Touch Wood

but I ate’nt dead.

I thank you all for you good wishes, which were much appreciated and evidently turned the tide of fate. I didn’t die, my heart did not embark on any further ridiculousness and the hospital scales weighed me half a stone light. Also: I am not borked.

Win, win, win, win. 

I explained to the anaesthetist that nausea was anathema to me, and that I would take pain over sickness any day. I think he listened; at any rate, my recovery was entirely nausea-free but I woke in pain on my left side, and promptly went back on my stated word by bleating about it as soon as I came round. I don’t know if he was still about at that point, as I was in no way able to open my eyes, move a limb, or identify voices yet, but if he sighed in exasperation, he would have been Perfectly Entitled to do so.

I was given a toasty hot blanket to cuddle to my tummy and heard Morphine SomethingOrOther ordered, and was requested to open my mouth for it, which I unhesitatingly did – resembling, I suspect, a particularly large and trusting baby bird. The two mouthfuls of opiate fluid helped to wash away the lingering sensation of the noxious-tasting gas – which the anaesthesia assistant had had the temerity to call ‘oxygen’ when she first lowered the mask over my face in theatre – but didn’t have a major effect on the pain, which solidified some long-standing suspicions that opiates don’t render me much specific assistance with abdominal ouch. (The Voltarol I later begged off the drugs trolley was considerably better value-per-swallow.)

I seemed to take hell of a time coming round; my ears started working pretty early on, but my eyes were very slow following suit, and apart from the odd squint around me, and demanding that I lose the hated bloody mask, I couldn’t really evince much interest in my surroundings until I was back on a ward (inhabited by several extremely batty and forgetful old dears and one who sounded TB-ridden) where I proceeded to gulp water, doze and complain fretfully. I felt like death warmed woozily over, but none of the nurses seemed to notice (once I had left the recovery suite, the standard of care fell noticeably, and John had the devil’s own job simply obtaining me a cup of tea) and given the loud nature of the surrounding dementia (although I’m sure I heard one lovely old soul shushing her visitors because I had lost the battle with my eyelids again) and the rampant coughing, we decided a badger colony would likely be a healthier place to stay the night than that ward, and I decided I was offski as soon as I’d seen my surgeon, wobbly or not.

The gynae team had a long day in theatre. Senior Chap, whom we have not seen since he came to congratulate me on being 8 weeks pregnant with Harry, and who has become even more internationally senior in the interim, was waiting for us when we arrived on the ward at 7.50am (20 minutes late!) to consent me, and tell me that they have a new Professor joining their team in the New Year who would have a particular interest in me – methinks I smell a clinical trial being dangled. It was gone 6pm when he came back up on the ward to give feedback to the 5 or so of us that had been in theatre that day. He explained that my lovely, glamorous consultant – whom I had barely recognised in theatre scrubs until she flashed me her usual kind smile – had done my surgery herself, as everything she encountered inside me looked… well, normal, really. Apart from there being more than one uterus, naturellement.

Which was… I dunno. A peculiar mix of relief and anti-climax. There was some endometriosis, apparently, but not a significant amount. Tubes, ovarys and both uteri look ‘good’. I am now a little concerned about just where my ute-busting period pain is originating from, and adenomyosis is my only remaining diagnosis. Which has been spied exactly once on an ultrasound – in the uterus that generally hurts me a good deal less than the other – before disappearing at the next one. To be fair, he had explained earlier in the day that adenomyosis wasn’t something they could see during surgery, but he made no mention of the bridge of tissue stretching across my right uterus, which they could easily have seen, so I’m assuming it simply… isn’t there anymore? Either that, or it was never there to begin with, although given that I did see clear abnormality myself on the screen, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t entirely the radiologist’s imagination.

We’re waiting on endometrial biopsy results, which I’m vaguely hopeful will highlight the reason – or, at least, confirm my asseveration – that I have never had any proper red blood flow from my Right, Harry-housed, uterus, the one attached to my better-functioning ovary, the one I’m scared stiff of conceiving in again. No photos: I (hopefully) get to see them in my official follow-up appointment, which is ‘the first available slot’ in my consultant’s recurrent miscarriage clinic. I feel instinctively dour about the likely wait. I can spy 36 years old approaching and am in absolutely no mood whatsoever to await the NHS’s pleasure, but neither do I have the £300 it will take to see her privately this side of Christmas. I suspect there will have to be fairly major raiding of savings accounts at some point, mind you.

So, here I am. Alive! Thankful! I’m fairly sore, still. I did have some referred shoulder pain from the gas – which, once I actually felt it, I realised I’ve already experienced on previous occasions without realising what it was. I have two holes bodged in me – one in my belly button, one over to the left and low down – which have stitches in, and feel uber-yuk, so I am simply pretending they are not there. I assume they are dissolving ones, as no-one has said otherwise, but I have no idea when or if I should get them wet – which will either make tomorrow morning’s shower interesting, or my subsequent trip into the outside world fragrant. I have stuff to do and places to go tomorrow morning, so I’m hoping I feel better by then – or, at least, able to lift Harry up, which has been impossible today. 

