Recovery and Guest Blog :)

It has now been just over 3 weeks since my operation and (touch wood), I am feeling much better! Woohoo!  About time eh! 😀

I did have a little infection to add to my list of complications though – the incision on my left side went quite red and angry and was a lot more sore than the others….and was starting to discharge. Thankfully though, with a week of oral antibiotics, it cleared up.  Now the stitches have come away from the left and the right incisions, just a little one left in my belly button but that will dissolve when it’s ready.  My incisions are looking much better now thankfully. My belly button is still bruised and green but not sore.

Emotionally, this was all really hard for me…. Being unwell involving my reproductive system made it all very personal again – like my gynae issues giving me a big, painful reminder, like I could ever forget, that my body is just not going to play the game…even if we could conceive.  I know being unwell makes me more sensitive but some things made it much harder, like the ward I was on was right next to Maternity so while I was laying there through a sleepless night, in agony clutching my swollen tummy, all I could hear was women in labour and babies being born! Talk about a kick in the teeth.  Don’t get me wrong, I am ok and feeling much brighter but at the time, I was in a lot of pain and high on drugs so it didn’t take much for me to end up in tears.  I don’t think I’d have been quite as emotional if it was a broken bone or something not gynae related.

I think it is safe to say that I am now almost over all of this!  I find it quite funny that I just got an appointment for my scan – the one I was supposed to have 6 weeks after my first admission – which would be on my first day back at work! I had great pleasure in ringing to cancel it since I’ve already had the surgery! What an incredibly long process this could have been!

I am back to work soon and it will be lovely to be back! Hopefully this will never happen again!

Anyway, changing the subject back to my egg donations…

I got approached by a lovely lady in America about interviewing for a guest blog with her. She went through a difficult time conceiving her little girl and was eventually successful using donor eggs (not mine in case anyone wondered!). It is wonderful to talk to her about her thoughts and feelings about using donor eggs… As I have mentioned before, it’s lovely for me to ‘meet’ ladies who have used donor eggs to have their children. It makes it all so real for me to see their children growing up – their beautiful, little miracles, knowing an egg donor, like me, helped them to make it possible.  ❤

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but donating my eggs really has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! I am so thankful that I was able to do it as not everyone is so fortunate.

If you fancy a read of my interview, you can find it here at her blog. Please let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy it.Thank you Risa!

An-egg-donors-story – Guest Blog

THANK YOU again to all of you who sent me lots of love and well wishes throughout all of this. During those dark days, my husband, friends and family kept me smiling through my tears.

Sending love and good health to all my readers.

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A few bumps in the road to recovery…

It hasn’t been the most straightforward recovery….2 steps forward, 3 steps back comes to mind!

A few days after I got home, I managed to have a shower and hair wash…..it certainly wasn’t the most dignified way of getting into the bath since I still couldn’t stand up straight.  I noticed a nasty looking rash on my tummy in the shape of where the surgical drapes would have been. I am really hoping that these didn’t contain latex as I am allergic to it. Trust me to have some kind of reaction! I am keeping a close eye and it is slowly improving. As lovely as my shower was, I didn’t realise how knackering it would be….so much so I needed a kip afterwards!

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My reaction rash!

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Shape of an ECG dot!

My tummy was still very bloated and I was still troubled with trapped wind for about 10 days although not as bad as those first few days – I didn’t realise how long it would take to all disappear.

At this point, even though early days, I thought I was on track for a normal recovery…until I got to day 4….. it was late afternoon and I started to get some cramps in my bowel…having suffered with an irritable bowel in the past, I recognised it straight away and didn’t think much of it. Until it got worse….and worse and even worse! It felt like someone was doing a tight Chinese Burn (showing my age there!) on my bowel whilst pulling in through all 3 of my incision sights! I was in absolute agony! Laying in a cold sweat, nothing I took or did made it any easier.  My poor husband was close to calling an Ambulance but knowing it was bowel rather than Ovary pain, I said no… I just had to ride it out. It went on and on and on! I was so scared to even drink water as I didn’t want anything else to add to the pain. I finally fell asleep curled up in foetal position 5 hours after the pains had started! That was exhausting!

The next day I was still feeling very fragile but the pain had eased off a bit. I was very nervous about eating or drinking anything, but since I had already lost weight over my 2 admissions, I stuck with very bland food – food literally just to get some nutrition. I was feeling very tired, probably from all the pain from the night before and when I noticed that my heart rate was sitting at 144bpm (normal should be 60-80 ideally), I assumed I was dehydrated and tired and didn’t worry too much.

The following day, now day 6 post op, my heart seemed to be getting worse. I couldn’t get up without seeing stars and feeling like I was about to faint. My heart rate at rest was 105bpm and 150bpm when I tried to move! My heart felt like it was jumping out of my chest! I had to abandon my shower half way through as I nearly blacked out and I really didn’t want to fall and hurt my tummy! For goodness sake – time to get checked out – again!

