2/16/10 – Tuesday

The faculty member who shot other faculty members (killing three, wounding three) at the University of Alabama at Huntsville last Friday IS married to a man with the last name of Anderson, but she (and he) are no relation to us. In case you were wondering. The spud asked, between the shooting at her old … Continue reading “2/16/10 – Tuesday”

The faculty member who shot other faculty members (killing three, wounding three) at the University of Alabama at Huntsville last Friday IS married to a man with the last name of Anderson, but she (and he) are no relation to us. In case you were wondering.

The spud asked, between the shooting at her old middle school recently and this shooting at UAH, what the hell they’re putting in the water down here.

Good question. No more school shootings, please, can we agree on that?


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Okay, so, a brief overview of the whole surgery thing. I’ll try not to do a blow-by-blow, because I know it can get long and boring. But of course I am SO FASCINATED by everything having to do with ME that warning: this could get long.

We had to be at the hospital at 5:30, so we left on time, made it there a few minutes early, and once I signed in and answered all the questions, I don’t think we had to wait longer than five minutes before they whisked me back to the preop area. They had me pee in a cup, then get undressed and put the gown on and wait for the nurse.

But oh, y’all, the gown. The gown was the most fabulous invention on the face of this earth, and I am NOT kidding. It was a Bair Paws gown, and it’s this lovely johnny-type gown that you put on, and then there’s a PORT at the waist where you hook up a hose, and then you turn this dial, and heated air is injected into the gown and it is FABULOUS.

I told the nurse I need something like that at home, and I am SO not kidding!

Of course, it puffs you right up, so you look a tad fluffy, but when you’re getting ready to go into surgery, who cares how you look, amiright?

The nurse got the IV started, and then they brought Fred back to sit with me. The anesthesiologist came in and talked to me, asked if I wanted something in my IV to relax me, and then went along his merry way. A few minutes later, the nurse came back in and gave me a shot of phenergan in my IV, and shortly after that, that was all she wrote. My surgeon did come in after that, but I barely remember it, and then I was on my way to surgery.

I forgot about it until a few days ago when Fred and I were talking about it and he reminded me, but Fred gave me a kiss before they wheeled me out of the room and then said to me, “Don’t die.” The nurse gave him a look, and he said to her, “Don’t kill her.” The nurse said “Do you know how much paperwork would be involved?!” Heh.

Next thing I knew, of course, I was in Recovery. They kept me there a little longer than usual because they were waiting for a room. As one Recovery nurse turned me over to another, I heard her say “Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and BSO.” Which I took in and understood, but didn’t really think about, at least at the time.

For those of you who don’t know, BSO technically stands for bilateral salpingo oophorectomy, but it’s much simpler to think of it as both stupid ovaries. In other words, they’d taken both my ovaries AND done a total hysterectomy instead of a partial (they were supposed to leave my cervix).

So they got me up to the room and I had to scootch from one bed to another and by that time I was HURTING, but luckily they got my morphine pump set up and handed me the control. When Fred came into the room they told him that I could get a dose of morphine every ten minutes, and that he should keep an eye on the clock and nudge me when it was time to hit the button because I’d likely be dozing.

After about an hour, the pain was gone. I had gotten to my room around noon, and though we’d originally decided that there was no reason Fred couldn’t get in a half day of work after I was out of surgery, I asked him to stay. I was mostly sleeping, but waking up and having him in the room made me feel better. He sat and read, and I had CNN on TV, and the nurses were in and out.

My room was a nice one – they always are – and I was a little surprised to see that I was in a room by myself. When I’d checked in, they’d specifically asked if I was requesting a private room, and I said no, figuring that I could share a room for one night if I had to. Later, I decided that if I’d ASKED for a private room, there would have been some sort of charge added on to my bill, which I’m sure insurance would have taken one look at and scoffed at the idea of paying for. Kind of a tricky little maneuver there, I’m thinking. (That’s just supposition on my part, though – maybe they ask so that if the hospital gets overwhelmed and they need room for more patients, they’ll be sure that patients who are okay with sharing a room are put together. Or something.)

From my bed, looking toward the door.

From my bed, looking toward the window. (Missing: A shot directly ahead, where the flat-screen TV was hanging.)

Me, snoozing. Heavenly, heavenly ice chips in the white cup to my left. First they don’t let you eat or drink past midnight so you go into surgery hungry and thirsty, then they cut you open, THEN they only let you have ice chips for several hours. By that point, you’re all “ICE CHIPS?! REALLY? I CAN HAVE ICE CHIPS?! YES PLEASE THANK YOU!”

At one point, what I’d heard the nurses saying to each other hit me, and I opened my eyes and said to Fred “DID SHE TAKE MY OVARIES?!”, which is when I found out that when she opened me up, she found an abdomen filled with endometriosis. She thought at first that she would be able to leave me one ovary, but ultimately wasn’t able to save it from the endometriosis. One ovary was adhered to my bladder, the other was covered in endometriosis, and there was just no saving it.

