Recovery and Results (part 1)

In my surgery day post I did not mention the results of the surgery.  There are two reasons.  One I wanted to focus on just the experience of the day.  The other is that the only information I really have is second hand.  Dr. M. spoke to my husband immediately after my surgery but I was still lights out, so what I know came from my husband.  I absolutely love and adore him, but he is not great with details.  Apparently Dr. M. also showed him pictures, which probably was a little disturbing and distracting for him I can imagine.  Does anyone else ever wonder if you and your husband are going to need to see a sex therapist after all of this just to have a normal sex life?

Anyway, so here is what I know.

My right ovary is still there.  Big win.

While they were fishing around down there, they found I have stage III endometriosis.  HUGE BUMMER.

The cyst they removed was not a dermoid cyst.  It was a chocolate cyst, which is a type of endometrial cyst.  Hope you are ok with graphic info…. If not you might want to skip to the next paragraph (you have been warned).  The chocolate cyst gets his name because it’s basically covered in caked on layers of dried blood that resemble chocolate syrup.  Gross.  I can only imagine my poor husbands face as Dr. M showed him pictures of this thing.   No really, I fear our sex life may never be the same.

Our follow up appointment is in a week.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long week.

As far as my recovery goes….the first two days were pretty brutal.  I actually am ok with pain, but I hate being nauseous.  The first day was just pain, but as long as I just laid in bed I could manage it.  Day two was pain and just feeling so nauseous all day.  I pretty much slept all day.  Around dinner time a friend brought me some soup and other goodies (by goodies I mean ginger ale and other sickie food) and we chatted which was nice.  Friday I actually felt a lot better and boredom totally set it.  I don’t ever spend this much time by myself.  Further I am not really into TV or movies and there wasn’t a book out that I was dying to read.  The one movie I was excited about watching I thought was available on Amazon Prime, actually wasn’t and I really didn’t want to pay $15 on iTunes to get it.

Friday night I finally had an appetite and my husband picked up an In and Out Burger. I basically inhaled it.  So delish!  Unfortunately since then I have gone back to having very little appetite.  From the time I found out about this surgery in July until actually having it I gained weight.  Mostly from stress eating foods I normally don’t have in my diet.  Since having the surgery I have lost 6 pounds in 7 days.  Not bad considering I still feel bloated from the gas they pump in you during the surgery.

I will say a lot of people told me they got super sore in their back and shoulders after laparoscopic surgery.  That actually didn’t happen to me at all.  I definitely was/am bloated but I guess it just stayed in my lower abdomen area.

I mentioned in a previous post that there was mention by the surgery scheduler of what part of my cycle I needed to be in to have the surgery.  The doctor later told me it didn’t matter when we did it, and it ended up falling at the very end of my cycle.  Why does this matter?  Well because my new cycle started during my recovery, three days after my surgery.  What a bitch.  I stopped bleeding from the procedure after a day, one day off, and then aunt flo came for her visit.  I hate wearing pads.  Absolutely hate them.  In addition after feeling so much better on Friday, it went back downhill.  More cramps, headache, exhaustion, and I am an absolute emotional wreck.  Literally crying over nothing, spontaneously.  While the physical symptoms are annoying they are manageable, but it’s hard to explain to your boss why you are crying when he asked you to sign an invoice.  He told me to go home early today.  I also cried about that.  Seriously I need to pull it together.

I am also having issues sleeping, likely due to stress/anxiety.  First I thought maybe I couldn’t sleep because I slept so much the few days after surgery, but clearly my body is tired and needs sleep to heal.  I really feel exhausted.  I tried taking an Excedrin PM the last two nights.  I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t helping because I haven’t taken a sleeping pill in over a year and usually they put me out in 15 minutes or less.  Well tonight I actually looked at the bottle before taking one, and they expired at the beginning of 2012.  As I mentioned, it’s been a long time since I have taken one.  They are on my target list for tomorrow because I have got to get some real sleep.

My anxiety mostly is over the unknown.  Over the weekend I started doing research on Endometriosis.  Before last week I had no idea what it even was, but after my husband told me what Dr. M. told him I just looked it up.  I told some of my close friends about the diagnosis and none of them knew what it was, so I need to be able to give a brief description.  For a few days that was good enough for me, but then as I started to feel better I started to dig into it more.

It comes down to this: I am scared shitless that Dr. M. is going to tell us our only chance is IVF.

First of all, I am not sure I am ready to do that to my body.  I have read a lot of blogs the last few days.   A lot of REAL stories from real women with amazing details that really make you feel for them.  Some of them have beautiful babies right now, and some of them don’t.  Aside from the emotional connection I felt though reading their stories the information was very more specific and useful than anything else on the internet.  Reading about what these hormones do to your body during IVF is paralyzing.  I know they think it’s worth it.  I think it’s worth it.  I’m just scared I’m not strong enough to do it.

