Monday, June 10, 2013

My Surgery Story

May 2013 can best be described as one of the best and worst months I've ever had.  For starters, Sean and I got to go to Florida for the first time since 2011 to see my little sister graduate FSU, and my friend from NC came to visit the day after we got back.  Despite all that awesomeness, both visits were plagued by the mysterious pain that started right before we went to Florida.  So for those who care, this is the story of how I ended up having surgery.  Sorry if I get into the TMI category.  It is what it is.

It all started on April 25th.  I started out the day having a coffee meeting with some friends, and during that time I started feeling some pain in my right side, but just assumed it was sour stomach or something normal.  I went to the grocery store a few hours later and by then, the pain had gotten worse.  Getting through the store was rough.  I  went home, took some pain medication, and laid down to take a nap.  By the time Sean got home from work, the pain had me writhing...not fun.  I attempted to make dinner but could barely stand long enough to finish it.  That's when I started texting all my awesome nurse friends.  After much back and forth, I had Sean take me to the ER.  By the time we got the ER, the pain had subsided...I think because I was so nervous about being at a hospital.  After a few tests and a super painful blood draw, they told me I had a kidney infection.  I got 5 days of antibiotics (stupidly denying the need for pain meds) and went on my way, hoping this would all pass before I had to sit on a 3.5 hour plane ride to Florida.  I diligently took my antibiotics and some OTC pain meds, and things seemed to be clearing up.

My first time EVER in an ER!

In Florida, I had a few good days of little pain, and luckily one of those days was when Sean and I went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  I would get a few twinges here and there, but nothing too bad.  Same thing when we went to Tallahassee for my sister's college graduation.  

One of my better days in FL :)  

I think this was my best feeling day...

After that it went downhill.  The pain was shooting down my side, I was peeing like a pregnant lady (sorry, TMI) and I was constantly tired.  Not how I wanted to spend my last few days in FL.  Needless to say, the flight home was awful.  The very next day I got an appointment to see my Primary Care Physician .  Thank god for mandatory same day appointments!!
May 8th was my appointment, and by the end of that visit I was told I was resistant to the original antibiotics, so I got 14 days of something different and a few good pain meds.  The next day, I drove to Denver to pick up Rhonda for her weeklong visit!!  Poor thing had to deal with me being exhausted by 2-3pm every day, but we made the most of her visit and got pretty much everything on our list done :)  It was soooo great to see her!!  Luckily, things didn't go from bad to worse until she left.

May 16th was my next visit to my Primary doc.  After determining that my ovaries were fine, I was told I may have kidney stones.  I got more pain meds, had more blood work done, got an x-ray, and got scheduled for an emergency CT Scan the next morning.  I got my scan on Friday the 17th.  I assumed that I wouldn't hear the results until Monday, so I was ready to wait until then.  Unfortunately, Sunday morning I woke up in so much pain that I couldn't do anything by cry.  It sucked.  So around 6am, back to the ER we went.  I was in so much pain that I was hyperventilating, blood pressure was through the roof, and multiple Vicodin did nothing.  I couldn't even walk standing straight up.  I think that was the worst of the pain.  I got brought back to a room immediately and the ER Doc was able to look at my CT Scan from 2 days ago...that's when she told me.  I had a 10x6.66cm cyst on my right ovary, and it was starting to twist.  Ouch.  That morning I had 3 doses of Morphine and 1 of Dilaudid pumped into me...and it hardly did a thing.  In between the meds I had an ultrasound done to check blood flow to my ovary and some other medical mumbo jumbo, and the ER doc set up an appointment to see the OB/GYN surgeon the next day.  Hearing I had a melon sized cyst made me freak out for a minute, but at least now I had answers. 
Mondays appointment seemed to go well.  Another ultrasound, confirmed what the ER said, and the doctor set me up to have surgery with her that Wednesday.  After my appointment  I got pre-registered for surgery but would have to come back the next day for all the pre-testing for anesthesia and whatnot.   Problem was I could barely walk out of the hospital, despite all the pain meds in me.  I got home and settled into bed, preparing myself for surgery.  Around 6pm, the doctor from earlier called me to tell me the Oncologist from a neighboring hospital wanted to see me since the cyst was so large.  That meant rescheduling surgery to later in the week...that made me cringe.  I wanted that thing out.  Now.  I accepted it and tried to nap.  That wouldn't last long.  Percocet did nothing for my pain, and I just couldn't take it.  I called the doctor back at home, and she told me do head back to the ER.  Oy.

