feet. I had less than 24 feet at a frantic scramble’s warning. I am so amazingly glad I had the basin with me and grabbed it as I leapt up. I award myself some kind of Girl Scout Badge for preparedness and forethought. I will now shut up about vomit).
Where were we?
Oh, yes. I was going to tell you all about Surgery Day in more detail, because that’s what you all come here for, isn’t it? Detail? It’s certainly what I come here for.
The night before, it being H’s birthday, I took H out to dinner, and though I touched no alcohol, yea verily I did eat, and we had a very nice evening. We left the restaurant at about 10:30, and after that Only Water Passed My Lips until after the surgery. I actually got up early enough to have a large glass of water just before the ‘no more water’ deadline. I would recommend this. The first time I had a lap&dye the dehydration before-hand made me so damn miserable. And then I had a shower and carefully scrubbed out my belly-button (a doctor friend once told me about the revolting things he’d scraped out of people’s unkempt belly-buttons before laparoscopies and it skeeved me out). And then I collected my knitting and a book and H, and we went down to the Mothership Hospital, arriving on time at 7:45 am.
I’m normally not even dressed at 7:45 am. I am a Morning Person the same way Silvio Berlusconi is a feminist.
The nurses call you through from the waiting room in batches. I kissed H, gave him all my valuables, and left him there, and I hate that bit, marching briskly off behind the nurse in one’s best British manner. I don’t know why I do it. I should’ve totally rugby-tackled H and kissed him that way, ohh yes.
Then you are left in a cubicle with a hospital gown and a bed and a chair and an unattractive curtain and sit, if you’re me, sit making notes of Things To Ask Doctors.
The first doctor was a nice young woman who introduced herself as Miss Consultant’s assistant for the day, and we went over all the forms together, and I established that I was having a laparoscopy, a hysteroscopy, and would have blue dye shot through my tube (well, she said ‘tubes’, and I decided correcting her was too complicated at that moment. Miss Consultant knows it’s a tube, chez moi). I double-checked that they’d remove any endometriosis and adhesions they could. She said yes. We shook hands.
The second doctor was the anaesthetist. To him I spoke firmly about the fact I am a martyr to mechanical phlebitis, and I’d be grateful if there was anything he could do to prevent the vein used turning into a bright pink aching rigid hose-pipe for a week or so after the surgery. He said he’d be careful as possible, but it was sometimes unavoidable. I thanked him, and we shook hands.
Then a nurse turned up to check I’d signed the consent form in a consenting and informed manner, and ask me to put my gown on, and pee in a pot for the mandatory pregnancy test. Had I been careful this cycle? Yes. Good. Pee in the pot anyway.
Just as I was about to change, Miss Consultant herself turned up, to say hello, check I was OK, and shake my hand, which was nice.
And then I took my pot and found the loo. It is VERY hard to pee when you don’t really need to quite yet and the door is thin and has a loose rattly lock and you can hear the nurse who is waiting for your pee shuffling her feet outside. I have a shy bladder. I had to pretend I was in a nuclear fall-out shelter and the nurse was on the frigging moon before I got six drops out. Gah. Nurses, there is no need at all to stand outside the toilet cubicle and breathe when an able-bodied patient is trying to pee. OK? OK.
No, I was not pregnant.
Then I took everything off and put the stupid backless gown and my shoes and socks back on and read my book.
Unlike last time, where I waited for hours, I was first in. Oh, well, swings and roundabouts. I and two jolly nurses walked to the anaesthetics room, pushing my bed between us, and then I took my shoes and socks off and untied the back of the gown and lay on the bed, and the anaesthetist came over and smiled cheerfully and he and the nurse spent several minutes vein-hunting – I have fine veins. Good little showing veins. They ALWAYS vanish in the anaesthesia room – and eventually he chose one, apologised to me, and dug in (ow), and pushed (ow) and dug in again (ow), and then said he’d change the vein when I was under if necessary, as he didn’t want to keep on hurting me (thank you). I have small veins, he told me. No wonder I had trouble with cannulas. He then held up a syringe and said ‘this is the gin and tonic!’ which made me laugh out loud, and injected it very slowly. Which proved he really had been listening, as I’ve had four previous general anaesthetics and they normally SLAM that plunger in and it hurts like buggery. This wasn’t so bad. He then held up the next syringe and said ‘this will make you sleep’, and carefully injected that into the cannula, I felt it running cold up my arm, and I went spark out.
I woke up feeling surprisingly comfortable. I was alert and looking about quite quickly, and the nurse came over quite soon to bring me a cup of water, pass me my book (bless her) and offer me a cup of tea (hallelujah!). I had no idea why I was so quickly so much more compos mentis than last time, where I was out of it for a good couple of hours after they took me back to the recovery room and my little cubicle. The only ugly moment this time was just how much blood I’d lost – I was sitting on two two-foot-square absorbant pads, but by the time the nurse decided I was awake enough to get dressed and sit up, I had soaked the sheets around them as well in a purple mess of blood, hysteroscopy medium (clear, usually) and dye. ‘Oh dear,’ said the nurse, ‘You’re a bit of a bleeder, aren’t you?’ I stood up and she passed me my knickers and a sanitary towel like a brick, and she folded up the sheet to hide the mess, and found she couldn’t, so while I was in the loo she found another sheet to bundle over the top of it all. And when I came back, decided I needed another drip-bag of saline or whatever it was.
