Day 1 post-op
I had blood drawn at 4am and again at 7am Saturday morning. I didn’t really obtain deep sleep all night, so it wasn’t too bad to be woken up by the nurses. I think I got up for the day before 8am.
Before 9am, my surgeon Dr. Giudice came in to see me. She told me that overnight, my blood count had dropped, and she was concerned. She told me that before surgery, my blood count was 34, and right after surgery, it was still 34, but at the 4am blood draw, my blood count had dropped to 27.
I asked her what that meant. She said that if my blood count gets to 20, they’ll have to open me back up again, because it means internal bleeding.
My heart dropped. Panic began to set in, but I didn’t want to start screaming like Ren & Stimpy in Space Madness. Meanwhile, my surgeon was talking about blood transfusions if I stay in the 20s with the blood count. She suggested that I start asking friends who would be willing blood donors, rather than going to the blood bank.
I emphatically told my surgeon with a smile that my next blood test would be 33. She said that her realistic expectations were 27-29. I told her it’ll work out, you’ll see.
At this point I cannot recall if she showed me all the photos of my surgery on Saturday, or if it had been Friday night. In any case, I’ll detail it, now. My surgeon told me that I am currently stage I or stage II endometriosis, because it was centered on the ovaries and uterus alone. She could not find the 1cm endometriosis implant on the bladder reflection, and said that sometimes, implants disappear like that. WHOA. CRAZY.
She also found no endometriosis on the bowels or the rectum or the vagina, THANK THE GODS.
The left ovary was adhered to the side of my uterus this time, and all the adhesions were cut away and they freed the ovary up again. Endometriosis was burned off the exterior of the uterus and the pelvic sidewall. I think the left ovary is the one that has an endometrioma dead center in it, so they could not get to it without destroying the ovary. I am assured it will not cause pain.
The right ovary had two endometriosis surface lesions, which were burned off of it.
Dr. Giudice took a shitload of photos of my surgery – before and after shots – and they were not blurry like the one single ‘after’ shot I got from my last surgery.
When my surgeon left, I drew a deep breath, suppressed a scream, and then called my husband, who had gone home to try to sleep in a real bed.
I tried to sound as calm as I could, but as the words spilled out about the low blood count, my voice got higher with panic. This news of course made my husband panic. He panics by getting silent on the other end of the line. He then said solemnly that he’d be there as soon as possible. I apologised and said I just need him physically close, is all, and not to worry, that it will work out, but that in the moment, I needed him real bad.
I then posted to facebook, asking if anyone out there is O+
Nobody was who saw that post go by that day. My husband is O+ but the surgeon refused him as a candidate outright, in case we want to have children some day. It messes with the antibodies or something. Feh. We don’t want kids. Feh.
I realised after I’d called my husband that the rental car he was to try to score that day would no longer be happening, and that I’d be doomed to ride home in his moldy compact car. More feh. I was not in a good mood, but I was determined. I had a little talk with my body and ordered it to straighten up. Then I got up and went for a shuffle down the corridor, and I did my breathing exercises I was prescribed to increase lung capacity again and keep the blood flowing well (10 slow deep breaths in through the mouth, then out through the nose every hour).
I can’t remember when I finally noticed it, but the night before, my husband had put some goals on the white board for me…
At some point, I got my I.V. removed, because I was peeing up to 10oz at a time, and having to pee every half hour to hour. This helped elevate my mood a bit, because I felt more free range at this point, rather than tethered.
My husband arrived shortly before my next blood draw. My left arm was now looking pretty scary from all the times I’d been stuck over the past 26 hours.
My husband leaned over to hug me and I clutched onto his arm and just held on for a minute.
The rest of the day was a waiting game – I had to wait for delayed breakfast. I had to wait for the nurses to come in when I called them and they were always late or didn’t show at all, which meant my meds were constantly late. I had to wait for the results of the 9am blood draw. Then I had to wait for my urine ‘hat’ to be emptied and realised by this time, nobody was bothering to record my urine output, anyway. I was putting it on the whiteboard in case anyone cared, but the damned hat was full. When someone did come to empty it, I immediately filled it with 10oz again and nobody ever came to check on it again. The daytime nurses really are not in my fan club. The daytime nurses are fragranced, at that. There was one nighttime nurse who was perfumed, but she was not my nurse. I passed her in the hallway and nearly choked to death. She asked me if I was okay. I told her I’m chemically sensitive and that health care professionals aren’t supposed to be scented, anyway. I asked another nurse for a face mask and was happy to receive one with a charcoal filter in it. The scented nurse made rude comments as she walked away. I pfft in her general direction.