Sean and I spent the longest 2 hours in the ER before I was seen....thanks to the people who were there for stupid reasons.  Seriously people, please only use the ER for serious issues. Gr.   Of course by the time I got taken back, there was no OB/GYN surgeon on call, so I was sent to the neighboring hospital that wanted to see me to begin with.  They called ahead so I was taken right back once we got there after midnight.  They ran their own tests and ultrasound, and brought me upstairs to my own room.  That told me I was having surgery soon!!  Woohoo!!!!  I've never been so excited to e cut open.  Sean and I tried to catch up on sleep (me in a super comfy hospital bed, him in 2 chairs pushed together...poor guy) while we waited for the surgeon to come in.  Around 8am(ish)  the surgeon came in to talk to me about the surgery and all the risks ect...I told him I didn't care what he did as long as he took this massive pain in my side out!!  After I saw him, the awesome nurses I had told me surgery would be around noon.  YAY!  Sean had headed out to get some breakfast and feed our cat (and hopefully get some sleep)  so I texted him letting him know what time to come back.  Not 5 minutes later, the nurse came back and told me it had been bumped up to I told Sean he needed to come back ASAP.  2 seconds later, the nurses came back and said they were taking me down now!!  So I quickly relayed that to Sean and was wheeled to Pre-Op!  I chatted with the anesthesiologist briefly and had all my jewelry and glasses taken off.  Poor Sean didn't make it back in time to see me before surgery, but I honestly didn't want to wait.  I was so excited!!  As I was wheeled into the OR, I was told there was going to be a lot of commotion going on and not to be alarmed.   I told them I couldn't see a damn thing anyways, so commotion away!!  HAHA, always good to go into surgery laughing :)  I wiggled myself from the bed to the table and had the oxygen mask put on....last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist telling me I might feel stinging in my arm from the sleepy meds.  That's good stuff!!  I remember saying yup....and I was out.  Next thing I know I'm waking up in the Post-Op room listening to an old lady sound like she was coughing up a lung every time she took a breath.  I was super annoyed...let me wake up in peace!! 

After  a short time in recovery, I was wheeled back up to my room where Sean was waiting for me.  I don't remember a ton, but I remember just saying "hi" and asking for my glasses back.  Most of the rest of the day was spent napping, being checked on by nurses and watching TV. Sean filled me in on everything the doctor told him...the cyst was removed, but so was my right ovary and tube.  Whatever.  We can still have kids if we ever get the urge, and I no longer felt like someone was stabbing me.  I was cut in 4 in the belly button, 1 on each side of my belly button, and one right below my bikini line.   Before I was discharged, I had to eat and take a walk.  The eating part was easy.  Taking a walk down the hallway?  Not so much.  I was winded in 5 minutes and I was pretty sure the rest of my insides were going to fall out.  But I did well enough to be discharged less than 24 hours after we got there.  The best part about going home?  Not being hooked up to a million wires and tubes when I had to pee.  Such a pain lol.  I was sent home around 8pm.  I had enough pain meds to get me through the night, so Sean went the next morning to fill the new RX's. 
It was a semi-rough first night.  I had to call Sean whenever I needed anything since I was sleeping on the futon in our spare room.   I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst shoulder pain I've ever had....close to the worst cyst pain.  I recently learned that during surgery, the body cavity is filled with air for whatever reason, and it takes a little bit to work all the air out...this air causes horrible pain.  Not a fun thing to wake up with.  Luckily the Percocet worked beautifully and I was back asleep in no time.    The next night was much of the same...but a little less severe.  The next 2 weeks were pretty, med, sleep, Netflix ect. 

Due to the fact that I have some super amazing friends, Sean didn't have to cook for most of my recovery.  And since he has an amazing command team, he was able to stay home with me for the rest of the week.  I don't know what I would have done if things didn't happen this way.  We've been extremely lucky!! 

My 2 week follow up appointment went well, and while I am still healing, he said I can slowly start returning to normal life.  The largest cut below my bikini line gives me the most trouble, but I am starting to get out of the house and exercise my tired muscles.   Now if only my hormones would get themselves in check!!  Apparently that evens out eventually.  Until then, I'll deal with the hot flashes and cold sweats, and cry at stupid commercials.

This was quite an experience, and having the support and love of my friends and family has helped immensely!!   Thank you thank you!!   

Of course I couldn't have done this without Sean's support.  He's been so great in taking care of me and the house.  I know he was worried about me having surgery and not being able to see me before it couldn't have been easy.   Love you Sean!

I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of details, but if you've made it to the end of this ramble, thanks for reading :) 


1 comment:

  1. What a crazy story, Megan. So scary. So glad you're finally on the mend, and that Sean has been able to take such good care of you!