Posts Tagged ‘surgery’

They won’t let me wear deodorant.

December 2, 2008

So, what happens tomorrow?

1. I stop eating at midnight tonight. I have nothing to drink after 4/5 am tomorrow morning.

2. I arrive at the clinic by 8:45 for my egg collection, scheduled at 10:30.

3. No doubt all the risks and things will be run through with me. I’ll also get a load of information for the next stage of treatment.

4. Prior to the op, I stick some pessaries up my ‘rectal passage.’ One for pain, one to prevent infection. I’m not sure how effective these will be as I will probably literally be shitting myself with nerves.

5. I get sedated! The nurse said this is not being awake, but not being asleep. Way to be specific.

6. Under ultrasound guidance, a needle is inserted into my vagina. It pierces the vaginal wall to go through to first one ovary, then the other. I suppose it will pierce each individual follicle and suck the eggs out. This takes 15-20 minutes in total.

7. I spend 1-2 hours in recovery (until I can pee normally and eat without vomiting. Nice). I find out how many mature eggs were collected. Those eggs are whisked off somewhere to be fertilised.

8. We take two taxis and a train home. I cross my fingers that my little egglings are doing well. I probably shit myself some more.

Then Thursday we get the call saying how many eggs have fertilised. I get all antsy thinking about embryos needing to go back in on Thursday – I’ll still probably be quite sore and TMD might have already gone into work. This means that we’ll make our individual ways to the clinic, which would be a bit of a bummer. I’m going to clarify with them tomorrow what time they think they’ll call, and perhaps TMD can have some flexibility about going into work.

Apparently spotting and abdominal cramping is normal after this procedure. Tampons are verboden, but I don’t like them anyway. Nor do I wear nail varnish or make up – two no-nos for the op tomorrow. Chemical type things + eggs = bad.

I am deeply grossed out about not wearing deodorant. I will definitely be bringing along my wee Nivea bottle to spray on me once we’re cleared to leave.

Nivea and hospitals. This is so reminiscent of the past summer.

In other news, we bought a de-humidifier last night and I wasn’t even tempted by my inhalers. I don’t want to take them during pregnancy, so it bodes well that last night went so well. I should actually go check on that thing. You would NOT believe how much water it’s sucked out of the air.

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September evenings smell so good.

September 20, 2008

Went back to the clinic this week for – drumroll, please – more blood tests. We also had ‘counselling.’ Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had an intensifying feeling that I really may not be very good at my new job. Still, TMD keeps doing impressions of the counsellor we saw, and I think all I have to do to remember that I don’t suck is realise that at least I’m not OPENING MY MAIL during sessions.

Still, she hooked us up with what will probably be a useful network, told us to sort out our wills, and also showed us a book I really rilly want. It’s called Our Story, or something like that. It’s the story of two moms and their baby/child – how they had to go to the hospital to help get pregnant, etc. It’s not as creepy as Heather Has Two Moms (sorry, I know I am offending all you right on lesbians out there, but I remember that book being fucking WEIRD), and has cute kid-drawn illustrations. I want it, dudettes. Only seven smackaroonies.

The other useful thing the counsellor said was that we are already trying to conceive. In a bizarre way I already feel pregnant, though obviously that hasn’t happened. However, A Good Friend Who May Wish To Remain Anonymous thinks she’s pregnant with the next Jesus, and if that’s true I’m pregnant with Jesus III.

I think the only thing I have any doubts about is donating eggs. Am I not the altruistic kind? In a way, it feels like giving a child up for adoption or something. It’s odd as I have no ethical qualms about using donor sperm; though I do think women tend to be more precious about their eggs. Since our visit to the clinic on Thursday (?), I’ve been googling ‘IVF versus IUI’ a lot, and I am feeling really rock solid about IVF. It is the right choice for us.

There are fears – if IVF doesn’t work, it would feel sort of hope-draining to have to go ‘backwards’ to IUI. But as much as I resist it, I am feeling ridiculously positive and shining about the baby I know IVF will bring us. We’re going to the clinic again next week to have the IVF consult. The only thing hanging over my head is this fucking laparoscopy. The pain in my lower right abdomen is clearly going away, and I am so impatient to cook me up some baby pancakes that I almost don’t want to bother with the surgery. I’ve got the consult for that next Monday.