The GP made a home visit, there was no way I could make it to the surgery….or even to the car for that matter. He gave me a thorough check over and agreed about my heart rate. Thankfully he didn’t find anything too concerning – like internal bleeding or blood clots- believe me, he was pretty rough when checking my tummy – even my husband was wincing as he prodded my wounds very hard! OUCH!!! He did suspect that I may have become anaemic though…so wrote out some blood forms for me to get checked.

Day 7 post op and my husband helped me shower – whilst on standby in case I fainted and off we went to the walk-in centre for my blood tests. I literally clung to his arm as I kept going all starry eyed ~ because of my heart rate not because of his dazzlingly good looks! 😉 We stopped for a coffee, to give me a chance to relax and get my heart rate down again and then went home. Exhausted I returned to the sofa for another kip!

Days 8 and 9 I had no choice but to continue to take it easy. It still hurt to get up and sit down, the incisions and my Ovary hurt on movement…I don’t mean bad pain but just meaning that I couldn’t just jump up. My heart rate is still up and down like a yo-yo even though I was desperately trying to increase my fluid intake…..not that I was dehydrated but I hoped it would help.

The next day, I rang for my blood results and was greatly relieved to hear that everything was ok. My haemoglobin level was 13.9 which is on the high side for a woman, but no surprise there as mine has been high for years due to food my husband and I eat and the lifestyle we follow. The general consensus is that my body was just taking longer than normal to get over the anaesthetic…. and not only that I was on high doses of Morphine, in various different forms for 2 and a half weeks before the surgery. I think it was all a bit much for my small frame….especially having lost weight too.

So, now day 11 and I am finally feeling like I am on the right road to recovery. I have a way to go but hopefully no more complications. I am able to potter around a bit now, even if I do have to sit and rest afterwards. I have been getting some pains over my Ovary, which at first freaked me out since they’ve been similar to the pre-op pain I had, but having spoken to other friends who have been through this surgery, ‘phantom pains’ are quite normal and part of recovery! Phew!!!

I am looking forward to getting back to work and seeing all my lovely colleagues but it won’t be just yet. Nursing is so active so I need to be completely ready (and not fainty lol) before I go back. Then we can put this whole sorry saga behind us and move onto the lovely plans this year has to offer.

So, that’s the saga of the cyst all up to date….. Ovar-y and out for now 😉

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend, much love! xxxxxx

Carpe Diem ~ Cyst the Day! :D

The next morning, I woke up dreading another day’s fight ahead of me. There had been a different ‘On Call’ Consultant looking after me everyday (not sure why) so having had the Consultant the day before agree to operate, I wondered if today, I’d have to start all over again with trying to get a Consultant to listen.

Thankfully that wasn’t the case – ward round came and today’s Consultant agreed that I  needed to go onto the emergency list to get this sorted, sooner rather than later, she too thought my Ovary was suffering.

So I signed my Consent Form – I was consented for removal of the cyst, removal of Ovary and open surgery to cover all bases. I got my theatre gown on, anti-embolism stockings on, my rings taped and removed my gorgeous necklace from my husband. I then saw the Anaesthetist for a pre-op check and then at 1.30, porters arrived and I was wheeled to Theatre.  It was quite strange getting into the anaesthetic room to be greeted by one of my anaesthetic colleagues! I felt in very safe hands! 🙂  I drifted off to sleep not quite sure whether I’d keep my Ovary or not….

In, what felt like no time at all, I woke up in Recovery. For the life of me, I could not keep my eyes open – it was like they were weighted down with something! Eventually I went back to the Ward to be greeted by my anxious looking husband….I’d been gone for 5 hours! No wonder he was getting a bit concerned.

As lovely as it was to see him, I still couldn’t keep my eyes open and I continued to sleep whilst keeping a tight grip on his hand – safe! ❤  Another few hours and I started to wake up a bit – I was alarmed to check the time and it was 9pm by then! I saw the Consultant and was delighted to hear that I still have my Ovary (not that it’s doing much for me but hey). I did bleed a bit in Theatre and therefore needed some stitches in my Ovary. She managed to do it keyhole and I was in Theatre for around an hour and a half.

I tried to get up to the toilet, had a bit of a freshen up – baby wipes are perfect when in hospital and put on my lovely new pyjamas and my necklace back on – much better! Nothing like new PJ’s! 😀 I sent my husband, who’d left me to sleep, a photo so he could stop worrying! 😉

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Then, it became obvious that I wasn’t going to the loo properly so after I’d tried a few times (obviously not wanting to push too much), the nurse scanned my bladder to reveal more than 900mls sitting there – no wonder I felt desperate! I needed to have a catheter but she just drained my bladder and removed the catheter again rather than leaving it in. Thankfully, a few hours later, I managed to pass urine on my own, I obviously just needed a kick start, so to speak!

I was already feeling so much better – normal pain from the 3 incisions (or portholes) but nothing compared to the pain I’d been in pre-op! Such a relief! One problem though – trapped wind – OMG! Anyone who has had keyhole surgery will know, the surgeons pumps your abdomen full of gas so they can see what they’re doing. They try and suck it out at the end but they can never get it all. It can be quite uncomfortable, as I tell my patients ~ I have had keyhole myself in the past but I don’t remember it being this bad! Crikey! My tummy was huge, like a big blown up balloon! The air was going in and around my ribs and diaphragm making it quite painful to breathe. I started drinking as much Peppermint as I could as this helps to expel the air….I then settled down for some more sleep.

