Tag: Waldenstroms

Day 30: The Laparscopy

I thought I would quickly run through the laparoscopy, since this blog is meant to be be a first account of medical-experiences.

I had the laparoscopy done last week, to remove the “migrated” Mirena and replace it with one that will hopefully stay in place this time round! So here is how that went:

The prep

I visited my doctor the day before just for a sonar (he indeed couldn’t see the Mirena) but he did prescribe a full dosage of Klean Prep (?) which is a laxative, in preparation for the procedure. When I went to get it from the pharmacy, they told me that I need to take it over the next 24 hours…which was impossible since I only had 10 hours left before I had to stop taking in liquids and solids (due to anaesthesia for the laparoscopy). So, like an idiot, instead of confirming with my doctor that he did in fact want me to take the full dosage I just assumed that he did. So that meant that instead of taking one packet every 6 hours, I would take one packet every 2.5 hours.

What. A. Mistake. I cannot begin to tell you how that messed me up physically – and I don’t even mean anything bathroom related. I started feeling “off” and just not right. I drank three packets over 7.5 hours and then I went to Craig and said that cannot, will not, absolutely refuse to take the last packet. He was horrified that I had not discussed this with him first, and told me that it was idiotic to try and condense a 24 hour treatment into 10 hours. He was absolutely right. I wasn’t thinking straight. I felt awful, but not in any specific way. I was just “not right”. I knew I would not tolerate another packet, although I couldn’t explain what would happen if I did take it. I just knew I couldn’t.

A mini break-down

The next day, I drove myself to the hospital (I didn’t want anyone with me, and I’d be staying overnight anyway) and went to “check in”. Everything had obviously already been pre-approved with the medical aid. But when I got to the counter, the bitch (let’s not mince words) basically told me she can’t help me because “there is an issue” with my account. I told her that there cannot be “an issue” since I had just spent two admissions here in the past three weeks with no issue, and I already know my medical aid had paid the bill. She gave me such lip, and called over a colleague who was SO RUDE that I gathered my things, told them that I will not be embarrassed in front of everyone while they accuse me “of getting medical care but not paying for it” (!!!!), and that I am going straight to management.

Now, for those of you who know me personally, you will have a clear expectation of what I did next: go straight to management and rip them a new one. The Eve that you know would have caused a brief but efficient hurricance in that office, and everyone would soon be jumping to attention. (Case in point: I was already very familiar with the management office, and they were equally familiar with me, because on my previous stay in the hospital, just a few days prior, I sat in the main honcho’s office and explained to him how getting woken up by a nurse in the middle of the day in a hospital to answer the question “Are you happy with our service, and does all the equipment work?” is pure fucking madness. They agreed strongly, and the policy was changed hospital-wide with immediate effect).

Anyway, you’d expect that I would handle this situation with similar effect. But no. I marched into the manager’s office, sat down…and instead of complaining…I started to cry!!! Just …cry. They were horrified by this, fixed the “check in” situation within 3 minutes and tried to force me to have a cup of tea (NO LIQUIDS!). I was then rushed to my procedure (90 minutes late).

My point with all of this is that post-procedure my doctor took me through my blood results (taken immediately after my visit to management) and I was severely, extremely, horrendously dehydrated, due (I can only assume) to the rushed laxative. And it just goes to show you, how a small imbalance of anything in the body can cause an emotional (or just unexpected) imbalance too. It was completely out of my control. I changed personality, I changed how I handle a crisis etc. It made me think a lot about people who suffer from depression or other mental imbalances (Like a woman that I know who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder). They must feel so trapped by their circumstance, and so helpless. It’s like someone else has a hold of you. I have such sympathy for this.

Anyway, I recovered pretty quickly from the dehydration probably due to the bags and bags of saline solution that were injected into my body (not necessarily to help with dehydration, but to lessen the effect of the gas put into my body during the procedure).

The procedure

As for the procedure: the doctor made three small incisions in my abdomen, blew up the cavity with gas (CO2?) and inserted a camera to find the old Mirena (it was somewhere near my right hip) and put in the new one. He then stitched me up. I think it probably took 30-45 min? Afterwards, I woke up with saline bags hooked up to my IV, and very little pain or discomfort.

The doctor kept me overnight (unusual, but necessary due to my other complications) and I also received two bags of iron infusion during this time (related more to the Walderstrom than the laparoscopy, obviously). I was extremely bloated (due to the gas), and by late afternoon the gas had travelled to my shoulder and started causing extreme but acute pain there (as expected). I quickly realised that if I lay still there was no pain, but as soon as there was any movement the pain would be intense. You know those leg cramps you sometimes get in the middle of the night? Like that… Not exactly pleasant, but because the pain was so sporadic (basically only when I got up to go to the bathroom or downstairs to the restaurant to meet with friends and family ) I didn’t take any painkillers.

By next day, the pain had disapitated a lot, and I could drive myself home. By that evening it was almost gone completely, and although (strangely) it has reocurred sporadically over the past week, I would say that recovery was very easy. I should say (politely) that I had a lot of gas leave my body, and I also had very bad diarrhea 36 hours after the procedure, but maybe that was related to a combination of gas and the laxative. It went away pretty quickly though, and the bloating subsided over the week.

I need to now take care of the stiches (they should be cut out, might do that myself) and a follow up visit with doctor six weeks after procedure, although I think that is not so much for the laparoscopy part as it is to make sure that the Mirena has stuck in place.

…and the good news

Oh, and in true Polyanna-style, there is some good news to be had out of this! My OB who did the laparoscopy and who is very familair with my other health issues told me that while he was “in there” with the camera he checked out all my organs (liver, bladder etc) to see if anything needed attention…and he told me they look perfectly healthy and completely undamaged. So..I am so grateful that he thought to do this (I cannot believe I didn’t ask!) and am also very grateful for the good news 🙂 as organ damage is an expected consequence of untreated Waldenstrom’s.

 
If you are specifically interested in my Waldenstrom journey, from diagnosis to the present day, then I suggest you view this page to see all the posts I have written about it, in chronological order.

A ridiculous online purchase

Last week, after the lab came and drew some more blood from me at 3am from my hospital bed, I found it difficult to fall back asleep (duh!), and turned to my phone for distraction. And, while browsing Facebook I came across a Sissyboy ad for a dress that I thought was just stunning.

Now, a bit of context here. At this stage, I am on a max dosage of highly potent cortisone, and my body has exploded in bloat. In fact, this specific cortisone is the cortisone responsible for the #moonface terminology, from which I was (am) definitely suffering (To quote: “One of the more visible effects of long term use of high dosages of prednisone is swelling in the cheeks and in the neck. This might also be called prednisone “moon face” by some. Prednisone often causes weight gain and redistribution of fat deposits in some people.”)

I am either square or round. Take your pick. My beloved calls me “Chipmunk”. I had to buy new pants urgently because I just did not fit into any of the ones I owned. You get the picture. I am a balloon.

But here is this dress. And I love it. And it’s 3 f’ing o’clock in the morning and I have just had another lab test and I am feeling sorry for myself, and am clearly not rational. And I want to wear that dress. At some stage. So I buy it.

A couple of days later I get an email that it is not returnable! First of all…sorry Sissyboy, but it IS. You don’t get to re-write the whole CPA for your convenience. But, although when I woke up post purchase I had every intention of shipping the dress back, I decided that..f’ck it. I’m keeping it. And wearing it. Some day.

This is my “Let’s do this, dress” dress.

A crazy purchase

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