Friday, November 11, 2011

Surgery Done!

5th abdominal surgery in 10 years is done!  I am now a uterus-free woman.  :)  Forgive me if this is TMI or rambling - I'm still under the influence of prescription pain meds.

Prep sucked, which is what I expected.  I've now done 4 different types of bowel prep, and I don't think any of them are fun.  The pills are definitely, in my opinion, the least suck-y prep.  The Half-Lytely is definitely in the running for the worst tasting.  I don't like knowing these things.  Just saying.

So, Tuesday morning, after dropping the kids at school, I headed into Phoenix to pick Levi up from the airport.  We went home, dropped his stuff off at the house, and drove into the hospital with Mom in tow.  I sat in the waiting room for about 10 minutes, then I was called into pre-op.  As usual, when the nurses found out I was diagnosed with colon cancer at 31 years old, they started asking the questions that I usually hear.  What were your symptoms?  Do you have a family history?  How did you know?  How were you treated?  I answered them (several times, as I was there during shift change) and hopefully taught them something.

We got the IV put in after the second attempt (both were in my forearm - ouch - and the first hit a valve, leaving a nice bruise), and Levi, Mom and I sat in the pre-op room until about 3:30, when I was wheeled back into surgery.  The OR was pretty large (and cold), and I was only awake long enough to see the HUGE television that's used during the Da Vinci procedure, as well as the robot they use.  Pretty cool, all in all.

I remember joking with the nurses about what movie they were going to watch on the television, and then waking up in recovery.  I remember being sore and tired.  My throat hurt from the breathing tube, and my belly hurt.  The good news was that they were able to do the entire procedure via the Da Vinci, meaning I only have 4 small incisions (about 1 inch each), rather than a larger single incision.  That should cut down on my recovery time.

Tuesday night was a mess of pain meds and sleeping.  I didn't sleep much that night, since we were trying to control the pain.  Thank goodness for IV pain meds, since the oral meds didn't touch the pain!  Wednesday was spent trying to get up, walking around, moving the air in my belly around, and trying to expel that air.  :)  That didn't happen until last night, by the way.  *sigh*  Ouch is all I can say.

Wednesday wasn't too bad, but we didn't see the doctor until  about 8:30pm.  I stayed that night as well, as we finally got the pain under control with Motrin and Vicodin.  I was released yesterday at around 11am, and spent the day in the recliner in the living room.  Levi got my pain meds and helped me a ton, and I got to see the kids and have dinner with the family.

Last night wasn't too bad.  Like I said, my biggest issue was the gas in my belly.  The  pockets of air in there were from the air they inserted to allow them to see what was going on, so it took some time to get that reabsorbed and released.  That's finally happening, and I can't tell you how happy I am about that.

So, what was causing the pain?  My doctor said that when I had the colon resection, my uterus (which tipped forward naturally) sat against the scar of the resection and thus sealed itself to the inside of my abdomen.  He said he had never seen anything like it - it was completely sealed to my insides.  This is part of what was causing me such pain when I stood up - my uterus was pulling against my entire abdomen.  In addition to that, my right ovary (which they removed) was completely encased in scar tissue.  Removal was the only solution to that.  In addition to that, my left ovary had some scar tissue on it, and had started to fuse itself to my bladder.  Luckily, we caught that in time, and the dr was able to detach the ovary from the bladder without causing damage to either one.  He can't guarantee that I won't have issues in the future, but he did what he could.

At this point, I'm very much looking forward to getting my shower and taking a nap.  I'm feeling ok - the pain in under control, so that's helpful.  Right now, I'm dealing with the disconnect between my head (which tells me I should be able to do more than I can) and my body (which is telling me to take it easy).  I'm doing my best to not overdo it, and I can definitely see that this is going to be my biggest challenge over the next couple of weeks.  I don't like depending on others, so I don't make a very good patient.  But, I'm definitely trying.

Off I go to take my first shower in 4 days (gross) and probably take a nap.  Levi and I may take a short drive later today, for a change of view for me.  The kids are off at the sitters, celebrating Veteran's Day and honoring all of those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.

I'll update more as I can.  Meantime, I'm off to get clean.  Finally.  :)


Whidbey Woman said...

Thanks so much, Michelle, for posting an update. I was wondering how you were going. Isn't technology amazing? I bet years ago, your recovery time would have been much, much longer. Hang in there, girlfriend!

Patricia Parker said...

Hi, Hope you get well soon. Nice to know that the surgery is a success. Keep posting. Do stay in touch.
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