I’ve been to hospitals/clinics/my doctor more times since July than I have in the ENTIRE time I’ve lived in this country.  (Oh, I’m almost an official citizen! My ceremony is on October 6. Rock on free passport holder!)

Have I ever told you about Daisy and Joey? When we were growing up, my sister liked punching me in the stomach. Fuck knows why. I got around this for a number of years by telling her I had twins growing in me. At one point, another baby called Petunia joined the crew – but it was really Daisy and Joey who ruled the roost.

In a completely crazy, mostly unscientific sort of way, I am convinced we are going to have twins. One in four IVF births does result in multiples, so it’s not too unreasonable to think it might happen to us. I think the whole Daisy and Joey argument is perhaps erring on the side of wack-a-doodle-doo…..but my friend Opposite Gender Soulmate told me he had a dream a few months back that he was looking at pictures of me and TMD on Facebook, and we had twins. While he initially wrote this off due to stalking my profile AND seeing a scary movie about twins (why oh why didn’t I ask the name of it? I wish my wife liked scary movies!), he now says he thinks he ‘saw the faces of our future children.’

He also pointed out that I do like having two of everything (ie ‘one for best’).

Fuck it. If I’m not allowed to be chirpy and charmingly superstitious in my own diary, where can I be?

(I still am having big pooping problems. TMD is not amused.)

PS – The counsellor asked me what my orientation was. My reaction was a quiet astonishment, since I was there with my wife. Turns out she meant my theorectical counselling orientation.

PPS – I had a PPS but wanted to get down the PS first, and now I forgot it. Fuck.

PPPS – Fuck! Thought I remembered it, but then got dissauded by another PS and now I think I’ve forgot that one as well.

PPPPS – YES. Had a dream last night – been dreaming a lot about IVF. Last night we had two perfect embryos ready to be put back in my womb, and it was a boy and a girl. (No, we’re not planning on asking for this information in real life.) This is what TMD would like to happen, and I turned to her in the dream and sort of sigh-talked, ‘It’s just what we wanted!’

PPPPPS – I changed the name of this country’s currency for ‘smackaroonies.’ Am I uber-paraboid or what?

Help!

September 5, 2008

I’ve been referred for a laparoscopy – but it is kind of optional. Basically, I’ve had abdominal pain since 19 July (the birth date of my niece, incidentally. Being a counsellor I have to ask myself if there is some sort of psychological basis for this pain!) and my doctor can’t find a reason for it. I’ve had blood tests, urine tests, been admitted to hospital for observation, two abdominal scans, and two transvaginal scans. He thinks it is something pelvic, particularly as I have experienced pain durning the latest transvaginal scan.

The next step is exploratory surgery.

My doctor said there is no reason to not try for pregnancy for next month. While ‘something strange’ is going on, he really seems to think it’s not a potentially bad something strange. He then said that unfortunately things would need to get more invasive – meaning the laparoscopy. It sounded like it was up to me.

I’ve just booked for a surgical assessment on 22 Sept, but am debating whether or not to have this surgery. I know it is the right thing to do, as if something is wrong – particularly something that could affect a baby or my fertility – I should get it sorted out now. But postponing babymaking by another month? Ouch. (They won’t do the surgery on a potentially pregnant woman, nor would I want them to.)

Any feedback on anything remotely relevant to this is welcome – have you had this op? How long did it take to recover? Was it useful?

I guess I’m afraid on two counts – that it will be a pointless week off work (how fucking embarassing I keep taking time off for this!!!!), or that they will find something which will require treatment that pushes the baby even further back.

If you pray/chant/whatever, please send some good vibes my way that the pain will just go away. The doctor said there was a good chance it might just disappear before the surgery.

A taste sensation.

August 27, 2008

My stitches: sort of
red and puffy, as well as
leaking white glob things.

Word creating left, right, and centre.

