Artistic To The Core: Day Three After The Keyhole Surgery

Upper Surgery Bandage

As some of you may know on Monday I under went keyhole surgery to finally determine if I had Endometriosis like my mother and cousin before me. I had a lot of symptom overlap with my Mom so all the doctors felt that I was very likely to have it given my symptoms and my reactions to the medication thus far.

We got up at 5am to get the first bus out of our village but due to the bus getting caught by every traffic light along the way we missed our train and ended up arriving at the Hospital 20 minutes late at 7:50am.

I was quickly taken into the ward to put on hospital gowns (thankfully not the kind that shows your bottom) and the one size fits all stockings that did not come close to fitting me. Once I had spoken with the Surgeon and the Anaesthetist I was wheeled into the operating theatre, where they had me laid out on a table that had movable parts for my arms and legs to go in. We talked about supporting the Danes in the Olympics as they were setting up and once they were ready and the Surgeon put the oxygen mask over me, she gently stroked my cheek as I closed my eyes and eventually went under.

When I came round I was on the ward again. The nurse who seemed to be assigned to me was really diligent and kind. She could tell I was waking up and that I was cold before I had a chance to ask her about it. She brought out this wonderful device that I have never seen before, it was like a hover in reverse: it was attached to a kind of air pillow the length of my bed with perforated holes for the hot air to come through. The nurse tucked this under my blanket and was warm in no time. She also told me later that nearly everyone wants to take it home afterwards and I was no exception.

I looked under my blanket once she was gone and saw that I had two bandages, one over my bellybutton and one lower near the public bone. I was also covered in a yellow tinged disinfectant (which latter at home took ages to wipe off once I realised it was staining my PJs!)

When the surgeon came to discuss what they found she described my ligaments and organs like an art admirer, as she moved around my body in her mind as she described the process. I wont forget her face, nor how she seemed to conduct in mid air as she described my innards. It was clear that this was someone who found deep beauty the workings of the human body and someone who loved her job.

However she also revealed, to my surprise, that I did not have Endometriosis. I was both relieved and disappointed at the same time, as I realised I had been clinging to the hope that after the surgery I could be feeling significantly better.

They did find that there was a Fibroid in my uterus, which is basically a benign tumour. It wasn’t removed because it was not at a stage where it needed to be, but it may have to be taken out in the future if it grows. I asked the surgeon if this might be behind the pain I get but she didn’t think so because of the size.

I got upset because I had been hoping for answers for why the pain, fatigue and mobility issues had been getting worse to the point where I lost my job because the travelling was killing me. The past 8 months I thought I finally had my answer to this, but after the results of the Laparoscopy I felt like I was back to square one again. It brought up many old wounds when my Fibromyalgia was still undiagnosed and my symptoms were dismissed by tests drawing a blank. I felt like I had wasted all their time. Being tried and worn out I burst into tears. The nurse once again responded in lightening speed and gave me some tissues to dry my eyes with and squeezed my shoulder as I uttered the words “I guess I was hoping things would get better now” – which not so long ago would have been an alien thing or me to say, as I had spent so much time under the whip of low self esteem that I often felt I deserved to be unwell.

My mother had also had Fibroids really bad when I had been young and had to have them scraped out, but I was of an age where I didn’t understand it, I certainly didn’t know it was a tumour until the surgeon told me. Having read up a little bit about it, now that I am back at home I have found that it is also possible for it to grow in the pelvis. I’ve had this lump in the crease between the top of my right thigh and the pelvic area for as long as I can remember.

When it gets triggered (either when I’m on my period or by travelling too much) it can send nerve flares all down my legs and my hips. So when I go back to the doctor about the Fibroids I’m going to get it checked out as well, because it does happen to be in the area I get the most pain in. I didn’t think to mention it before because I just thought it was a trapped nerve since it could cause pain even when I’m not bleeding. It maybe nothing but as I’ve realised since going through this process I would rather know the truth, even if it’s not what I expected, than believe something because it had not being fully investigated.

If I had not undergone this surgery I would have laboured under an incorrect diagnosis (once again) that everyone up until this point had thought was correct. Not to mention that we would not have diagnosed the Fibroids and I would not know what signs to look for if it got worse in the future (Fibroids are apparently often discovered by accident when undergoing a procedure for something else).

So as always there was a point to going through this, that silver lining in everything, even if I couldn’t see it straight away. I had written a very different (unpublished) post the day of the surgery as I found there was a great need for the emotional relief and shock to work it’s way out of my system so I could see the whole picture. In fact since I have determined to talk to my doctor about the lump as well as the Fibroid they found, I somehow feel lighter as I know what to do next if nothing else, regardless of what the outcome might be.

If it turns out that the lump is fine then it’s likely my problems have been down to the Fibromyalgia getting worse, but if this is the case then I feel I am better able to deal with that now. I think because there is no illusion of a quick fix, like surgery, to deal with Fibromyalgia I didn’t want to face the the fact that nothing more could be done. This whole process however gave me a chance to deal with it, in case it turns out to be the truth.

In the meantime however I’m just going to rest up. I’ve had strong painkillers for the last 3 days, as getting up and down from a chair or bed, or any motion that pulls on the stomach muscles is pretty darn painful. Today I can feel that even with gravity pulling on my belly button, where they made the upper incision, I can stretch and bend better now.

As always healing just takes a bit of time, but I feel at least I have gotten over the emotional side of it now. I trust that my body will do the rest.

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  1. Reblogged this on Niamh News.


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