Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My first surgery...and hopefully the last

Several months ago, I went in for a routine pap smear.  Since I had a blood transfusion three years ago because of a heavy period, my doctor asked me if my periods were still heavy.

I told him that my periods were still heavy, but I was only in bed for two to three days because of the severe cramping I experienced and the heavy flow of my period. He looked concerned, and I assured him that it took only a few days to get my energy back and that I usually felt better within a week.

I didn't think anything of this because I was dealing with it for almost two and half years.  I came to accept that it was something I would deal with until menopause.

I was surprised when my doctor said, "You're basically telling me that you're out of commission for about a week and the other three weeks of the month- you're fine."  He then handed me a brochure of a surgical procedure that could eliminate the heavy bleeding. "Take a look at this. This procedure could help you feel good physically all four weeks of the month, instead of only three."

I've always had heavy periods, but the cramping and the flow became worse. It's hard to stick to a an exercise and diet plan when you're in bed for a few days feeling bloated, crampy, hormonal, and bleeding so heavily that it reminds you of a gushing red Niagara Falls (sorry for the visual).

And when the bleeding and cramping finally subsides, it takes a few more days to get your energy back.  When you finally feel energetic to  perform the more high impact exercise routines and have the mental clarity to stick to your diet- your period arrives.

It becomes a vicious cycle.

I knew by having this procedure, it would definitely close the chapter of being able to have more children biologically. 
You would think after years of trying, that I accepted long ago of my inability to have more children.  I told family and friends that I was grateful to at least have one child and that I was moving on.
But deep down inside I held on to that slim hope...that maybe....just maybe I could get pregnant again.

This procedure would definitely remove any possibility of getting pregnant..... and the fragile hope that I was clinging on to.

Ironically, it didn't take me long to make the decision to have the surgery.  As soon as my doctor showed me the pamphlet, I knew it was the right thing to do.

I went in on a Friday at  6:30 am for surgery.

RM was with me when I went into a room to be prepped for surgery.  He knew that my nerves were very tight and made jokes about my "fashion sense" when I changed into a hospital gown.

As they wheeled me into the operating room, RM yelled out, "Hey, if something happens to you in there and you end up in Heaven- make sure you give me a free pass. I have a feeling you're going to have to sneak me in there."  I shook my head as the nurses laughed.

His warped sense of humor helped loosen my nerves.

It felt surreal to be in the surgery room. There was my doctor, a surgical nurse, and an anesthesiologist.  I took in my surroundings and was reminded of episodes of ER. 

When the anesthesiologist put the oxygen mask over my face, he explained to me that I was breathing in oxygen and the next few seconds I would breathe in the anesthetic that would put me to sleep.  My nose was itchy and I almost asked if I could remove the mask so I could scratch it.

And then I thought, 'Oh what the hell....I'm going to be knocked out in a few seconds anyway'.

That was my last thought before I slipped into peaceful oblivion.

A few hours later, I felt a hand stroking my forehead and knew immediately it was RM.  It was comforting to have him there since he went back to work when I was in the operating room.  When I was finally able to open my eyes, I felt groggy.  I was surprised that I wasn't in any pain. The nurse said it was probably because the anesthesia had not worn off, but I would experience cramping and more bleeding later in the day.

As soon as the nurse left, I looked at RM and said, "She's wrong, you know."

I could tell RM wanted to roll his eyes, but instead he said, "Oh, yeah. And why is that?"

"If I'm not feeling pain now, it's because there won't be any pain later on." This time RM did roll his eyes. "Every online message board I read, women go about their lives the next day." When I saw his look of disbelief, I continued, "It's true. There was a woman on the show Doctors who went out to dinner with her friends the same day of her surgery."

"Not according to the paperwork your doctor gave me." RM took out a piece of paper and pointed to a paragraph. "See that last line here, it says NO strenuous activity for the next TWO weeks."

"If women in China can have a baby and work in the rice fields minutes after they have their baby; then I can start exercising within two days."

"I think the anesthesia is clouding your judgment."

I gave RM a determined look, "Just wait, two days from now- I'll be shaking my booty in Zumba."

RM patted my head like a parent would give to a difficult child, "Uh huh, sure you will."

Two weeks and three days later, I'm finally able to walk a block without feeling any pain or cramping.  RM has been kind enough to refrain from saying, 'I told you so'.

I expected a torrent of tears after the surgery.  A chapter firmly closed from any future pregnancies.

There are no more tears because it's already been spent. I finally came to my senses, that my health and well being comes first.

Our family of three is a complete and whole unit.  Yet our family unit isn't finished, it's bursting in the seams ready to add more children. 

Our lives are pretty chaotic right now.  The timing isn't right for us to adopt- the Lord will let us know when it's time.

And when we get the green light; we'll be ready.


tammy said...

I'm so proud of you for following the spirit even when your desires were elsewhere. WE are all here for you's not easy to end any chance of motherhood. I had to make the same choice when I was pregnant with Molly. I knew in an instant by the spirit as well. I've never doubted my choice. Neither will you...AND feeling good is a wonderful thing.

wendy said...

That must have been a hard decision for some ways settle in on. I mean, I know you said you knew it was the right thing to do and I am sure it was, but I am sure your poor little heart , once again, had to deal with the pain of no more children. BUT, now you will feel better and can take on the world. I love your husbands sense of humor. (sorry I haven't been around much lately, I have been totally absent from the blogging community lately) hugs to you