Endopendence day continued

Posted on: March 1, 2011

Endopendence day continued ….

On arrival at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital we approached Cley gyne ward which was set up temporarily in Cringleford (due to works taking place in the hospital) I was advised that a bed / ward had not been allocated yet therefore I was asked to go and get some bloods done and return once they had been taken.  When we returned there was still no confirmation of what ward I would be on or even if I definitely had a bed. En route to Cringleford Duncan innocently was talking about what they may or may not do to me in surgery and I had a bit of a meltdown,  my legs turned to stone and I couldn’t move.  It was all of a sudden just too much.

Upon our return to Cringleford we sat in a ‘waiting’ area,  I recall joking to Duncan that I hoped they wouldn’t be sending me home as I didn’t think I could go back through this experience again.  Literally about 30 seconds later Mr Warren appeared (just seeing him made me feel reassured and that we had the right day) the ward sister then found a room in a neighbouring department where Mr Warren and myself could have my pre op consultation.  It was as if the Sister had heard my joke to Duncan , she looked at me and said – ‘don’t worry you will have your op today, you have too big a team for us to send you home’ .

Although I didn’t feel nervous I was it is fair to say reasonably emotional and just Mr Warren speaking to me and asking me if I was Liz or Elizabeth was enough to make me cry.  He asked why I was crying and I couldn’t answer – just said it felt very real all of a sudden.  Mr Warren discussed the extent of my endometriosis talking about the severity and what they felt were the risks to my bowel and bladder. We discussed that I would have stents fitted to minimise any danger to my bladder,  Mr Warren told us that there was a chance that the stents may be left in after the operation and if they were I would return to the hospital in a few weeks for a minor procedure to remove the stents. Duncan asked how they would remove the stents (I joked at this time that I didn’t really want to know, and to be honest I can’t even remember the reply).

I asked him whether it would be possible to leave an ovary and he advised that as my endo was being fed by hormones from my ovaries this would store up trouble for me in the future.  We also discussed whether it would be possible to leave my cervix, and he thought that he would have to take it but he would leave it if he could. Practically we then had a discussion about how the operation would be performed either with a horizontal or vertical cut.  Mr Warren gave me the choice but suggested that due to the possible complications a vertical incision would be the safer option.  Therefore I opted to go with his preferred option, seems pointless to be advised and then do the opposite – well at least in this circumstance. The great thing about my consultant is that he explains things with absolute care and understanding – at no time did I feel that he was giving me easiest option for him,  he made me feel like he was treating my needs with the upmost priority.

About half past midday the anaesthetist Dr Leadbeater came to see us,  you would think that I would have been panicking about the fact that I was about to have major surgery but I was actually incredibly frightened about having an epidural and really was not convinced that this was the pain relief option for me. Dr Leadbeater spent time talking this through with me, he explained that having this kind of major abdominal surgery that an epidural really is the best option and that this was the one that he would recommend.

We continued to wait in the waiting room,  completed a few crosswords.  My sister joined us about 1 o’clock.  About half 1 a nurse came to see us and she said that they had a bed for me,  but that I would be on Cringleford after the op,  but for now my room was not ready for me.  Therefore when they were ready to take me down to surgery they would come and get me,  I would literally get ready and go straight down. Decided to go to the loo and then randomly bumped in to my twin brother Phil which was just fabulous. Poor Phil wasn’t expecting to see me up and about so it shocked him a bit. We returned to the waiting room and had a great catch up. Phil lives with his family in Spain but had some business in the UK and had managed to get to the hospital to see me.

Finally the nurse came to get me,  to take me through to the room where I had a temporary bed, there was a nurse waiting to wheel me to theatre.  I got dressed in to my stockings and surgical gown.  With that I said ‘see yah later’ to Duncan and I was on my way to the operating theatre.

The ward nurse Davina (sure that was her name) was so lovely to me at this time very reassuring,  Kay (surgery nurse) took over.  I have to be honest and say by this stage I was no longer as calm as I had been,  I still wasn’t nervous but my whole body was shaking from head to toe.  In fact I remember asking the anesthetist what drugs they had given me to make me react like that , only to be told that it was all me !

