I had a hysterectomy gone awry.
It was supposed to be a simple operation.
Standard surgery, overnight stay, next-day release.
Something my awesome gyno has performed unto others hundreds of times.
Team “We Got This”.
And at first, it was.
I went in for a hysterectomy – removal of my uterus – on August 19, my hubz’ birthday.
This day shall ever live in infamy, but not because it’s when he happened to be born.
It marks the day I almost died.
Like, for realz.
We arrived early in the morning, my bowels empty from Poop Day activities.
I brought with me a cute tote bag, a final gift from the girl who dumped me, inside of which I stored a change of comfy clothing for the next day; my security blanket – a zombie-repelling afghan containing magical healing properties; my notebook and pens; my iPoodle charger; and some toiletries.
Shortly upon checking in, one of the tote bag’s handles tore loose.
I made a joke about this being an omen of things to come, and I cursed the ex-friend for giving me a shitty bag.
When entering the hospital for any procedure, never EVER mention omens and signs and bad joo-joo.
I got changed into my hospital gown, and became enamored of the bright yellow hospital socks. They are uber-soft, super warm, and have non-skid footies.
What’s not to love?
A nurse hooked me up with the first of many IVs, causing the first of many bruises.
My hubz and my mom came in to see me off.
I was pretty ho-hum about the entire thing, so honestly, I barely remember rolling away.
I don’t remember how the doctor lulled me to sleep.
It could have been something in my IV. It could have been a shot. It could have been laughing gas. It could have been hypnosis. A nurse could have punched my lights out.
From all accounts, and trust that there were many accounts to be had in the aftermath, the surgery went swimmingly.
I didn’t get to have the aforementioned da Vinci method of surgery, due to administrative and fuck-tard reasons.
Instead, I had a laparoscopic surgery, in which they go in through the belly button and poke a couple holes in your gut, as opposed to just slicing you open or going up your hoo-ha.
It took about two hours, and eventually I ended up in Recovery.
This bit is all hazy, but apparently I woke up and my hubz and mom came in to see me and all was well.
I hear I cracked wise and witty. I believe it.
I’m pretty fucking awesome, even when my brain is fogged up.
My mom took off, since I was on the mend and in good hands.
Who knew, right?
The puking began. I only kind-of remember any of this bit.
Now – we don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg, and I’m not sure we ever will.
One of two things happened:
- I became nauseous, as I am sometimes wont to do, and started vomiting which caused me to lose my shit.
- After several hours of being just fine, my body decided to be stupid and do dumb things that in turn made me nauseous which made me vomit which made me lose my shit.
A note about how I puke:
I do it HARD.
Like, from my toes, every single muscle flexed, and it hurts my entire body. No matter how hard I try to relax and just let it come, I can’t. It’s beyond my control.
In the past, I have finished barfing only to look in the mirror and find I’ve popped every blood vessel in my face, and a few times I have even given myself black eyes.
Don’t vomit after surgery.
If you have to vomit after surgery, do so gently.
Yeah. So all hell broke loose.
But it was a slowly unfolding break.
My hubz had to harass several nurses, several times, because he knew things weren’t right. He had gotten used to the beeping machines and the whirring monitors, and knew what they should be reading.
My sister showed up to visit me. I don’t remember her arrival, and I don’t remember what we said to each other. I’m sure it was funny, though, because we are a couple hilarious bitches.
With me in family hands once again, my hubz left to take a break. He hadn’t wanted to leave me alone, because of how wonky everything was. He didn’t trust the Recovery Room staff to properly monitor me – and I’m so glad he followed his instincts on this.
When he came back to my room, he found that my blood pressure had bottomed out. I was still vomiting, but I started frothing at the mouth, my eyes rolled back in my head, and my lips turned blue.
My sister helped me stay upright so I wouldn’t choke on my puke while my hubz ran into the hall screaming for help.
A couple doctors came to check out the fuss. And then a couple more. And then there were a dozen doctors hovering over me and it was just like you see on every medical show EVER where they are calmly tossing around numbers and statuses and medications and measurements.
It was actually kind of cool, in an “I’m not a patient, I just play one on TV” kind of way.
I was moved into the ICU.
That’s where all the cool kids hang. Know why?
Because that unit has the absolute BEST nursing staff.
It was absolutely amazing.
Various of my hubz’ extended family came to see me, because I was all dire and whatnot. His mom, then his brother, then his dad, one by one, each shuffled in to pat my hand and tell me they love me and to hang in there.
And for each of them I barfed.
I’m sorry about that, you guys.
What’s really funny – and I do remember this – is the nurses kept trying to give me this tiny little dish thing to puke into. My hubz, bless his sweet soul, knew that would be a really bad joke, and he went for the big buckets.
I fucking love that man.
By this point, I had obviously done some serious damage to myself, but no one was quite sure HOW bad the damage was.
I recall my doctor, along with a team of other medical staffers, standing around my bed and complaining while waiting for an O.R. to open up. A cleaning staff was busting ass, but not busting enough ass to please us, because we needed in there PRONTO.
I was still barfing at this point, and my doctor told me later that neither she nor any of the other medical professionals had ever seen anything like it. She recommended in a follow-up visit that I see a specialist.
An upchuck-ologist, if you will.
I didn’t even know there was such a thing.
It turns out, during the course of my long evening of vomiting, I tore several stitches and damaged my bladder and caused internal bleeding to the point of BAD. I had to get a blood transfusion, and from what I hear, I pretty much almost died.
Now THAT is just creep-tastic, given my joke about bad omens earlier that day.
Fuck you, tote bag!
In order to get straight to the problem and fix me up as quickly as possible, my doctor went ahead and sliced me open right along my C-section scar, which resides nicely tucked beneath my overhanging flab.
In case you were keeping count, that makes several holes plus one giant rip. My belly is still fucked up, several weeks later.
Things settled down. I was moved back into the ICU, where the sweet nurses babied me and fawned over me. Their care was such that, even when I was well enough to move out of ICU and into Recovery, they would say something like,
“Gee, Recovery is over-crowded and we have extra room, so let’s just keep her here.”
Then they would wink at me.
I spent three nights in the ICU.
One of the nurses revealed that they were texting each other about me even while off-duty because they were so concerned.
I’ve never heard of anything like that.
I don’t know whether to sing their praises, or chalk it up to my sparkling personality.
I spent another two nights in Recovery.
Here I learned many valuable things:
- How to get out of bed.
- How to walk.
- How to use the restroom on my own.
- How to wipe after using the restroom.
- How to get back into bed.
- How to press the call button because I couldn’t reach my goddamn lip balm.
Clocking almost 1500 words now, so I guess I’ll finish up my personal story of a hysterectomy gone wild in another post.
There’s so much more to say.
- Have you had a hysterectomy? How’d it go?
- Any medical procedures gone awry?
- Know any good Vomit Specialists you’d like to recommend?