Valley of the (Trama)dols – My Op report

It’s time for another post-op update; this time following my laparoscopy last Thursday (25/2/16). You can read my previous posts here and here on the reasons why the operation was performed but a long story short; ultrasound picked up a cyst on my right ovary. The radiographer wasn’t able to comfortably say this was benign, so I then had an MRI to further investigate. The MRI found multiple small cysts in both ovaries. Due to my symptoms (bloating, pain, tugging in legs) my doctor stated that a laparoscopy to look in and to remove whatever was causing the issues was warranted.

And so I found myself at the London Clinic again last week, this time accompanied by The Boy. I am pretty independent and self-sufficient; when I had my first ever laparoscopy 4 or so years ago, my then husband didn’t even visit me. I went in to the hospital by myself and then the next day I hailed a black cab home. And I didn’t really think it was a big deal. But as the date for this op loomed, The Boy made it very clear that he was going to be there – to take me to the hospital, to hang out with me, be there when I would be wheeled back and then take me home when I was finally kicked out. It’s hard to describe how it feels to know that you have someone in your corner who cares about you and genuinely wants to be there for you; someone to fight your battles when you are too doped up to do so yourself.

I digress.. So as usual my prep on the big day was to try and put in a run before checking into the hospital. I was told not to eat after 8am, check in at noon and the op would be at 2pm, so I got up at 4am to put in a long run. It took me ages to get out as my stomach was holding me hostage in the toilet. When I finally did get going, the running felt good for about 3km at which point the cramps started again. Usually I can ignore these and they go away but not this time. I had another 4km (the shortest route) just to get back home to and even that felt like an impossibility. If it hadn’t been so bloody cold, I would have been covered in cold sweat! I just about made it home and spent another good 20 mins dying on the toilet before heading out again – this time sure that I would be able to finish my run as there couldn’t possibly have been anything left in me. WRONG! After 12km I was back home again, sitting on the toilet that was becoming so very familiar to me that day. At that point I gave up, the long run was clearly not happening. So I did an extra set of strength work just to compensate for the (literally) shit run but that was it. I had no appetite but forced two apples down my gob just to make sure I would have energy left until the operation. I should say though; the issues weren’t due to nerves as I was feeling fine about the operation. I blame the wrong kind of yoghurt the night before (dairy iso soya) – lesson learnt!

I met up with The Boy and we checked into the hospital. It became clear pretty early on that rather being operated on at 2pm, it would be at 6.30pm… Maybe it’s all in the head but as soon as I heard that, I decided that I was starving so tortured myself by deciding what to order for dinner post-op. As it was going to be a long wait, The Boy headed out for a  quick bite to eat and I settled in for a bit of daytime tv.

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Killing time….

The Boy returned with his belly full. Bloods were taken, BP measured, I was weighed and medical history was taken. My favourite anaesthesiologist (who was there for my hysterectomy) came in and we had a chat about the preferred drugs. And then all we could do was to take it easy until I would be taken in.

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My operation garderobe
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Sexy knickers! Victoria’s Secret beware! (Which way is up?…)

I think it was about 4.30pm when the knock finally came on the door. A quick kiss (with The Boy!) and I was taken down to the basement where the operating rooms are. I was asked to untie my gown and make sure it wasn’t underneath me as I laid down on the table in the prep room; it would be taken off me. A warmed blanket was draped over me and an IV line was prepped on the back of my left hand. As the heart rate monitor was set up and started picking up my heart rate, the anaesthesiologist commented on the fact that I had “an athlete’s heart”. He said that at that point most people would be at 120+ bpm, whereas mine was at around 53-55 bpm. He gave me something to bring it up as “otherwise all sorts of alarms would start going off when you are sedated as it would go down to 30 bpm or so”. The first drugs made me feel as if I’d just downed 4 shots in quick procession; slightly dizzy and a bit nauseated. I was doing my best to stay focused and then he pushed the actual drugs in and I was gone.

What felt like immediately after, I was waking up in the recovery room. There was no pain, no nausea and I felt very comfortable. The surgeon came over briefly and mentioned that he had removed a cyst from my right ovary (as per the original ultrasound) and that there had been “something” between my right ovary and where the uterus used to be. He was unsure what this was (scarring, endo?) so it had been sent to pathology. He also mentioned something about my intestines but I am less clear about that.

I shuffled from the op slat to the bed that I would then be wheeled back to my room in and up we went. The Boy was there (he’d popped out), keen to make sure he would be back for me and pretty much as soon as the wheels on the bed were locked he was on the phone ordering me dinner (soup, toast, jam, coffee, ice cream). I was pretty stoned that night so my recollection is hazy but I ate and then The Boy set up a movie on his laptop which I stared at. I can’t say I watched it as such but my dilated eyes were definitely focused in the direction of the screen.

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Post-op, frizzy haired and full of food
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I asked to keep these on; they are hooked up to a machine that keeps “massaging” the calves by pushing air in and then sucking it out. Meant to prevent blood clots but I loved them on my runner’s calves

The Boy left me to it once it became clear the movie was wasted on me and I settled in for the night. Or tried to; the nurse came in to check my temperature, heart rate and blood pressure every few hours. My heart rate and blood pressure were once again low so he always tested these twice. As the night went on, he relaxed a bit as I clearly wasn’t about to expire that night.

6am the catheter was removed and I hobbled out of bed to use the toilet (they won’t let you go home until you wee) – success! I think I made it until 7am before I ordered some breakfast which I hoovered up in record time. The Boy arrived at around 8am or so, I had a shower and was pretty much ready to be discharged. I was sent home with 50mg Tramadol, 400mg Ibuprofen and some Omeprazole.

We Ubered home and as it was a gorgeous, sunny day, I convinced The Boy to take me for a walk in Regents Park. We grabbed a coffee en route and ended up sitting in the sun by the Rose Garden, just watching the ducks and people. I was high on Tramadol so there was absolutely no pain; if anything I felt I could have walked around for the whole day. We walked to The Hub Cafe and grabbed a tea before walking up Primrose Hill. After the walk we did a quick trip to the shops for provisions before getting back to his flat. The Boy very kindly had asked me to spend the weekend at his so that he could look after me – touchingly he had even made sure his bed had nice, clean sheets!.. Too wired from all the Tramadol, I couldn’t lie down so ended up scrubbing his kitchen and his bathroom clean before crashing on the sofa.

We went out for dinner that night though I can’t remember much about it. I did have a bit of a funny turn and suddenly got very hot and nauseated and The Boy wisely got me home in record time.

I had a pretty good night’s sleep and the next day we decided to go to Ikea. As you do when you are recovering from an operation… But the meatballs were calling! Later on that Saturday we went up to Hampstead to watch the Ireland-England rugby match (the less said about that, the better) and after a bite to eat had another early night.

Sunday was my first day completely off pain meds (I had decided) – not even Ibuprofen. We had to be up by 7am to head out to Silverstone for Track Day (that’s another story). A fabulous day was had among amazing cars, engine noises and the smell of petrol. I was in my element. It was a long day but I made it without any pill popping and have kept it that way since.

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At Silverstone

Monday I was back to work and to the school run.

Today is Tuesday and I walked to the gym this morning (just under 2km) but maddeningly only managed to put in an 1h before deciding the smart thing would be to not push it any further. I did walk back home. A quick shower and here I am, sitting at work writing this so there you are, up to date.

So that’s me. Next week Thursday I will be seeing my surgeon for post-op and am looking forward to finding out what the findings were. I will keep you posted….

 

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