Next morning – more Peppermint! This air had to start moving soon! I saw the Consultant – another different one and he said I could go home. Woohoo! I had a quick wash and texted my husband.  Getting dressed was just too much effort though…not that my jeans would do up around my swollen belly anyway so I went home in my PJ’s and dressing gown – the height of fashion don’t you know! 😉

Just a short journey home and I was knackered again and I literally collapsed on the sofa. It took me a while to get comfortable since the wind was so painful – at the wrong angle, it felt like I was being stabbed with a thousand knives!! Every hour I was having Peppermint Tea or Peppermint Water and after 24 hours or so, things started to move! Usually it moves quicker than this but I have been known to hang onto stuff hehe! 😉 When my patients complain about trapped wind in future, I certainly won’t forget how bad it was!!

So, back in my lovely home where I should be, with my gorgeous husband – finally all over and onto a straight forward recovery……or so I thought…..!

I’ll explain more in the next chapter! 😀

Here we go again…

First of all, I must apologise for taking so long to get this latest blog written. There have been lots of developments since my last entry and to be honest, I haven’t really known where to start.  Every day, I have picked up my laptop to stare at an empty page and end up putting it down again.  So, here goes:

After my last blog, the pain from my ovarian cyst continued to be pretty bad, unbearable some days….the Liquid Morphine wasn’t really working anymore and I knew that I couldn’t go on like this…so on the Monday morning, I made another emergency GP appointment.  Off I went again and saw a different Doctor this time. More painful examinations, more poking and prodding of my already very painful tummy which was now very swollen too. The Doctor was concerned that my ovary was beginning to twist and what with the pain I was in, he got straight on the phone to the Gynaecology Team and off I went, with another letter, back to the hospital again!

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My swollen tummy the night before I got readmitted! 😦

I had to answer the same screening questions, endure the same, even more painful examinations and got admitted again to the same bed space! I saw the familiar, friendly faces of the Student Nurses and Health Care Assistant’s who had looked after me so well a week before and when they said ‘hi’, I just wept, I lost all control ~ emotion overload….whilst sitting in the very public corridor waiting for my bed! Oh dear!

Eventually, I got settled in bed with yet more Morphine, which to be quite honest, really wasn’t doing anything but according to the staff “I had to give it a chance to work”….so for the rest of the afternoon and all the through the night, I had Morphine every 2 hours! In the morning, my pain was worse than the day before and I had a thudding headache (like your worst hangover!)….from too much Morphine!

At the morning drug round, I asked the nurse for some alternative pain relief as I explained that the liquid Morphine wasn’t doing any good. She told me it was all that was prescribed so I asked her to contact a Doctor….off she went and I didn’t see her again. I saw a Registrar on the Doctors’ Round who did another scan and much to my dismay, saw my big cyst still there, still the same size…… so going by the first Consultant’s theory that it would shrink….well, that hadn’t happened at all yet!

Back I went to my bed and after being prodded again through the scan, the pain was completely unbearable so I rang the bell to ask the nurse again for some pain relief other than liquid Morphine. Again, she told me that nothing else was prescribed…so I asked her again if she would ask the Doctor to prescribe something else. And again, she disappeared…

Twenty minutes later and I am literally rolling around the bed in pain, crying my eyes out and begging the nurse for pain relief! By now, I had been waiting for 3 hours….. I was not impressed when she snapped at me “you’re a nurse, you know what it’s like!”……to which I replied that, I would never leave a patient in pain and begging for pain relief for 3 hours! 😮

In the end, I called out to the Doctor as she was walking by…

In the ten minutes that followed, I got a cannula (a small needle that goes into a vein) inserted, received 10mg of intravenous Morphine (much stronger this way and this is a big dose!),  had intravenous anti-sickness, had intravenous fluids put up and was made Nil By Mouth for Theatre! FINALLY, someone who was listening to me! This lovely Doctor made me weep tears of pure relief ~ it felt like the first time in 3 weeks that someone had actually taken my pain seriously and done something!  Big thanks to that Doctor! 😀

The IV Morphine certainly took the edge of the pain and I felt like I could relax a bit for the first time in days!  A few hours later, I saw someone from the Pain Team who started me on a PCA which is a pump so I can self administer the IV Morphine as and when I need it! That was set up and I started to get on top of the pain! Phew!

Another few hours went by and I saw the Consultant, who agreed that it was time to get the cyst out! He too was concerned that my ovary was twisting with the pressure of the cyst….. so it was all go…… I waited and waited and waited and by 9pm, I pretty much knew that it wasn’t going to happen. So after asking the nurse to check with the Doctor, I had a little bite to eat and a cup of tea and snuggled down to sleep with my Morphine button firmly in my hand!

…to be continued…   Zzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz…..  xxx