The End of the Ovarian Chapter (and hopefully the whole saga)

Between snowmageddon, the epic ice storm and life happening, I haven’t updated the blog in a very long time.

[queue old timey film reel music]

“When we last left our heroine, she still had tumors in her ovary and no scheduled time for them to be removed…”

After getting my dangerously high blood pressure under control, I was rescheduled for surgery.

I was initially pretty freaked out at the delay with no reschedule date in sight and insurance benefits running out (it was supposed to have been done on the 6th of January but it may have turned out for the best in the long run.)

Had it been done on the 6th, I would have missed Frodo’s graduation from doggie class.

Who's a GOOD DOG

It was also just too close to the holiday chaos. As much as I love the holidays, I tend to over do and end up exhausted.

I went in last Tuesday to have the tumors (and maybe the ovary) removed and “since he was in there” to have my tubes tied since a pregnancy after an ablation, although unlikely, would be life threatening.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, at nearly 50 years of age, I got “fixed”. It probably shouldn’t make me giggle as much as it does.

This surgery (which I believe was fit in so that I could get this done by the end of January) was not scheduled at the reasonable 8:00 in the morning, but at 4:30 PM. It didn’t happen until 5:00 PM because my doc and anesthesiologist were both tied up in other procedures that ran long.

Since I hadn’t eaten since 6:30 the night before, I was beyond starving. Had it gone on much longer, they wouldn’t have needed to give me much anesthesia as I was close to just passing out.

I woke up to a room full of smiling folks in recovery who told me that it went very well.

The tumors appear to have been endometrial tissue (not good, but not cancer so I don’t even have to wait for biopsy results this time)

Of course, nothing is ever that simple.

I had been experiencing significant pain the week leading up to the procedure. I wasn’t sure if it was the tumor in the ovary or my uterus trying to expel blood and tissue that wasn’t there in an effort to menstruate. I just knew that it hurt like heck, especially trying to sit up and was actually looking forward to being put under and cut on. This of course, had to happen the week before surgery when I was not allowed to take any ibuprofen so I had to just suck it up.

I told my surgeon that the area (directly over my uterus) was tender to palpation and that I wasn’t sure if I was projecting because I knew about the tumors, but that it seemed to be more so on the right side.

As it turns out, I had a cyst in that fallopian tube which accounted for the pain (at least I wasn’t being a hypochondriac; if anything I under stated the pain) and which would have been a medical emergency had it ruptured. One more reason that the timing on this was likely for the best.

My total rock star surgeon had managed to do all of this through only one incision instead of the standard three. It’s in my belly button, and once it heals won’t be noticeable when I belly dance. (I was all set to get a belly jewel to disguise it)

I had many plans in place for my recovery and just about all of them fell through.

I never should have agreed to host an out of town house guest the day of (and two days prior) to having this surgery, especially after the ice storm delayed a lot of my preparation.

No matter how much a guest tries to not be an inconvenience, it’s stressful and kept me from fully preparing. Add that to the fact that neither one of us switched gears from host/guest to caretaker/patient (I am not the easiest person to help) I ended up with a sink full of dishes, a full trash can (added bonus, a bag of trash in the guest room) and all of my leftovers eaten instead of being helped/taken care of.

I had tried to buy chicken feed the day before surgery as I was almost completely out but the truck with the layer pellets hadn’t arrived yet so they were going to be kind enough to deliver in the next day or two. Well the truck didn’t arrive then and there I was recovering from surgery with hungry chickens I was worried about. It all worked out, but I was super stressed.

The two people who said they would come over the day after surgery didn’t (doesn’t matter who or why but I was feeling super sad/bummed out about it) so I was doing too much on my own (because I’m a dork and won’t ask for help)

To make an already bad situation worse, the dog (Corgis are a high energy working breed) who didn’t get walked/worked out for two days like he was supposed to went absolutely nuts yesterday chewing through the power cord on the hot tub I’d just payed to have fixed, because I put him outside because I just couldn’t deal with him being a hyper puppy, chewed up my slippers, ran though the house like a maniac when I tried to get my slipper back (the more I yelled and got mad, the more he wiggled his happy little but and the faster he ran/played) he tripped me and then accidentally pounced on my incision thinking we were playing.

