Surgical consult conclusion

06 May

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:

Dr Surgeon

Dr Surgeon

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…


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16 responses to “Surgical consult conclusion

  1. joeyfullystated

    May 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Nah, I mean, you should definitely have a living will, because you have loved ones, but you’re gonna be fine. They do this all day and night, planned and emergency — it’ll be super duper fast and happy 🙂
    Which, btw is why you feel weird setting it up and leaving quickly. It should be a really big deal! You’re going to go to sleep and they’re going to remove pieces of you — doesn’t that feel like it should be a big deal? YEP. But it’s not now, cause happens all the time, in every hospital, all over, lol! It’s like having your shoes shined or your hair colored. It’s become a very practical matter, and medical science being what it is, over in a jiffy.
    That’s exactly how to glue those cracks in your anxiety. Seal them up with how amazing it is that you can go in and get this done! 😀
    PS: I always stay strong and then freak out right before the anesthesia — then i wake up all, “OH I’M ALIVE! ISN’T THAT NICE?!?” lol So this is only a pep talk! ❤

    • meANXIETYme

      May 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      That was quite the pep talk, Joey! LOL
      I have never had surgery so I’m all kinds of weirded out about having surgery in general. I can’t decide if I’m more worried about anesthesia (which everyone says I won’t remember anything anyway) or about recovery afterward. With all my health anxieties, I just feel like I’m gonna be anxious and freaking out all the time. I’ve spent more time reading anecdotes about post-op than pre-op, looking to see how people felt so I’ll know that what I’m feeling is “normal” and nothing to freak out over.
      But yes, hysterctomies are like the 2nd most common surgery for women right behind C-sections. And I KNOW this doctor is really good. And he does this all the time. And the staff who will be taking care of me, it’s their job to make sure I’m okay and I make it through. I get all that…
      Still, am scared of the whole shmear. I’m doing okay with not going into panic-mode or anxiety attacks, but we’ll see how that goes over the next week. I actually slept pretty well last night, which surprised the shit out of me! I thought I’d be up with thoughts racing, but I did pretty well. 🙂
      Thanks for the pep talk. Now only 14 more days, so be prepared for tomorrow’s pep talk! (j/k)

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        I will never run out of pep talks, but I refuse to shake pompoms! I have had a PILE of surgeries.
        Post-op, I’m tired. Never anxious. In the hospital, they fuss over you and listen to you, you know. If you tell them your feet are cold, they don’t tell you to put on socks, they put blankets and heated things on your feet and rub them, asking you, “Is that better? More?”
        If you say the room is spinning, they hold your hand and offer you water, or juice.
        It’s quite nice. Nurses are angels.
        The Mister tells me that in-pain, I am the meanest woman on earth, but when medicated, I’m quite lovey and sweet. I think that’s standard. Or should be. Whatever, who’s nice in pain?!?

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        I never shook pompoms (well not the cheerleading kind anyway) and I’m not known for the standard pep talk. So it’s nice to know someone who does pep talks real good. 😉
        The thing about the hospital…I may not even be there overnight. If it were my choice, I’d SO be there at least one night. I’d feel so much more safe if I were being watched and monitored by professionals. And I love nurses. The nurses who took care of my mom (in hospital and at chemo place) have all been amazing. I am afraid of what will happen when I’m home and freaking out. Hub offered to hire me a nurse, but I sort of feel like that’s overkill because I’m SURE I’ll be fine physically, it’s the mentally that I’m worried about.
        And also, yeah, who isn’t cranky and bitchy when they’re in pain?

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm

        Oh take your hubby up on his offer! And yeah, I’d wanna be in the hospital too.

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm

        I hate to put my husband out and my parents out (who have to watch our dogs) by asking to stay overnight in the hospital when the doctors don’t think I need to stay, but… Also I have no idea if our insurance will cover the overnight stay either if it’s not “required” by the doctors. Ugh.

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        Ugh. I don’t envy your position.

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        I guess I could look into a private nurse, but I have no idea what happens if the surgery runs late and I end up staying overnight at the hospital and then have to cancel the private nurse??

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm

        That is really a conundrum. Lemme ask some nurses what they think and I’ll get back to you.

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        Oh hey, thanks! I don’t know nurses. I was trying to look up home nurse care but not finding much in our area, which seems crazy because we’re in a pretty urban area.

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Okay, so I asked, and first nurse said, “If they’re using an agency to schedule the in home care, I would say to go ahead and schedule it with them. Explain the situation and if she ends up staying overnight, then call and cancel or reschedule for the next day.”
        The other nurses all agree. 🙂 Good luck!

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

        Thanks, I appreciate the info. I can’t imagine I’d be the only one in this kind of situation, so I guess the agency would know how to handle it, right?
        I’m still trying to find a local agency to contact. There are so many agencies who do elder care, but it seems to be harder to find a post-surgery care nurse.

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 8:54 pm

        My suggestion would be to call your surgical office this week and ask them for a referral or two 🙂

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 8:57 pm

        Well duh. Why didn’t I think of that? LOL Thanks!

      • joeyfullystated

        May 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

        Because your brain is on overload!!!

      • meANXIETYme

        May 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

        Tunnel-vision. I was only thinking in one direction. Imagine that…my obsessive brain at work (or not).


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