I have wanted to sit down and write about my surgery since it happened. For myself, I always find so much healing and understanding comes from putting things into words. It hasn’t been until today that I have felt motivated or well enough to do so. So here we go. Let’s start from the morning, going in for the removal of my ovarian cyst and end off with the great results.
Prepping for Laparoscopic Surgery at the Hospital
I woke up the day after my 29th birthday feeling nervous. There was no doubt about it. I had stayed pretty neutral about everything up until this point, and I could tell I was starting to let my nerves get to me. James took the day off work to take me into the hospital. My mom was around with the kids and doing school pick up and drop offs. We got to the hospital on time, thankfully I remembered all the information that I needed for check-in and all of that went smooth. I could feel my nerves settling.
It wasn’t until we sat down with the nurse to go over details when I started realizing that this was happening, today! She asked if I knew what type of surgery I was having (to make sure everything was in line with her paperwork). I replied, “to have a cyst removed off my right ovary.” (Side note: When I last spoke with my doctor we weren’t sure if it would be just the cyst or the full ovary) What the nurse had on her paperwork was to have my right ovary removed. The doctor had decided (with my approval) to take the precautionary route and that removing my right ovary was the best route. So settled, adios right ovary.
By this point it had already been a couple hours and I was all dressed in the beautiful hospital gowns. We were lead to a chair to have my IV put in and wait to meet the anesthesiologist and my doctor. The process of the surgery was explained in detail, but to sum it up, there would be three incisions made. One through my belly button, one on my right side and then another right near my c-section scar. We were updated that it would be about 20 minutes until I was taken in to start. As my surgeon was prepping to bring us in he got an emergency call. So, James and I waited, chatted, I snapped the photo of my IV (pictured above), played a little candy crush, scrolled Instagram, and waited some more.
When I got called in about an hour later James and I said a quick goodbye and I went into the operating room. This all seemed to go pretty quickly as I got introduced to everyone, lay onto the table, and before I knew it I was asleep. I woke up in recovery later on and my blood pressure was low. The nurse took it a few times and I just remember falling back asleep every time she left the room. When my blood pressure was back to normal she called James and once he arrived I was able to head home.
Recovery at Home: Post Ovarian Cyst and Right Ovary Removal
This past week and a half I have spent a lot of time resting in bed. Laying down for the most part, with occasional walks to the couch to lay down. I was warned about back pain that occurs due to them pumping my stomach with Carbon Dioxide. This was no joke, for the first few days, laying down was the only time I didn’t feel shoulder pain. Thankfully that has passed.
On Friday, 5 days after surgery I was feeling actually really great considering. Still laying down a lot, but up more often and doing a little bit around the house. Saturday I even cleaned up the living room and helped the kids with Christmas decorating. We had James’ grandpa’s funeral on Saturday and a couple of family dinner’s over the weekend as well, which I was feeling like I could manage just fine. Even though I remained sitting for most of these occasions, it was still too much for me. Sunday night as we went home from dinner I was feeling nauseous and having a lot of pain again.
So back to laying down and resting it was. Monday and Tuesday were full on in bed days. My mother-in-law took Evelyn for a couple nights as I was recommended not to pick her up for at least two weeks and it was one of the hardest things for me. The recovery has reminded me of my c-section recovery, just not as intense. My mom has been helping with the older two and I honestly don’t know what I would do without their help. One of the hardest parts is feeling incapable, being incapable and just resting.
Today, a week and a half later, I have finished my pain medication and actually feeling ok. I got out of bed this morning and was surprised at the difference from yesterday. Looking back to how I was Friday, and reminding myself that it doesn’t mean I am better, I still need to keep the activity to a minimum and hold off on any lifting.
Even though I am definitely not fully healed, I am feeling like I am more than half way, hopefully!
Related: Don’t Worry, It’s Super Common
On the Wednesday, two days after my surgery I got a call from my doctor. He phoned with such good news. Even though I knew that cysts have a very very very minimal chance of having cancerous cells, it was still in the back of my mind. Especially with what my sister had gone through just one year before (her results). I didn’t realize how nervous I was about this phone call until I got on the phone with him.
He started with telling me that the great news was there was nothing to worry about. That after testing there were no cancerous cells. Praise the Lord! Second he let me know that they actually came across another cyst on my left ovary while operating and they removed that, while preserving the left ovary. “Both cysts are benign,” he said, and I felt instant relief. So so thankful with how surgery went, even though recovery as been longer then initially expected. So so thankful for all the help I have gotten and that has been offered. So so thankful for my church that has come together to provide meals. So so thankful for this community and all the love and support.