The short and the long of it
Thank you all so much for your messages of support! Below you will find a quick recap, and then an absurdly detailed account for the none of you who might be interested.
The short. As I said somewhat LOUDLY on Friday, the surgery went very well. Thanks to my buddy Lupron, my RE was able to remove all three fibroids without danger to fallopian tubes or uterine arteries. And because he didn’t have to leave any tumor behind, the risk of recurrence will be a bit lower. My left tube is still intact, though eggs may never be able to find their way in. And I’m at a slightly increased risk for an ectopic pregnancy because of that stretched out tube. I asked him a few more times whether he thinks these fibroids are the cause of my infertility, and again he was non-committal. As all my reading suggested, the location of my fibroids is not well-linked to IF. But he does hold out some hope that egg pickup was prevented not just on the left side (which may not be improved now) but also on the right. (There was a fibroid on the top of the uterus that might have caused trouble when the right tube drops down before releasing an egg.) Which makes sense to me–I figure if implantation were the issue, I’d have had more chemical pregnancies. So I may or may not be “fixed”. My situation is ambiguous, and only time will tell. I am charmed that some of you are already waving goodbye to me, but really and truly, I’m not just being an Eyore when I say that I may well be here long after the rest of you have moved on. On the other hand, I am overjoyed to have this surgery behind me, and cautiously optimistic that I will make progress before the fibroids return. I was in the hospital for two nights, and the whole time felt pretty good. Almost no pain or nausea! Not that scary at all!
The long. On Friday, my husband and I left for the hospital at 7:15. Interestingly, as I was waiting for my husband to finish getting ready (men take foreeeeeeeever, don’t they?) I found a mouse in the living room. It just sat there when I came in. Probably it was about to keel over from some disease, but I chose to interpret it as a good omen. I love mice. Not so much in my house, but still. We checked in at the hospital and made our way to the women’s surgery waiting room. The location was the same as when I had my lap, and having it all be familiar was soooo comforting. I put on my gown and got into my wheely bed. Mr. Bunny came and sat with me and we cracked jokes while my IV was installed and many doctors and residents and nurses and fellows came by and asked me the same things. Occasionally the reality of what was about to happen would intrude and I’d feel a bit of fear, but primarily I was excited to get the show on the road. A sedative was put into my IV (you know, to prevent me from running in terror when they took me into the OR), and I kissed Mr. Bunny goodbye. I was wheeled away. I remember the surgical lights over my head, and people bustling around me. Then……………………waking up. A cold cloth on my forehead, oxygen tube in my nose. Answering questions (how would you rate your pain? Any nausea?) and being utterly incapable of opening my eyes. I was given a hot pack for my incision. It’s amazing how good that feels. Something was put into my IV for the (very mild) nausea. My oxygen thingy was removed. I didn’t feel much pain at all. Time passed. I had a button to push to administer morphine. I pushed that bitch, just in case. I opened my eyes occasionally. Eventually I was taken to my room. I kept my eyes closed most of the time but the trip seemed long. The elevator gave me a bit of vertigo. I was brought into a dark room and had to shift from my wheeled bed into my hospital bed, which was not so bad. They settled me in with my pain button and went to search for Mr. Bunny. I was lucid enough to remember what he was wearing, and even that he has a beard and glasses! I had a catheter in, and a pair of…I don’t know, inflatable gaiters. My legs alternated inflating and deflating every minute or so, which was a bizarre feeling. (These are to prevent blood clots.) Mr. Bunny came in. I’d been in surgery for about an hour, and in recovery for about three hours! He told me that everything went really well, and that my doctor would be sending some pictures taken with a CELL PHONE! Sweeet. I love the idea of someone leaning over me snapping cell phone pix. The fibroids were the size of golf balls, having shrunk about 50%. So there were three objects twice the size of golf balls (what would that be? An egg?) in mah belleh that are now gone. PSYCHED! People looked at my incision, and I looked too. It’s not bad. It’s about four inches, low on my abdomen, so will be hidden by my underwear. I felt quite good, all things considered. I was not in any pain. I wasn’t nauseated. I had horrible cotton mouth and my throat hurt a little. I didn’t want to move at all because of the catheter, the IV, and the leg things. I spent the rest of that day dozing in and out. Pushing my button frequently, sipping water. When I’d been told about the catheter I was bummed, but now I appreciated the amazing luxury of being able to drink all I wanted and yet not needing to get up. And it wasn’t actually uncomfortable to have it in. My RE’s fellow came in and gave me the same basic report. She seemed very pleased. I slept. In the evening someone brought me some food-like substances (jello, lemon ice), but just as they arrived, I