The procedure for the epidural was for me not the most pleasant experience but I acknowledge that this was because I was so very nervous about having it done.  I was not rational in my approach.  The medical team were absolutely fantastic,  even the students present were incredibly supportive – I did give them my dirty tissues to hold so they felt like they had a role to perform!. During the procedure to administer the epidural,  one of the consultants asked me about my husband and what hobbies he had,  I was terribly rude and said that Duncan was in fact a T@#T ! and that he had too many engines and boats.  I was immediately remorseful thinking about how lovely Duncan has been throughout the whole thing.  Well it did make them all laugh a bit.

Finally I led down on the bed and I don’t really remember anything else until coming round in recovery.

My first feeling in recovery was that I really really needed to pee.  The nurse sat with me advised this discomfort was because of the stents that had been used in surgery and it was perfectly normal for me to be experiencing this.  She reassured me that I had a catheter and I just needed to relax.  I was also told at some point that I hadn’t needed a stoma bag and that there were no stents left in me so that I didn’t need to return to have them removed – phew!

Finally I was wheeled back to my room on Cringleford.  The whole evening is rather blurry. I remember Mr Warren coming to see me and telling me that although my surgery had been very complicated he was very pleased with the outcome.  I had extensive endometriosis and that the majority of the operation had gone well but was complicated when he got to my cervix,  he had no choice but to remove this as my cervix, pelvic wall and bowel were all meshed together with endometriosis.  Mr Warren joked that I was the first patient that had ever brought him out in a sweat – what an accolade!

It was not possible to remove all of the endo around my bowel due to its position but he was hopeful that as my ovaries had been removed that this should not grow back, the plan for the remaining endo is that it will shrivel up and die – lets just hope that the endo has read its part of the contract and that it will leave me alone.

Mr Warren then left me and went to find Duncan to tell him how the op had gone – this was such a kind thing to do,  it really meant an awful lot that he took so much time and care with us.  I know that Duncan really appreciated him going to find him and talking to him directly.

For those medically minded my procedure was a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingoophorectomy as well as a having my bowel resected and stents inserted in to my urethra and endo scrapped from bladder area.  EWWWWW

After a little while Duncan was able to come and see me in my new room.  I am unable to articulate how this felt.  Then Duncan went and invited my big sis Emma and brother Phil to come and see me.  At this point I feel I need to publically apologise to my sister as I did embarrass her by asking her to get her ‘scars’ out and show me what they looked like.  She was a game lass and obliged but the look of horror on Duncan’s and Phil’s face will stay with me forever.

I am told that for the whole evening I kept saying thank god that is all over and that Duncan and I could now look forward to our new life – I really meant it I just can’t remember saying it.

I remember being tickled by something I had read on the internet that a hysterectomy ‘may cause infertility’. Therefore I remember telling my brother and sister about this factoid, and asking my sister if I was now infertile…. my poor brother was a bit taken aback by this question (he looked concerned about how I was gonna react with the answer) and my sister in style listed off that as I my womb and ovaries had been removed that ‘yes’ I was in fact now sterile.

Once my sister, brother and husband had left the nurses apologised to me advising that I would be having hourly obs to check my drain, catheter and vital signs – which meant I wouldn’t get to sleep much.

During the night my pulse dropped very low,  which meant I was having even more obs and a Dr was called to see me.  I had given up sleeping at this point and was led with my iPod meditating.  The Dr asked me initially whether I was ‘fit’  I was like excuse me  …. isn’t that a bit of a bizarre question to ask (kinda thought if he is hitting on me its an odd place, wasn’t looking my best what with a drain, drip and a catheter).  He rephrased it by asking if did a lot of exercise, I replied that yes I had been in preparation for the op (so sadly I hadn’t pulled).  He asked what kind of exercise and then said to the Nurse, well there is your answer she is fit!. I was also asked if I could stop mediating (I had been listening to meditations on my iPod as I hadn’t been able to sleep).  Apparently the meditative state was also making my pulse drop – oops!.

If you had asked me at the time whether I  felt drugged I would have said no,  but I  now know I was completely away with the fairies.

I remember at some point a nurse coming in and asking if she could give me a suppository and that I needed to roll to the side – something I was unable to do as I still had the epidural and my left leg was like a lump of lead.


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Roses of Endometriosis

From the beginning right back to before my operation

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