About Me

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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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Laparoscopic Salpingostomy - The Day Arrives

OK, so the idea of this is to give anyone who is facing their own Laparoscopic Salpingostomy procedure an idea of what to expect. 

I tried to stay in bed as long as I possibly could. Pulling the covers over my head in the hope that I could prolong the day a little. But alas, life doesn't work like that!

I was soon up, packed and ready for my Sister-in-Law to take me to the hospital. I was booked in for 11:30am ready for an afternoon procedure, which meant I couldn't eat after 8am. I'd actually woken up at around 7am, and made myself a slice of toast, just because I knew it was going to be a long day.

We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the Out Patients clinic. I had originally been booked onto the ward, but when I attended the pre-op assessment, it had been suggested I attend as a Day Patient instead of going on the ward. With hindsight, I wish I'd stuck with the original plan, as it would have meant Hubby could have stayed with me the whole time.

We went into the Outpatient Clinic and were invited to take a seat in the lounge area. A TV was playing the final hour of This Morning in the background, while my Sis-in-Law tried to distract me. After a few moments, a nurse came into the lounge and called my name. She introduced herself and said she would be looking after me for the day. I was led into the Outpatients Ward. It was basically a large room with three trolley beds across one wall, and four reclining chairs opposite. I was invited to take a seat in one of the chairs. There were two other ladies in the room, one coming around from her procedure, and the other was nervously waiting for hers.

The nurse explained that I would be speaking to the anaesthetist, but that I could go back out into the lounge to wait with Hubby and Sis-in-Law, if I wanted to. I texted Hubby and asked him to wait while I met with the anaesthetist. After about ten minutes, the anaesthetist came to see me, and invited me to follow her to her office. She spoke through the procedure, and reassured me that she would be with me the whole time. She described how I would be given the anaesthetic and monitored throughout the whole operation, to check I was OK, unconscious and not in pain! We discussed the difficulty my asthma may present, especially in light of the difficulty my Mother had when she'd undergone a hysterectomy (you will be asked about blood relatives having any problems with the anaesthetic, and my Mother had stopped breathing during her op) Then I went back out into the Lounge - This Morning was just finishing!

Sis-in-Law had left by this time, Hubby said he was staying until I was led back through for the actual procedure. I was so glad to have him there, I was becoming more anxious as time drew on, and his hand to hold was such a reassurance, especially as I knew he would have to leave.

The nurse came back and invited me into an office so she could go through a few final checks, including the pee test - even though I'd told her I was just finishing my monthly!! She check blood pressure, pulse rate etc. and checked through my information. She asked me, "So, why are you having this procedure?" in a very 'conspiratorial' kind of a tone, like we were friends discussing famous actors we might like! I told her Hubby and I had been trying for a family and it was hoped this would help to unblock my Tubes. I don't think she realised how old I actually am, until she looked at my date of birth! She reassured me that the Surgeon would do everything he could, and that he had scheduled me in for my operation last, which meant he wanted to take his time with me. She also said that he had requested a bed be booked for me overnight. As she ran the tests, we discussed the usual distraction questions about my job!

Hubby had nipped out to get us some drinks, and I asked if I had to stop drinking (Nil by mouth after a certain time) and she affirmed that now I had seen her, I couldn't eat or drink anything.

Hubby went to get himself some lunch, actually, we asked if we could both go for a walk, but the receptionist asked if I had seen the Consultant yet. When I said I hadn't, she asked me to wait in the waiting room until I had spoken with him. So Hubby went to get himself a sandwich while I waited. Alone. Watching the Hungry Sailors. Feeling hungry as I wasn't allowed to eat. Watching Hubby munch his lunch.

A little while later, a woman entered pushing a baby into the Lounge area. It turns out she was one of the nurses in the Outpatient Clinic who was on maternity. Oh... and then she was joined by a second new mum, also on maternity. They had come to show off their babies to their colleagues, and every member of the Ward come out to see the new arrivals.

The nurse came back through and said that the Consultant was in the area, and would be ready to speak with me shortly. Hubby and I were led into an office where we waited for about 20 mins. The nurse came back and apologised because the Consultant had left to operate on his next patient without coming through. Hubby wasn't impressed, but got a coffee out of it.

We were told that the procedure was booked in for an hour and ten minutes, at the end of the day. But the nurse couldn't tell us when I would be called through. So we went back out to the Lounge.

At around 3pm (Dickinson's Real Deal was just starting!), the nurse came to take me through to the ward, and to the bed which I could call "home" for the time I was in the hospital. Hubby was allowed to accompany me, to carry the bag with my overnight stuff which you are advised to bring. But he couldn't stay with me. So he gave me a hug, prayed for me and left.

I changed into one of those gorgeously fashionable hospital gowns, (the nurse had said, "please take off everything, including your underwear", but I decided to keep on my knickers until the last possible moment!!), put on my dressing gown, and sat on the bed. There were three other beds, but two other women in the ward with me. One had the curtain around her, she was still sleeping after her op. The other was dressed and as I waited, she had some relatives arrive, ready to take her home when she was discharged. the other bed had obviously been wheeled away with the third woman, as her belongings were neatly arrayed on the chair and bed table in her absence.

