Well hello! Come in! Welcome! Sorry…let me just blow the cobwebs from this blog before you settle in…now…there we go. Much better.
Yes, it’s been a while since I sat down here. The dials of life have shifted up a gear and between settling into new job, new commute etc. I just haven’t had the headspace for writing. I can’t lie, at times I have felt really conflicted; thinking maybe I should just fire something up for the sake of it to keep the blog going. But ultimately I have to remind myself that I didn’t start this blog for the sole purpose of creating posts. I started it as a genuine, authentic outlet for the noise in my head. Lately, the noise has been quiet. And that’s ok.
But thank you for your patience. I’m here now. How are you?! How’s the thing going? Work ok? Did you sort out the issue with your woman? And is your foot ok? What was that skin thing? Did it go away? You look great! You working out?
Apologies out of the way, the main reason I am coming on here today is because tomorrow I am going back into hospital for another Laparoscopic surgery for my endometriosis. I have been pretty open about this condition (I wrote a blog post a few months back after a horror show night of pain), and many of you will know that two years ago I had my first laparoscopy. I knew then that the relief would only be temporary, but I can’t lie…I am gutted that I only got two years of ease from it.
Guess who’s back?
Unfortunately, since the start of the year my pain has been steadily intensifying to the point where, for a day or so every month, walking has now become an issue for me. Psychologically; waiting for that pain to kick in can be agonising. My previous surgery was pretty appalling too, I didn’t get much information on the severity of things, and there was no post-surgery consultation so I was left very much in the dark. So this time round I am being a lot more assertive. Loads of questions. Heaps of tests. I want to know, frankly, what the hell is going on.
So, whether you’ve fallen onto this page due to your own endo-related research, or maybe you’re here from my Insta, hopefully you’ll find some of this helpful.
“I had failed to even bring a dressing gown. I had to wear two hospital gowns so my arse wasn’t hanging out on the way to surgery.”
Every hospital has a slightly different approach to preparing you for surgery and while some are undoubtedly better than others; their priority is keeping you safe, healthy and getting you in and out as efficiently as possible. Having never done a day surgery before, I rocked up to my last lap. completely and utterly clueless. I had my handbag…NOTHING else! The nurse couldn’t believe that I had failed to even bring a dressing gown. I had to wear two hospital gowns so my arse wasn’t hanging out on the way to surgery. Morto.
Preparing for surgery
This time I am better-prepared with a bag of tricks for the day. Laparoscopy is generally a day surgery, which means you are in early and out in the evening. As long as you are in good shape after the procedure, can eat a bit of toast and have a pee they will let you go home. But the day can be long with a bit of waiting around so you will need distractions.
I’m determined that there will be no arse-exposure or wearing my runners into theatre. I am a pro now and here’s what pro’s bring to hospital:
- Dressing gown & flip flops (you could do slippers too)
- A book and an easy read, trashy magazine
- Headphones & phone & charger
- Deodorant & toothbrush / toothpaste (you will feel a bit stinking when it’s time to leave the hospital and it’s nice to be able to refresh)
- Comfy hoody & Michelle Visage’s I ❤ Drag pyjamas…gotta represent while I recover (you won’t feel like getting dressed to leave, so think comfortable not fashionable)
- Throat lozenges & water. You will be intubated and your throat won’t love you for it. A little soothing can help with the scratchy, dry feeling. Just don’t drink the water before the surgery if you are fasting.
- I bring a facial mist and hand cream. Totally not essential but can be a really lovely way to refresh your dehydrated skin
- Chewing gum can be really helpful if you feel a bit nauseous after the anaesthetic (or for nausea generally…#lifehack), but you won’t be able to buy it in a hospital so pick it up before you go in.
- Baseball cap to cover the fro when I leave the hospital.
“If you need specific info relating to your surgery, please don’t try to find it online.”
I am not a doctor or nurse or medically-minded whatsoever, so I will save you from medical mis-information. Everyone responds differently to anaesthetic, and everyone’s endo will be unique so we all have our own, snowflake baselines to begin with. If you need specific info relating to your surgery, please don’t try to find it online. You really should have a frank discussion with your surgeon; she’ll know best. But what I can tell you is that there is no harm being prepared for the aftermath.
In my experience I felt like I was kicked by a horse into a deep, heavy lake after the surgery. Mobility was low. Limbs were heavy. I struggled to do much of anything so having someone there to collect you and take you home is going to be important.
Back at the ranch
Get your gaff ready before the surgery. Have a bottle of water beside your bed, and have your laptop charged or TV remote on the nightstand for the post-surgery Netflix binge. Due to the use of C02 gas in laparoscopy, I suffered nerve irritation so I had awful shoulder pain for a day or so. There’s not much you can do for this pain, but having everything within arms reach is a huge help. In general, get ready to take it very easy for the first day or so.
Hot and cold compresses are useful for home care too. Hot water bottle rotating with ice pack can be really soothing for the creaky aches and pains. You will be bloated. You will be uncomfortable, but lots of water and patience will sooth this.
Even superheros need to recover
Chill your beans. You’re going to be fine. But give yourself the decency of time to recover. The recovery time will be different for everyone and it’s not just physical, but emotional too. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, but it makes you just a little more invincible. Not all superheros wear capes…some of them have their arses hanging out on the way to an operating theatre.