Saturday, June 21, 2014

surgery recap & results

I wanted to write about my surgery yesterday while it's still fresh in my mind.

I didn't sleep well Thursday night because my nose was so stuffed up. Yuck. Friday morning I took a nice long shower and we collected what we needed for the hospital: ID and insurance card, books, cell phones, and a pillow for the car ride home (to put between the seatbelt and my belly). We said some prayers together and left at 8:30.

We arrived at the hospital by 9:15 and checked in. We were supposed to arrive at 10, so I was surprised that they took me back to get prepped almost immediately. I got my vitals checked, then changed into my hospital gown, which was surprisingly modest!

I waited in the room for a while, feeling stuffed up and nervous. An RN came in and asked me a lot of questions about my health, what supplements do I take, earlier surgeries, and on and on. She was very kind and motherly - she told me her son had the same time as my husband and we chatted about our families, which put me at ease.

I got my IV in, and shortly after that Mr. M came back, along with a good friend of ours who works at the hospital. The three of us chatted and prayed together. My nurse friend was really reassuring and also told Mr. M where the chapel was so he could go and pray as soon as they took me back.

Then waiting, waiting, waiting. Dr. S (my doctor) finally arrived, a quarter to noon. She explained again what was going to happen: pelviscopy (a laparoscopy focused on the pelvic area), hysteroscopy, and selective HSG. She offered to pray with us too, which we were very happy about!

The anesthesiologist was running late and didn't arrive until 12:30. He was very kind and went over some medical history with me too. I told him about my cold and he checked my lungs with a stethoscope and said to our great relief that the cold shouldn't matter. Actually, they put an antibiotic in my IV, so today my cold is pretty much gone! That was pretty nifty =)

A few more introductions, to the surgical nurse, nurse anesthetist, and student nurse anesthetist, and then we were ready to roll. They put the calming drug in my IV and I started to feel very relaxed. I said goodbye to Mr. M and was rolled down the hall. They positioned me onto the operating table and things were getting very dreamy. I remember Dr. S holding my hand and getting the oxygen mask over my head. There was lots of activity around me, and then I was gone.

When I woke up, I felt a good amount of pain in my abdomen: I said a 6 out of 10, so they increased my pain meds. I was cold and somewhat uncomfortable but overall really happy and grateful that it was over! I felt really, really thirsty and was given some ice chips to chew on. I can't say how long I lay there in recovery: I know they said they let the lap patients rest for a longer time to try to get some of the gas out. I dozed off and on, pretty oblivious to everything around me.

Eventually I asked the nurse for my glasses and she asked if I was ready to sit up, and I said yes. Someone else came over and helped me into a gown, then helped me move my legs off the bed and sit up. I felt mostly weak and a little dizzy, but not nauseous at all. The nurse helped me walk to the bathroom, then helped me sit down in a big comfy recliner. She got me some graham crackers and water and soon I was happy to see my husband walk in smiling! A sight for sore eyes =)

At this point I was feeling not half bad: not in pain, warm enough, and so happy to get something to eat and drink. As we waited to be released, Mr. M told me my surgery results, which Dr. S had explained to him: it turns out that I do not have endometriosis. None. Nada. Zilch. Dr. S was actually really surprised by this, because the vast majority (80%) of couples with "unexplained infertility" who have done the other tests we've done have endo. But I don't. No scarring either, which was good to hear since I've already had a hysteroscopy and polyp removal. My tubes were open, no adhesions were found, basically everything looked as healthy as can be.

It will take some time to process this news, I think. Basically everything we've tested (hormones, semen, ovulation, tubes, and now uterus and pelvic organs) has been fine and yet we haven't conceived after trying for three years. On the one hand, I guess this means that there's no reason we couldn't conceive! On the other hand, HUH?!?!

(Or, my mom's theory: everyone's prayers healed the endo before the surgery. No way to prove that, but a nice thought!)

Back to surgery day: we were discharged just before 6 p.m. and I was wheeled out front by another very kind nurse while Mr. M got the car. An uneventful ride home, and great feelings of relief at everything being over! The strong pain meds lasted all evening and I felt drowsy but not in pain.

