Firstly, my sincere apologies for disappearing off the face of the endo earth. I enjoyed recovering a lot. Too much, perhaps. I just wanted to give a bit of an overview about my second lap experience, not necessarily for the people out there with endo because they'll know it all too well, but also for those who aren't aware of the procedure and to generally give an update, as it's been so long.
My op was 5 weeks ago today, at a specialist centre in London. I was allocated a morning slot, so I needed to arrive at 7:30am, which for those with chronic fatigue know, is hard work. The night before I stopped eating at 6pm and drinking at midnight, which was a mistake on my part, after passing out in my prep-op, I mixed up the times - I could eat until midnight and drink until 6am. My heart broke a little when I realised this. By 1am I was thirsty, by 2am I had a thumping headache and my mouth was dry. I drink a lot - like seriously a lot, maybe more than I should judging by my number of loo breaks a day, but I am constantly thirsty (yes, I've been tested for diabetes several times). My boyfriend has never seen anything like it. So when we arrived at the hospital I was tired and dehydrated and panicky about not having drunk enough water in the past 8 hours, but I was fine enough, I was determined not to be one of those patients who let the entire waiting room know they're irritable and shout at the staff every half an hour (apologies if that's you). Our waiting room was shared with the rest of the pre-op assessment department, and we had some vibrant and lively guests spend a few hours with us at a time, whilst those waiting for surgery trickled down. By 11:30am I couldn't wait any longer and begged for some water, they said I wouldn't be seen for a while so I was allowed just under 100ml, which was gone in a gulp. I felt like I was in a desert - all I needed was to start hallucinating, which I was sure would come.
Finally, I went down at 3pm, my consultant apologised for my wait and kindly put me on a dehydration drip when I explained my water drama. I went through the usual panic I'm sure most people feel, as they put in the needles and the oxygen mask on, I was nervous about feeling so unwell from lack of water and fainting from panic like the week before - I didn't want that to bring the surgery to a halt. However, I went down without even realising and I awoke to a girl whom must have been very confused as I took her hand seriously and told her how pretty her headscarf was. After some morphine, I was transported in my bed to the recovery ward, where I realised my throat was excruciatingly sore and my uvula (the dangly bit at the back of your throat) was double the size and length and was sitting on my tongue, which made me feel like I was constantly on the verge of choking.
I had to pass urine before they let me leave, and for the first time in my life, I could not. Sometimes I'll go three, four, five times before leaving the house, because I have to go so frequently, yet this felt impossible. My partner wasn't allowed to come in and see me, so I text him through the wall whilst drinking cups and cups of water until my belly swelled up like a water balloon. Eventually, at 8pm, just before the cut off time for an overnight stay, they let my boyfriend in and I relaxed and was finally able to pass the smallest amount, albeit mixed with blood.
We got an uber home, and ironically had a cab driver who turned corners like he was in a racing car, chatted incessantly and ask non-stop details about my operation, even though to me, it was clear I was struggling to talk and going a shade of grey. When we got out, I had to sit on the pavement and put my head between my legs - we weren't sure if it was the car journey or just coming round from the operation, but suddenly I was exhausted, faint and slurring my words. We got into bed and I slept on and off.
My recovery has been relatively stable but slow, and I'll leave that for another post because I'd like to go into detail about some foods and supplements that can really help with the healing process. I'm feeling really lucky to have been so mobile literally a day or two after the op and having been able to return to work within two weeks, I know for some it is a slow process back to normality.
I don't know the ins and outs of the operation, as my appointment is not until September, but I am thankful that they only found endometriosis on my pouch of douglas, which is the cavity between the uterus and the rectum. The doctors and even myself had come to fear that what I had was more extensive, that there was potential for deep infiltrating endometriosis, but it would seem I'm one of those cases with very little endo, but lots of the symptoms! And even though there are the obvious cons to that, I am relieved I am not riddled with it yet with no signs, because that could lead to further complications.
Without meaning to, I took 5 weeks off from This EndoLife. With recovering and then moving back into work and trying to organise my sister's hen and prepare/attend her wedding, I've just not had the mental capacity, which I apologise for. I've struggled to keep this blog up to date since beginning, due to my health issues, so I'm endeavoring to change that now I'm on the road back to health, and I hope I can support you to do the same.