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and now, in more exciting robotic news…

December 22nd, 2009

I am up and moving around a lot better than I was a few days ago. Last night, for instance, I walked (with my bodyguard Steve) to the acupuncturist’s office. Then I walked home. Last night I slept on my side for awhile; then I switched to my other side. The things you take for granted in day to day life. This morning, though, I woke up at 5:30 with a headache biting behind my eyes, so i thought i might as well stretch, eat breakfast, take more advil and write.

so here i am, baby.

I’m assuming that uterus-gone-bad was not cancerous. This is a big assumption, because as my dear Wacky Cousin so succinctly put it, they are “douches” at my doctor’s office. If the results were cancer, I might not hear at all. Or I might hear in three to six months, right before I was ready to kick. As far as we know, results were: spongy uterus with fibroids and polyps.

Here is how it went:

1) went in for surgery (skedded for 2 p.m. last Wednesday, Dec. 16th)

2) that meant I couldn’t eat or drink after 2 a.m. that day

3) that meant my calcium was crashing and I was grouchier than usual (i have thyroid b.s. to deal with — that’s what aggravates the gyn issues. and if i don’t get enough calcium I get shaky and weird(er than usual) and Steve had to deal with me crying and freaking out no less than four or seven times.

4) the surgery took 3 hours. i went under to the anaethesiologist (sp?) drug man saying, “there is the robotic equipment the doctor will use” and staring at an entire wall that was taken up by this huge robot thing. really good that i passed out right then.

5) “laproscopic surgery” for me meant four small incisions (two on each side of my stomach) plus an incision in my belly button — they filled my insides up with gas, then pulled my uterus out through my belly button (somewhere else). i bled all over on my right side, apparently. i think the doctor had a “tiny freak out” following the surgery because i didn’t see her again until almost 6:30 the next night. No, she didn’t have anyone cover her rounds. Left me alone with the nurses, who THANK GOD NURSES I LOVE YOU, were incredible.
* may i digress to say, in all the times I’ve been to the doctor’s office, the ER, in for hospitalization, in with my kids for various this and that, I have met maybe two nurses who I didn’t care for. Two. Whereas I have met a number (10? 15? more?) of doctors (and midwives, i am sorrowed to say) who were cocky, arrogant, disrespectful, asleep at the fucking wheel — now, now. All I’m saying is, when you consider how many more nurses there are out there than doctors, what does that say about docs, eh?

6) i was in recovery for 3 hours (because my doc could not interpret my saying, “if you give me anything synthetic I’ll get sick as a dog. just give me morphine. This includes when I’m coming to.” Look. I was specific. I get really friggin’ sick from narcotics, and when you’ve just had, say, throat surgery? Or abdominal surgery? You do not want to throw up. I never want to throw up, any day.

* on a bright note, because I’ve gotten motion-sick my entire life, I have a pretty high threshold for pain. So with both of my thyroid surgeries, both of my c-sections, and now with this robo-surgery, i’ve been able to manage the pain with just advil and tylenol. This does not make me better than you. If I could, I would take the narcotics, any day.

So they gave me dilaudid in recovery and a bunch of other crap, and I couldn’t breathe. Or I stopped breathing. Or I kept stopping breathing. However you would like to phrase it, go ahead. Woke up to a nurse leaning over me, yelling BREATHE and calling people on the phone to tell them I wasn’t breathing.
* it really is true — the hearing is the last thing to go.

7) back to my room, and my husband, who was worried sick. He helped me, the nurses helped me, I got some damn morphine, finally, and slept in fits and starts. Did I throw up? No I did not. Fantastic.

8) Next morning: very sore (still a little sore today, six days later, but not as bad as it was). no sign of doctor. nurse calls doc no less than four times during the day, is she going to stop by on rounds? Doc yells at her. Nice job, doc. Meanwhile, I’m ready to go home and get some sleep. Doc finally sails in around 6:30 p.m., tells my husband he needs to “seduce” me in three weeks, sails out. I. Was. Horrified.
* no, she’s really a female doctor. Uh-huh.

* If you live in the Portland area and would like the name of said doc, so you can make sure you never see her, please e me, no problem. She is all, “superstar doc,” one of the “rising stars” in medicine, uh-huh.

9) we picked up the kids at L’s (thank you L, i appreciate it), and there are no sweeter words to hear from two sweet kids than, “Mom! You’re back! Mom’s back!”; we got home; acupuncturist immediately made a housecall. Herbs, liniments, beads in my ears and on wrists, needles. Get. That. Blood. Circulating. Ahhhhhh… thank you, Eastern medicine, for your non-barbaric ways. Yes, the surgery had to be done, but did they need to tear me apart and bruise me? “Robotic is less-invasive” my ass.

* my acupuncturist is brilliant and oh so kind. he knew i needed him. plus, he trained with The Guru, my first acupuncturist, who took care of me in my late 20s, when I was having my 2nd thyroid surgery done. The clinic was sliding scale, which was the only reason I could afford it, and there I would be, day after day, just me and the junkies, getting our herbs and getting needled.