August 21, 2008

Back at work after three days at home lying as still as possible, trying to forget the fact that my houdini (new word for vaginal area – you like?) was hurting like a mofo. Still have not looked directly at the stitches, much like a vampire would avoid looking at the sun. I don’t think the sight of them will make my eyes melt, but I don’t want to take any chances.

On the plus side, the massive amount of skin TMD ripped off my leg when she took off the bandage hurt a lot more than the actual houdini-wound. So clearly the bambini is getting better.

Aussie pointed out an interesting fact as I was crying to her about how Operation Fingerpaint people must think I’m fucking weird to require all this time off. She said that if I were working for Day Job, I would have taken a month off and not worried about it. I think she’s right. Operation Fingerpaint rules.

You know what else rules? The giant black arrow drawn on my right leg, pointing right at my cootcheroo. It does seem to be slightly fading, and I wonder sometimes about colouring over it to ensure that anyone looking for my babyluv in the future will be able to find it.

(‘babyluv.’ EW.)

You do what you have to do.

August 19, 2008

Had surgery yesterday morning to remove The Cyst, and consequently was told to keep the stitches dry and covered.

This morning I left my knickers on over my dressing, put an extra pair on top, and sandwiched a plastic bag in between so I could take a shower. Sexy.

Uno, dos, tres.

July 21, 2008

1. I didn’t have the surgery on Friday, as it ended up being a consultation with a surgeon. The good news is that it appears to be nothing to worry about, the bad news is god only knows when the actual surgery will be.

2. I have a brand new baby niece! My own baby pangs are intensifying. Will write more about the gorgeous little miracle that she is later, and perhaps post the only picture I managed to take – TMD holding the baby.

3. My sister accused me of being a hypochondriac, as I phoned her to find out what it feels like to have appendicitis. This was after leaving a message on my mother’s machine (she’s a nurse) saying we were playing Medical Knowledge Trivial Pursuit and had some questions about the appendix. I’ve have pain since Friday evening, has not gone away at all and seems to be quite a lot worse this morning. It’s still not terrible, though, which is why I think it can’t be anything too bad.

If the pain is still here this evening after work, will go to the hospital with TMD at 8pm. It’s fast paced medical drama here at my blog.

Brevity is the heart of sanity.

July 17, 2008

Tomorrow I’m having ‘surgery’ to have the cyst/lump removed. I’m hoping my mocking use of the quotation marks are justified. I’m a bit nervous.

I mainly keep thinking about the incredibly long journey home. I wonder what it feels like to sit on a train with wadding over your numb cooch. I suppose I will find out and let you know, if you’re interested.

Fifteen minutes – breast reduction the second.

July 12, 2008

Fifteen minutes of loving myself, my body, my breasts – why is it so much harder than fifteen minutes of painful memories, of stories I’ve told myself so many times they are bleached clean? I don’t think it’s because I have a hard time loving myself, though if I was my own therapist I might consider than hypothesis, refuse to drop it no matter how vigorously I protested.

I think it’s because the guilt I’d been feeling about my breasts was looming large, and I gave it a voice. Just speaking out can sometimes shrink things, excise the tumour. Hang on a minute…been reading a book and have a quote on this..

I remember that I spoke to her about the power of naming. What we cannot name, I said, we cannot talk about. When we give a name to something in our lives, we may empower that something, as when we call an itch love, or when we call our envy righteousness; or we may empower ourselves because now we can think about and talk about what is hurting us, we may come together with others who have felt this same pain, and thus we can begin to try to do something about it.  (Marge Piercy, He, She and It, page 66)

After writing that admission of the going-along-with nature of my breast reduction, I felt lighter. I stood in front of the mirror that evening, the black lace cupping my breasts, and as I pulled it off I felt an awe at my breasts. They are so beautiful, and they are mine. They have not been lessened by the surgery, but they have taken a long time to become mine. And they are the same, and different.

