On Tuesday 7/12, I had laparoscopic surgery to excise endometriosis and remove both ovaries and tubes. It was quite a road and struggle for my husband and I to get to that decision. Leading up to it, I felt very anxious and had moments of doubt or cold feet. It’s not what we wanted, but it was the best option with the facts as they are. Now I’m wrapping up my 4th day at home since the procedure and feel a real mix of emotions. Overall, I’m thankful to have come through successfully and am optimistic about my prognosis.
Tuesday morning, my folks came to pick up my hubby and me and we all drove to the hospital together. I checked in and was brought into pre-op pretty swiftly once I told them I had to pee. They need that urine sample as one last pregnancy test before surgery. So we went downstairs and I peed in the cup. My husband helped me with the cleaning wipes full body prep and into the gown. I got hooked up to an IV and they collected a blood sample. Then my folks came in. We waited a while and visited with several nurses, our anesthetist, and my surgeon. They put a small anti-nausea patch on. I’d had my morning Xanax and night-before self-hypnosis, and managed to keep my nerves in check somehow. They gave me some versed and I didn’t remember much after that until I woke up following surgery.
I woke up and a nurse was nearby asking me about my pain. I did pretty well at first but then cried a little bit because I realized my ovaries were gone. They then wheeled me into the recovery room where my family was waiting. It took a while to wake up. I had some beverages and applesauce. Saltines were horrible – like the cinnamon challenge – so dry! I had a terrible time trying to pee. Just drops would come out. So we waited, I got my prescriptions filled. Put on the estrogen patch. And then we went home! Altogether, we were at the hospital for about 8 hours.
The surgery itself was approx. 2 hours and the endo was worse than expected. The surgeon came out to discuss it with my family, but I didn’t get a chance to talk with him. We’ll cover it in my post-op appointment in another week or so. I had a lot of endometriosis tissue fusing several of my organs together. My ovarian cysts were enormous. The surgeon said my endometriosis was extreme and aggressive. He’d done a careful excision in 2012, but it was back now with a vengeance. The ovaries were the worst. He described one as a large grapefruit and the other as a small grapefruit. Holy smokes! I was shocked to hear that. Explains a lot of my pain and discomfort. I saw the photos of the ovarian cysts and tissues, and I could see that the endo had basically destroyed my ovaries. Seeing all of this, and combining this information with what the specialists told us made us feel confident that we’d made the right decisions.
The first couple days at home were quite painful. The leftover gas from the surgery was extremely painful. I had very sharp pains in my shoulder, but that’s over now. My belly is very swollen. There are four small incision sites. One is quite bruised. The others are small. I had pinkness around the belly button incision at first and I worried a little about a possible infection, but the pink went away completely and I felt pretty good. I feel so relieved to have the surgery done, and to be through it safely. I feel relieved in having confidence in the decision. It’s not what I wanted, but it was the right thing to do.
At first, I felt much better than I’d expected. Now, I’m not feeling too well. It’s been a real challenge. One of the worst things is that I developed thrush in my mouth and throat! At first, I thought I had a sore throat just from the intubation. It kept getting worse though and I eventually looked into a mirror. I saw bright red and white patches. It looked gross and I knew immediately it was time to get into the 24-hr urgent care to get checked out. My husband was at work so my mom drove me to the doctor’s office. They did a culture and diagnosed thrush – essentially a yeast infection, most common in infants and people with compromised immune systems. It’s a very, very painful sore throat. I got anti-fungal throat lozenges and am hoping that it improves soon.
I am very nauseous and that is bothering me a lot. My skin is itching. I’m constipated. I’m also having spotty bleeding and crampy feelings. A little insomnia last night. I have medicines and things I’m trying to deal with all of those symptoms, but still just not feeling comfortable. The nausea might be the worst part right now.
I’m trying to focus on resting and my physical healing as the top priority right now. I’m trying not to get too emotional or get dragged down by my grief or fears or negative thoughts. I just need to take it easy and, hopefully, after a few days I will start to feel a little bit more comfortable.