This was when everything that had hurt my body and feelings/pissed me off/stressed me out (along with the fact that I hadn’t eaten or taken pain meds all day) combined and I lost it.

I started yelling and screaming like a Beansidhe and then broke down into hysterical, uncontrollable sobs. This would be when I broke open the glued surgical incisio-I can’t even blame it on the dog.

Yep, complete and total melt down and it was not pretty.

My dear friend Daniel (aka Monkey Boy) called about this time, and knowing I was in a bad way, came right over, ran the dog, picked up the emergency chicken feed the store made available until my bag came in, took out the trash (had to go to the alley as today is trash day) and did a few other things around the house.

My equally awesome friend and neighbor Dana came by later that night to help me with the 50 pound bag of chicken food which had been delivered. The very nice guy who brought it by didn’t want to disturb me by knocking, so he just went around back and put it on the back porch (which sadly is nowhere near the chickens, and then I couldn’t let the dog out as he’d destroy the bag)

When I told her about my meltdown, she asked, “But don’t you feel better now?”

Well yeah, maybe a little, but mostly embarrassed.

I’m putting that part of the story out on the blog because I know other women who do too much and are bad about asking for help and who can be overwhelmed by kids/pets/responsibilities/being let down by people at these times, in hope that they will learn from my mistakes and make better choices for themselves and their care. (and know that if they do melt down, they aren’t alone)

The night before, I had done some serious thinking and soul searching and come to some decisions (which as my friend Megs pointed out, is not a good idea when still under the effects of general anesthesia, but I’m going with it)

When I got the diagnosis and left my job due to the actions of my “manager” I never got time to recover from what had basically been a huge source of stress due to the nature of the job (which I’m sure was a major factor in the blood pressure problems) but which due to her attitudes and one or two insecure/gossipy/backstabby co-workers was more like escaping an abusive relationship.

I moved from that (which I was dealing with while in pain and hemorrhaging every month) into the constant pain (and fear of cancer) of the uterine surgery and later the ovarian/fallopian tube surgery, getting all my dental work done including three crowns, a mouth full of painful periodontal work, oral surgery/wisdom tooth extraction and having braces put on before my insurance ran out (and fighting with the insurance company/Cobra folks about my orthodontic coverage which they kept denying. My doctor looked at me as if I was insane for putting myself through all of this at once and after all my cardiac, thyroid, metabolic tests came back clear is pretty sure that stress is the main culprit in my blood pressure spike.

Let it suffice to say, that I have not done any relaxing nor healing since I left that place in October.

My big decision is… [drum roll please]

that I am not going to jump right back into looking for a day job now that the surgery is over.

I’m getting a refund from the orthodontic payment I made since the insurance finally kicked in and will get a nice tax refund due to my income being drastically cut and paying an insane amount of deductible medical/dental/insurance expenses and having paid my mortgage including interest ahead several months.

I’m going to take a couple of months to relax and heal and make sure that whatever I do end up doing for steady income, be it more assertively marketing my writing/photography/wedding officiating/performing or finding a “day job” won’t suck the life and soul out of me like the last experience did.

I’m going to get back onto my regular workout schedule (well in a few weeks when I’m physically healed) and do all that hiking, dancing, exercising and playing music that I was hoping to have already done by now. I expect that this along with being back on my regular healthy eating will get me off the blood pressure medication.

I can’t move on to the next phase of my life until I can heal; so for the next two or three months, I’m doing just that in hopes that I can get the “old me” (before all the stress/medical stuff took me down), back.

When I was in the glass studio last Sunday (that will be another blog post in its self), I discovered this beautiful piece of locally crafted glass art.

That very morning, I had been looking online for a new tree of life pendant to replace one that I used to wear regularly as a way of reconnecting with spirit. This fabulous and perfect piece magically appeared an hour or so later.

I think it is a fabulous symbol of healing, renewal and reaffirmation. (even if the crappy cell phone photo doesn’t do it justice)

From Drop Box

Moving forward, it symbolizes everything that I need and want in life.

Now to go make it happen.