Then there is the financial part.  Our insurance covers nothing when it comes to fertility treatments.  NOTHING.  We have already spent thousands of dollars over the summer just getting to where we are now.  We both have great jobs, but we do not have money for even one round of IVF right now.  As I understand it endometriosis comes back, rather quickly too, so we are on a time table on top of all of it.  How far behind do we want to get?  How do you make a decision on how much debt you are willing to go into to have a child?  How are you even supposed to make that decision?

Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself since we haven’t even gone to the follow up yet, but it’s hard to ignore it.

Like I said, this is going to be a very long week.

P.S. It’s my birthday this week, and I have never been so not-excited for my birthday.  I really believed I would be pregnant before I turned 31.  Really at the beginning of the summer when all of this started I thought everything would be fine.  The only thing making me feel better right now is writing it all down.  Typing out every thought I have about all of it.  It’s the only thing keeping me relatively calm and sane.

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Surgery Day

I have never had surgery before, except getting my wisdom teeth out, which was a whole ordeal in itself. Given the whole pre-op “you could lose your ovary” information I stayed really calm. To really put that in perspective you should know I have to take valium to get a cavity filled.

The weekend before we had a BBQ on Saturday where I definitely drank more than I should have, likely just due to nerves.  We spent the rest of the weekend laying low.  I got a pedicure and didn’t eat much because I was instructed to “clean out” my system.  Monday I started my soup diet (a great friend was sweet enough to bring me a pot of homemade chicken noodle) and Tuesday was go time.

My surgery was at noon, which is so annoying with the whole “no food or water” thing.  I tried to sleep as late as I could which wasn’t that late.  We left earlier than we need too, to be there an hour early as instructed.  I was calm, but also not in the mood to just sit around and wait at home.  I wanted to just get it over and done already!

We stayed in the car in the parking lot and listened to some of my favorite Christian music for a few minutes since we were so early.   It always makes me feel more at ease.  Once we went in it all went pretty fast.  I signed in at the front desk and forked over some cash to pay the surgery center.  Thankfully this was actually partially covered by my insurance (a lot of the previous tests/visits are not covered), and I had hit my deductible so insurance kicked in at 80/20.  Even paying just 20 percent out of pocket was several hundred dollars.  L

My husband and I sat in the waiting room for a few minutes and they came to get me.  I am still not really clear why they didn’t invite him into the pre-op area.  Every other person there had a significant other or family member with them.  They did the usual, weight, blood pressure, temp ect.   Then asked me a million questions, and again I got to get all fancied up in a hospital gown.  All of the nurses were so very sweet.  They really made me feel comfortable.  At one point the surgical nurse asked me if I had come alone.  When I told her my husband was in the waiting room I think the pre-op nurse realized she made a mistake and she went to find him.  I am not sure where he had gone off to but she came back and told me he wasn’t in the waiting room (later I found out he went to get food).  The time went really fast and Dr. M came in to exchange pleasantries and ask where my husband was (because it was so awkward he wasn’t next to me!).  Apparently Dr. M. went to the waiting area and by that time he had returned because Dr. M came back to verify that was him by what he was wearing.  Minutes later I was being wheeled into the operating room.  I moved from my pre-op bed on to the table and that was it. My butt hit the table and LIGHTS. OUT.

Next thing I knew I was in recovery finally with my husband by my side.  And I hurt. BAD.  Obviously this part is a little fuzzy as I was coming out of my anesthesia but I do recall being given some crackers and water so I could take a pain pill.  Unfortunately those didn’t stick around in my stomach very long, so the kind nurse gave me some nausea meds in my IV and I drifted off again for who knows how long.

The next time I woke up things were slightly better.  I didn’t feel sick.  I did feel pain.  The very sweet nurse kindly told me that “this would not be a pain free day”.  I sipped a little more water and over the next hour actually started to feel a lot better (relative to where I started of course).  The nurse gave us some home care instructions and said we could go home!  This was great news because it was still before rush hour, and I get motion sick on my best day so sitting in traffic after surgery would probably be a disaster.  My husband went to pull the car up and I hopped in to my sweet ride (ie Wheelchair).  The nurse told me to I should use the bag they had kept my clothes in as a “just in case”.  Good call on her part.  We made it no more than 20 feet before the crazy nausea set in once again.  What a rough ride to the car.  Thankfully since I could lay down in the car on the way home, that part actually was ok and I didn’t feel sick at all.  I finally made it to bed, took a real pain pill, and passed out.  What a day.