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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Decision About My Next Step: Option 2 - Laparoscopic Salpingostomy

So the second option open to me, is known as laparoscopic salpingostomy. It is basically keyhole surgery carried out under general anesthetic  The consultant will make an incision in my bellybutton, allowing him to insert a laparoscope (a thin, tube-like camera), then he will make three other incisions, inflate my abdomen with gas, and proceed to open the left tube, which is blocked, and check on the condition of the right tube - which could have some scarring or growth on it too.

This is obviously pretty invasive, and when I asked my consultant the success rate of it, he told me there are no guarantees that once opened, my tubes won't become re-blocked again. He also went on to say that although it is difficult to say how successful the laparoscopic salpingostomy is, nationwide, it has approximately a 40% success rate - ie live births. The other downside, he said, is that there is a much higher risk of ectopic pregnancies, following this type of fertility treatment.

Now, when it comes to pain, I am the biggest wimp - I won't go paintballing, because the idea of paying to be bruised really makes me shudder! I can see the value in attempting surgery to try to open my blocked tube, but the recovery rate is anything from 2 - 6 weeks, depending on what the surgeon ends up needing to do while inside my abdomen - and on how fit and healthy I am (suppose I should start working on that bit now then!!!).

This would obviously have an impact on work, and as there are certain times of the year when I need to be available, this will impact when I have the surgery (having the Conference Coordinator unavailable for the conferences is a bit pointless!). Some of what I do, I should be able to do from home, when I am able, even if I can't get to the office. 

Hubby wouldn't be able to take much time off, to look after me, so I spoke to my Mum who said she would be willing and able to help me following the surgery, should I decide to go through with it. Apparently, other women who have had the laparoscopic salpingostomy have suffered from a pain in the shoulder from the gas for the first couple of days after the operation. One woman said this can be eased by positioning the body, as the gas rises to the highest it can reach - so when sitting up, locates itself in the shoulder and back, when lying on the left side, the gas locates on the right side, etc... this seems to make sense, and may be a way of helping with this aspect of pain management. 

My problem is the idea of undergoing surgery for something which has no guarantees of working, and puts me more at risk of problems - complications which can arise from any surgical procedure, as well as the increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Should I really put myself through an operation and then find that it hasn't made any difference anyway?? But then if I don't go through with it, will I regret it anyway??

I really need to find God's peace in this decision. No one can make this decision for me, unfortunately, and it's not even a decision Hubby and I can jointly make - as he says, it is my body which is going to have to go through the recovery and trauma of the laparoscopic salpingostomy. No, only God can help me make a decision. I've only spoken to two others about it, my Mum, who thinks I should try all options anyway so that I can look back without regrets, and my Sister-In-Law who regularly allows me to sound out on her, without telling me what I should do, and prays for me with the difficult decision I have to make. 

Lord, please help me to chose the right option for me and for the future you have for me. Let me know Your peace Lord and to know which direction to follow.