Last Tuesday I had a minor laparoscopic procedure. I'm sure y'all remember my whole spinal surgery situation. That began with a left-side abdominal pain that eventually the doctors figured was "referred pain" from my back, hence the spinal fusion.
Shortly after back surgery, when I remarked the original pain was still there, they told me, "You've got to wait at least two years for your spine to fully fuse again." Well, I waited two years (that milestone was last summer) and then jumped into another round of "what is causing the pain?" It took another year of "let's try this!" before I insisted on the exploratory surgery. (They actually wanted to jump straight to a hysterectomy, despite no evidence that my uterus was actually causing the pain. "Let's just take a look," I told them, "If it is obvious the uterus is the problem, then we can discuss further measures.")
Admittedly, the things they tried prior to surgery were rather interesting. I'm sure many people don't realize there is such a thing as a gynecologic physical therapist: she actually sticks her hands up the places were the sun don't shine to manipulate various things, much like a traditional physical therapist might do outside your body with your arm or leg. Although this was an interesting approach, it caused a ton of lasting discomfort (manipulation could target the pain) but didn't solve the issue.
I won't post a huge spoiler alert, because it may not be true, but for now, the left-side pain is gone. (I'll whisper it again to not jinx it, the original pain is not currently happening, whereas right after spinal surgery it was happening.)
During the surgery, they took pretty color photos of my insides. Sorry, I didn't post a pic of my gallbladder or liver on Instagram, although I was tempted. There was some endometriosis on my right ovary. It looked like mold. They removed it. But, it wasn't my right side that was hurting, so that isn't an obvious source of the original pain.
So why is my left side (temporarily? permanently?) no longer hurting? Well, maybe because they shifted some things around during surgery. Maybe because my body "re-taught" itself some pain signals because it wanted to direct pain to the actual areas of the incisions (which were belly-button and right-side, not left side.) Maybe my left side pain is actually GI tract pain, and my post-surgery diet hasn't yet caught up to my typical eating schedule and composition. Maybe it is because I'm sleeping in a different position to help heal my tummy, so am actually repositioning everything better to avoid pain. Of course, maybe my post-surgery pain killers are taking care of that particular sensation, although that would be a trick, since that didn't happen with much stronger pain killers after spinal surgery.
I don't know.
I can give a bazillion reasons for what might be going on, but for now I'm just going to focus on healing. If the original pain comes back once I'm fully healed, that's a bummer. But, for now I'm trying to rest up and trying to be optimistic!
And so, enjoy little snippets of excitement from my surgical adventure thus far:
- At my pre-surgical appointment, my surgeon remarked, "Well, since you tend to bleed more than most people..." (Me: "LALALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!")
- The medical assistant put my bedside TV on the "C.A.R.E." channel. The music was annoyingly new age, but it was pictures of water buffalo and the like that had my husband rolling his eyes.
- The nurse who started my IV ended up splattering blood on the side of my bed, remarking, "OMG, it looks like a murder scene in here!" (Me: "LALALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!")
- As I spoke to the anesthesiologist and his assistant, we had the following conversation:
her: As you enter the operating room, I'll give you "I don't care" medicine.
me: What kind of medicine?
her: "I don't care"
(what am I, three?)
- The anesthesiologist, talking to his assistant, "Well, this patient has a really wacky throat which can potentially cause complications, so we're going to use this really swag device with an awesome camera on it to successfully navigate the dangerous parts..." (Me: "LALALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!")
- As my husband left for a meeting, he asked my sons if there was anything else that needed to be done, since Mommy is recovering from surgery so can't do anything. His car was only half-way out of the driveway when my eldest son approached me with a moan, "HUNGRY!"
- Although I told my clients I'd be out on Tuesday, and would be at limited capacity for awhile until I healed, three of them emailed me on Tuesday with requests, and continued to email me throughout the week with "Oh, just one simple thing I need you to do! You can go to bed right after, hahaha!" Last night and this morning, I was bombarded with requests. Seems that surgery is so "last week" and that the expectation is that I'm at 100%. I'm not.
Fingers crossed that I continue to heal, and that the original pain will not return.