It’s Been A While: My Surgery Story
I have been away from my blog for the past month. Here is why…
On the last Monday of April I was scheduled for surgery. I was scared shitless and had so much anxiety surrounding the big day. For a month leading up to the surgery, all I did was talk about it with my friends. Somehow, I felt that if I talked about it, it wouldn’t be as scary. On the day of the surgery, I was calm, yet still so scared. What I was most afraid of was being put under. I was frighten by the idea of being given medication to put me to sleep.
The anesthesiologist came into the room and told me what they would be doing. Then, my doctors came in and told me what the plan was. She asked if I had any questions, and I asked “You are sure everyone in there knows what they are doing?” she nodded and laughed a little and said “Yes I’m sure”. As I was walking to the operation room, I started to break down, I couldn’t stop crying. I had thoughts of running away but at the same time, I was paralyzed by my own fears and anxieties surrounding the surgery. The nurse assured me that everything would be alright but I didn’t believe her. I laid down on the operating table, the nurse wiped away my tears and the anesthesiologist placed the oxygen mask on my face. The next thing I remembered was being told that my nurse was Kevin.
My surgery was for my fibroid. A fibroid is non-cancerous tumour often found on the uterus. I had mine for the past three years. It had made my life uncomfortable, I had heavy periods, going through 12 pads in like 10 hours, constant back pain, trouble with my bladder, and urination. For the past year and half, I have not been able to pee properly. My fibroid became the size of a 5 to 6 months old fetus. Basically, my stomach looked as if I was in my second trimester of pregnancy. It has been difficult and embarrassing for the last couple years. Health wise, it caused anemia, menstruation issues, and pack pain, but personally, I have not been able to wear jeans comfortably in the past 2 years. It has not been easy fashion wise to look like I am 5 to 6 months pregnant.
I was suppose to have lyproscoptic (robotics)myomectomy, but when the doctors got inside me, my fibroid was not in the proper place, so I had to have a more invasive surgery which was an open myomectomy . Basically, my surgery was similar to a C-Section and I gave birth to my tumour. I woke up in massive pain. The first two days after the surgery were the hardest days of my life. I honestly thought I wouldn’t and couldn’t survive. My whole bikini line had been cut open to remove the tumour and sewn back together. The pain was the worst I have ever felt in my life.
The morphine I was on made me itchy, so I ended up scratching myself so much that my whole back became bloodly, my hospital bed was spotted with blood. I had a catheder in and I was awake as it was pulled out. On top of that, as I was trying to pee by myself without the catheder, I became so nauseous that I throw up all over myself as I was sitting on the toilet. I just kept throwing up on myself and I couldn’t stop. My whole body convulsing, including my new stitches which burned as I heaved the nothingness that was in my stomach. My wounds burned so badly as I vomited, I wanted to cry but what was the point?.
The pain was so overwhelming and the shame was too much to bare. I have never felt so weak and defeated in my life. I was a fucking mess and all I wanted to do was go for a run and I am not even a runner. Walking was so painful, peeing was like the worst pain I have ever experienced and passing gas felt like something my body had never done before. To say it was tough was an understatement. On the third day, I was able to go home but my heart rate was high, whether due to pain or stress, or anxiety, I don’t know.
The thing was, I was stressed about the surgery and not the recovery. I was worried about the wrong thing because the easiest thing was the surgery itself. Recovery has been so tough. Walking hurts, peeing hurts, farting hurts, siting hurts, standing hurts. Everything hurts and I honestly don’t know what I would do without Percocet, Naproxen, and stool softners. This whole experience has made me think about having children in the future. If I was to have a child, it would be a similar surgery, because I can’t have children vaginally. The fear of the recovery plus taking care of a child is so terrifying to me that I could cry.
I have so much respect for every woman who has had a C-Section because it is tough, it fucking painful and awful. The fact that you have this surgery and take care of a new born is crazy to me. I bow down to every woman who has gone through this surgery or has had a C-Section. It is tough, it is scary, it is painful, and my God is it painful.
With that being said, its been four weeks and I feel so much better. Yes, there is still pain but I am not taking Percocet anymore and just using advil. I can walk and go the bathroom. I am sore but as I get better everyday, I move away from the first two days of hell I experienced.
Recovery has not been easy emotionally or physically. This surgery has taught me how to be vulnerable, what it means to be weak, and what it means to take steps towards something better when it feels like you can’t. I have also learned a valuable lesson in asking for help from others. In these past weeks, I have felt defeated and defenceless. I have felt lost and angry, but if anything, I have learned resilience, strength, and an a deep appreciation of what my body can do.
This quote by Viktor E. Frankl comes to mind, when I think of my experience these past weeks. “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”
I know this quote is super dramatic but it really helped me put things into perspective. Life is so much better when you have some real perspective.
I would like to end this post with a special thanks to my friend, Joelle, who was there the first week and took care of me. My friend Allyson, who was at the hostipal with me. My roommate Yzzel, who helped me take a shower when I couldn’t bend or reach for anything. To Paolo, who took care of me during my second week of recovery and for cooking so many delicious meals and giving me the best medicine of all, laughter, thank you so much! I honestly don’t know what I would do without you. And to everyone who visited me ( Sarina, Shannon, and Joanna) at home, texted me and called, thank you!!
P.S: A big shout out to my nurses who were so amazing. Honestly, nurses are the fucking best. They do so much and as a patient you see everything they do. I love nurses.
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