I was, to put it mildly, bummed. Because while I was ready to have my uterus out, I had wanted to keep my ovaries so I wouldn’t have to mess with hormone replacement therapy. I know it doesn’t always work that way, that sometimes having the uterus out kicks your ovaries into no longer working, but my ovaries and I had an understanding. OR SO I THOUGHT – obviously they were secretly working in conjunction with THAT GODDAMN UTERUS behind my back. Or in front of my back. WHATEVER.

I do not, by the way, blame my doctor for not knowing that the endometriosis was there. I wasn’t having any symptoms that would indicate endometriosis, for one, and apparently the only way to know it’s there is to see it during surgery. Given the lack of symptoms, it’s only happenstance that the endometriosis was found before any lovely, lovely complications could occur. While still not thrilled about the loss of my ovaries, I’m considering myself lucky at this point.

After several rounds of snoozing, waking up, exclaiming “I can’t believe she took my ovaries!”, then snoozing some more, I told Fred around 3:00 that he could go home. He kissed me, wrote down the direct number to the room (remember back in the old days when calls to hospital rooms had to go through an operator? No longer!), and left. I spent the afternoon dozing, waking up, watching TV, and dozing some more.

If you followed my Twitter while I was in the hospital, you probably noticed that I Twittered inanely every few hours all night long. I don’t know how it goes for other people when they’re in the hospital, but for me, an overnight hospital stay consists of no real sleep, just dozing and waking, dozing and waking. Thus, the Twittering.

At some point my doctor stopped by to check on me, and we had a discussion about what had happened. At another point, the kitchen sent up a tray of clear liquids for me, and I had a cup of chicken broth (surprisingly better than I expected) and some Jello. The night passed slowwwwwwly, and then the morning came and in short order, my pain pump was disconnected and I was switched over to oral pain medication, my catheter was removed, and I got up and moved around.

I was able to move around a lot easier than I expected, and after the nurse gave me a hand the first time, I was able to get in and out of bed with no help at all. My bladder was functioning perfectly fine, and I did several laps of the hallway.

Though, of course, I wanted to go home as soon as possible, I had to stay longer (I’m pretty sure I was ready to go home about five minutes after I got to my room), and they finally released me around 2:00.

Side note: Fred annoyed the shit out of me by being far too concerned about my bedhead. My hair, being short, was all pushed up in the back since I’d spent much of the last 24 hours and he would not shut up about the amazing height my hair had attained (to be honest, it was kind of amazing. Too bad he didn’t have the camera with him.)

The ride home was painful, and as soon as we got home, I popped a pain pill and try to settle down in front of the TV. Unfortunately, my butt has gotten a bit bonier since the last time I was recovering from surgery, so the recliner was not comfortable at all. Fred finally moved the recliner back to where it had been before and moved my couch back over, and as long as I had a pillow under my knees, laying on my back was pretty comfortable.

So, there you go. I’m home, I’m recovering pretty well. I’m taking it easy, and every day’s a little better than the day before. I’ve been off Hydroc0done since Saturday, since I just loathe the hell out of that dopey feeling. I’ve been taking Tylenol and Advil, and it’s working just fine keeping the pain at bay.

Yesterday I saw my doctor to have the staples removed from my incision. MAN did it sting, having some of those suckers removed! We talked about hormone replacement, and she gave me some estrogen patches (they applied one before I left the hospital on Thursday), and she said that at my age I’d likely need a higher strength of estrogen.

(The funny thing is that when she said “at your age”, I knew she meant “at your young age”, because I am relatively YOUNG when it comes to needing hormones, I AM ONLY 42, for god’s sake. Fred, however, heard “at your age” and thought she was saying it because I am so VERY VERY ANCIENT. Fucker.)

I’m going back to see her next Monday for another followup. She said I’m doing well, that I seem “perky” (hee), and to call if I had any problems.

So there you go – that’s the state of me right now! I’m feeling no pain most of the time (thank you, Tylenol and Advil) except when I laugh, and who’s the lucky gal married to a funny motherfucker? (Also, sneezing REALLY FUCKING HURTS.)

I am making a concerted effort to stay the fuck away from Google right now because as I’m sure I’ve only mentioned 10,000 times before, I’m a worrier, and reading about the side effects of estrogen, for one, or the lowered life expectancy for someone who’s had a Both Stupid Ovaries operation can be slightly terrifying. Sites like Hyster Sisters is a great resource, but it’s also a site where you tend to read less “I had a total abdominal hysterectomy and I’m doing great!” and more “I had a total abdominal hysterectomy and I can’t sleep, I’m depressed, my skin is shit, and I haven’t taken a proper crap since!” Which is to be expected, really – you don’t go on a site like that to report that you’re doing great, because you’re busy doing great. You go there to be sure that you’re not alone.

I prefer to keep my head sort of in the sand for now because really – I AM doing great, and I DON’T want to spend all my time worrying, you know?


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“Stop lollygagging, woman, and give me my Snackin! Time!”


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2008: No entry.
2007: (”Rescue me! I’m a sad little practically-orphaned waif, adrift in this cold, cruel world, wahhh! Save me! Pity me!”)
2006: So, in summary, if we are to judge all female cats by Miz Poo, then male cats are nicer, but female cats are clingier.
2005: Don’t you wish I was responsible for your books?
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001.: And almost wet my pants in terror.
2000: So, the nausea continues.