Saturday, February 19, 2011

Connect the Dots!

I have that many scars on my belly now that I reckon we could nearly play connect the dots with them ;)
While most people would probably not 'get' my humour nor would they like the scars, I wear my scars proudly. They show the journey I've been on & the journey still to come and yes, while at times it is a BITCH of a road to be on, these little scars make up the parts of me that are both strong and weak. 

So I thought I would do quick post listing my operations & outcomes. 

Operation No 1 ~ October 2005 
Laparoscopy with hysteroscopy & hysterosalpingogram (better known as dye studies) (& maybe a curette, I can't remember) this means a quick (possibly 45 minute) looksie operation with minimal interference and quite routine. Recovery time is usually few days to a week but I took the full week to feel back to normal & ready to resume life as usual. Basically my surgeon Dr K made a small incision just above the pubic line and another cut through the belly button. This operation she used some type of glue to suture it and I can't quite remember if this was the very bottom circle in the picture shown, or the middle which I think has 2 cuts one just above the other) while the bottom incision healed quite well, the glue in the belly button was quite sore for some time until it popped out (gross!) 
It was at this operation they found & diagnosed moderate endometriosis mainly localised in the pouch of douglas, but all my tubes were clear (they knew this by shooting radiographic dye up through the cervix and watching it through an xray procedure, trust me if you ever have to have this done, do it while knocked out on an operating table... not while you are awake ;) LOL) 

Operation 2 ~ December 2005
Laparoscopy Excision of Endometrial Tissue ~ this time I was booked in for a 3 hour operation at a bigger hospital with Dr K. The reason for the bigger hospital was because she needed it to be a place where bowel surgeons were on hand incase they accidentally nicked the bowel during the excision process. This operation usually calls for the woman to do a bowel prep the night before, for my case and where my endo was growing it was imperative as they needed the organs to lie out of the way during this. Can I just say that the Bowel Prep (pic-o-prep, or better known in IF circles as poop-a-lot) is the most degrading, horrible, disgusting drink ever and the after effects (I won't bore you with those) weren't a lot of fun ;) 
This operations *should* have been fairly routine as well, go in through the belly button and three tiny cuts along the pubic line (see picture, the 2 side circles and the top circle!) with real stitches that had to be removed by a GP. I say *should* because even though it was 3 hours, it was a simple slice and dice. However I woke up in recovery several hours later and was told they had to take my appendix out too (it was apparently bulging and a few mere days away from bursting, and as they decided to take it out it burst which saw them have to pump through a litre of stuff to wash it out & saw me in hospital for a couple of days on super strong Antibiotics) This actually explained why I was in so much pain just prior to my operation, what I had assumed was just my usual monthly period pain was in fact acute appendicitis... I guess that gives some idea of the pain I experience each month. By the time I got to the operating theatre I was begging them to knock me out!
Recovery time for this endo excision operation is usually 2 - 4 weeks, but remember I had a double whammy and though I was well recovered after about 3.5 weeks I still had pain in my tummy for well over 8 weeks (especially if pressed hard!) 

Operation 3 ~ January 2010 
Laparoscopy with hysteroscopy & hysterosalpingogram again a very routine operation to check for the re-growth of my endo as I had presented to my Specialist with all the symptoms and was 12 months into the journey of TTC #2 with no luck. Recovery was quick, this time internal dissolvable stitches (good stuff) and a diagnosis that my endo was recovered, my tubes were still clear and there was really nothing standing in my way of achieving a pregnancy. Physically I probably felt the best after this operation, but mentally I was all over the shop. I have spent the last 12 months wondering what the Fuck was wrong with me as I have ALL the symptoms of endo, yet no active disease. Many a time I wondered if the pain was all in my head.

Operation 4 ~ January 2011
Laparoscopy - this op was routine to the T!!! In and out and awake in recovery in less than an hour. This time I didn't even make it to the operating room before being zonked out, I think my anaethetist gave me some super strong drugs ;) Interesting to note, my anaethetist actually said to me that although this was 'only a laparascopy, it was still an operation and as such had risks.' Funny he should say that because while I did breeze through 3 stages of recovery like I ALWAYS do, I ended up nearly passing out on discharge and found myself back on a bed in stage 2 recovery on OXYGEN!!! Seriously, I should NOT have looked at the belly button while the nurse was re-dressing it! Recovery time was a little harder this time around, the anaesthetic though didn't make me sick, really knocked me about and it took several days to feel it was finally out of my system. Pain wise - piece of piss, truly my monthly AF is more painful than that operation, the only part that was painful was NOT being able to sleep on my belly in a week and the gas post operation!
This time as you are probably aware if you have read to the bottom of my posts, endo was present and needs to come out, hence why I am off to another surgeon next week.

So this post was all about Connecting the Dots of my surgeries... but I have to ask - did you see the face in the picture above?

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