It was the best of tubes, it was the worst of tubes. It was a day of anxiety, it was a night of drug induced craziness…
Chapter One: An Afternoon of Peeing
I arrive at the hospital with Shmerson and my mom at 4pm as scheduled. I’m freaking out. My mom’s freaking out. Shmerson is freaking out but hiding it using stupid jokes.
I get checked in, and the nurse checking me in notes that the anesthesiologist, with whom I had met a couple of days earlier, had put in my chart that I should get some happy pills pre-op. In a moment of jest, I ask that he carve a smiley face in the Valium. He was not amused. Too bad those darn male nurses don’t have much of a sense of humor.
In the pre-pre-op room, I down the Valium, and go to pee for what is most likely the 20th time that day. Apparently I am a nervous pee-er. Since I hadn’t had any water for the last 5 hours I was surprised that there was liquid coming out of my bladder at all.
The operating doc came in. Let’s just call him the Russian. Cause that’s cool and gangsta, and he was Russian. The night before in a fit of panic, I had called him and asked him to talk me through the procedure. So when he came in I was all set. Just waiting for the happy pills to start kicking in because really – this was getting ridiculous and I needed me some drugs. The Russian asked if I had any more questions. My mom and Shmerson looked at me expectantly. After all, I am the annoying know-it-all patient. They were sure I had a bunch. I did, but they were taken care of the night before.
It was a pretty anti-climactic conversation. It basically went something like this: I don’t care what you find, you’re not taking out my ovaries. Oh – and please press extra hard on my stomach after you’re done so that most of the air comes out.
For some reason, the Russian was not amused either. Something about this hospital keeps people from being amused. He gave me this look that said “I’ve done this a million times, I’ll squeeze the freaking air out.”
I smiled and said: “Forgive me, I’m a blogger.” I think the Valium had started to kick in, because I’m sure this made sense to no one except myself, and perhaps Shmerson.
From the pre-pre-op room I got wheeled into the pre-op room. That’s when the real fun began. First, I grilled every nurse in the room: “Tell me this has been done a million times and I’ll be fine.” They all looked at me kind of strangely. Nodded. Nothing more. Yeah, no humor whatsoever. After another nervous pee or five, the mood became elevated. It was time for pictures!
I don’t know who’s idea they were. But I’m assuming mine. Now they’re up here for posterity. Not sure that’s so much with the wise either. Ahh well.
Chapter Two: An Evening of Drugging
After too long a wait I got wheeled into the operating theater where the Russian was hanging out, waiting for me. I was hauled up onto stirrups, and the anesthesiologist walked in. He was wearing one of those head covering scrub-thingies doctors wear, only it was covered in pot leaves and the jamaican flag. At least one guy in this place has a sense of humor.
I started feeling heavy. I asked rasta-dude if he’d already started the drugs. He said yes. My intelligent answer: Well, that explains that. Then I looked at the Russian again and asked “It’ll be ok right?” He smiled and said good night. I think. I was pretty much knocked out at this stage.
About an hour and a half later I get woken up with an oxygen mask on my face and a burning in my cooch. Not ideal, but hey – I’m still here. So that’s all good. I ask a nurse what time it was. And I asked when I can see my husband. I also think I told one of the nurses about a dream I had when I was under. But that part is kind of a blur. Nice to know you can dream during these things though. Too bad the nurse didn’t write it down. Silly nurses.
They wheel me into the room where I’d be staying for the night, shared with two other women (one with a husband with a penchant for snoring – more on that later). Shmerson and my mom come in. I kiss Shmerson and tell him he’s the love of my life. I remember saying it once. He has since informed me that I said it 4 or 5 times and after the 5th, when he kissed me, he decided that my mouth tasted like a dentist’s office. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Oh, the romance of it all!
At 9:30pm the visiting hours police came around, and I told Shmerson and mom to go in peace. I was a-ok and drugged out of my mind.
So much so – that I actually outed myself on facebook by accident. This was a good one. At 10pm my FB status read thusly: “Drugs are good, mmmkay? Especially the post-general-anesthesia variety.”
At the time I thought this was witty. But lo and behold, it actually brought my situation to the attention of several FB buddies who had no idea that I was a crazy infertile with a tendency to lose babies in the first trimester. After a concerned comment, I had no choice but to answer: “Had lap surgery to take care of a blocked tube. Stupid infertility. Ahh well.” This was all good in the end because a swarm of my friends who knew about my situation finally felt free enough to comment about sperm swimming inside my uterus and other such fun things. I guess my lady parts have finally crossed into the final social media frontier. Maybe now I can post some bitter infertile statuses. That would be nice.
I think I also may have skyped with Elphaba at one point. And I’m pretty sure a couple of friends called me. But most of that was a blur. I was also starting to get hungry. But the nurse suggested I wait, to avoid puking. So I did. But I drank. A lot. This would complicate things later.