felt a bit sick. I slept. I woke up. I ate a few bites of jello. I slept. Mr. Bunny departed for the night. I was very happy that I did not have a roommate–having some stranger around had been another of my fears about this experience. All night long, every hour or so, someone would come in to check my vital signs and observe my urine output. I was a good little pisser! I pushed my magic button about once an hour, just to make sure I never gave pain a chance to catch up with me. I felt like I was sleeping in between these visits, but it was not a deep sleep. A sort of twilight state. Morning arrived. My catheter was removed! (That seemed scary but was no big deal.) I ordered some breakfast. (Coffee, yogurt, peaches.) It arrived at the same time Mr. Bunny did. I was a little cranky, partly because by now I rather needed to pee. I ate my food and then the magic Out of Bed For the First Time moment arrived. My leg gaiters were removed, which felt fantastic. A nurse helped me to the bathroom door, wheeling my IV on a tree. It took about ten minutes for my body to remember how to urinate, but AAAAHHHH, the glory of emptying my bladder! It’s the little things, you know? I dozed on and off. My IV was removed and I was switched over to pain pills. Gooodbyeeeeee morphine! It felt so absolutely wonderful to be free of all tubes and restraints. I rolled over on my side and felt like a hippo wallowing in the mud. There had been some suggestion that I might be able to go home that very day! Mr. Bunny suggested that we assume not, so as not to get our hopes up. I ate some lunch. (Soup, ginger ale.) Mr. Bunny went off to do some errands. My doctor visited and gave me the same report, but also informed me that I was staying the night. Then he delivered a little monologue on how the brain is not adapted to vegetarianism. I have no idea where this came from. I mean, it started when he asked me if I’d lost weight. No, I hadn’t. Then he said something about not losing any more (I hadn’t lost any! Shut up!) or I might not ovulate. Dude. I know that BMI is important for fertility. And I know my BMI is a little on the low side of normal, but it’s NORMAL. And I’ve weighed a lot less and still had regular periods, which suggests regular ovulation, ever since puberty. And I KNOW that vegetarianism is not the norm for humans. It didnt’ really feel like a scolding, though, just my doctor being the total weirdo that he is. When Mr. Bunny returned, we took a walk around the floor. We did several laps, and then someone mentioned that there was a library. I was like, I bet it’s full or Reader’s Digests! Sure enough! There were also some romance novels, so we played a round of Find the Sex Scene. I won, encountering throbbing manhoods mere moments after opening my bodice ripper. However, the library also contained one of our absolute favorite books, one we read aloud to each other early in our courship: C.S. Forester’s Beat to Quarters, from the Hornblower series. (An absolutely brilliant series, if you don’t know it.) So we took that back to my room, and Mr. Bunny read me a few chapters. I was happy. I felt great. Not drugged up great, just not in pain, not sick to my stomach. Doing something I love with someone I love. I ordered dinner. (Veggie burger, chocolate pudding.) And then we watched the (illegally downloaded) Projec.t Runw.ay finale on Mr. Bunny’s laptop. It was lovely. Mr Bunny departed for the night. I went to sleep. A nurse checked on me at 1 am, and again at 5. I slept quite well in between. I was now able to sleep on my side, which is my norm, and it felt splendid. I’d had Mr. Bunny bring my normal body pillow from home, which made all the difference. I woke up at 7:30, feeling great. I ordered some coffee and yogurt. My doctor checked in. I packed up my belongings. By the time Mr. Bunny arrived at 9, my paperwork had been processed. My wheelchair arrived and I was wheeled away. Fresh air! Home! Mr. Bunny tucked me into bed, and I slept. In the evening there was a tremendous thunderstorm. I lay in bed feeling so much happier than I expected to. Thus far, this surgery has been no big deal. Yes, I’m on drugs (oxy.codone), yes I can’t move around too vigorously. Yes, my belly is a bit distended and my bowels are not quite in working order yet. (They are behaving hilariously, though. The moment I’m comfortably settled in bed, they’ll be like, YES! NOW! LET’S DO IT! RIGHT AWAY! I’ll scuttle to the bathroom and fling myself upon the toilet. Then they’ll be like, Naw. Never mind. We’re good. Forget it. But I’ve…er…accomplished enough…to not have any concerns about actual problems in that region.) Yes, I’m still having hot flashes despite the estrogen patch I’ve got stuck to my ass. But I’m not hurting. I’m not sick to my stomach. I don’t feel any worse than after the lap, though obviously it will take longer for me to be back to normal. Things might get worse, I suppose, but I don’t think they will. So whether this surgery turns out to be the magic bullet for my infertility or not, at the moment I’m so glad I had it. I’m feeling elated that it’s behind me. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about my childbearing future. I’m even feelign okay about the fact that I’ve said goodbye to natural childbirth. There will be plenty of time to mourn that experience if I ever have the real prospect of a child. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on eating chocolate pudding.