A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Removing the Uterine Lining With Thermal Energy - or a Surgery Recap

You may recall that I tried to have an in office procedure, called an endometrial ablation, a few weeks ago.
It didn't work out because, that procedure involved them opening my cervix, inserting a balloon and then filling that balloon with hot scalding water. The transfer of heat through the balloon through to my uterus would've burned the lining and caused it, after it heals, to no longer produce my monthly cycle.
It didn't work out because unlike most of you, my uterus is heart shaped (yours is likely egg shaped) plus mine has a septum, so that meant the balloon wouldn't stretch all the way out and be able to touch all the surfaces.
Thus, my periods wouldn't stop.
What we ended up having to do, was do it at the hospital, with me asleep, as my doctor said first of all they would be opening way more than he could make me comfortable in the office (eeeek) and they would be using a spray of scalding water directly into my uterus to make sure they get maximum efficiency and coverage.
So yesterday my family dropped me off at Day Surgery at Gwinnett Medical center and I went in for the procedure which was supposed to take about 3 hours.
I arrived at 11am.
So first of all you go to pre-op and you get the lovely slippers (I am a huge fan of these slippers, they give me a pair every time I am there.) and a hospital gown. In day surgery it's kind of interesting because they have a recliner, and you get all wrapped up in blankets from the warmer and they start your IVs and lots of people come in to check on you and ask you all the same questions over and over and over. But I have to say again, that the staff at Gwinnett Medical is so freakishly nice. It's kind of comforting, I guess that's the point though.

I was however, at about the time for my surgery, ravenous. I couldn't eat before it of course and by the time 12:30 came I was starving. However it was show time and they waddled me down the hall, swathed in warm blankets and comfy sock and we went into the operating room.

First of all, what the hell these were the biggest stirrups I ever saw in my life. The ones in my room were actually bigger than this. Luckily I was asleep when they strapped me into them.
The table was about like that though, and as I rested my head on the neck brace there, the whole team says "OH NO SHE'S TALL!" as my butt was down too far or something. OH NO! TALL GIRL! That amused me a little. I was laying down, and the anesthesiologist shot something into my IV but the nurse said "No wait she has to stand up" and he said "too late". Lol. At this point I'm a little confused. I think the anesthesiologist did stand me up or hold me up but I might've dreamed that bit.

Because next I was awake in recovery, with the nurse who had checked me in and hooked me up. I think. I'm not entirely clear. What I do know is, I woke up to what I will describe as hard labor going on in my uterus, and no baby to motivate me to push.

Hard labor, with no pain medicine. They gave me morphine. I didn't even feel anything. Nothing. No change. They gave me more. Nothing. About 20 minutes into this routine I was sobbing and they've got a cool cloth on my forehead and two nurses cooing over me to relax and breathe which was pissing me off.

Then one of them says "we can't give you more morphine because of your sleep apnea".


I asked WHAT THE HELL were they talking about, that I don't have sleep apnea. In between my sobbing and their cooing we figured out that me answering "yes" to the question "Do you snore?" in pre-op got my chart flagged as sleep apnea.

They gave me more morphine, and more morphine. I am shocked to tell you that I had absolutely zero response. At one point I asked them to be sure it wasn't tylenol. They laughed and said they don't give Tylenol in IV post surgery.

Finally they realized I was about to lose my fucking mind and my blood pressure was going up from stress so they called a doctor and explained that I do not have sleep apnea, and my nurse came back with something that burned as it went into my hand, but nearly as fast as the burning faded I felt my entire body fade and relax.

I was suddenly so out of it, I could barely answer her to tell her I felt better. I could hear her telling someone I had to stay in a bed, and to let me sleep at least another 30 minutes, and explaining to someone that I don't have sleep apnea - another nurse, and saying which doctor had changed my pain management.

I woke up in my little recovery room with a different nurse, who brought me a percocet to stay ahead of the pain and some ginger ale.

I kept the percocet down somehow, it apparently dissolved immediately, but then the barfing started. The nurse said it was likely from all the morphine they gave me, plus the twilight sleep. I threw up about 10 graham crackers that I tried to eat on and off, and 3 cups of ginger ale.

At about 4pm, bleary and in various levels of pain, they told me they really couldn't give me any more narcotic or IV drugs, and so if I wasn't gonna STAY I was gonna have to go home. My family was summoned and right about the time they arrived I started puking again.

I took more drugs and more drugs and puked some more and went to bed for the sleep of the drugged and miserable.

But it wasn't all bad. My watcher and #1 fan settled in beside me for the long haul, prepared to stay with me all night.

I was only able to eat jello last night, but today I had a bowl of grits - and some coffee. I've only had ibuprofen and that is keeping the pain at bay enough that I can THINK. Now I'm just kind of tired from yesterday but, I feel so much better.

This had better have worked, is all I am saying. Because it was hell.