Chapter Three: A Night of Awkward Flatulence
So all of the visitors are gone, the lights are out, and I can’t sleep. Not because of the pain, but because all of the leftover air in my abdomen has decided to begin it’s graceful exit out of my back end. Now, generally speaking, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Except that in the bed next to me was a scared looking woman who’s husband had snuck back in to spend the night. She was scared so I didn’t want to tattle. But really, farting in front of a completely strange man put me in quite the uncomfortable position.
So I snuck them out quietly for the first couple of hours. One little bit at a time, grateful that they were of the silent-but-not-deadly variety. Then, I was ready to pee.
Now mind you, I was still in a buttocks-exposing hospital gown, no underwear, and covered with iodine. And there was a a rather large man napping next to my bed. I was stoned, gassy, stitched up, and connected to an IV.
I won’t go into the gory details, but making it to pee took some serious maneuvering. Oh, and it hurt like a mo-fo. Apparently, they put a catheter in you while they do this stuff. Now I truly know the meaning of “it burns when I pee.” Yet another fun experience to add to my infertility checklist. Oh! I should totally make a checklist! Maybe in the next post.
So back to bed I awkwardly go. Now I’m pretty much ready to sleep. But loyal hubby next door apparently likes to snore. Loudly. I am not a happy camper. So in retaliation I let one rip in the hopes of waking him up and making the snoring stop. No dice. Ahh well, at least more air was expelled.
Chapter Four: A Morning of Impatience
I get woken up at 5am to get my vitals checked and my IV removed. I’ve only been asleep for an hour thanks to Snorey McSnoreson in the next bed. Then a disgusting breakfast is served. It’s been 24 hours since I last ate so I down the roll on the tray hungrily, and am grateful to Shmerson when he shows up an hour later sporting a large pineapple-mango smoothie. But before all this, I have a very big decision to make: Snorey is in the room, I’m half naked and covered in iodine, I’ve got three X’s of stiching on various points of my stomach, and I need to get dressed.
Somehow I decide to wait until we get home to shower. Somehow I maneuver the curtain enough so that Snorey doesn’t get any glimpses of my currently brown-tinged lady parts. Somehow, with no assistance I actually manage to dress myself just in time for Shmerson, the smoothie, and the Russian coming in to give me the post-op.
Still not clear on the details. I think that’s for another post. But basically, he only made 3 incisions because Ole’ Righty was just fine, but we kissed Ole’ Lefty goodbye because she was dysfunctional. So now I’m asymmetrical. That’s very infertility-chic, don’t you think?
It took them another freaking hour to discharge me. By that time I was grumpy, bloaty, itchy, and smelly. And I was pretty sick of sneaking around with the passing of the gas. But finally I was let go to sweet, blessed, farting-friendly freedom.
Chapter 5: A Day of Abhorrent Caloric Intake
I come home to a care package courtesy of Squish and Me0Me containing chocolate, and lots of it. Later in the day, my mother brought over yummy food. And – gasp! – baked goods with white flour and sugar in them. If you knew my mother you would understand that this is a first. I take the blessed shower, check out the weird tic-tac-toe game I’ve got going on on my abdomen, and sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. Oh – and eat. A lot. So much so that I actually resorted once again to Dr. Google. Apparently excessive hunger is a side effect of invasive surgical procedures. Who knew! Yet another fun factoid for my little list.
Finally, the farting stops and the shoulder pain starts. Ahh well. I knew it was too good to be true. At least I have a heart shaped heating pad and plenty of advil to get me through it. But really, I think I preferred the farting. Not so much with the lady-like, but far less painful. I’ll make sure to let my body know that if I have to go through this again, to please release all air and gasses through pre-made orifices. That’s what they’re there for. Maybe it’ll cooperate. But who knows, my body is kind of weird, and I’m sure rather upset at me for this whole cutting it open thing I just made it go through. We’ll see in the coming days what amount of revenge it decides to partake in. For now, well, we’ve got a heart shaped pillow! Bonus.
Epilogue: An Ode to Ole’ Lefty
Lefty, oh lefty, I thought you were good
I thought you would survive when they looked under the hood
I thought that your sister Ole’ Righty was the bad one
But apparently it was you who was troubled and barren
Lefty, you left me, now I’m out of the stirrup
I hope Ole’ Righty is ready to knock me up
If Righty is right then we should be okay
And I should be a preggo keeping ectopics at bay
Lefty, oh Lefty, I can’t say I’ll miss you
I’m sure you caused more trouble than good
Lefty, oh Lefty, you were such a bother
So I’m glad that you left when they looked under the hood
And now, I leave you with a song, a tribute, a goodbye to my left tube. Good riddance.