I wanted to come here to acknowledge all the things, great and small, that the surgery has offered me. Pretty bras, affordable bras, off-the-shelf bras. Breasts that are full and soft, but the exact right size for my body. Breasts that do not hang to my stomach, breasts that mainly stay in place when the pretty bras come off, except for the soft weight of time and maturation which offers them the shape of a woman.

My breasts are amazing, awesome. I look at myself with and without clothes, and they are one area I have no cause to find complaint with. I suppose that’s why I’ve felt bad, wondering what it meant to have breasts that were not the breasts I was born with. Though they were not shaped, were not changed in any fundamental way, though mass and weight was removed – what does that mean to my self? My body?

I had a connection with my grandmother through my breasts. I remember being a little girl and walking into her bathroom. She sat in a few inches of water, in that bathtub with the magical sliding glass doors that allowed me to create a whole space apart when I was a little older. My grandmother’s pubic hair was sparse, her body already that of an older woman. Her breasts coated her stomach, hid her stomach, were just the entire front of her body. She lifted a breast and rested it on her shoulder in order to wash her stomach. That image has stayed with me, though I must have only been about four or five when I witnessed this.

I will probably never have that experience, being in an aging body that has been mine for 89 years, taking for granted that my stomach is there, though I cannot see it. I wonder what pregnancy will do to my breasts, and I fear they may become smaller. I also fear them becoming larger. I wonder what stretch marks and pulled vaginal muscles and chapped nipples will be like. I want to hold a baby to my breasts, to allow her or him to get all the sustenance they need from my body – a miracle that my family never had. Bottles are all I ever considered, and now I am in this country with baby slings and breasts, handmade diapers and organic homemade foods.

My body will be changing again, and perhaps the key words are: my body. This is my body, this is the consequence, this is the sum of the years I have spent on this planet. I have made some choices, I have neglected to make others. I have gained weight, and lost weight. I have decided to have my breasts radically resized, simply by the omission of really thinking about what I was doing and making a conscious choice. My unconscious guided me to this place where I am right now, the afternoon sunlight shining across my hands. Shadows slide across the keyboard, dancing as my fingers shift and dance.

My breasts were what they were, then I had surgery. They grew back – not all the way, but most. I lost a lot of weight, and I lost a lot of breast mass again. This time it was an accident, to change my breasts as the result of changing my body. Once more my bra size changed, my body shifted, and once more it felt out of my control.

That’s been sixteen minutes. I’m surprised. This entry was to say that I could not fill six minutes this evening, let alone fifteen. Peace.

Serenity surrounds me.

July 11, 2008

Got into work this morning to find a lovely pastry on my desk with a note attached saying, ‘Enjoy your breakfast! We’re both in sessions,’ from Green. How lovely is it possible for people to be? Every day they seem to be getting nicer and nicer. I find myself smiling and laughing a lot, more than I have in any other job, and just feeling really valued and happy.

I am ripening. I am forgiving myself for whatever writing I have not done, as I think it’s not the technical side of writing I worry about. It’s the idea side; I want my work to be meaningful to myself and also have the ability to touch others. I am simply waiting for the right time, and now my life seems to be arranging itself so that I have more light, more happiness, more peace.

Have an appointment with the doctor tonight to talk about my last blood test for the fertility clinic, as well as the associated pains of Monsieur Lumpy Lump. Am feeling much more serene on that front for two reasons – one, the surgery is next Friday so the period of not knowing is not going to last much longer. Two, I got a very reassuring email from my mother, who is a seasoned nurse…and she does not write reassuring emails.

When you’re in the same country as her, your arm could be hanging by a thread and she would tell you to suck it up. When you live halfway across the world, every sore throat turns into an opportunity to worry that I have a mysterious throat disease. So worldwide reassurance and her not being worried really puts my mind at ease.

Mmm. Nibbling on my pastry.

I love these people. The only blot on my otherwise lovely-so-far morning is that TMD is sick, sick, sick. She’s been off work since Tuesday; I’ve never actually seen her take a sick day in the last eight years. I know she doesn’t really read this journal, but if she DOES I hope she realises she should probably be napping, or reading her/my geek book in the garden.

Now I need to go add Green’s name to the who’s who list. See you all soon…