So anyway, yeah, the daytime nurses were also scented, but not nearly as bad as the one nighttime nurse was. Thankfully she wasn’t my nurse that night. My nurse was Hannah, and she was the best nurse I had the entire stay in that hospital. I’m in her fan club for sure. She did everything with a pleasant air about her and unconditionally, and really listened and was attentive to her patients. Even when I mentioned as nicely as I could that the guy next door was keeping me awake by his incessant pounding of the call button and his constant adjusting of his bed, nurse Hannah nodded and told me in a non-judgemental tone that the poor man is really ill. She’s a doll. I told her so myself. I’m going to send her a thank you card.
When the blood count finally came back around 10am, I was thrilled that it was 30. I asked if I could go home, and Dr. Wang said I could! Another doctor on the surgery team came in a short while later – the only male doctor on the team – and he told me too that I could go home. He asked if anyone had ever told me I am anemic. I told him no, and that I’d tried to get blood work to prove it, but it always came back “in the normal range.” He told me that my ‘normal’ before and right after surgery, being 34, is anemic. I thanked him for this information, and told him I’d suspected it for years. I told him I have gentle iron tabs at home to take, and he was pleased by this.
Both doctors felt that my surgeon was being a bit too overprotective to keep me longer with the blood count the way it was, but I told them I trusted her word and didn’t want complications to arise later. So they called her up, exchanged the info, and she okayed my discharge with a blood count of 30.
I gently high-fived my husband twice and grinned ear to ear. WOOHOO! I’m being discharged!!
But the waiting was not over, yet. I had to wait nearly FOUR HOURS from the time I was told I’d be discharged, to the time I was actually given a wheelchair ride to freedom. In that time frame, every last one of the people in the rooms adjacent to me, including the guy who was “really ill”, had been discharged! It was a ghost town in that ward!
My I.V. port was finally taken out, and I was finally given the discharge paperwork around 2pm, but the nurse on duty did not have the prescription pain meds. She had to phone the surgeon and get it called in to our local pharmacy. In that time, she set the discharge paperwork on top of water the food tray lady had spilled, and then she began writing info on a piece of paper on top of the discharge paperwork, which are carbon copies. So of course whatever she was scribbling went through the copies. Stellar. And she was scented – so I had to put my face mask back on.
I was really glad to be out of there when the wheelchair guy arrived. I forgot to take my breathing contraption. Ah well. I put on my festive fez and off we went!
My husband went to get the car and the male nurse waited with me in the lobby. I was wearing my fez, and the nurse was fascinated by it. I let him hold the fez and examine it, and told him the website where he can get one of his own. :)
My husband opened the passenger door and I could immediately smell the mold in his car. YUCK!! I braced myself so as not to cry at this indignity, and allowed the male nurse to help me into the car. It was still raining outside, as it had been since the day before. The rain and wind had been fierce overnight. I was given the giant pillow chair to hold onto for the ride home – my pillow chair which had sat in my husband’s car all night, and now smelled like his moldy car. Ugh.
The ride home was just as excruciating as last time. It’s a compact car on bumpy roads. I cursed Mercury Retrograde all the way home for not granting us the ability to have scored a luxury rental car for a smooth ride. I cried, literally cried, on the way home. I took off the fez before the tears spilled, because there’s nothing more sad than a sobbing person wearing a fez.
We got home and I shuffled to the door. My husband was so exhausted that he did not get the wheelchair out of the car that we’d packed for this moment. He walked me to the door and let me in, and then he went and parked his car.
I’m pretty sure I went right to bed. It was excruciating to have to climb into a bed that didn’t have a motor to lower the bed for me. We had to prop up blankets and pillows to get the right incline for me, which also supported my head well enough. And of course once I was settled, I had to pee, so I had to get out of bed again, which hurt like hell. I think I cried a lot that day (Saturday).
I averaged being awake for an hour to an hour and a half at a time, and then sleeping for an hour to three hours in between.
I ate chicken broth and jello and drank smart water all night, and continued to take two Tylenol 3 every 3 hours all night.
My husband tried to get some more housework done Saturday night; dishes and laundry I think. He was already mentally and physically exhausted, but he kept trudging along. I kept telling him to stop and take a break, but he wanted the stuff done. But I swear, it broke him. He was near tears himself, the poor man. I could tell that the work layoff had begun to take its toll on his mental state.
It’s just the last thing we needed when I needed him so desperately to be at beck and call throughout the surgery and the weekend. So to the company that laid him off, I say a big EFF YOU. I say it again. EFF. YOU.