* my needle doc and i both think it’s “funny” and not in a ha-ha kinda way that my doc’s office says the “earliest” they can see me for post-op is January 19th. Of 2011. KIDDING. They mean next month.

10) slept, stretched, watched TV with the kids and my husband, cuddled up with a heating pad, and I’m guzzling water to get rid of the extra ten pounds I’m suddenly lugging around (down to five extra pounds this a.m., according to Wii-Fit Plus “you’ve lost 4.9 pounds!”). Steve has done all of the Christmas stuff — shopping, wrapping, baking cookies, feeding me tangerines. He’s kinda cool, my Hockey God. My in-laws and out-of-town friends called, texted, sent care packages and cards; Zip brought soup and bread, my sister and her husband brought soup and books, MamaToo brought pasta, Angel’s Magical Homemade Alfredo and salad, my mom has been by to babysit me, my cousins are coming by next week, the acupuncturist is, you know. A healer and I’m feeling a lot better. “the light will be back soon,” as one of my girlfriends put it. she’s right. thanks, y’all. you’re nice.

11) thank you, everyone, for being so cool. for leaving your notes in comments, for sending e-mails and calling. it has meant a lot to me, and has comforted me. i have a really, really nice crew of readers (and friends) (awwwww, group hug, get over here). thank you. happy holidays, and i bid you…

farewell, for now.



  1. WackyMummy says

    Ok, first of all, I’m so happy you survived. Sounds scary!

    Second of all, you’ve scared the shit out of me. I’m ready to cancel my surgery. I too have an intolerance to mainstream anesthetics and it takes me about 4 times longer to WAKE UP from it, and then I’m sick as a dog for a week. My surgeries in the past (not many) have required gravol injections because I couldn’t keep anything down.

    I’m also to have laproscopic AND vaginal procedures done at the same time. WTF? I don’t know any acupuncturists (I live in medieval canada). This makes me sad. :(

    Still, my point is: hooray for you! for surviving! for living to tell about it! for scaring me shitless!

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  2. Wacky Mommy says

    Hon, please don’t let this scare you off. I am GLAD i had it done. i have been in misery for years. These have been ongoing problems since I was a teenager, it’s been a real drag. The technology really is way better — we’re not talking about 3 months’ of recovery. I think vag means they don’t take it out through your bellybutton — i’ve heard that’s better. OK, TMI for some of you? sorry, but why should we make this topic taboo?

    If it was our spleens or appendixes, we’d be talk-talking about it. WackyMummy, you are a sweetie, i’m sorry that i freaked you.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  3. Nan says

    Gad. I am SO glad you are recovering. Been thinking of you! Hooray for Hockey God, take ten extra points. I had acupuncture for the first time this month, and was thrilled with both sessions. It really works. I’ve had acupressure plenty of times, but was never brave enough for the needles till I was in enough pain to really need help! (hurt my elbow, RSI, nothing dire… healing amazingly well and quickly, I just have to be very careful not to screw it up again.)

    Have a beautiful Christmas Wacky Friend, and blessings and looove and chocolate goodness to you and all of your family.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  4. The Other Laura says

    I was wondering if we would get a little bit of the story and although I kept whispering “holy shit” the entire time I read it, I wanted to know how it had gone. So, thanks. I am so glad you’re okay.

    I can’t do morphine, makes me sick as a dog. Tylenol with codeine is all I can take and no, the doctor never remembers that no matter how many time I told them and insisted they write it in my chart. Nurses are angels, I agree.

    Have I ever told you about the anesthesiologist who answered her cell phone and ORDERED CHINESE FOOD during my c-section?

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  5. wacky cousin says

    Mmmm. Chinese food.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  6. Wacky Mommy says

    Nan, i love the needles and THANK YOU!; TOL, well, they should have sent out for pizza, too, that woulda been thoughtful; wacky cousin, sushi.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  7. Jennymcb says

    Okay, so from the medical point of view from having to deal with egotistical docs, I think you should write a nice letter to the hospital regarding your doctor’s lack of communication skills. If they are truly patient focused and looking to improve themselves, they might be sending you a survey. (Did your hospital do a pre-surgical call or meeting with anesthesia a day or two before your surgery? This is when I was able to tell them which drugs worked and which drugs made me cry….they listened)

    For the pathology report, contact the hospital and tell them that you would like a copy of the pathology report for your surgery. Don’t take no for an answer, you may have to fill out a form, but it is your right to get a copy of the report if you ask for it. Alternatively, you can also call your doctor’s office, ask to speak to her nurse and ask them to read the report to you.
    Glad you had your husband to help you out and I hope that each day is better for you.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

  8. Steve R. says

    They knock you out, beat you up, and steal an organ. Then they just leave you in the hospital without checking in with you.

    I had far better care when I had a wisdom tooth out… had a call the next day from the office, checking in, asking if I had enough drugs, answering questions, giving advice. I think they actually called the next day after that, too. Really caring and professional. You’d think a surgeon would offer the same courtesy.

    December 22nd, 2009 | #

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