pre-op tuesday

Preston and I went to UK Gynecology for my pre-op appointment this afternoon. We were both nervous, and I think he might have been a bit more nervous than I was. Plus, both of us went in blind, not knowing exactly what we were going to be doing, not knowing exactly what to expect. I mean, we knew there was going to be lab work and paperwork. What we didn’t know was how much and of what and where. And if the surgeon was going to flip out and say, “Oh, hell no. I changed my mind.” That last was my biggest worry. Although if she had, I’d have just marched down the hall and found my OB/GYN and dragged her back to the surgeon with me. That would have taken care of that!

I took along my list of physicians and my list of medications to the appointment, so that helped. What I left at home somehow was my list of my medical history! Of all things to leave behind! Sitting here going over my list now, though, I remembered everything. Probably because the last two years, I’ve gone over it and over it. And the last month I’ve gone over it and over it. I think by now I might know my own history as well as I do Thomas’ – which is a good thing.

The nurse and the surgeon both kept saying they were giving me mountains of paperwork to read and fill out and sign, but Preston and I both agreed that I was given maybe a fourth of what we expected. I filled out a complete medical history, had blood drawn, got weighed, had my blood pressure taken, and read and signed the consent form.

Talking to Dr Midboe-Penn is always fun. She tends to speak a little loud, so I always feel like I’m three and have a hearing problem when I’m around her. But she’s a great doctor and very thorough.

I found out we’re not doing a DaVinci after all. We’re doing a Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, which is similar, it’s just not robotic. I guess she and Dr Rone changed their minds? That was a bit disappointing, but it’s her choice what type of surgery she thinks is the best for me. Regardless, it’s still basically the same, and the recovery period and all of that is similar. We discussed the c-section I had twenty-one years ago when I had Tayler; we all agreed that my vertical incision is absolutely insane and uncalled for. If for some reason the TLH doesn’t work the way she wants it to – ie, if they get in there and there are problems – then she’ll be making a new incision via my c-section scar. I said, “It’s already there. It’s already fucked up. You might as well use it if you have to.” I thought Preston was going to throw up.

Then we got to have an in-depth discussion about my ovaries. She said she generally recommends the woman keep them but likes for the woman also to have a say in what happens. I told her that I’d rather while she was already in there just to go ahead and take absolutely everything she could – leaving my dysfunctional cervix for the pelvic floor support. She agreed with me. That way, if they were in anyway causing any of my problems, they’re gone. Also, if there’s a chance, and there is, they could act up later, they’re gone. So I don’t have to worry about that – because there’s not going to be anything in there to worry about.

I asked about an abdominal binder, and she said she doesn’t recommend them. She said it’s better for the incisions to stay open to the air. And she agreed with Preston that one might likely put unnecessary pressure on my sciatic, which would be one of the last things I need during recovery. I said, “I made it through my c-section without one anyway,” and she laughed.

Also on the consent form, I signed the consent for my uteri pieces (that’s what Dr Midboe-Penn called them too!) to be sent to any current uteri studies.

One part of the consent form, she said, “There’s supposed to be a sketch here of what we’ll be doing, but I’m not drawing it. I can’t draw for shit, so we’re skipping that part. You know what it looks like and what’s leaving, and that’s what’s important.”

The hospital will call and let me know if they need to do an EKG or a chest x-ray or whatever else and will let me know what time I have to be at the hospital Monday morning. Although my surgeon said that we should go ahead and plan for between 5am and 5:30am, which I had already figured and planned on.

So that’s all done and taken care of! She said once I’m actually in surgery, it shouldn’t take more than two hours if it takes that long. She said they’re really quick. I’ll stay only one night if all goes well. But if she has to do an abdominal after all, then she said she always gives the woman the choice (if the woman is well enough) whether to spend a second night or not. I told her I screwed myself up not putting my foot down and not taking care of myself when Tayler was born and said if it came to it, I’d likely take the second night.

About a month ago, I was digging around reading about the DaVinci and ran across the HysterSisters forum. Hilarious name, but it’s a group full of wonderful people. When I first found it, I was afraid it was going to be full of sob stories about women who were afraid their lives were over because they wouldn’t be home women any more after their surgery. There’s some of that, but the rest of the group tends to stomp that out. They basically tell them to get over themselves and get on with it. There’s bunches of pre-op and post-op advice over there. It’s a great place, and I’m glad I found it. It’s so funny: they call the hospital “the castle”.

Also, for shits and giggles and fun times, I created an After Surgery Wishlist. I’ve been stuffing it full of things to both help me and keep me amused during my recovery period. It’s been successful so far. I’ve received two books and a couple other goodies.

At one point while Dr Midboe-Penn was gone from the exam room, Preston snapped a picture of me with his phone. He said I looked maniacal, but this is me blissfully happy!

mari at pre-op