I’m tired, feeling fairly beaten-up, and reasonably confused about precisely what to do next. But I’m thankful to have options, and decisions to make.

And extremely thankful that I have a wondrous (talking!) small boy, who, if he is not finally permitted to open a door on his Thomas the Festive Tank Engine chocolate advent calendar in the morning, will likely chew my leg off in sheer rage. Hurrah for December 1st.

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19 Responses

  1. Yay you ate’nt dead! I’m so glad it went well…well, well-ish.

  2. Congratulations on emerging alive. Mission accomplished. It sounds like good, if somewhat confusing, news. Hurray for accurate scales, though!

  3. I’m pleased you aren’t dead, although like you, a bit disappointed they weren’t able to locate some (preferably fixable) scapegoat in there for all the godawful pain you get each month. In my own experience, they generally tell you it’s okay to shower with the stitches, but of course you ought to ask an actual medical professional (perhaps the doctor-neighbors could shed some light on that?).

  4. Shame there’s nothing definitive yet but at least your surgeon has had a good look around, fingers still crossed for a good result.

    The stitches should be ok, just stick a waterproof dressing over them when you shower.

    Even small amounts of endometriosis can cause a lot of pain during menstruation. Were the bits seen treated? I had some patches of it cauterised during the operation to relocate my single uterus following its spectacular collapse caused by the the trauma of delivering Son #1.

  5. Yay you ain’t dead!

    And well done for all the other results. Although I see medicine is rather the same on your side of the Atlantic as mine. How do they let us leave hospital without aftercare instructions? Meh!

    The hearing coming back long before other functions has been my experience of general anaesthesia, too. Odd sensation, isn’t it?

    Hope all the aches and pains are gone soon.

  6. Yey you are alive! So pleased that you are not borked too.

    I showered with the bandage on for a couple of days after my appendectmomy and then got told off for not leaving my scar open as it was better for healing. The stitches vanished themselves without me noticing which was odd as there seemed to be loads and it wasn’t exactly invisible mending!

  7. Glad it all went ok.
    As for the stitches, it seems to me that whatever you do a medical professional will tell you it’s the wrong thing to have done so go ahead and get some mud wrestling in!

  8. Yippee! I am very glad you’re still alive, and also glad that things seem vaguely OK in there, and you’re not borked.
    As for the stitches – they will be dissolvable (unless you had a v weird surgeon) and so won’t need removing. As Sharon said, get some waterproof dressings from the chemist, and stick them on when you shower, then pat dry afterwards. Should be OK after a week. I wouldn’t bathe for a week or so (by which I mean soaking in the bath) but after that will be fine.
    (And that’s what I used to tell patients I’d sewn up)
    x

  9. Excellent news – the Wifey life(y) goes on! The world would be a sad dark place were this not the case.

    Bit strange there was no obvious issue with the uteri. Hrmm. Obviously this would be good news in a normal context, but we live in the weird double-think context of IF. Sigh.

    Take it easy, eh? Glad to hear you’re so well. Mind the stitches, they can get infected. (Which is bleah, you can take it from me).

  10. congratulations on your fine survival! i am pleased.

    for sugar’s lap, they said no shower until the second day after the surgery, fwiw. her wounds were covered with gauze, which she was to remove that day, and steri-strips underneath, which were to stay on until they fell off. (they they ended up getting replaced at the post-op appointment anyway, because the wounds were still a bit angry and weeping.)

    it sounds like you’re already in much better shape than she was, so hooray for that!

  11. Awww, you’re nicking my specialist! No Fair!

    But they won’t enrol you in that trial unless you have idiopathic RPL I’m afraid.

  12. Happy dancing here at all the good news especially the not deaded bit. Bearing in mind that medical knowledge has moved on since I had this kind of surgery in the late 80s I was told that adenomyosis can only be definitively diagnosed once they have yanked the offending organ out and had a pathologist take a very close look at it. This is, naturellement, a useless course of action if you are still planning to use the thing for gestational purposes. And does not move the pain Richter scale down one tiny increment.

    Hope you are feeling more like yourself soonest. Hugs from me.

  13. Another commenter very glad that you are alive and not borked! A little frustrated that you don’t have a visible AND easily fixed condition–but basically it sounds like a decent outcome. (Hope you will you quiz the surgeon on that bridge of tissue, though?) And I hope your biopsies, photos, etc. shed more light on the issue.

    Take care of yourself and rest up!

  14. So very glad to hear from you, and I hope you feel better soon.

  15. Well that’s nice, you live to fight another day.

    The ward sounds hideous, the recovery sounds hideous, the anti-climax sounds frustrating – but probably good all things considered.

    Hope you get lots of help whilst you convalesce.

  16. Glad to see that you are back with us, althougn it does seem like a bit of an anti-climax

  17. Ah. Splendid. You woke up. Good show (and sounds like a successful op too, so yay!).

  18. Glad it’s over, and win win win win.

    If you do have to fork out for a private consultation, be sure and ask what they can do for a leg chewed off. Shame to waste the opportunity, if you’re paying.

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