It’s more a week since my laparoscopic surgery and man, I am still not 100% yet. I honestly didn’t think that the recovery time would take so long and I’m so glad that I have a long break from work.
Following the trend of my journaling of the surgeries that I have been through (this one comes to mind immediately, as well as the traumatic LASIK one), I’m going to go to gory details and tell all about this.
Also, this would act as future emotional blackmail for our future kids. You know, all that look what I did for you spiel our parents enjoy dishing out on us. I used to hate it when my mom tells me I am an ungrateful little thing but hey, I am beginning to see its usefulness. Whadya know.
After several failed IUIs, my doctor was worried about the health of my womanly plumbing and there was a likelihood that my fallopian tubes were blocked. Plus, given my history of having excruciating menstrual cramps, he had an inkling that I might have endometriosis. The surgery was a chance for him to have a look at my insides and fix any problem.
At the same time, he had diagnosed that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) based on my crazy high Anti-Mullerian hormone levels from a blood test. During the surgery, he could perform ovarian drilling to kick my lazy ovaries into action.
This confused me a little. Typically, women suffering from PCOS tend to not have regular cycles and do not ovulate, have weight gain, acne, facial hair, cysts and thinning hair. All of which, with the exception of acne (sigh), I do not have. But as he explained to me, the condition is a hormonal inbalance and it turns out that my only physical manifestation is the tragically oily skin that I have.
The surgery was scheduled for 8am and I was told to admit myself to Thomson Medical Centre at 6am. To make this even more challenging, I was to stop all food and water from 1am onwards. Eeps.
After being shown to the day surgery recovery room, it was time to put on the sexy hospital getup. First was the hideous green gown that could only be fastened with strings. That meant that I would be displaying my behind to the whole world when I walked. Then came on the scratchy white socks that I thought I had left behind in primary school.
The staff nurse took my blood pressure and weight, and then proceeded to SHAVE my stomach. ERM?! Yes, it’s as WEIRD as it sounds. I thought I was going to wriggle myself off the bed when she cleaned out my belly button, it was the strangest sensation ever.
Finally, it was time to don my paper hairnet and be wheeled into the operating theatre. I asked the jovial nurse who was pushing me why I couldn’t just walk to the OR myself. Her reply? If the cameras catch you walking to the OR, I won’t have a job tomorrow! Then, she told me that she had been working from 1pm the previous day and would be going home after sending me to the OR. That makes it an 18-hour shift. RESPECT.
Anyway, turns out that I wasn’t quite going into the OR, I was outside of it because it wasn’t time yet. Lying on the bed with nothing to do was absolutely boring. Plus, it was beyond cold and I was literally freezing my arse off. (Recall how my behind was not covered up by anything but strings.)
Into the OR
After what felt like forever, the GA doctor (I can’t spell his title properly) arrived and said hello, by the way, your doctor is right behind me. Right on cue, my doc waved and said hello. Very friendly start. But by then, I was so out of my mind staring at the ceiling that I started to babble non-stop as they wheeled me in.
Hello! Cute outfit! (the doctors laughed) This is nothing like Grey’s Anatomy! (it was nothing like Grey’s Anatomy) It’s very cold! (it was) Yes, I would like an MC!
The anaesthesiologist (ah hah! Got it!) then prepared to stick the IV needle into my vein – a tight tourniquet on and some exercise for my arm – and I started my incessant babbling again. But to his credit, he went along with me.
Me: My doctor said you are going to give me vodka in the drip.
Him: (looking bemused) Oh. I give you champagne, how about that?
Me: Yes, I prefer champagne. Is it going to hurt?
Him: It’s as painful as an ant bite. Are ant bites painful?
Me: Well, that’s what they all say. I also heard horror stories about people waking up in the middle of the surgery.
Him: That is not going to happen.
Me: You promise.
Him: (grimacing) Why are you worrying about things you cannot control?
Me: I can’t?
Him: If you take the plane, are you always going to worry about the plane crashing? You can’t what. So just relax.
Me: Are you putting me under already?
Him: Not yet (though I bet he wished he was)
And he was right, it wasn’t painful when he poked the needle through the vein. Rockstar! But when the medication flowed through my skin, it HURT like a bitch. Good thing I was out less than three seconds later, my whimpers muffled by the oxygen mask.
It was all fuzzy and then there was a chorus of voices calling out to me. The surgery is over, wake up, they sang. Well, I tried opening my eyes but I couldn’t. The voices continued calling my name and I ended up shaking my head at them, eyes firmly shut. I think they laughed at me.
I drifted in and out of consciousness as I was wheeled back to the recovery room. It was 915am. I remember seeing husband and saying hi to him. Then I had to switch beds. Someone took off that dreadful hairnet, plied me with blankets and adjusted the angle of my bed. Once in a while, my blood pressure would be taken. I snoozed on and off, without any idea of the time, while poor tubby hubby was squashed in a tiny folding chair next to me. ♥
Finally, my doctor appeared and I woke up with the cobwebs-in-brains feeling. I tried to sit up but immediately fell back in pain. According to the good doctor, I apparently had very mild endometriosis, which he lasered away (eek). The ovarian drilling was done and other than that, I was in perfect health.
After another bout of on-off snoozing, I finally had some Milo and sandwiches. That gave me some energy to change into my own clothes gingerly and be discharged. Unfortunately, as I was going to pay for the whopping $6K bill, I started feeling nauseous and made my way to the toilet. My world started turning darker and darker, literally, and I realised I was going to BLACK OUT. Thankfully, there was a couch nearby and I sank into it gratefully till the world was right again.
I have two bandages: one on my belly button and the other above my left pelvic bone. The incisions kept me sore for a couple of days but thankfully, the pain was minimal. I ended up sleeping away the day, and the next. Till today, I still feel tired, thanks to the presence of the GA still in my system (says the doc).
For the past week, I have been absolutely useless. I moved around like a little old lady and spent 90 percent of the time lying around or sleeping. My appetite was shot, partly thanks to a very banged up throat from the tracheal intubation during the surgery. I slept poorly at night and couldn’t flip to my side without some pain.
But it’s all good. Before the surgery, my doctor was concerned about how worried I was. I’m not worried about the surgery, I replied, but more about what you will find during the surgery. Now that it’s all clear, I feel much more relieved.
And then onward to the next step.