THE GREAT RECOVERY: Goodbye, lady parts

Apologies to my readers.  I haven't been able to post in a while.  My activity has been limited to Tweet-grumbling about politics.

I had surgery.

Considering the current war on opioids, I felt it was better to tear everything out than to deal with seven days of horrific pain every month.

This agony has been part of my life since I was nine years old; I've bitched about it over the years.  Though I've had prescription narcotics since I was twelve, I have never abused them for fear that any addiction would lead to having nothing at all each month.  The thought scared me, to be frank, and so I only used the medication when I had reached my pain level maximum.  And, when medication failed, I went to the ER and they'd hit me up with Dilaudid.

When you are a chronic pain sufferer, you build up an endurance over time.  I learned to live with any and all pain provided it didn't reach the level of my "cramps".

And so it was that I walked around with a necrotic gallbladder that caused me to turn ashy and shocky whenever a stone clawed through my digestive track.  I didn't bat much of an eye after my wisdom teeth were surgically removed.  I learned to walk on misshapen ankles and deformed feet without so much as complaining.  The ruptured disc in my back and the pressure on nerves was but a trifle. The recovery from surgeries was borne without fanfare: gallbladder surgery, thyroid cancer surgery twice, and this current surgery.

A hysterectomy was out of the question.  I was "too young" and had not exhausted all other approaches first.  When D&Cs fail to remedy... well, I was still "too young". 

I had to beg my doctor for Oxycontin, and my insurance would only cover 5 pills instead of the 20 I'd go through over the course of three months. I was made to feel dirty.  All women experience cramps.

I'm obviously a weak person in their eyes.  There were days I wanted to press a pistol muzzle into my lower belly and squeeze off a round. Maybe two, if still coherent.  Perhaps, if I damaged my uterus enough, they would remove it.

Is it any wonder, then, that I demanded someone tear these vital lady parts out rather than deal with doctors that thought I was faking just to get high? Finally, after getting nowhere with my doctors, I found one that would listen to me.  She referred me to a hospital and surgeon in Canton. I couldn't make an appointment fast enough!

Yes, recovering from a hysterectomy replete with cervix removal, ovaries and tubes removal... this is a CAKEWALK compared to my cramps.  I'm in pain, oh hell yes, but it's not bad enough to cripple me.  As for any chance of addition to those pills?  I've opted to not take them because they constipate me.

I did make notes throughout the experience.  It's easy to jot thoughts down in a Blogger post and save them without publishing.  So here it is!

Two from the waiting area:
"I felt let down. None of the family will drive me to Canton. I have to take a cab. Insurance paid for it.  Today was a wonderful surprise: my cousin was the driver. Learned all the good places to eat. His wife, Doreen was Linda's best friend. Apparently, Uncle Sam did have kids.  Two entire branches of the family line were unknown to each other. Awesome."

"I was nervous yesterday. Today I'm, scared shitless. Okay, I'm shitless because of all the laxative they made me drink yesterday. Also a liquid diet. Ugh.  Just when I thought I couldn't poop any more, I found myself pooping." 

Two from the pre-op area:
"Altman facilities are clean, staff is positive and friendly. They are quick to respond to patient needs.

"Pre-op area is large and comfy. Same bed from check in to PACOU to room."

And a few from my room:
"Is this CNN?  I don't know. Maybe it is. Anderson Cooper." 

"Couldn't pee yesterday. Cathed. It came out today. Morphine up until this morning, then oxy. Docs have been in to check on me. Being discharged later today."

"Sucky window view."

Things became a monotonous blur after that.  I didn't know the driver that brought me home. I recall chatting about painting miniatures and Games Workshop. We pulled off the highway and he saw Yummys. I told him it was good ice cream.  I went through our back gate, got upstairs, and turned back into a veg.

I remember getting out of bed that first night home. It hurt to lie down so I sat on the couch and propped my feet up to sleep.

There were only two constants that week: Hershey peeing in the house, and Better Half being there for me.

I felt well enough to drive my mother to the grocery store about a week later.  It was painful, but Better Half and I were also running out of food.  As the only driver in the household, it fell on me. I really wish I hadn't gone, though.

Since last Saturday, the pain becomes excruciating if I have to pee and when I do the dreaded #2.  I've kept to a semi-liquid diet and laxatives. I refuse to eat or take anything that can constipate.

I know better than to brush it off. Even our Wing IG's wife - a nurse - chastised me.  What if it's a section of bowel that pushed through the still-healing vaginal cup?  Yeeeah, it could be.

I've already been to the ER for flank pain, and they said nothing was wrong.  I suppose I'm putting a revisit off because I don't want to be transferred back to Canton.  Only driver, remember?  My emotional support, Better Half, should not drive.

And here I am, blogging instead of calling my doctor.

I'll call now.

Update: the surgeon's office called just as I walked into the ER waiting room. They said they'd reach out to Dr S... she was still in surgery.

Trinity performed a CT. It's a small abscess on the vaginal cup. At least we know the pain isn't imagined.

I'm waiting on a bed in Canton. I'll go up by ambulance.

I suppose my biggest worry is Better Half driving. He isn't supposed to. Also, the dogs need more food.

  • BETTER HALF: mix their stuff with Hershey's to extend it.  As in add some of his into their bowls. We'll buy a bag once I'm home.

And DO NOT drive to Pittsburgh.