I had my surgical consult. I’m sort of feeling odd about the whole ordeal, because in effect, it was not much of an ordeal.
We waited over half an hour for my appointment. They had signs all over the office saying, “We apologize for the delay, but we are giving our patients our utmost attention. When you are in your appointment with us, you will appreciate that we are doing the same for you.” I was actually doing pretty well this morning before the appointment, and even on the way (which took over an hour because of traffic and Hub missed a turn that required us to squirrel around to get back to the right street). I didn’t feel jittery or anxious. While we were waiting in the doctor’s waiting room, I also felt okay. The place was mobbed…I’ve never seen a doctor’s office like that before. Later we heard there were four doctors seeing patients that day, so I guess that’s why there were so many people. Plus, almost no one came alone, so for every one patient there was a second person with them.
We were finally called in to an exam room and I got the interview with the nurse. My BP wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t normal either. I’ve seen worse for damn sure, so I was okay with it. The nurse asked a couple of questions, then told me to undress from the waist down and wait for the doctor. It was probably another ten minutes before the doctor came in.
We met this doctor before and I knew what he looked like and what his mannerisms were. I like him a lot because his bedside manner is very mellow and when he asks you a question, he seems to really listen to the answer. If I were to try to give you an image for the doctor, it would be this:
The funny thing is, he’s really really tall, but he kind of has this long, droopy face. I totally told Hub afterward “he’s Droopy the Dog, isn’t he?” and Hub laughed and agreed.
Anyway, what was odd was that after I explained why I was there and why I wanted the hysterectomy, there was no conversation about other options. He didn’t try to talk me out of it or suggest waiting any further. I told him about my mother’s history and about how I had gone the conservative route two years prior after consulting with him. But that it was time to get the surgery because I didn’t want this getting any more advanced–either in size or in potential cancer. After a brief exam, during which he noted that we really were talking about big uterus and fibroids, he began talking about being able to do the surgery laproscopically. I was actually rather surprised considering the size of the uterus and large fibroid (I have 2 fibroids, one as big as the enlarged uterus and one smaller), so I said as much. He indicated that it wasn’t about the size so much as how available they were and if the uterus was “mobile” enough to be removed. He said there’s always a chance to have to convert to an abdominal incision, but most of the time that they start laproscopically, they are able to finish it that way. He said conversion rates are really really low. So that’s good, because recovery is more like 2-4 weeks for a laproscipc surgery and 6-8 weeks for an abdominal. And when I went to schedule the surgery (yep, I did it before I even left his offices), the scheduler said that I might not even have to stay in the hospital overnight, depending on what time the surgery starts. Whoa.
Anyway, after my asking a couple of questions (like how do they make sure there’s no possible spread of any microscopic cancers if there might be something hiding somewhere–they bag the organs INSIDE the body before removing them through the tiny incisions…so weird!), I asked if Hub had Qs. He asked something (I don’t remember what it was) and then we were on our way down the hall to the scheduler’s office. When we sat down, she wanted to know what our preference was for a surgery date, and I said “not next week” as a joke. So she said, “Okay how about the week after.” I sort of swallowed and squeaked, “Okay.” She wanted to know if we preferred to wait until after Memorial Day, but we don’t travel on holidays, so I said it didn’t matter.
So, I’m scheduled for two weeks. When we were done and on our way out, I asked Hub if he felt okay about all this. I told him I felt sort of numb, and I felt like I didn’t ask enough questions of the doctor or spend enough time. I mean, I did my research so I knew my options and I knew what the different surgery options were. I knew I wanted the hysterectomy, so I wasn’t looking for other options. I knew I wanted this doctor to do the surgery, and since he said YES to laprcoscopy, I was all good. So why did I feel the need to spend more time in the doctor’s office? Why did I feel like I was missing something? Hub had no answers. He felt like we got the information we needed and did what we went to do.
I came home and told my mother about the date. I emailed my brother to see if he’d come to the hospital to sit with Hub during surgery, since I don’t want my mother doing that and I don’t want Hub sitting alone. I looked up on the HysterSisters website as to what to bring with me to the hospital and how to prepare for after surgery. I got all the paperwork for my pre-op appointment with my primary (they don’t have any appointments for me so they have to talk to the doctors and see how they can fit me in), I got my pre-op bowel clean-out (fun times) instructions and I got my pre-op instructions. I won’t know what time my surgery is until the day before (WTF), and I won’t know if I have to stay overnight until after surgery.
I’m not obsessing over researching stuff on the internet. I’m trying to be INFORMED with enough information but not over-inundated to the point where I’m freaking out. Somewhere in here, in me, is some kind of emotion…but still I feel numb. So much so fast, even though I wanted it over with. And to some extent I’m GLAD it’s going to be over fast because I won’t have a ton of time to obsess and freak out. We’re doing mother’s day brunch here for 14 people, so this week is going to be cleaning and cooking. Next week I hope to be prepping my house and my household for post-surgery…and getting myself gathered to be in the hospital.
I feel it, though. The fear. The thoughts that I need to do a living will. The thoughts that I need to write my husband a letter saying all the things I would want him to know if I die. The thoughts that I want to leave notes for my parents and brothers and my long-time friend (whom I see very infrequently). The thoughts that there are things I want to do before the surgery because I might never be able to do them. The thoughts of how my loved ones will be without me. Who will take care of my parents. Who will love my husband. Who will take care of my dogs. It’s there, deep down below the surface, waiting to find a crack or crevice to slip through and get me…