Thursday, July 14, 2011

Modern Medicine

I showered, shaved my legs, flat ironed my hair and dressed in the biggest, cutest sweats I own before John and I headed out the door at 5:30 a.m. last Thursday. We arrived before the surgery center even opened, so we snapped a few photos of ourselves outside. I was, shockingly, not nervous, not even a little bit.

My laparoscopy was scheduled for 7:30 a.m., and I was wheeled into the operating room at 7:45 a.m. The surgery lasted 2 hours. I was afraid I would wake up in pain, but I didn't. I woke up to the sound of John and the nurse talking. As I was coming to, I could feel John holding my hand and rubbing my shoulder. He told me later that every time he rubbed my shoulder my heart rate would increase on the monitor.
The doctor told John the surgery went great and our chances of conception are excellent. He removed endometriosis, drilled on my ovaries, checked my fallopian tubes (which are clear) and removed my appendix. I knew prior to the surgery my appendix might be removed if it had endometriosis on it, but I was still surprised to find out I had undergone an appendectomy. When I asked the nurse if my appendix had endometriosis, she said it was sent to pathology, which I thought was slightly odd.

I expected to be sent home 2 hours or so after surgery, but I had to wait more than 7 hours because they won’t let you leave until you pee the required 100 ccs. Not that I minded. I alternated between sleep and conversation and wasn't at all aware of the time. I was barely in any discomfort at all.

By the time we left the surgery center, it was after 5 p.m., and we had to stop at the pharmacy on our way home. We hit rush hour traffic, and I kept my head in a barf bag (which I had packed just in case). I never threw up, but I felt nauseated the whole drive.

When we arrived at my parents' home (where I have been recovering), the real fun began --- horrifying pain shooting through my right shoulder and neck. Big thanks to those who warned me about this crazy kind of gas pain. It hurt so bad I bit my other arm. The pain lessened significantly every day and it wasn’t constant, but it lasted about 5 days. It really was the absolute worst part. 

The good news is the percocet not only helps with the pain, it helps you forget the pain even happened. Of course, it gave me a huge headache so I switched to ibuprofen Saturday night. I also had to remain on a liquid diet until Saturday morning because you can’t eat until you pass gas. (Anyone else see a trend regarding my bodily functions? I am still waiting to poop.)

Other than that, the recovery has been extremely smooth.

I saw my doctor on Tuesday. He confirmed a diagnosis of stage 3 endometriosis and PCOS. I asked him if he found endometriosis on my appendix, if that is why it was removed.

“No. What I found on your appendix was much worse,” my doctor said.
“OK,” I replied.
“Your appendix had cancer on it.”

Do not be alarmed. What was found was a teensy, tinsy, 4 mm smidge of cancer. Had this spot of C been 2 cm or bigger, it would be a different story. Still, hearing a doctor say the word cancer makes you want to run out and eat something healthy.

I’m also in awe of the perfect timing of it all and thankful to God for modern medicine.


  1. Dear G-d, nice way to drop the C word there. Glad he found it when he did, and that it's gone. Do you have to do any follow up there? Meaning, is that part of your medical background now? Just curious.

    Glad the surgery went well, and that you're up and at 'em now. You won't poop until you wean yourself off the ibuprofen. Anti-inflammatory meds are constipating. So... eat lots of fruit, fiber, etc. It will help. Ask me how I know. :O)

    Get better soon, go forth, have sex, make some babies! Is that the next step? Did he just prep you for some good old-fashioned timed intercourse?

  2. I think you buried the lede. ;-) I'm still in complete awe about the appendix. And so very, very glad you had this surgery. I think this all happened at the exact right time for you.

  3. HOLY SHIT. way to take your mind off that whole baby thing.

    did the dr say what caused the cancer on your appendix? i'm not a cancer wiz, so i don't know if something that's traceable. i've heard that if left long enough though, endometriosis can lead to worse things. so i'm wondering if maybe that's what happened in your case.

    man, that's scary.

    glad to know you're back on your way to recovery and hopefully, you'll have some more great news to share in the next few weeks.

  4. Pardon me while I PEEL MYSELF OFF THE CEILING!! Holy gorilla on a freaking pogo stick, Christina!

    First of all: Glad the surgery went well, and that the gas has (hopefully) passed. (Stool softener! Seriously, if you haven't gone yet, go make John get you some. Your behind will thank you.)

    Secondly: Do they have to do any follow-up on the cancer? Such as radiation or chemo? Or is just taking the useless appendix out the only treatment needed?

    Sending oodles of warm and fuzzy feelings your way.

    (And I agree with Erin, you totally buried the lede. Darn reporters ... ;D)

  5. Scary! What a blessing in disguise the endometriosis was.

  6. So glad you're recovering nicely and the surgery went well. You might want to take some stool softeners. Ha. I just said "stool." I had some post-surgery experiences that I don't want to discuss in polite society. Just take the stool softeners lady and nobody gets hurt.


  7. Let the baby making commence! Cancer and edometriosis free and ready to roll.

  8. Hello Lovelies,

    Let me say, I took your advice and started on stool softeners last Friday (the day after the surgery). I took no less than 20, and I finally pooped today! Yay!

    About the cancer, I don't know what caused it, but no follow up treatment is needed. Another BIG YAY!

    Finally, the surgery might be all I need to move from infertile to fertile, but the doctor still wants to treat the PCOS. Which means I'll still have more to write about. Yay!


  9. OH MY GOSH!!! I'm telling you everything happens for a reason. God has his plan and OH MY did he have a plan. This surgery was planned from the man upstairs baby!

    I am so glad the surgery went well and you are recovering nicely....pooping and all. :-)

    With all this behind you you can start making babies! You go girl!


  10. Modern medicine seems to be better than ever. Hopefully as time goes by medicine will improve. Good post.