Oops. For a clotter, I sure do leak like a bleeder.
Anyway, Miss Consultant came by shortly afterwards, and we discussed the surgery.
I made notes.
As I said before, Satsuma and The Tube are both clean and spotless and free from endometriosis, adhesions, or cysts. Infact, Satsuma no longer ‘looked’ polycystic. Considering how regularly and often she’s ovulated over the past couple of years, I’m not surprised, bless the dear little gonad.
The Cute Ute, however, poor thing, is not in the least bit cute. At least, the cavity and lining are cute – nothing is distorted or weird-looking in there at least. Which is good. But she is bulky with adenomyosis, which Miss Consultant thought must be a leading reason for my pain, and dragging on the round ligaments that hold her in place (hence shooting stabbing pains out to the sides). She’s pretty much the size of an end-of-first-trimester-pregnant uterus.
The irony of this makes me feel sick and angry and like punching a wall.
I can feel my uterus when I rest my hand on my belly just above my pelvis now. So I shouldn’t’ve been in the least surprised. But I was.
And behind Cute Ute, in the Pouch of Douglas, endometriosis. Cute Ute was so bulky they couldn’t get the diathermy tool in underneath her to treat it, so they decided that as it was well away from my ovary and tube, it was better to leave it than cut a large hole in me. The endometriosis was not extensive and not causing adhesions, after all.
She said she’d get the nurse to show me the photos in my file when I was discharged, and then went on her way, and the nurse called H to let him know he could come and get me.
This is where things went stupid. The plan was, my mother would come up, as she has a car and we don’t at the moment, and drive me home. But as I’d been first in and come round quickly, I was ‘ready’ sooner than H had planned for, so he had to call Mum and tell her to come up and meet us at the hospital, rather than having her drive over to our place and hang out. Mum, being Mum, did not drop everything and get in the car, despite saying that’s what she definitely would do when we made the plans. After an hour, the nurse came over and asked me if I knew why no one had come for me yet, and I explained that my mother was coming up from out of town as we didn’t have a car. By this time I’d finished my book, and run out of walls to stare at. For the next half-hour the nurses all gave me concerned looks every time they went past, because I’d clearly been abandoned and they wanted the bed back. Finally, H came in, hurrah! And we discovered that the nurse had got hold of the wrong end of the stick and had been looking out for a lady old enough to be my mother in the waiting room and all the while H had been sitting there, neither female nor sixty-odd. Aigh.
I got to look the at the photos of my nice pink clean ovary, and nasty bloated uterus, and horrible squashed-strawberry mess stuck all over the back of it (Christ, endometriosis is ugly), while H got to lean against the cubicle wall with his hands over his eyes, and the nurse pulled the cannula out of my hand. And then we got given handfuls of forms, leaflets, drugs, and dressings in a plastic bag, and off we shuffled to the waiting room.
Where we waited.
The receptionist very sweetly lent me a mug so I could have some more water (so thirsty, despite tea and jug of water and extra drip-bag).
H went off to call my mother again, who of course had finished off half-a-dozen little tasks and written a few emails and God I don’t know, repainted the kitchen or something before setting out.
Eventually I got home, and was allowed to lie down with more tea and a hot-water-bottle and my mother (!) rubbed my feet and made me chicken soup, so I feel I can’t really be annoyed with her at all at all not even a tiny bit. But that last wait in the waiting-room was irritatingly tough.
Anyway. Wounds, two. One in belly button, one just above left hip. Mysterious scratch just below belly button that could’ve been false start with a scalpel, I suppose.
Bruising, below belly-button, spectacular, seems to have been aggravated by the vomitathon on Monday.
Pain, from surgery, not bad (probably because they did so little while they were in there. Last time, in 2007, they were pulling bands of adhesions out and scraping the Cute Ute down like an ocean liner in dry-dock). From subsequent period, not so bad either, because I took a great many drugs for a great many days. Still feeling rather crampy and rough today, alas, probably because I’ve stopped taking the diclofenac/tramadol before my bowel backed up until the next millennium (Oh, also, while I think of it, the endo-in-the-POD explains why even so much as a tiny bubble of wind, on period days, is so amazingly fucking painful to pass I feel like my gut is in a goddamn bow-tie, CSI-stylee).
Blood-loss, constant, ongoing, as I went from three days of steady post-surgical bleeding straight into my usual that-scene-from-The-Shining menstrual bleeding. I went to bed with a towel and a bucket for three days straight. I’m still going to bed with the towel. Buggeration, eh?
My period made me feel worse than the surgery did. Between them, I feel like shit. It’s, well, it’s not been great. Eh, well, over now.
Next time on May’s TMI Talkathon, I shall discuss all the thoughts I have had about having endometriosis and adenomyosis. But I was serious about giving up gluten. Because, sheesh.
I need to shut up and go to bed.