Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Infertility Stuff, Part 10

I feel like this is really dragging on . . . (10 parts already?), but it is good to write it out so one day when it's not so fresh in my mind, I'll remember . . .

So, I set about arranging things so I could take six weeks off work. Fortunately, I work in education, so summer is the slow time. A wonderful co-worker took on my major assignment for the summer. Aside from that, the biggest thing was telling people at work and otherwise involved with my life what was going on (I didn't go into detail, but I did tell them that I was having surgery for endometriosis). I was surprised by a couple of things--first was how kind and sympathetic people were, and second was how many of the women I talked to had had similar experiences. It's amazing how common this stuff is and how little we talk about it.

And, before I knew it, the time for the surgery rolled around. This time, I only needed the standard pre-surgery tests (urine sample, blood test, that kind of thing), since my previous surgery was so recent. And then I was in the hospital again!

I have had surgery a few times now, but never one that wasn't intended to be an outpatient surgery. Knowing I would be in the hospital for at least two nights was a new thing.

This time, the sedative took effect much more quickly than when I had the laparoscopy. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room, trying to open my eyes and let the nurse know I was awake. They moved me to a regular hospital room (I found out later that I was in the general OB area, which was why I heard babies crying at night). The first day, I wasn't allowed to eat anything or even to swallow water. The extremely nice day nurse gave me little sponges on a stick with a glass of water and said I could suck on them. I had plenty of visits and phone calls from family to keep me busy for the short amounts of time that I was awake! The night nurse came in at 11pm and had me sit up on the side of the bed, and she sat next to me and talked to me while I did.

I knew that the doctor's protocol is for patients to get up and walk about six times the day after the surgery (Mr. X and I read the textbook section on my surgery very thoroughly!), so I was ready for Day 2! The next morning, I was allowed to have liquids, so I had a liquid breakfast (very interesting--juice, jello, and stuff--tea which had clearly been made in a coffee pot--I hate coffee!), and then the new day nurse disconnected me from the IV and machines (including the catheter--yikes!). The doctor came to see me every morning (maybe this is normal procedure for surgeons, but I didn't expect it and it really impressed me), and he said the surgery had gone perfectly (what a great thing to hear your doctor say!) and that I should be up and walking around.

I approached the "walking around" from my typical overachiever standpoint. I walked like crazy, shuffling up and down the hallways in my slipper socks. I walked at least six times for at least 15 minutes each time. The result was that I was totally exhausted and hungry by the time evening rolled around! The night nurse let me have a few crackers, even though I wasn't due to start real food until the morning.

The morning rolled around, and the doctor said that if I tolerated food all right, I could go home that day. I ordered breakfast, and by the time it came I wasn't feeling so good. I managed three teeny bites of an English muffin before it became very obvious that I wasn't tolerating food well! After a little while, the nurse called the doctor, who ordered medication to stop the nausea. Within a few minutes of that shot, I fell asleep in the middle of a conversation. When I woke up, I was starving! I asked the nurse for some plain toast before I attempted anything more adventurous, but I was fine. The doctor decided that I should stay overnight, and I even managed to take a shower on my own.

The next morning, I was able to leave the hospital. We still had to stay in Omaha for a few more days before heading home. We camped out in our hotel (same one--we just didn't eat at the restaurant where Mr. X got food posioning the first time around!) and watched lots of movies.

I was feeling really good. I kept wearing my compression stockings just in case (and they were really comfortable, anyway!), and the only things that really bugged me were the heartburn from the ibuprofen I was taking and the weirdness of sleeping in one position! It was painful to move between positions, and the mattress was kind of hard, so I would be woken not by pain from the surgery but from hours of lying on my hip on a hard surface! By the time we left for home, we had bought both an egg-crate mattress pad and one of those memory-foam mattress pads. (Our guest room is more comfortable than it has ever been!)

Eight days after the surgery (and five days after leaving the hospital), we saw the doctor. He said that everything looked great with the incision, the surgery had gone very well--all the bad stuff is now gone--and that I was clear to go home. And, boy, were we ready to go home!


allyouwhohope said...

Hi, I just happened upon your blog from another infertility blog, and I think I am going to have the same surgery as you had, except not the wedge surgery (I don't have PCOS). So this will be my second surgery with Dr. Hilgers. I had a laparascopy in Aug. and was told I had to come back for a 4-hour surgery to remove what he called "stage 3 1/2 to 4" endometriosis. So now my next surgery is scheduled for Jan. 8. I know EXACTLY what you are going through. I've been through it all, and not just with infertility in general, but with the whole Omaha trip, meeting with Dr. Hilgers (watching the post-op video!), the hospital, etc. Thanks for your post about the second surgery. It really painted a specific picture of what I can expect.

LifeHopes said...

Thank you so much for posting about your surgery. I feel it will be helpful for me as well.

I am so happy to hear it all went well!

I have a question, was Dr. Hilgers able to do yours all laparoscopically or did he have to do an incision?

LifeHopes said...

Nevermind, I just saw at the bottom that you had an incision.

You are an incredibly strong woman and an inspiration to me. I am going to be right behind you with the surgery thing. I would love to keep in touch, I am just so nervous and scared about everything that lies ahead.

I will now start praying for you to be able to conceive!

andnotbysight said...

Wow, I'll be praying for both of you as you get ready for surgery! We should definitely keep in touch--I'll be reading your blogs, too!


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