Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Post Op: Laparoscopy & Hydrotubation/Hysteroscopy

Warning, this post contains talk about surgery (laparoscopy & hydrotubation/hysteroscopy) and lovely bits of info about 'women's stuff'. If you're not interested in that sort of stuff, enjoy this picture of a cute rat:

If you're still with me, read on...
So we started the day ridiculously early. The alarm went off at about 4am, which turned out to be far too early. I had to fast from midnight so I was starving and thirsty and Mr. Click avoided breakfast out of sympathy for me.

I sat and read two chapters of my book while I was waiting to be able to leave the house, which we eventually did half an hour early because we were tired of waiting for it to be time to go. It was largely a day of waiting.

The letter that I'd been sent told me to go to the admissions desk. Of course we were almost an hour early, so we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. We thought the admissions desk opened at 8am. Which came and went, and we carried on waiting, starting to worry a little bit because it had said to get checked in at 8am. There was no one around to ask, but luckily Mr. Click knew where the Day Surgery bit was, so we headed down there and got checked in.

We then went into another waiting room. This time it was a tiny one, there were three couples already in there, plus a man who was waiting for his wife who I think was getting checked in. It was so busy that Mr. Click and I ended up sitting on opposite sides of this big TV unit/games console thing for most of the wait.

Just a little note to anyone sitting in a tiny hospital waiting room, which is a little bit crowded with people waiting for surgery, please don't sit there playing with your iPhone. One of the men who was there dug out his iPhone and sat watching something on it, with the volume at full volume, when his partner left. It was awful, this horrible tinny noise, with voices and crappy music and car sounds (and at one point, according to Mr. Click, screaming). Seriously, there was a TV in the room, or failing that, it's kind of what earphones were invented for.

Anyway, a random woman came along to get me. Which would really be my one complaint about the whole day. There was a lot of taking you away without really telling you where you were going or what for and when you'd be back. Mr. Click and I spent a lot of time separate from each other and I was feeling nervous and emotional and what I really wanted was a familiar face, not to be whisked off by someone I didn't know for some unknown reason.

So the first time I was whisked off was for my registration, though I didn't know that at the time so I humped my bag and coat off with me. Taking my details, checking my next of kin, asking my religion (which seemed a bit irrelevant to the whole procedure - the only reason I could think of for asking it was so that if I started to croak in the theatre, they'd know who to call for Last Rites or something... which I'm sure wasn't why they asked). They asked for my mobile number (in case they misplaced me and needed to track me down I guess) so I dug out the phone, looked up the number, turned it off, only for her to ask for Mr. Click's mobile number, so we had to go through the whole process again. Then I was released back to Mr. Click.

We sat around and waited for a bit longer, mostly trying to listen whatever the hell it was that the guy with the iPhone was watching. Then a nurse came and got me. I wish I could remember her name, she was lovely. Well, all of the nurses were lovely and I don't remember any of their names. I'm sure they introduced themselves, but it was just such an overwhelming day and there was so much going on that I'm amazed I remember as much of it as I do.

I'd once again taken all my stuff with me and was feeling a little bit worried because I'd not been able to say goodbye to Mr. Click and I was scared I wouldn't see him again until after the op. This was the pre-op talk. The nurse basically worked through a massive pack of paper with about a hundred questions on them, it was all the stuff like do you have a breathing problem? and do you have a heart condition? and do you have any loose teeth or dentures? She was impressed that I knew exactly which day of my menstrual cycle I was on, which considering the problems we've been having and why I was there (and the fact that I was about two days late) wasn't really difficult for me to remember.

Then there was the weighing and measuring, and the blood test. She jabbed my thumb for the HemoCue check, and squeezed and squeeze and said "now, come on, don't be stingy, I only need a drop". But there was no blood coming out, so she went for my ring finger instead. After a couple of squeezes she got what she needed and I got a bit of cotton wool to stem the flow (which was just as well as my thumb was just beginning to bleed). She gave me a cup (oh yeah, needed to do a urine sample, for a pregnancy test, which let me tell you, if you've not had anything to drink since midnight the night before, this is no easy task) and left the room. I binned the cotton wool, washed the stuff off my hands and sat reading the little leaflet that she'd given me about the operation. Then my thumb decided to pour with blood.

The little leaflet would have been really welcome before I got to the hospital for the operation. I'd had to get most of my information on what to expect from the internet. As most people can tell you, Dr. Google isn't the most reliable of medical experts. It included helpful information like, it's recommended that you take a week off work following the op (I'd taken two day, the doctor told me to take one!) as well as other bits and pieces about the procedure.

Then I got to speak to the anaesthetist, Dr. P., who was lovely and ran out of questions part way through because I ticked all of the boxes. Then Dr. R. came along and ran through the op with me. As always, he asked me if I had any questions and I had none. Then about ten minutes afterwards I started wondering how long the op would last, by which time he'd rushed off to surgery.

I was then escorted through to get changed into my stylish hospital gown, got some funky slippers to wear and was given a locker for all my junk and a hat for when I went through to theatre. Thankfully the nurse then went and found Mr. Click, and we got to sit in a different (but empty) waiting room together for about ten minutes before it was my time to go away to meet a new nurse who was to take me to theatre.

