Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maybe I should have thought more

I'm all about being an informed patient.  In fact that was negative feedback I got sometimes, that I explained too much, when I was working.  I also had to watch because the patients that were hardest were the ones who repeatedly "forgot" what I told them but continued to ask and then not listen to why we were doing whatever.

However, I maybe know more than I wanted to about hysterectomies.  I anticipate that I may get an appointment with little time to prepare (wait list type thing).  And because tricky decisions have to be made I need to know about several variations.  The trick is this:  Nobody wants to give me a general anesthetic again.  However only one type of hysterectomy can be done without and it is not done with a spinal all that often.  That way is vaginal.  The other thing about vaginal hysterectomies is that they are typically done on women who have had a vaginal birth.  That, clearly, is not me.  So when I saw Dr. Sweetheart she was speculating that she may be able to work around that to allow me to have a spinal.  I have a deep terror of these. Like terror that says "I will never do that", except that I need to protect my remaining brain cells.  I think it is a leftover from childhood when someone sneaking up behind me was bad.  I can tell one story that alone probably explains this.  We had a canoe (I don't know why exactly) and would go to the back-up reservoir that was a few miles from my house and canoe.  The rules there were that it was to be used for small boats and fishing only, no swimming.  Well, my father believed rules didn't apply.  He enjoyed shaking the canoe to pitch us out, or when we stopped for a break he would throw us in.  One day he hadn't thrown me in and I thought I was free and clear when he managed to sneak up behind me and throw me down in shallow water where I landed on a sharp rock.  It was one of several times people didn't get stitches put in because there was no good explanation.  I am sure I have a decent sized scar back there but can't see it.  So that's what someone coming up behind me is like.  (Incidentally I got so good at not being tipped from the canoe that years later as a camp counselor I took a boy who had cerebral palsy out on the fishing pond in the canoe.  We did fine until he lost he balance and slid off the seat, landing with his feet in the air.  I decided trying to paddle back in with him like that risked tipping with him landing face down in really gross water, so I walked to the front, picked him up and back on the seat and then went back in.  The other counselor was sitting in his canoe, ready for a rescue.  He just said "HOW did you DO that?" and I smiled.  I like-liked this guy and I figured mystery was a good thing.)
Anyway I am also worried about the vaginal approach causing PTSD as vaginal pain is not something  I handle well.  And then I read about how there can be a lot of repositioning to open things up as much as possible so that the procedure is essentially done in the giving birth position.  That would be increased for me since I haven't given birth.  And while Dr. Brain promises I will be aware of nothing this sounds tough, as does having vaginal packing.

I also kind of would like them to be able to look around thoroughly since I am keeping my ovaries and have pain there which probably stems from my uterus but mig ht not.  The procedure that is being considered is the only one that doesn't let them look around.

Now, there is no certainty that this will be the procedure.  It depends on whether there is space with the tighter ligaments I have from not having babies and the size of my uterus.  If given 2 choices I'm likely to choose the other unless it is open incision versus this and then I have no idea.  I am hoping that this way doesn't work but I also don't want the whole big incision thing.  Laparascopic would be wonderful but not sure if it's an option for me.

All that I know comes from a brief conversation, not really planning anything.  But I want to be able to ask questions so I've done some reading.  I still am very nervous about that spinal though.  Even though in ways it has advantages, like I would not have pain for some time post op.

I have trouble thinking of any of this as different from the last year's laparoscopy.  But it is different no matter how it is done.  Things are cut and sewn, blood vessels are removed and cauterized, it sounds like in my case my cervix will be cut out and replaced with an ending formed from ligaments or something.  There will be more pain.  I don't know how long I'll stay in the hospital; most go home after a day or so but I had an extra stay for the last surgery and this time we have to be even more careful in the monitoring to prevent anything like that.  So I may be in the hospital a few days.

In some ways I always want to just say "just do the fastest procedure" which is an abdominal incision.  I can deal with the recovery and less anesthesia is best.  The simply truth is that they could give me something to keep me out of it during the procedure and it would be one of the same drugs as last time.

There's also the small issue of whether I can even have a spinal.  (I kind of hope not).  I'll be on the special anesthesia protocol but MAOIs and spinals aren't good friends.

I just now have too many images in my head.  And so, probably do you!

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com


Michal Ann said...

