Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

laparotomy surgery part I

Let’s talk surgery.

To sum up how I feel: Ow.

Okay, so I get there and do the whole pre-op which you know involves them putting in the IV (this would be literally a recurring pain as I am “a hard stick") and then putting on white nylons which are apparently for increasing circulation and which kept rolling down and cutting off the circulation in my legs. Would it reveal how cranky I was through this whole process if I told you that I was immediately annoyed at the nurse whose SOLE task it was to put on said nylons when she couldn’t figure out the belting process that would secure said nylons and keep them from rolling? She needs to rethink her life.

So anyway, get in to where the doctor talks to me before the procedure and he says that he believed at my final check-up (like small children believe in santa) that my cysts have ruptured and probably dissolved and he can go through my belly and remove some tissue and voila, done. i’m sitting there wondering what the hell I’ve been feeling protruding from my stomach the last 4 months and which have not changed in my mind, if this is the case. maybe i should have been less comic about my condition, maybe i should have made the sort of bloating sometimes painful pressure i felt for 4 months more evident, like saying after all interactions "i may have looked fine while we were just talking but i coudl feel my cysts pressing on my bowels and bladder". Anyway, this "belief" explains why he says he will be trying laparoscopy before laparotomy. Fine. Yeah well I wake up and it’s like “Julie, I did a pre-op check and felt that there was something large there and couldn’t go in laproscopally…and thank goodness I didn’t because those were two of the largest cysts I’ve ever seen.” which you know, is what the MRI, CAT scan and 4 ultrasounds had all said before, but who am i and who is multimillion dollar technology for that matter? I love my doctor but where he came up with that is a total mystery. maybe it was in a dream. They saved most of my ovaries, which I am sort of happy about especially since right before going in for surgery I saw some baby coming out of a c-section and it was all adorable.

Okay, so then comes post surgery. I mostly ache. I have to cough sometimes and it feels like shards of glass running through my stomach. I am completely hopped up on anaesthesia and pain meds, cant stay awake for a whole sentence. Laughing makes me almost cry, it’s like a bad lyric.

Then begins the tale of the incompetent nurses. I was put into the pediatric ward (the only patient at the time) which is the overflow for OB/GYN. They get slough off nurses from other wards to watch me. Nurses who don’t know what a laparotomy feels like. Nurses who ask me why I am wincing when they make me stand up. I don’t know, maybe because every one of my abdominal muscles has been cut and sewn back together and is being strained by this action, asshole? Nurses from physical therapy who “believe you will be off your IV by the time I end my shift” (the fact that I cant stay awake long enough to drink enough to offset the IV or that I haven’t passed gas (the main event of recovery really) seeming to be nothing to her in 8 hours) i appreciate that much confidence in ones own self efficacy, really.
things that do not imbue confidence in the patient: when the nurse you have had for the last 8 hours and the incoming nurse you will have for the next 8 hours poke and prod the machine next to you turning it on and off and asking how to find the patient history and how to make it stop beeping...like...that. and that machine holds your IV fluid and pain medication and indicates errors that occur in dispersing those items.

Argh, I’m falling asleep as I write this, so I cant even finish. Anyway. I’m in pain, every time I move my body,pain. And guess what? My body has started menstruating! Yes! I thought it was surgery blood. Oh no. the surgery made my body think it needed to menstruate. My body needs to stop thinking, I say. My body decided to make mini-mes. It is officially not responsible with its abilities.

when i wake up i will write more about the perils of sugery (no solid food until you pass gas!) and very good things like all the wonderful friends and family who came to visit and sent flowers and all that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a google search and came across your blog about laparotomy. I'm 3 weeks post surgery and had the same experience. You were spot on, minimal info. provided, lots of post surgical surprises and every day brings a new recovery challenge. They woke me up at 2am the day after my surgery to go for a walk! Best of luck, take it one day at a time and know you're not the only one going through this : )

7:24 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Jules, I am giving you the biggest virtual hug right now. I love you, dear friend. Praying!

2:57 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

aww, jules ... another huge virtual hug for you. i love your writing, as always, but gosh what you're going through sucks.

3:58 PM  

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