We went through another rang of questions (and I had to remove my underwear and stuff it in my dressing gown pocket because I'd forgotten to take it off when I'd got changed earlier). We headed down to theatre and I had to get help putting my hair into the cap thing because I have so much damn hair that I couldn't get it all in there.

And then I was in the operating room. It was painted this weird creamy brown colour and there seemed to be LOADS of people in there. In reality it was about four, but they were all wearing gowns and masks and it took me a moment to recognise Dr. R and Dr. P., plus people kept moving around. I hopped onto the table, had my gown undone and various things stuck onto my chest and side (one of which they didn't remove and despite dressing and undressing, I didn't discover it until the early hours of this morning).

Once on the table I was attacked from both sides, with a nurse sticking the blood pressure cuff on my arm and Dr. P. started stabbing me in the wrist for a canula-thingy. He warned me about a sharp sting, which I felt, then he apologised because my vein had wiggled out the way and he had to take it out and try again. Once that was in things really started to move, he came round to my head and put an oxygen mask on me. He squeezed in a syringe of something which he said was anti-nausea, then something else which was a painkiller. Then came the real thing, the knock-out juice.

He warned me that it might sting going in and that it might make my hand tingle and feel cold. It was really sore, felt cold and actually hurt. It was just for a moment though. I looked up at him and it suddenly felt really hard to keep my eyes open. And that was it.

When I came round, I really didn't want to. I was having such a nice sleep and I was so tired that I just didn't want to get up at all. And my nose was really itchy. I had an oxygen mask on and had to keep moving it to rub my nose. Another lovely (and sadly nameless) nurse told me that it was because of the anaesthetic and after a moment took the mask off so I could deal with my itchy nose without the mask in the way.

I felt really sore and a little bit emotional. I really just wanted Mr. Click, but because there were other women in recovery they couldn't let him through. That was the other thing that bugged me about the day, I didn't like being separated from him for so long. The one thing I really wanted when I came round was him being there to hold my hand. The nurses were lovely, but they weren't my husband.

I was in a fair bit of pain, a bit like period cramps but also a stabby sort of pain right around my belly button whenever I tried to move. The bed was adjusted for me a bit and I managed to slide up a little bit to get comfortable. The nurse brought me a heat pack to put on my tummy to ease the pain - I felt a bit jealous of the woman in the bed opposite me who got a heat pack and painkillers.

I felt a bit nauseous and my mouth was really dry so I got a drink of water. And then I was made some tea and I got some buttered toast, which was quite possibly the best tea and toast I've ever had. I really just wanted to go back off to sleep, but I really wanted to be reunited with Mr. Click, so I was determined to be as 'better' as I needed to be to get out of there.

Before I could go, I got some very nice sexy hospital underwear (elasticated paper knickers, seriously hot stuff). Dr. R. stopped by to give me the results, basically, not so good. I've got endometriosis, really badly which has seriously damaged my tubes. If we're going to have a family, we'll need to have IVF treatment because it's just not going to happen naturally. I'll be getting a referral to discuss our options in the next six weeks, which feels like forever.

And then I managed to stagger down the corridor leaning on the nurse's arm. She took me back to the locker room and changing area to change into my clothes. Then I made my way back to the waiting area to wait until someone came along to tell me I could go back to be with Mr. Click.

I seemed to be waiting for AGES. I got chatting to one of the other women, who'd been in before me and basically had the same result. When the nurse came through to get her, I figured I'd be on my way through to Mr. Click soon. I dug out my phone to text a couple of friends, and waited and waited and waited. There was another woman who came through to wait but she wasn't as chatty as the earlier woman so I just sat there pretty much by myself, feeling sore and uncomfortable and lonely.

Again, that was easily the worst part of the day. Because I was feeling all sore and still a bit whoozy (the walk from recovery to get changed caused my blood pressure to drop) and then I had to go through all the discharge stuff. I really can't remember a huge amount of what she said, luckily the pills are labelled with when I can take them and how many I can take, but I was also give some info about changing my dressings which I've totally forgotten. If Mr. Click had been allowed through with me, I might have had a better chance of remembering things. It would have been a lot easier hearing the results of the op if he had been there as well, because I felt pretty crushed and it was really hard to tell him sitting in the car by myself in the car park.

And because my blood pressure had dropped after I'd been through all the stuff with nurse, I had to haul myself (and stuff) back to the little waiting room to sit and have a drink and go to the toilet (because I hadn't been yet, partly because no one had told me I had to). I chugged that glass of water down really quickly and pretty much dashed (as quickly as I could) to the toilet because I just wanted out of there.

I practically ran out of the hospital... well, a speedy shuffle, leaning heavily on Mr. Click. Had a little bit of a cry in the car and swiftly decided that this was not a good idea because it REALLY HURT. But I wasn't ready to go home, so we headed to a local garden centre and I really impressed myself by managing to walk a fair way around the place. We had some lunch, then headed home, where I collapsed on the sofa and basically didn't move until bedtime.

Sleeping has been tricky. I couldn't get comfortable in bed and then when I finally did get off to sleep, I ended up waking up for several hours in pain and unable to get to sleep again.

I am moving a bit better today, I seem to be able to handle having my legs straight or my back/tummy straight, but I can't handle the stretching which comes with having both straight at the same time. That said, I have mastered the art of getting up and down off the sofa/bed now. Just need to be able to do up my trousers without being in pain and then I'll feel a bit more human.

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