So if you don’t follow me on social media you may not know what I’m talking about in this post.. so let me explain. I recently had surgery: diagnostic laparoscopy and excision to endometriosis if they found any. You can follow my story here where I posted an in depth video talking all about my endometriosis story before it was ‘officially’ endometriosis.
Day by day post surgery.
I was extremely nervous. Having only ever been in as an in patient for my previous laparoscopy I was so high on pain relief the last time I didn’t even have chance to think straight. This time was different. I had roughly less than a week to prepare myself for my second laparoscopy. I was told by phone call whilst in Berlin for my 25th birthday.
Our call time was 11am. Me and my boyfriend sat in the waiting room of day surgery for around an hour before being called in. Once I went into the day surgery ward I was given my section. Shortly after my Gynecologist Dr Lim came to see me. She explained that they would make an incision into my belly button and the left / right side to check for Endometriosis. She explained that if they found Endometriosis they would attempt to get rid of all that they could providing it didn’t do any lasting damage to my reproductive system. She explained that there are a couple of options to go with if the outcome was Endo that being: having the coil fitted, the injection, numerous contraceptive pills and pre-menopausal injections. I shuddered at the thought of pre-menopausal injections. Something doesn’t sit right with a 25 year old woman going through temporary menopause. Anyway, after all the options spelled out to me they left. I waited with a book in hand for around an hour before my anaesthetist came to see me. He was nice. He made me feel at ease explained his wife had this surgery before but turned out to be coeliac disease.
The Surgery – Endometriosis
Once the surgeons were ready I was walked through to the anaesthetic room. They all introduced themselves to me and I lay on the bed. Whilst one of the ladies prepared my cannula the anaesthetist started asking me what kind of music I was into. Me being me I responded with ‘pretty much everything really, but I do love dance.” Baring in mind this guy was a 50 year old father, he turned to me and said, “can you guess what kind of music I’m into?” He paused and said. “Techno”. I laughed and was like wow, that’s surprising. He then went on to tell me how he’s an avid Warehouse Project goer (if you don’t know what that is, it’s a hardcore dance club open to the very early hours). I laughed again and felt more and more at ease that this guy seemed to have a pretty cool personality. Whilst they prepped my arm for the drip he said that in his spare time he produced music in his basement and started getting a photo of it up from his phone. At this point I was convinced they had already started pumping aesthetic into my blood because surely I was hallucinating. I know it’s stereotypical but a 50 year old man who’s into techno music, is a fully qualified anaesthetist AND goes to Warehouse Project. Am I dreaming? I looked down at my arm and they 100% haven’t put any in yet so this is actually true. So from then on I though at least if I was to be the 0.0005% to die whilst having a diagnostic laparoscopy then at least I had a happy last 30 mins with a 50 year old raver, yeah? They began to introduce the pain killer which I could physically feel running down my blood stream, my arm felt numb. He reassured me and I drifted into a daze, still awake mind. Then a lady reached over me to put the mask on to my face and told me to breathe in and out, I counted maybe two ins and outs and BAM I was a goner.
I came out around 5/6pm into the recovery room. A nurse was there on hand to feed me sips of water. The gyne then came over to tell me briefly what happened. She said I had endometriosis everywhere. Including on my bladder. They managed to zap / excise most of it off. I immediately started crying. The nurse comforted me and told me at least I had an answer. Which was true but it’s only the beginning in my eyes. Talks of fertility and pain management all to come next. It was like a build up of all these feelings finally came out. I had been made to feel crazy that I didn’t have endometriosis but I knew it. I knew I had it.
Day one evening
The pain meds and anaesthetic started to ware off. I began feeling cramping and shooting pains in my chest and shoulder which I’m assuming was from the gas. Now, if you have surgery I fully advise you to start drinking peppermint tea straight afterwards. Down the buggar because it’s the only thing for me in the past that has caused relief. Unfortunately I’d forgot my own advice on this occasion and only started drinking it after I’d already started experiencing pain. Every time I lay down I felt the gas ride up from my diagram into my chest and shoulders. It was excruciating! My first wee away from the hospital was so painful, probably due to the pain meds Waring off but it felt like my insides were cramping and I would ince in pain. The second time I passed urine was even worse. I looked into the toilet after and there was a small blood clot. I’ve read up on this being normal but also if you pass larger clots then you need to go to a&e so I’ll keep an eye on it.
Morning – I woke up with back ache and cramping in my abdomen, right side and left side. I knew I was around the time of ovulation having read that if you either have your period or ovulate during time of recovery it would feel even more painful than normal. Well I’ve not had a normal period or ovulation in about 1.5 years so I felt almost prepared. Although, in these circumstances the pain was different. I felt so incredibly sore, shooting pain and stinging sensations inside.
Essentially the endometriosis was covering your own ‘normal’ tissue and organs so as soon as that’s removed, raw tissue is out in the open inside you, so it’s understandable why it feels SO sore.
After a whirlwind afternoon trying to get anything stronger than codeine because codeine is not touching the sides at the minute. My mum called up the GP and explained to the receptionist that I wouldn’t be able to come down because I was operated on only yesterday so they said it was fine for her to come and get the prescription with the right paperwork. So she rushed to the docs paper in hand. They prescribed me zopain and naproxen one of which I already have and unfortunately does nothing for me. The other is a type of codeine which my mum had already explained wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt so at the end of my tether. Having to be moved out of my bed by my mum or boyfriend, helped to the toilet, helped to move around I got a glimpse into the life of an elderly patient. That’s the only way I can describe it. You feel so useless. And this is hopefully very temporary while I’m healing. This isn’t what I have to deal with every single day fortunately. At 25 this is not how I imagined my health to be like. But looking at other inspirational women living with endometriosis inspires me. It reassures me that you can live a semi normal life with this life long condition.
The aesthetic has 90% worn off now and I can fully feel the pain on my wounds inside my body, it feels so sore. TMI but I’ve finally managed to go to the toilet (you know which toilet I mean, yeah that one ha). So feeling slightly more normal. Today is the day where I can take my plasters off to reveal how much damage the docs have done. Instructed to soak the plasters off and then replace them with new ones. My mum runs a bath for me. I slip into it and begin soaking my tummy in warm water. It feels good to be in water. Warm things seem to take the edge off. Hot water bottles, heat wraps anything hot you can get bring it to me lol. Once I’ve fully soaked the plasters I can see what’s underneath. I just sit and cry. I cry not at how neat the stitches left underneath by the amazing doctors but because this is actually real. Before I had invisible pain. Now I can see where the docs have cut me open. I can see how deep they’ve cut my belly button open. My mum soothed me by stroking my arm and telling me how well I’ve done. Like I was a little girl sat there being comforted by her mummy. All I need is reassurance, reassurance that I’m going to be ok and that I can manage this condition.
I know this is a different kind of post. And it may not be as positive as my others but I have hope and the next step is my follow up appointment where I actually find out the depth of endometriosis found and what the next steps are fertility wise ect.
Thanks for taking the time to read me.