Friday, December 22, 2017, three days before Christmas, was my surgery day. I’ll admit I was nervous and scared, even dissolving into tears the night before due to fear of the unknown. The reasonable part of my brain kept reciting Bible verses to help. Then, one of my coworkers, who usually picks on me relentlessly, sent me an extremely sweet message. That was it! The tears started streaming down my face at that point. I am not ashamed to admit that I even went for the Ativan that the doctor prescribed, because he prescribed it just for that reason; anxieties surrounding the surgery. This doesn’t make me a weak person. It makes me human.
I managed to sleep the night before, which had to be God helping me there find some sort of peace. We got up Friday morning, showered, and then made our way to the hospital.
Upon checking in, they sent me to the lab for initial blood work. It was a blessing in disguise, as the lab technician was my coworker’s cousin! Chatting with her helped so much more than I can explain in this post! It helped to somewhat keep my mind off of what I was facing.
After leaving the lab, they took me right in for the surgery pre-op. When the nice lady lead me to my “room,” I was greeted by two angels who really helped calm my nerves further. One took a look at me, then asked, “Honey, why are you upset?” I replied, “Because I’m about to have major surgery, and I’m nervous.” She smiled as she said, “Awe, you are going to be just fine. Most women come in here so happy to get rid of that thing … we’re going to have a Hysterectomy Party!” The other angel chimed in, and pretty soon they both had me smiling.
My family was allowed to come in two by two to sit with me, as the staff waited for the operating room and other staff members to arrive from the Anesthesiologist Department. Although they were nervous, my family chattered on about this or that to try to keep my mind off of what was getting ready to happen. They switched out ever so often, as my two daughters, husband, father, and my oldest daughter’s boyfriend were there to support me. My mom didn’t come because she didn’t want to upset me. Leading up to the surgery, although she meant well, my anxieties got the better of me each time I spoke with her. She would talk about what “could happen,” which made things worse for me. She knew I was anemic at one point during this whole ordeal leading up to surgery, and she pointed out that they would more than likely have to give me a blood transfusion. She was trying to prepare me so I wouldn’t be upset if it happened. I love my mom, but it made my anxiety worse. The night before, she decided not to attend so as not to further upset me.
My doctor’s smiling face entered, and he waved before he went to make sure all of the staff had arrived. He walked back into my room, spoke with me and my family, and then had us all join hands to pray before they took me back to prep me for surgery. I was so overwhelmed with emotion as I could feel the power of his prayer and the presence of God in our midst. After the moving prayer, this lady with big eyes approached me, fully dressed in her surgery attire complete with hair cover and mask over her nose and mouth. She had such expression, using her eyebrows and wide-eyes to emphasize her enthusiasm as she asked, “Are you ready to go for a ride?” Then she paused, looking over her shoulder at my family as she said, “Go grab an early lunch …” She glanced back at me, with her eyebrows wiggling up and down, she finished with, “Don’t worry honey, we have something much better for you!”
And just like that, I was out … that is all I remember, which is the way I wanted it. I did not want to remember any of the prepping before surgery. I wanted to be out of it, and I was, thankfully!
My family reported that my doctor came out to say the surgery was a success. They were able to do it laparoscopically – Praise The Lord! We already knew I had three fibroids, Adenmyosis, but when he got in, he discovered a few surprises; Endometriosis, a cyst on my right fallopian tube, and a benign tumor in my uterus! My family was shocked, just as the doctor was upon finding these when he opened me through the keyhole incision in my belly button and began the surgery.
The next memory I have was waking up in the recovery room. I wish I could say that was a pleasant experience; however, I had a nurse who was ready to go home and very upset that she was assigned a new patient – ME. She verbalized this in front of my 20-year-old daughter, as well as my husband and father. She was not willing to re-read a part of the discharge notes, even though I requested for her to please repeat it several times. She glared at me, as witnessed also by my three family members who were present. She was extremely rude, sarcastic and did not want to be bothered with me at the end of her shift. When I had questions, she refused to answer, so we asked her to call the doctor. Upon her final refusal to do anything I asked, I told my husband to call the on-call doctor himself since she absolutely would not call MY doctor directly. When she realized what we were doing, she stomped out only to be greeted by a black gentleman holding his phone with my doctor on the line. I was grateful for this sweet soul coming to my rescue! I spoke with the doctor, asking questions that she would not answer and addressing things that were concerning me. I relayed to him the resistance I had with this particular nurse, and he instructed me to report her if she was not up to that medical center’s standards. She was trying to make her presence known while I was on the phone, as if that would make a difference and would prevent me from speaking my mind regarding her behavior. WRONG! Finally, he gave directives, and I said I’d let him tell the nurse since she wasn’t listening to me nor doing anything I asked of her. I handed the phone back to her, he gave verbal instructions, and thankfully, another nurse stepped in at that point! This nurse was much more pleasant, thank God. But rest assured, I have reported the offending nurse, and the supervisor of the recovery department called to express her disappointment of the nurse’s ill-treatment toward me and to reassure me that this would be addressed right away.
I am now on day 10 post-op, and things have been so much better than I imagined before surgery. While my pre-surgery jitters were warranted, the doctor and God have seen to it that my recovery has been as pain-free as possible. The doctor even said that night on the phone in recovery that I did not even sound like someone who had JUST had surgery a few hours before. I told him he was amazing and thanked him for all he did to ensure a successful surgery with very little pain afterwards, (as in the pre-op appointment, he described several methods he uses so the nerves don’t realize they’ve even been cut; therefore, it lessens the pain factor!).
At my post-op appointment, the doctor walked into the room to find me smiling and joking with my husband who was standing next to me. The doctor smiled, the asked, “Did you even HAVE surgery?” I hesitated for a moment thinking, “Surely he is joking, he remembers since he just did the surgery six days ago, right??” The doctor continued by saying, “I mean really, you look amazing. Are you putting on, or is this real?” When I assured him it was real, he said, “You are our poster child now for this procedure! Anyone that needs to have this should speak to you because you are doing wonderfully, better than we all expected!” The doctor then went on to review the pathology report and go over the pictures he took before and after the surgery. When he reassured me that his findings, although a shocking discovery once inside, were all NON-CANCEROUS, I sighed as I said, “Thank God … Thank you, God!” My doctor smiled, signaling his approval.
If you have read all of this, thank you. And if you have been with me from the very start upon discovering that I required surgery, my heart thanks you for the support, encouragement, love and all of your prayers! God heard them, and I felt them! Please continue to pray as my temperature has been elevated since having the surgery. The doctor and I have monitored it, and if it goes up to 100.4, I am to call them right away. Please pray that things continue to go smoothly, that my body temperature will lower as my healing progresses nicely, and all will be right in my world again!
Much love to one and all! Blessings to you as we enter this new year … and I pray health upon you and your family, as well as mine.