TVH 1/30/12 The good, the bad, and the ugly
Due to excruciating periods over the past 9 months, and having to miss several days of work each month due to not being able to function, this, after having an endometrial ablation, I decided to have a TVH.
I was the Dr's 1st and only surgery that day and somehow that relaxed me a bit. I guess my mentality was there was no reason to rush with me because there was no one else waiting in the wings.
My surgery was scheduled for 7:15am and I arrived at the hospital at 5:15. I was dreading the douche, and enema, and I still hadn't made up my mind as to the spinal or general.
The nurses in the hospital were SO nice and one even brought me 4 magazines for my enema. The enema wasn't as bad as I thought, at first, and after being in the restroom for about 20 mins. I came out to go back to my pre-op room, where my husband was joined with my parents. I sat there about 5 mins and then the full effect of the enema hit me, as I bolted out of the room, with my IV pole, back to the restroom. This happened several times, missing the anestheologist and the nurse who was trying to put those annoying, tight, socks on me.
Eventually, I met up with the anesthesiologist. I told him I always get nauseous after general, and if I'm sick I won't be able to see my kids later that day. He suggested the patch behind the ear, stating he has much success with it. I told him flat out, "Look, my goal is to be able to see my kids tonight, if I'm sick, I won't let them come up. YOU need to make sure I can see them." He looked at me and said, "Ok, let's do spinal with twilight." I went in knowing if I felt any discomfort during the procedure, or started to move around I'd be knocked out anyway. I understood that and told him twilight knocks me out and I assured him, I'd be just fine.
As he was writing last few notes, I got the urge again, from the enema, and quickly said, "are we done here? Gotta go!" and I bolted out of the room again.
When I returned the nurse got the socks on and another one asked if I wanted anything to relax me because that may help with the urge as well, especially since it was about 7am at this point. I eagerly said, "YES!"
My doctor came in to say Hi and asked what I decided on and I told her the spinal. After a few more moments of "Do you have any questions etc, she left and the nurse returned with my happy shot, and moments later, I was half asleep.
I don't remember saying good-bye to my family, but I do remember being wheeled down the hallway and watching the lights go by, and the nurse saying, relax and close my eyes.
Once in the OR I switched to the other table, and I remember a nurse saying to sit on the side of the table and lean into her chest. I knew I was going to be getting the spinal, but fell asleep on her chest. I remember jumping a bit, and waking up, I don't know if that was from the shot, or numbing stuff or what.
Next thing I remember is laying back down, the doctor saying give me your left leg and she was getting it in the stirrup and thats the last thing I remember.
I woke up in recovery, more awake than I ever have in that room because I didn't get general. The nurse was sitting next to me and asked what the pain level was, I told her nothing more than motrin. She gave me a shot in the butt, and then I dozed off. My dr came in and said everything went fine, and it took 62 mins. and I dozed back off again. I woke up (I have no idea how long it was) and said to the nurse, I think my spinal is wearing off because my pain is more. She had me move my legs, I could sort of move my right, but my left was lead.
She gave me a shot, and a few mins later I felt nauseous. She said, "Yeah, morphine can do that." Morphine! I never had that before....but it took the pain away and made me sleep, in between feeling nauseous (which made me mad - THATS why I had the spinal!) She said next time they can put pheneninol (sp?) in it to stop the nausea.
I don't remember being wheeled to my room, but I remember them getting the bed in position in the room. My husband, parents, and brother were there, and I asked the nurse if I could ask her a bizarre question...and if it was okay if she could help me get on my left side (because I still didn't have much use of my legs). She was MORE than happy to help me do just that. I fell back to sleep and I heard everyone say they were going to leave because I was sleeping, but of course, hubby stayed.
Later on, I heard my mother in law come in (she's not the most quiet person-hahaha) I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't. So, she actually got to visit with me.
I was up for the most part after that and my husband told me the dr said I was right, I didn't move at all during the surgery and was completely out.