Today I'm in a decent amount of pain and stiffness, but nothing too awful. Mr. M has been taking stellar care of me: he's baking lemon bars at my request right now! I feel a bit icky not being able to shower until tomorrow afternoon, oh well, and I'm definitely bloated from the gas. But overall I'm feeling great at being on the other side of the surgery and I'm looking forward to being pampered for a week =)

Thank you so much for your prayers for us!!



  1. Thank you so much for the surgery recap. I included you in my prayers for the past couple of nights that all would go well. So happy that the procedure was successful and that you got a little help with your cold in the process! And while I'm very glad to hear you didn't surface from surgery with an endo diagnosis like I got, I can also understand how frustrating it must be to *still* not have the answers on what is going on - despite so much effort to try and find answers.

    Have you done the big Foodprint test? I have a friend in a similar situation to what you are describing - good cycle, good hormones, tubes and organs are good, SA looked fine - but her Foodprint test just came back with giant red flags on it. It's now on my list to do as well, since diet is really the only daily way of coping with this cross that I feel in control of! I will keep praying for your quick recovery and for your processing the surgery. I'm a really, really slow processor... so that's usually the hard part for me.

  2. That is great that the surgery went so well and you are dealing with it as good as you can. No endo is good. I know you went in thinking there has to be something to fix...and now you are left with questions...but good health is actually pretty positive. I just might be a matter of time....before you are sharing "news" with all of us.

  3. Praying for your continued healing! I'm happy that things went well, but sorry that you don't have more answers.

  4. Yay! You did it! Sounds like you were a surgery champ. :) Was praying for ya! Glad that you have answers about what your insides look like, but sorry that means it's a bit confusing right now. Hoping there are still more steps your doctor can take to get to the bottom of your IF.

    So glad you're being pampered! Rest up, heal up, and gas out! :)

  5. Yay!!! So sorry to hear that things aren't more clear, but at least you've ruled out the endo. Happy to hear you're on the mend and being pampered. ;)

  6. That's so hard--good news, but hard to deal with. I'm glad you don't have endo though! I hope your recovery continues to go well (and enjoy being pampered :-) )

  7. SO glad that surgery was overall a manageable process! Your mom might be right...all of these prayers must have worked some wonders for you! Like the women above, I too am glad that they didn't find any endo...but I certainly understand the confusion of "if not this, then what?!" I will continue to pray for you guys, but am very excited about your good health!

  8. Today's good news there wasn't any endometriosis, but must be kind of perplexing!!!!! Ahhhhhhh. I like your mom's theory. :-) yummy, lemon bars. Glad you weren't too nauseous, that was my biggest challenge.

  9. On one hand I'm happy for you that your surgery results were normal, but on the other hand I wish there was something to fix or an explanation of why you haven't been able to conceive so far. If I can ask, did the hysteroscopy show endometrial stippling or micropolyps at all? I know you said everything was normal, but those aren't usually considered problematic except by Dr. Hilgers and his fellows. I don't know how much your surgeon knows about that in particular because I don't think she did the surgery fellowship with Dr. Hilgers. Just asking on the off chance it was overlooked.

  10. I second Conceiving Hope's idea of doing a food intolerance test. If you want to listen to a talk given by the Irish NaPro doctor Dr. Boyle on the topic, there's a link in my current post (click on "food intolerance test" then click on the link near the top of the new post that opens up). He talks about how some of his patients who exhausted all treatments he had to offer later became pregnant, and he found out they were changing their diets. This is what was working for his patients, either: 1) gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet or 2) do a food intolerance test. The company I used for that test was

  11. Here is the test Dr. Boyle's patients have used. You can either do this big one at this link and test everything in one pass (most expensive option) or navigate the website to find the cheaper 'Indicator Test' option. I think it's $300 vs. $99, respectively (the former telling you the results for 200 foods, the latter telling you basic information that may point to whether you need to do the big test. They offer everything in between as well - covering all the major allergens...and all the way down to spices and meats on the bigger tests: