Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An overdue response to the most popular QOTW: "What surgery did you have?"

I had a hysterectomy a week ago today. While I’ve been open about the fact that I was having surgery, I was sort of embarrassed to admit what for. But several folks asked, and I’m not sure why it should be embarrassing… so here goes. I had several uterine fibroid tumors, benign, but growing, that were causing various problems and needed to go. 

Before the surgery I did have to have a few sessions where both my family practitioner and the obgyn asked if I was really ok with not having more children. I assured them that I had my hands full, that my two teenagers were already kind of kicking my ass, but they continued wanting to make sure I had considered the possibility of meeting someone new who wanted children. I actually laughed at this point. “If that is what he wants,” I assured them, “then he IS NOT the man for me.” 

The tumors have been present for a while, and showing no signs of slowing growth. I was told the problem is going to get worse until I go through menopause, which is likely at least a decade from now. So my doctors agreed it was made sense to remove the problem. They took basically all but the ovaries, which do good things for women and weren’t causing any problems. 

One of the tumors was HUGE. Here’s a phrase you don’t want to hear from a surgeon, “Bigger than a soccer ball.” I was tempted to get a temporary tattoo immediately before the surgery of a soccer ball, and a few arrows, sort of directing him where to go, but I think he found it without my assistance. My surgeon was actually giddy afterwards, telling me in recovery that it was close to 1000 grams, and the biggest one he had removed. I kind of felt like I deserved a trophy or something. I suppose there are easier ways to lose 10 pounds … but hey, I’ll take it. Going forward it should eliminate a lot of discomfort.

It was not fun. Well maybe a little was fun – because apparently – having just gone to the Willamette Country Music Festival – I told the recovery nurse as I was coming out of anesthesia, “Wait, I want to go back to sleep I was dreaming about Brad Paisley.” I don't remember this, but learned this when asking her why she was telling me to “say hi to Brad” for her.  But the rest of recovery has been not so much fun. I feel like I’ve been gutted like a fish – and hated the fuzziness of being on narcotic pain killers. I stopped taking those a few days ago. Most annoying are the restrictions and my lack of energy. I’m running out of steam quickly, am unable to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk and find myself begging for rides since I have been told NOT TO DRIVE. It is making me completely stir crazy. There’s also a little insurance related stress having to do with my current employment situation. 

However, I’m optimistic I’ll be back to 100% soon – and have assurances from my Crossfit friends that they will make sure I show up again as soon as possible… even if I have to scale the crap out of everything for a while and build my way back up. Right now – I’d give a lot just to feel good enough to take a long walk. 

After moving around a bit over the weekend, I sort of hit the wall yesterday and had to return to bed. The only good thing was that the pennant race is heating up I had a good excuse to lie in bed and watch the Cardinals take a half game lead in the National League Central division with a grandslam in the 7th by Allen Craig to go ahead 8-4 over the Reds. 

I made the tough decision that I’m probably not up for the opener at Autzen this weekend- will be the first one I have missed in years. But it’s a long day – with tons of walking – visiting at tailgates, drinking beer, etc – and just  doesn’t yet seem like a good idea. The kids instead will each bring a friend and I’ll watch at home. Maybe from bed :-)

I’m supposed to have part of my thyroid removed as well – might wait a while on that one. Bleh. Also I don’t know if I want to schedule any more physicals. I feel like my warranty for 40 years or 40,000 miles has expired, and I should have bought the extended one. It’s annoying when they find stuff. I had a hunk cut out of my leg a few weeks ago too (the suture site of which seems to have gotten aggravated in the hospital). By they time they are done removing things identified as problematic in my last physical, there’s not going to be much left of debo.