I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy. Yes, I am only 40 but I have had tons of issues that are certainly more than most of you want to know so I won’t bore you with all of them. The biggest reason was that my CA-125 blood test (which is one of the markers for ovarian cancer, you know, what my mother had me totally freaked out about) had come back as above normal more than once. My GYN (Dr L) didn’t think it was “cancer high” but enough that we should probably take a look around in there and given my other issues, if he was going to “be in there” we might as well take it all out. Honestly, I was fine with removing the baby factory. After my last pregnancy and the ridiculous crap that accompanied it, I am done. D.O.N.E. And I was tired of all the girl stuff every month. So YAY! Fire sale: everything must go!
It was supposed to be very routine: LAVH (I won’t over-explain, if you want to know, you can click the link...hope you're not eating), overnight stay, home the next day. I scheduled the surgery for just before Spring Break so that I’d have nearly two full weeks to rest and recover before I went back to class. My mom was planning on staying a week, maybe ten days. I’d be tired for a few weeks but should have been back on my feet by the time Spring Break was over. Ha. Ha.
You know that nothing is ever easy with me. I am ALWAYS the aberration.
My mom came to take care of the kids and me. A friend took me to the hospital that morning at 6:15 (thanks Courtney!) and my mom was up there as soon as she got the kids to school. I remember checking in, joking around with the anesthesiologist, getting wheeled into the OR and talking a minute. The next thing I remember is the recovery room.
Here's the thing: I don’t do well coming out of anesthesia. And I am ALWAYS overwhelmed by much it hurts. But this time, even though I knew why I was hurting, something still didn’t feel right. I kept telling them that I was hurting but I couldn’t articulate that something was wrong. Drugs will do that to you, kids. They kept saying, “Yes, you just had surgery.” One jackhole actually “asked” me “Is this your first hysterectomy?” My mom almost punched him. I started feeling really nauseated. No REALLY, seriously pukey. I told them and I think they gave me some phenergan or something. But it didn’t help much.
At a certain point, they had given me all the pain and nausea meds they could. Between all the meds and still coming out of general anesthesia, everything is very swirly in my mind. I remember them giving me a basin because I felt sick. I didn’t have anything in my stomach, but I started dry heaving. I know that they took me from recovery back to my room. I remember telling them that I was bleeding and they said it was normal to have some bleeding after a hysterectomy. But every time I heaved, I felt a LOT of blood.
Evidently I kept saying “gushing” until a CNA came to change the pad on the bed and noticed that the whole entire bed was covered in blood – like horror movie style. She screamed out in the hall for someone to "get their asses in there" (as my mom informed me) and finally they took me seriously. They laid me back down in my gross, bloody bed, tilted the bed to head down (which made all of my stitched up insides hurt like a son of a bitch - that I DO remember) and wheeled me back down to pre-op where they started a blood transfusion. I remember my mom there by my head telling me what was going on, kissing me and telling me she loved me. I remember thinking that I would really just like to close my eyes and go to sleep if everyone would just STFU. But they couldn’t let me do that…something about lapsing into a coma or something, so annoying. They kept shouting at me, “BUFFI?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON?” and I would nod. I was soooooo tired and but not scared, really. More aggravated. And very confused. I don’t remember going back into surgery. Dr L checked everywhere he had cut out anything (which was pretty much everywhere, because evidently I had an incredible amount of endometriosis all thru my lower abdomen - I am SUCH an over-achiever. There were no nicks or ruptures anywhere that he could see, except one place.
(Skip the next paragraph if certain anatomical words offend you or give you the willies)
Evidently, when I was dry heaving, a blood vessel in my vaginal cuff – where the uterus connects to the…you know – ruptured and caused the whole thing to start throwing clots & blow all the stitches. So, when I was saying "gushing" I was right. Good times. He stitched it all back up very carefully. They ended up giving me three units of blood. Which, evidently, means that I very nearly bled out. At least that's what one of the nurses told me. So much for quick and easy. I vaguely remember the recovery room again and remember my mom being there and a friend coming back to see me. I think he was a little freaked out. But, pretty much everyone was "a little freaked out." I looked fabulous, I’m sure. From what I’m told I looked slightly cadaverous.
**Also, the jackhole nurse came and apologized for his jackholery**
The doctors agreed it would be a good idea to keep me sedated for a long time to avoid the nausea and to keep my blood pressure down. I guess that every time I woke up a little, I hurt like hell and my blood pressure would spike. Also, they didn't want me dry heaving again and busting something else open.
The original plan for the boys was that SugarBug’s teacher was going to bring the boys home from school. Since the surgery was so early, I figured I’d be awake and in my room by the time they got there. And if things had gone normally, I would have. Instead, Mom kept in touch with the boys’ teachers and Mrs. Secondgrade took the boys to ToysRUs to get some Legos and bought them some pizza (she is so absolutely wonderful, I cannot even begin to describe her) and brought them up to the hospital…somewhere around suppertime maybe? I don’t know. I know that they were pretty freaked out. There I was in bed, no color at all, who knows how many tubes coming out of me and oh, so barely conscious. Bless their hearts. I remember telling them that I love them and that I was going to be okay. I remember them each giving me a kiss before my mom took them home. And then, I was out.
The next thing I remember was waking up when my friend came back. He was really nice and stayed to visit for a while. He (sarcastically) told me I looked great even though I was practically see-through. That is the first thing I remember clearly. I hurt some but not as much as earlier. My blood pressure was still wonky from all of the fluids and meds they had given me after I sprung the leak. Oddly enough, my blood pressure would go down whenever they gave me pain meds. Imagine.
After my friend left, I asked the nurses when I could get the catheter out because, golly I HATE those. They had to check with the doctor, who was thrilled that I was awake and lucid enough to ask to take it out. So they did. YAY! I went to the bathroom, I drank some water. I called the house to talk to the kids so that they could hear that I was okay. I needed to hear their voices too. The full impact of what had happened was beginning to dawn on me and OH, how it broke my heart to even consider the alternative ending. I still hate that the boys had to see me like that after I had told them the night before that everything would be just fine. Now I'm a big fat liar.
Random snippet: When I was more fully awake, I saw a small card left by one of the pastors at my church. It was funny because I remember at one point in my drug-induced haze thinking, "Wow, that doctor looks just like Danny Pastordude!" Heh.
I stayed in the hospital one extra day (yes, that’s all!) and they sent me home. My instructions were to eat, rest, and go to the ER if I started to get a fever. I got my prescription for the pain meds and my hormone patches and headed home. It felt good to be in my bed. I was happy to be with my babies. I was a little shaky, but felt like I was getting stronger & better. The kids went with their dad, who was in town for a Spring Break visit, and they had a grand time. It was good to see them happy and not hovering and worrying about me. I studied some (mid-term approaching) and tried to begin making my way back to normal. SD left, my Uncle and cousin stopped thru on their way home from a Spring Break fishing trip to check on me. Mom was in charge and taking great care of all of us. She was considering going home the next day.
And then all hell broke loose…..
(to be continued this weekend, I promise. Probably)