Jen, I'm glad to hear that it seems to be getting cooler in your area and the mania has decreased significantly. Very very good news that you've broken through to some sweet sweet rest. Oh, I pray now you'll find some rest from your constant worries. Your worries are always plaguing you, one tormenting thought after another.

I've had various pelvic aches, pains, a wound infection, Fitz-Hugh Curtis peritonitis...so I know a bit about such concerns. As you know, I've had three c-sections. The first one was a spinal but then I woke up in a hospital room. I assume they knocked me out because I was so exhausted from 20 some hours of labor and the baby was in special care for awhile with lung concerns. 13 months later I expected a spinal but the interview the night before caused the doctor to refuse due to my DAMN WELL KNOWN concern that I had M.S. I think it's so wise that you're getting every detail planned to the best of your considerable ability.

I also attended a girlfriend through two births. I helped hold her as she was given a spinal so yeah...I have images in my head!! Yes, it's a serious procedure but you're always in skilled hands, Jen. Always. I know you're scared but my girlfriend came through in excellent condition and SO WILL YOU.

The LORD is going to carry you through no matter what procedure is chosen. I've always thought that vaginal surgery sounded like a REALLY smart idea. BTW, today's c-sec incisions are only a few inches long and are VERY very low, even hidden below the public hairline, the typical "bikini cut." My scars are a bit longer, 6" and 7" ish, which is the entire span of my belly down there but they got an 8 1/2 pound baby out. Does that help give you any confidence or does it give you wrong images?

TRUST God, trust your own strength and TRUST your team of doctors, especially Dr. Sweetheart. You have SO much more information based on your prior experiences. Who CARES about the snotty receptionist? Don't waste one scintilla of energy on this...and if you do, ask why you're going there. As my grandma would say "RISE above it." DO NOT dwell on some weird theory that Dr. Sweetheart thinks you're jumping up and down and roping in Dr. Brain. Things are DIFFERENT now that they were when "6 months" was first discussed. In theory, "6 months" is "6 cycles" but you're not on a healthy cycle.

I know it's difficult! You have to trust, rest and yet remain strong and self-advocating. I pray you'll find a new balance as you take these steps. Remember these are STEPS one.at.a.time. You don't get a free pass to "think," that is "worry" your way to the "head of the line." Remember the Serenity Prayer


Grant me the serenity

to accept
the things I cannot change,
the courage to change
the things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference,

Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
taking this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it,
Trusting that you will make all things
right if I surrender to your will,
so that I may be reasonably happy
in this life, and supremely happy
with you forever in the next.


Michal Ann said...

(My message is a record length so I had to send it in two parts)


You're making VERY good progress with financial things and I'm so happy you have relief in that area. How wonderful to think you have such great cooperation with your mom that you have "worked out a way to pay down my credit cards quickly and aggressively so that I have more money free every month." !!!! So great to hear!

So...please don't worry about pink bean bags. They'll be wonderful I can tell.

I used to get in trouble for getting muddy when I was little. I was scared when I came home from the ravines where I traipsed around enjoying the creeks, ferns, etc. because my mom would get mad if I was dirty even though I was wearing my play clothes. Thus, I decided that I would let my daughter have real PLAY CLOTHES. She had pink and pretty clothes for some occasions but she was allowed and expected to get dirty. I had two toddler boys when she was born and I didn't want to find myself misguiding her adventurous spirit because I was worried about pastel clothes getting grubby. She wore the boys' cute outgrown Osh Kosh denim overalls with a dainty blouse. My favorite was the palest pink with tiny pink rosebuds. I thought I was pretty smart to think of a way for her to crawl around freely and yet still look like a little girl.

Well, that's a mouthful but I hope there's some encouragement in there for you!

Love, prayers and just a LITTLE bit of straight talk, your true friend,


Anonymous said...

Just a quick question...
Which procedure is the best choice in preventing the trouble you had last year? Dang, I cannot remember what that surgery-related problem but I do remember that it was HUGE to get over and caused a ton of hardship.

Tim Reed said...

I know you're kindda like in a very tough situation but always remember you're not alone. I may not be able to understand how painful it is but I know the people around you loved you and wishes your good health. Keep them close to you always and show them how tough are you :) As always, this too shall pass.

Probably off topic, but do you know where I could find a surgical mesh lawyer?