I’m Home and doing well.
Thank you, again, for all the well wishes and support. Husband and I are eternally grateful for all of your kindness.
So how it went…
Very well actually. We left home and arrived early at the hospital and I wanted to walk around a bit before checking in to get my emotions under control. As soon as I saw that Day of Surgery waiting room I almost lost it. After collecting myself and looking at some beautiful Turkish weavings on display we went and checked in about half an hour early. They called my name soon afterward and we were taken to the pre-op room so I could change and they could perform any test I needed. Then we sat there and waited. My surgery was put on hold for about half an hour as they waited to make sure I would have a bed to go to afterward. At 12:30 they came and got me and sent husband back to the waiting room.
I was scared. I couldn’t see and was essentially naked and being led off by strangers to have my uterus removed. They gave me something to relax me of which I was grateful and wheeled me into the operating room. I transferred to the table suddenly had more people touching me at one time than I have ever had in my life. They were all very nice and my time in the room conscious was very brief. The last thing I remember is them putting a mask on my face and struggling to breathe deep.
About two hours later I was dreaming, not sure exactly of what but I do know I was dreaming, when someone called my name. I woke up in the operating room after surgery as they were waiting for a spot for me in recovery. It was a busy day at the University Hospital. They asked me how I felt, fine except for it felt like I needed to pee. They wheeled me into recovery and I continued to do well. They brought me some water and I dozed off and on for a bit. Husband thinks it must have been an hour, but it felt like shorter, they took me to the room and brought him to me. They showed me how everything worked and told me to order dinner. This must have been around 6 p.m.
I managed to eat well, I had mac and cheese and PB & J, pudding and gram crackers. Okay, the mac and cheese was wonderful but the PB & J was a mistake. When you have no spit and a throat upset about having a tube down it sticky peanut butter is not a wise decision, nor is dry crackers. But I managed. Kept everything down and didn’t feel nauseous at all.
Husband had decided to go home for the night since we only live an hour away and the roads were fine. He left around 8 and I tried to get some sleep. My poor roommate was in quite a bit of pain and did not have an easy night. I felt bad for her and a little guilty that I was experiencing such little pain. The only problem I had been that my catheter would not drain properly. I asked a couple of times if feeling pressure on your bladder was normal and they seemed to think that was possible. They had emptied my catheter bag so they thought it was just normal surgery related pain I was feeling.
Around 10 or 11 I knew something was wrong and decided to call for a nurse. My pain level had been at a 1-2 all night and it was slowly growing to 4 then 5 and 6 with spikes higher by the time the nurse got to me. I told her I didn’t know what was wrong but there was some significant pain where my bladder was and it was increasing. I said it feels like I need to pee quite badly. She checked my bag and asked the assistant if she had just emptied it, she hadn’t. They finally figured out it was not draining properly. When she picked up the tube it would drain but if she put the tube down it would stop. She told me she had never seen anything like it. They decided to check on me more frequently to make sure it was draining properly, especially if I got uncomfortable. I decided that if I got uncomfortable I would lift my own damn tube and make sure it was draining properly.
Soon after they asked if I wanted to sit up and dangle. I did and amazed the assistant at my ability to pop right up on my own. She also had me stand so she could straighten my bedding. I did as well sitting down as I did getting up.
In the morning I went for a little walk and soon they took my catheter out. I ordered breakfast and soon they were hinting that it was time for me to go. All I needed to do was prove that I could pee, so not a problem, and have a responsible person to drive me home. Called the hubby who had not left home yet and waited for him to arrive. He made it to the hospital around 10 but didn’t find my room until about 10:30… I paged the nurse and we ended up waiting another hour for release. That was fine I could see that the place was very busy and figured they would need the bed eventually. She checked my incisions one more time and went over the discharge instructions with me. After a quick cloth bath and dressed I was good to go. They had someone to wheel me out to the car with Sel and after a quick stop at the discharge pharmacy, we were headed home.
I did manage to sleep in the car, the trip was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. Once home husband helped to settle me and left to pick up the rest of the pills I would need. I managed to do the stairs in our house just fine (there are 19 from the outside to the second floor) and have had no issues getting up or down. I have figured out my pain medicine schedule and set up a chart with the times and what I am supposed to take. I plan to stay on schedule for a week at least so I stay ahead of the pain. I do not want to have to resort to taking the narcotic that they sent home with me if I can help it. They don’t want me to have to take it either if the instructions on the bottle are any indication.
I did get a little tired last night and went to bed at 8 pm, but probably should have around 7:30. I woke up with the alarm every two hours and took my pills and managed to sleep quite well. I was a bit stiff this morning, almost like I had done too many chores the day before, but otherwise, the pain has been pretty much absent. I feel really quite good considering I had major surgery on Tuesday. I am very fortunate.
The main thing I am concerned about now is having a bowel movement. I am passing gas so I know everything is working I just haven’t gone yet. Peeing is no problem. I have decided to take everyone’s advice and am taking the stool softener and laxative they prescribed. I’m hoping my system gets in gear soon as I don’t want to have to call them about this. I have even made sure to eat some fruit and drink plenty of water and tea, which always helps.
As to menopause. I am doing well with that too. I think I had one hot flash and one cold flash. I haven’t felt weepy if anything I think my emotions have stabilized and I feel pretty calm. I am not too tired, in fact, I haven’t even taken a nap today.
Emotionally I feel fine about the surgery now. I also believe if the need ever arises for me to need surgery again I will be able to handle it much more rationally. Surgery will not be a complete unknown and I will have more courage. I have read the report about my surgery and apparently, I handled it well. Feels like I earned a little gold star.
One of the doctors came and spoke to me yesterday about the surgery and cancer. They said that the cancer had not invaded the muscle of the uterus, we caught it very early. Of course, pathology could still change this but they felt confident in letting me go home and just recover. They set my follow-up appointment for five weeks after the surgery! Five weeks and I feel good right now. I am going to go stir crazy sitting at home that long. If I saw them sooner I might be able to talk them into letting me return to work sooner… I can drive, however, as long as I am not in pain and not on narcotics I can drive a car. I’m going to give it a few weeks but by the time of my followup I can probably drive myself and husband won’t have to worry about taking time off work.
So thank you all for the warm wishes, positive energy, prayers, and good thoughts. They have helped. I am doing remarkably well and have been quite fortunate. I hope that things continue to improve and life can return to normal soon. I will be good while recovering. Husband is telling me when he thinks I am pushing it. I’m not supposed to go out and lock up the birds or go grocery shopping with him this weekend for example. He is making sure I behave.
I will continue to post updates as this journey isn’t over. I still have five years of follow-ups to deal with and I’m sure my emotions will catch up with me. As to losing my uterus, however, I’m good. I had no sentimental attachment to it and am not sorry to see it go. Like I said in an earlier post if they could have beamed it out of me I would have lost it years ago. I’m looking forward to never having a period again or the emotional roller-coaster I would have each month either.
Thanks for listening.