Body Reset

Two weeks and one day since my scheduled hysterectomy. It's taken me that long to rack up the courage to write about it. Still processing what was supposed to be a two-night stay in the hospital turned into one hellish week that included no sleep (hospital stays are never restful with nursing staff constantly taking around the clock vitals) and a very much undesired nasogastric intubation due to sleeping bowels, otherwise known as ileus, a major post op risk. 

I was supposed to have my surgery end of May, but my original doctor gave birth early, and I had to reschedule with another doctor in the practice. A blessing in disguise, the second doctor, who's much more seasoned, gave it to me straight. His take: Laproscopic hysterectomy was not posisble given the size of my overgrown fibroids and their impact on the positioning of my uterus. Surgery would have to be an abdominal incision. 

The gigantic cross abdominal incision that has erased my c-section scar doesn't bother me so much. It doesn't even hurt much. It's the wavelike peristalsis and enormous gas bubbles in my stomach that give me reason to pause as I make my way through the house gingerly. And my flashbacks to vomitting an entire plastic bowl of bile as the nurses tried to thread through an NG tube (bigger than a straw), which fell out accidentally four hours later. I refused to have it reinserted as it was the most uncomfortable experience I've ever had. It did its job and drained the greenish brown contents of my stomach so that I would stop vomiting.  

Damn post op ileus.

On my last day in the hospital as I hoped to be discharged, Dr. Silas, my surgeon, finally came in. I hadn't seen him since immediately before the surgery. I'd only seen attending residents and others from the practice. I'd been vomiting through the night not from the ileus, but from the exhaustion of not sleeping at all. Looking at the clock every hour from my hospital bed waiting for the sun to come up. I know my body. I grabbed his hand and looked directly into his eyes. "Doc, I absolutely cannot stay in this hospital one more night. I can't sleep here. I need to go home." I was so grateful to be discharged by noon. 

Thankfully Mom was able to carve out and extend her time to support us during and after my hospital stay. In fact, she returns next week when A. returns to work just to keep us company though I should be able to drive N. to music camp by then on my own. I've managed to walk around the bluff a couple of times and accompany N. to our neighborhood playground when the sun's not quite beating down yet. 

I'd looked forward to losing some weight post op. But not like this. As my body resets, I embrace my body's natural healing force to get me to wellness. In this summer's pause, I pray for my spirit's courage and patience in pain, that my body may reset and be retored to its most optimal strength. Among my blessings I count my entire medical team as well as my husband and daughter, who have shown the most graceful and composed vim amidst my recovery. 

Slow and steady wins. I hope.

Dr. Silas showed me a photo of my 16cm+ uterus and overgrown fibroids, one of which was squishy and had to be sent immediately to pathology to be tested for cancer. Thankfully all clear. My uterus was one of the biggest he and his surgical team had ever seen, bigger than originally anticipated pre-op. 

Farewell, Uterus. I look forward to wearing my white summer pants soon.