...because we all have our motley moments!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tales from the OR

Back when I was trying to get pregnant, I ended up having three surgeries in two years. A few years later, I had my hysterectomy, so over the years, I walked away with many scars (all below the bikini line, if it matters) and a few funny stories.

May 12, 1999 - My first surgery. An exploratory surgery to see what was wrong with my reproductive organs. Dr. Bopp, my surgeon, did an excellent job preparing me for the surgery by explaining in detail all that could go wrong. After all, he was legally required to tell me that there was a chance I could wake up without my uterus, if I woke up at all. He failed to tell me that those were one in a million chances, so by the day of my surgery, I was a nervous wreck. In the weeks leading up to the surgery I had been stressing out about everything from people seeing me naked to not waking up at all.

On the morning of the surgery, he stopped by to see how I was doing. I told him there was no way I wanted to have the surgery. I changed my mind; I couldn't go through with it. He smiled and quietly said that he wanted me to talk to the anesthesiologist - that would help ease my fears. The anesthesiologist came out, introduced himself and took a look at my IV. The next thing I know, I am waking up in a different room. I didn't even know I had surgery! I asked to see my family, and horrors of horrors, they told me I would have to dress my self first. It was an outpatient surgery, so its basically like ordering from the drive-thru at McDonald's. They make sure you are awake, in little to no pain, and throw drugs at your car window while your loved one drives you home. "Don't let the door hit you on your way out," comes to mind.

From this surgery, I learned that I had severe endometriosis, and I learned that I should always as for versed as soon as I was in my operating gown. Once I was home and comfortable, I also learned I had one more incision than I thought I would. They ended up doing a lot more than just exploring.

February 14, 2000 - My second surgery. This one was a full incision (laparotomy) with hospital stay to open and repair my fallopian tubes. Inpatient surgeries are much better as you usually get a morphine drip - way better than outpatient pain meds. It ended up being a gigantic waste of time, except for the four weeks I took off from work on medical leave :). I woke up on the day after surgery and had to pee, so I rang the nurse. She came right away as I still had my catheter in, which of course, I was too out of it to realize. She unkinked the catheter line for me, but told me if I still had trouble they would need to take it out and put it back in again - while I was AWAKE! From this surgery, I made a new rule: catheters can only go in after I am knocked out.

May 10, 2001 - My third surgery. This time we were doing the GIFT procedure to try to get pregnant. It was pretty uneventful. The doctor harvested six of my eggs to put back inside my uterus. We put in three and froze three for a later date because you shouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket, I mean uterus. The only thing slightly funny was that my surgeon, Dr. Bopp, didn't do the surgery, but I had seen so many doctors by then that I didn't really care.

July 13, 2007 - My last surgery. This was the big one. I always knew it was out there looming over my head - the hysterectomy. By now, I was a pro at surgeries and really wanted to have this one done. I was a little nervous that it was scheduled for Friday the 13th, but I really liked my doctor. She was actually my first OB/GYN, so I had come full circle. I was hoping to give birth to a 10 pound uterus. The surgery was done where I had worked for years, but anesthesiologically speaking, this was a new hospital for me, and I had some problems with the meds. When I finally woke up, I was in pain, so I kept pressing the button on my morphine pump. Let me first say that you are not supposed to be able to overdose on that. I'm not sure what happened, but I woke up on the fourth floor (Adult Care Unit) instead of on the second floor (Womens' and Children's), and every time I did wake up, the nurses were on the phone with my doctor. I thought that was all strange, but I was so tired I just kept going back to sleep. The next day I learned that I had some how overdosed on the morphine and almost went into respiratory arrest! They had to use Narcan (I don't really know what this means, but it corroborates my story - this was pretty serious) to pull me out of it. I guess that's what you get for having surgery on Friday the 13th! This time around, I learned that my uterus only weighed two pounds :(.

Unless something happens with my appendix, I think surgeries are behind me. At least I hope they are. But if not, at least I know to ask for the good drugs!


Liz said...

Okay, I am seriously laughing after this one, although I think maybe I shouldn't be! I'm sorry you had to have all those surgeries, but boy do you have some funny stories!

fawnda said...

Wow Pam you went through a lot! I have not had to have any surgeries, and hopefully never will. I am glad that you can look back and see some humor in these hard situations.

Janice said...

Pam, let me just say, once again, that you are hilarious. Leave it to you to make all of that funny. :)

Rachel said...

I seriously think you should write a book! :)

Pam said...

Thanks girls! I love to make people laugh. I wasn't always laughing at the time, but my Mom and Charlie were after they would give me the Versed. Apparently, I only thought I was sleeping.

Donna said...

You are hilarious, Pam! No matter where you go or what you do, I know you will find the humor in your life. And I hope you'll keep writing about it on MotleyMoms!