August 30, 2011

My Surgery Experience: Losing an Ovary

I have been fighting a losing battle with my fertility for many years. For the first 2.5 years of trying to conceive (TTC), I miscarried and then nothing. I went through tons of testing and nothing. No answers. Part of the "unexplained infertility" crowd. I still do not know what we did or how it happened (well.. I KNOW how it happened... LOL), but we conceived a baby in January 2008 and this one stuck. Our miracle, Jackson Robert was born on September 11, 2008 and my life has never been the same.

In the best way, I became a mommy. It is the best thing I have ever known and I don't take a moment of it for granted.

I also got my answers. After Jackson was born, my reproductive system went a little haywire. After a year, I started having painful periods- bad cramping and constant, intense fatigue. I had a vitamin D deficiency which was quickly fixed and the rest was caused by a uterine polyp. I had a D & C and hysteroscopy in February 2010 and I felt great for about 6 months. The painful cramping came back and we went back to watchful waiting mode. In April, I had intense pain with a fever, nausea & vomiting. I had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst rupture. Treated with birth control, we had hope that the cyst would shrink. It did not shrink.

This last Friday, I went into surgery to have it removed. My appointment was earlier than most humans should be allowed to be awake- I had to be there by 5:45am to check in. With a 3 year old at home, my husband and I struggled with how to manage getting Jackson to daycare and getting back to be with me. We decided that my mom would bring me and my husband would arrive while I was in mid-surgery. Mom and I had little waiting. I was quickly checked in and within no more than 15 minutes, I was in my pre-op room answering a bunch of medical questions and getting dressed in my sexy surgery garb. My mom came in to join me and we waited for awhile before the doctor came in to go over the surgery with me. Then it was wait time. It was kind of nice hanging out with my mom. We talked about books, my medical issues, about Jackson. The nurse arrived and it was time to go. Unlike what you see in the movies, I didn't get wheeled in to the operating room. I walked there on my own. I'm not sure why, but it creeped me out. All the nurses and the doctors. The tools. The lights. Strangely, they strapped my arms down as they said, "Arms tend to flop around in the middle of surgery, so we strap them down to keep you safe." My doctor was by my side, holding my hand as they inserted the IV, promising me that everything was going to be great and I would feel so much better when she was done. I don't even the remember the moment the anesthesia hit me.

I woke up in recovery and was most definitely in pain. A nurse was nearby to remove the oxygen mask from my face. I was in and out of consciousness, trying to figure out what time it was. Desperate to know if my husband had made it in and that my son was safely at daycare. Was my mom still there? What the hell did I get hit by? A truck? Ugh. I felt like crap! My doctor stopped by and I heard her say she took the ovary and that she was sorry. Still confused, I came out of it and we started working on getting my pain under control. I was wheeled back to a post-op room where they loaded me up with crackers, pop, water and really whatever I needed. I then saw my husband. I was so happy to see him. So happy he was there. So happy to get out of this sterile smelling place. The only criteria holding me from going home was peeing. LOL. Seems so simple, right? You'd be surprised how hard it is after having abdominal surgery. Finally, pain med prescriptions in hand, we were headed home.

My nurse dog has kept a constant vigil by my side.

I love my hospital slippers
The first couple days were awful. I felt like I was hit by a bus. You never really how much you use your core for EVERYthing and how hard it is when you can't use it normally. My husband had to help me stand up, walk, get into and out of bed... I felt about 90 years old. The narcotics made me tired and dizzy and I was more than ready to get them out of my system. By Sunday, although I was walking better, I felt really sick. Was it the new birth control? The narcotics? They really expect me to be okay to go to work tomorrow?? I was very nauseous and dizzy. When I woke up the next morning I felt as though I was sick. I had a fever, my heart was racing and I was exhausted. I went to see my doctor. I was to not return to work for a week while my wounds and body healed. Sent away with prescriptions in hand, I headed home to resume my recovery. At this moment, I am thankful for the Zofran (anti-nausea medication)- I almost feel... dare I say normal? I have 4 incisions- belly button, two on each side and one longer one in my lower abdomen. I am thankful that it no longer feels like I did a thousand situps in one workout, but yes, the incisions hurt. I am getting around slowly but no longer in need of my poor husband to walk me around. I am SO glad that I was insistent about working out leading up to my surgery. My strong legs and arms have helped me get around over the past few days not to mention help my stamina. I'm very anxious to start exercising again. It will be hard to "start over" but I know I need to start slow and ease my way back into running. It will likely be another week or two before I can even walk around the block.

So here's what they found: My ovary was enlarged, twisted around my bowel, was stuck and growing into my liver and my appendix. The ovary was no longer functional and had to be removed. There wasn't even one singular cyst, it was my enlarged ovary causing all of my monthly agony. Likely the cause of endometriosis, but also a result of my failing reproductive system. I chuckle at my "advanced maternal age" as 35 really, truly doesn't feel that old to me and I know SO many women who have conceived into their 40's. The only way to keep this from happening to the other side is to remain on hormone treatment (i.e. birth control) indefinitely. I will likely have to have a full hysterectomy in 5 years or so. I thought about sharing the photos from my surgery but decided to spare you some of the gore. They are pretty yuck.

This surgery was officially the end of my fertility. I have had time to mourn. I have had my moments of desperation for having another baby. Now, I am at peace. I am ready to recover, move on and be well.

1 comment:

  1. You that is reading my testimony i want you to have the faith that it will also work for you the reason why am saying this. my husband left me for 6moths i never thought that he will come back to me because i tried all i can. he insist not to come back. 3 spell casters cheat me on internet they promise to bring back my husband and took my money for nothing, i was so confuse about my life. i was living in a sad life because there is no husband to cope with. a friend told me about dr. anu how he help her. that he is real grate caster the reason why i believe because she don't lie to me she is good friend of mine. that how i email dr anu for help after 3 days he bring back my husband to me. my heart is full of joy because dr anu did a grate work in my life. his email;


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