I sat reading for a while. And texted Hubby.

After about half an hour, a young female porter came to get me. I went to the toilet, removed my undies, and returned to the bed. I wasn't sure whether to sit on it, or lie down on it, while she wheeled me to the operating room. I chose to sit, and used a blanket to cover my legs. I really don't know how this young woman managed to wheel such a huge bed with me sitting on it. We narrowly avoided hitting one door, and I held open another for her!

It was at this point I suddenly became very afraid and very overwhelmed by what was happening, and with what was about to happen. I started to cry. I think part of it is that there is no control over what was happening to me. I was in the control of these professionals. I was incredibly vulnerable. And whilst I was under the anaesthetic, I would be completely vulnerable to whoever was in the operating room. This was really scary. Plus I wasn't sure about how intense the pain would be after. I reassured myself the God was with me, and that this would be OK, because it would increase the chance for Hubby and I to conceive.

The porter noticed I was upset, so she was really lovely. She wheeled me into the pre-op holding room (there was a gentleman on a bed already in there), and fetched a tissue for me, she then spoke to me and tried to reassure me that everything would be OK.

I was asked to move from the bed I'd been wheeled in on, to the actual operation trolley bed. After a few minutes, the anaethetist I had met earlier came over to my bed, and continued to reassure me while the tears kept falling. Uninvited!!

Then I was wheeled out of the holding room. My heart started pounding - and was much quicker than it had been up til this point! My Consultant came toward me at this point and helped with wheeling the bed. He was speaking to me about how he would do his best for me, and hopefully to help make Hubby and my dreams for a baby become a reality. I was taken into a little room where there were about four other people. Another anaethetist guy and some others... I don't remember who they were, even though I was introduced to each of them! The anaethetist guy started to squeeze my arm, in order to bring up the veins in my arm. He was very sweet and apologized for hurting me. I replied, "It's OK, you're not hurting me as much as she is about to!", indicating the Main anaethetist who had a needle in her hand and was inserting the cannula. She spoke about each stage before she did it, so I would know what they were doing. When she was about to administer the anaesthetic, she said, "You will feel a slight ache, and coldness in your arm as the anaesthetic goes in."

After that, I don't remember anymore. I know, because my consultant had told me beforehand, that I would have some of the same blue dye used during the HSG inserted to allow him to see where the blockage was.

Until I remember people shouting my name. And pain in my abdomen.

I opened my eyes, and saw the anaesthetist over me, trying to wake me. I noticed there was a clock above her head - it was 7:10pm. There were questions of "are you in pain". But I couldn't answer because of the pain, and just nodded my head. I tried to indicate it was my belly, and ended up crying because it hurt so much. There were like two different types of pain. One like a really really bad period cramps, and the other like sharp stabbing pains. They administered some morphine. I think I went back to sleep, because they were shouting my name again, "Does it still hurt?" I nodded, the tears still falling out o f my eyes, which I couldn't open. Someone said, "I've given her x amount of Morphine, but we need to give her more because she is still very obviously in pain.

I don't remember much after this. It's a bit patchy.

I was wheeled back on the ward. I remember seeing curtains being drawn around me.

The next thing I remember is Hubby and my Sis-in-Law sitting with me. I'm not sure how long they were there for. I ended up staying the night. And was administered more morphine in the early hours of the morning. I also tried going to the toilet a couple of times, but although felt the need to go, nothing was coming out. The night nurse scanned my bladder, to check there wasn't a problem. I was able to go on the third of forth attempt. I also had my blood pressure and pulse checked, on three occassions, I was advised to use the oxygen mask as my oxygen levels were low.

In the morning we were all woken at around half 6 and administered pain killers, then breakfast was served at around quarter to 8. My throat was painful from the tubes which were put down my throat during the operation. I tried to eat toast, because I had no idea of what was available and had heard another patient order it. This was soooo not a good idea! I drank loads of water instead.

The other women received their Consultants and were discharged. I hadn't seen mine, and was still there at lunchtime. I was given a towel and allowed to wash and get changed. I'd brought a pair of leggings to go over the wound in the abdomen, and needed to use sanitary pads, as there was blood following the procedure. Then I sat on the bed, and read.

Just before the food was served, the Main Ward Nurse came over to speak with me. She asked if I had seen my Consultant yet, and whether I had been discharged. I replied I hadn't. She went to get my notes, and said she would be able to change my dressings and then discharge me. When she came back with my notes, she pulled the curtain around me and asked, "What do you know about what happened to you?" I replied that I'd not spoken to anyone about it. She informed me that she would have to get the Consultant to speak to me, and off she went. Just as my dinner arrived. I started to cry. Again. Hubby arrived. And together, we waited for the Consultant.

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