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The Surgery Is Done.
I had the D&C surgery this morning (or, as I like to call it, my appointment with Mr. Hoover). Ha!
Hey, just trying to find humor in all this. It helps me deal with it. I think it might make people uncomfortable that I’m trying to joke about this terrible situation, so soon after it happened. But as my friend Kim said, “Sometimes other people’s expectations of how you’re supposed to feel are as hard to deal with as how you actually feel.” I couldn’t have put it any better myself (and am flying high on Vicodin right now so I don’t think I could come up with better words no matter how much I tried).
So anyway, I was supposed to be at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. to check in and get prepared for surgery. The phone rang at 7:15 this morning and the nurse asked me if I could come in at 9 instead because my doctor wanted to move it up if possible. I guess it worked better with his schedule that way, and as far as I was concerned, the sooner it was over, the better.
I couldn’t have any food or water after midnight, and I sure wish I’d had a big glass of water before bed because I felt soooo thirsty when I woke up. Almost as thirsty as I’d felt in the emergency room last week, but I wasn’t supposed to have anything to drink, even water. I started to feel sick to my stomach though, so in order to stave off fainting, I took about two tablespoons of water and figured I’d just deal with the consequences at the hospital.
I was really nervous and feeling nauseated, but did my best to keep it under control as I signed lots and lots of forms at the check-in desk, filled out medical histories, wrote a $1400 check (sigh… damned deductible), got my hospital bracelets, and then they took us back to the pre-op prep room.
I answered more questions about my allergies and told about ten different people that yes, my name and birthday were correct on my bracelet, then went to the bathroom and got into a lovely lovely hospital gown. They also made me wear some really tight white full-leg stockings, apparently to help avoid blood clots, and a pair of those cute blue anti-skid socks like the ones they gave me in the E.R. last week.
A very nice nurse took my blood pressure and pulse, and put in my I.V. This time she gave me a lidocaine injection in the back of my hand so the I.V. wouldn’t hurt. They don’t take those kinds of measures at the emergency room! The World’s Nicest Anaesthesiologist came in to talk to us, to let us know exactly what they were going to do to me and what I could expect during recovery. He asked how I was feeling, and when I told him that I was prone to fainting and motion sickness (on my medical history form) and was currently feeling nauseous, he came back with something to put in my I.V. line that he said would help me feel better.
A few minutes later Dr. Burt came in and greeted us, and talked to Doc for a little bit about how long the surgery would take, where he should wait, and that he’d come out to talk to him as soon as it was over. I was really glad that they were including Doc in everything and treating him so well. I think that they could tell he was concerned and could see how much he loved me and was protecting and taking care of me. I think it makes their job easier when their patients have a good caretaker.
The anaesthesiologist gave me a sedative, I kissed my sweet Doc goodbye, and they wheeled me down the hall. I feel like I went in and out of consciousness during that ride, since I don’t remember much of it. We ended up in a large brightly lit room with a lot of random stuff piled all over the place, and a giant flexible light hanging from the ceiling (kind of like the light on a dentist’s chair) that they stopped me under. Definitely NOT like an operating theatre like you see on TV. The anaesthesiologist lightly placed an oxygen mask on my face and told me to breathe deeply. I remember taking about six nice breaths, and I guess then they put the general anaesthetic in my IV because the next thing I remember, someone spooned a few ice chips into my mouth and told me to chew. Things went fuzzy for a while after that.
I was definitely having a hard time waking up, as is to be expected. By the time I was lucid enough to realize that I was in the recovery room and that Doc was there with me, he said he’d been with me for 15 minutes already and that I’d been talking to him and the nurses and drinking water. It is very disconcerting to me that I have no idea what happened during that time. He had already called my mom to tell her that I’d come out of surgery just fine, and I asked him to call Kathryn and let her know too. He talked to her for a few minutes and then put the phone up to my ear. I know I talked to her but now I have absolutely no idea what I said. Like I said, I was having a tough time getting my clarity back. He also called Brittney to let her know, but I don’t think I talked to her.
Doc told me that Dr. Burt said it was a really good thing that they did the surgery because there was a lot of tissue still in my uterus and it very likely would not have passed on its own. So I guess that made it worth it, right there. He also said that everything went very well and that I would probably feel some bad cramping for a day, and it would die off in less than a week. I am supposed to keep taking my antibiotic and my Vicodin as needed for pain, and take it easy for the rest of the week. I’m not sure if I’ll try to go in to work at all; I might just see how I feel on Thursday or Friday but I really don’t want to push it. I think they can manage without me if needed.
The anaesthesiologist had told me before surgery that when I woke up I might feel like I needed to pee, but I really wouldn’t and the urge would just be the residual effects from the catheter. A catheter?! One more reason to be grateful for general anaesthesia. Of course I DID feel like I needed to pee, and tried to ignore it, but after a few minutes pushed my nurse’s call button and asked if I could go try anyway. She walked me to the bathroom, and by god, I urinated. Take THAT, catheter!
I was feeling pretty good by this point, other than the fuzziness in my head, so they told me that I could get dressed if I felt like going home, or I could wait for a while in bed. Doc helped me to slowly get dressed and gather my things, and the nurse wheeled me out front while Doc brought the car around.
He drove me home and helped me change into my pajamas and get set up on the futon bed downstairs. Then he made me some tasty tasty chicken broth, complete with fresh grated carrots and tiny shredded chicken bits, and some crackers that the hospital had sent home with me. He also went across the street to 7-11 and bought me some Coke Zero, since I have decided for the time being that I am going to have as much diet soda as I want while I’m feeling crappy.
So that’s pretty much it. I’ve been taking my painkillers, lying on the futon all day, doing some freelance work, talking to a few people by e-mail and IM, talking to Doc, crying a little bit here and there, laughing some too, and somehow now it’s after midnight and I guess I’d probably ought to get to bed.
I’m glad the physical difficulties are (knock on wood) over and that I’m on the path to recovery. Having a concrete end to that part of it is helping me deal with the emotional side of it too. It’s been tough at times over the past few days, and I know it’s going to continue to be tough on both Doc and myself for a long while, but we have each other to lean on and laugh with and cry with, and I can’t think of anything more comforting than to know that he’s right here with me through all of this, protecting me and loving me. He’s truly an amazing man in so many ways.
One more thing before I go. I read something yesterday that really hit me hard. And it was something that I KNEW already but just hadn’t thought about so concretely. I read that the body miscarries because the fetus has just died. And I knew that of course…. but when I applied it to myself, to my own womb, lifting my shirt and looking down at my abdomen and thinking about my own little fetus right there a few inches under my skin, MY baby’s little heartbeat stopping and my body going into action to deal with it… Just, wow. I busted out into tears for a long time over that. It stopped being ethereal and got very tangible then.