Note: This post spans a period of two days, covering my entire hospital stay.
Ouchie McOucherson. That’s about how I feel right now. Because surgery hurts, no matter whether it’s “just” a laparoscopy or not! But luckily I have this -> to help me. Yay for Dilaudid PCAs!
Today was a day for both the expected and the unexpected. Which should make for interesting writing as I try to type on a iPad while on heavy pain meds and not able to use my left ring finger because of my pulse ox monitor. And my IV is in my left hand. So please excuse any typos or any less than stellar writing on my part.
Expected: We arrived at the hospital at 9 am since I was once again second case, officially slotted for 12:45 pm. Thankfully, I did sleep much better last night than I did 2 years ago due to my own modification of the bowel prep (go on a liquid diet the day before the prep; it makes a huge difference!) But I still felt awful and weak and wanted nothing more than to just lie down and get under a warm blanket. Thankfully, it wasn’t too long before they called me back into the pre-op area to started prepping me. I love those silver blankets so much; they have warm air being continuously blown in so you stay all nice and toasty (especially since you’re in your birthday suit under the gown…) Ruby accompanied me as usual and got a lot of attention, but that’s the idea with an awareness kangaroo! David was finally able to come back to be with me around 10:15 am. That helped calm me down a bit, since the nerves were beginning to set in at this point. Of course, what can make you more nervous than having 120 mL of blood drawn? So my nurse gave me some Versed beforehand. The PRP was indeed two full 60 mL syringes; I didn’t watch this time, since that’s a lot of your blood to see being sucked into such enormous syringes, even though I’m not squeamish around blood. So far, everything was going just as I remember it going last time for the most part.
The case before mine actually finished on the earlier side. My nurse had given me a second dose of Versed, which led me to doze off while waiting. The next thing I knew, it was 11 am and Dr. Sinervo, Dr. Fellow, and Dr. Observer were drawing back the curtain and popping in to go over the last minute details. Dr. Sinervo offered to pray with us, which I love and found very moving, especially when he asked the Lord for my fertility to be restored.?? Let’s hope his intercession is accepted!
I was taken back to the OR around 11:45 am or so. Dr. Sinervo let Ruby come back to the OR with me and he fixed her up too. As per usual, the OR staff was excellent and calming. Dr. Sinervo once again held my hand as I was being knocked out, playing with Ruby in a high-pitched voice that made me laugh. To keep myself calm, I recited out loud Philippians 4:6-7. The nurse anesthetist even briefly removed the mask from my face to hear what I was saying. The second I was done speaking the words of Paul, I was out.
I awoke to movement. It took my mind a bit of time to process that I was on my way from the OR to PACU. I started coming around a little more once my bed was parked in its spot. Unfortunately, I was in more pain than I was last time, so they ended up giving me a total of 2.5 mg of Dilaudid over the course of the hour or so I spent in PACU. My teeth began to chatter at one point, but luckily the rigors didn’t spread to the rest of my body, which would have been even more painful. A dose of Demerol took care of that. I was on oxygen for awhile and the OR team had put on my abdominal binder, which is one of the greatest things in the world after an abdominal surgery. It’s kind of like a bustier/corset, right ladies?
Before I knew it, I was on my way to the extended recovery unit, only 2 rooms down from where I stayed last time. David was finally allowed to see me. He showed me the intra-op photos Dr. Sinervo had taken to show what was going on. And that’s where the unexpected comes in.
Unexpected: As it turns out, there were no adhesions. But there was definitely a reason for my pain. Dr. Sinervo discovered what is known as a broad ligament hernia. Even I don’t really know what that is, and the information on the Internet seems to pretty much be case reports and scholarly articles. Why? Because a broad ligament hernia is very rare, allegedly making up only 0.2-0.9% of hernias. Basically, for me, there was a lemon-sized hole in the area of the broad ligaments. My bowel was protruding through that hole, which could certainly explain some intermittent constipation I’d been having. But they discovered that my right ovary was being pushed on by the bowel, causing it to be able to twist all over the place, which it shouldn’t be able to do. When the ovary twists like that, it is known as ovarian torsion, which is actually a medical emergency because when it twists, the blood supply to the ovary is cut off, causing the ovary to die. Whenever it would twist, that’s when I was experiencing the worst of the pain, because ischemia is extremely painful. Think of it as a heart attack in my ovary. Dr. Sinervo confirmed that this type of hernia is very rare and that he himself hadn’t seen one before. Good grief. But the good news is that they sewed up the hernia and set everything back in place. And thankfully, my right ovary looks good despite the intermittent ischemia, so thank goodness it was able to be saved in time! The greatest part? No endo was found! So my surgery from 2 years ago was indeed a success!
Normal Recovery: Recovery so far has been typical. Once I got to my room, I was finally allowed to drink water! Trying to catch up from being dehydrated from the bowel prep and nothing by mouth after midnight is certainly a challenge. But water has never tasted so good. Not to mention Jello and chicken broth! Once the effects of being completely snowed wore off, I was allowed to get out of bed and use the bathroom, which is always a challenge the first few times because of the dehydration. I went out for a couple walks around the unit throughout the night. No one looks at you funny when you’re doing laps around the unit with your IV pole at 5 am.
Following one of my walks, the patient care tech was in my room helping me with something and said, “When I was helping that other lady walk while you were walking with your nurse, she was jealous of how fast you were moving and said,’How is she walking so fast? What kind of surgery did she have?'” That made me chuckle. After tolerating breakfast (applesauce and apple juice), and oral pain medication, they sprung me and I was discharged around 9 am.
Since then I have been trying to catch up on sleep, considering how little I got in the hospital, and managing my pain, which has been challenging this time because for some reason my umbilical incision hurts more than last time. But it’ll go away soon.
I am so thankful we made this trip. Yes, there was nothing endo-related, but I trust Dr. Sinervo and his irreplaceable skills when it comes to fixing things like this. So now I will spend the next few days recovering in our hotel room until we fly home Sunday morning.
Once again, thank you, Dr. Sinervo. This time you saved part of my ability to have children by going in and making sure my ovary wasn’t going to die. I don’t trust any surgeon besides you to treat me for these sorts of things. And for that, I can only again say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.