The next morphine shot came, with the anti-nausea stuff, and it worked like a charm.
I wasn't allowed solid foods for dinner and had jello and ginger ale.
My kids came up with my brother and I was so happy I was able to see them.
At times throughout the night, I kept telling the nurses I didn't think my catheter was working, because the tubing didn't feel warm and I didn't see anything in it. They kept adjusting it (not fun), but wasn't much difference.
At 3am the nurse came in and asked how my pain was. I told her motrin would be fine and then she asked if I'd been up walking. I told her no, only because no one asked me before and I was more than willing to do it. So, at 3am I walked the halls with the nurse.
I was allowed a full breakfast and shortly after that my dr came in. I told her I was on motrin only, and she was thrilled. She said, I can drive when I'm off prescription pain pills for 24 hrs., so that could be tomorrow. She said it was time to take out the packing and she quoted what I learned from this site, "The mile long packing." I was prepared for to take a few seconds, but what I wasn't prepared for was the PAIN. Oh my gosh, it was the worst pain I have felt throughtout this entire surgery. The only way to describe it is, imagine burning your hand in the oven, and then taking sandpaper and rubbing it against the burn. I know some people say it doesn't hurt, but for me, it was TORTURE. The nurse and the doctor where yelling at me to breathe, but I couldn't, because I was too busy, hitting the ceiling LOL Finally, it was over.
After the dr left, I got the catheter out and had her verify, as soon as I urinate I can go home. She put the measuring thing in the toilet and said, yes.
Within ten mins I had to go, so my husband helped me in there and I came out..successful. I eagerly told the nurse and said, "I can go home now right?"
I was discharged by 11am.
One thing I was not ready for was the car ride home. Every little bump in the road was excruciating - I had tears in my eyes. That lasted a little over a week, so me driving anywhere, was out of the question.
My first several BM's was excruciating, but it wasn't any worse than the way they were when I had my monthly pains. That lasted for about 2 weeks and then they got less painful.
Once settled in at home, I felt wonderful! The pain I was going through now, wasn't even a comparison to what I was dealing with every month. I couldn't believe how good I felt, but then, a few days later I started to get really bad lower back pains. I called my dr and she wanted to see me immediately. She did an internal and checked my ovaries and said everything felt fine. She had me go to my family dr the next day. He said, it was from the surgery position. I questioned him why would it take a week to hurt if its from the surgery. He said with that joint (where your hip joint meets your back i.e. where the dimple is), it sometimes does. That lasted about a week, but I feel it set my recovery back.
I had my post-op appt the following week, which was just "a discussion" I told her I felt great but around 7pm I'd start cramping. She said, that's my body saying it's had enough for the day, so I need to relax at that point.
She said she got the biopsy results and I had adenmyosis. I asked why I only had pains after my endometrial ablation. She said, because when she did the procedure, and burned away the lining of my uterus, she cortorized the spots where the blood was draining back into my uterus. So, I was now bleeding into my abdominal muscles every month. THATS why I was in so much pain.
I was SO relieved that they found something, it validated what I was going through every month, that it wasn't in my head, or just low pain tolerance, and it was a huge comfort to know having the surgery was the right decision.
Last week was my first week back to work. Everyone was so happy to see me it made me feel so good. Come Thursday, though, around 3pm, I started cramping pretty badly. I realized it was my body "having enough" but I stuck it out to 4:30. The next day, the same thing happened. It's funny to feel so good after surgery, but it comes to a point that your body quickly reminds you - take it easy.
During my time off of work, my husband and I decided where we are going for our 20th anniversary. I am so excited, and it's so nice to be able to plan the trip and not have to worry about being stuck in the hotel room because of pains, or even having to pack pads and tampons because I'm period free.
Also, finding this site beforehand was a HUGE benefit. I felt so much better knowing what to expect and thought of my fellow sisters frequently throughout the whole ordeal. THANK you for everything this site does for us.
Having this surgery has definetely been one of the best decisions I've made and I love my life on the other side.