I've always joked that "I TOLD you I didn't feel well!" is what I'd like the epitaph on my gravestone to read. And, in the case of my hysterectomy last Friday, the phrase does double duty to pretty well sum up everything that was going on inside my body!
So, yes, I had my surgery on Friday morning, and everything went well although it did last a little longer than expected: about 3 hours. Wonderful friends of ours came to sit with Tom during the wait (they having been through a hysterectomy for her just a few weeks ago themselves).
I'll save the really gory details for a private e-mail to those I think might want to know, but the big key words were "baseball-sized uterine fibroma" and "rotting". Yes, you read that latter word correctly (unfortunately). Despite the fact that my uterus had been healthy a couple of years ago at the end of all our infertility struggles - making me a good candidate for egg donation (would have been able to carry a pregnancy) - such was no longer the case. The decaying fibroid had begun infecting the uterus, and there was also a disease (related to the endometriosis) within my uterine wall (vs. outside of it which is where endometriosis grows). So, in short (ha!) and in addition to the removal of the endo, previous scar tissue, necrotic tumor and related tissue, I had a "total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy" (TAH-BSO). Say THAT five times fast!
And, to top it off, my bladder was misplaced and folded backwards(due to the endometriosis and related scar tissue), so that found its new, proper home . . . but that's also resulted in learning to use the muscles differently since they are now lying at completely new angles in a completely new spot!
There was one big, completely unexpected discovery regarding the placement of my colon and its being "tethered" to another (critical) part of my innards which it has NO business being tethered to! Had it been expected, the surgeon said that he would have performed surgery to separate them while he was "in there", but because it was a complete surprise AND it might have resulted in the need for a temporary colostomy bag, he decided to do nothing. And, at this point, we don't know if my body's always been like that and has adapted or if it's all due to the endometriosis and infection(s). So, time will tell on that one. But, forewarned is forearmed . . . or something like that, right?
On the up side of it all, we continue to be amazed by the skill and level of care given by the doctors and surgeons we've encountered along the way. My surgery was done almost completely laparoscopically - greatly minimizing the infection risks AND recovery time. I only have three small incision sites (externally): one through my belly button and two others low on my abdomen. The fibroid, diseased organs, and other "waste" were taken out of the 4th (largest and most - ah-hem - private) surgical site. You get three guesses to figure that one out.
And, yes, the rumors were true: we got discharged on Saturday - a little over 24 hours after surgery. Amazing! By no means did they rush us out, though: it was totally our decision. But, there wasn't anything more they could do for me in the hospital, so it was either recuperate in a sterile setting like that or at home with all of your own comforts surrounding you . . . and the decision was pretty easily made. (Although Tom wasn't too thrilled about how my body would handle that 6-hour drive home.)
The catch phrase in the hospital and the one they discharge you with is "stay ahead of the pain". That means re-dosing with some pretty heavy duty narcotics, etc. every four hours. When you DO get "behind" the pain, it's pretty nasty (like, if you've been able to sleep for more than 4 hours straight at night). The right side of my tummy (where most of the "stuff" was located) is still very swollen. I wear a corset-type elastic band about 9" wide - complete with stiff, plastic stays - and that helps keeps things "together" the few times I'm up and hobbling around.
Tom went back to work today, and my mom's heading out (here for the day) as I write. My instructions are to not drive for 2 weeks or do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks. Ha! We'll see about (the practicality of) that!
So, that's what's happening. It's taken me a couple of hours to write this - brief visits to the computer intersperced by naps and/or laying down. And, thank goodness for Spell Check. My narcotic-filled brain ain't exactly thinking clearly yet!