Saturday, November 21, 2015

Domo Arigato, Dr. Roboto!

[Note to my squeamish brother K2: There will be no in-depth (heh) discussion of my lady parts so feel free to read on...]

Sorry for another long absence. I had surgery on Veteran's Day for a complete and total removal of my hysteria-related lady parts. I was trying to get things done beforehand, including writing some blog posts, but I ran out of time. Things like grocery shopping, sheet changing and laundry took precedence.

I was a bit nervous about the surgery --- always a scary thing to succumb to anesthesia --- and I remember only three things from after the surgery until I woke up in the middle of the night during my hospital stay:
  1. Waking up in the recovery room briefly, knowing surgery was done.
  2. Someone's voice saying, "Here's your husband." I could not stay awake long enough to talk to him.
  3. CPA Boy kissing me goodbye for the night and saying, "There's a letter from Lady Chardonnay in your purse."
Lady C and I write each other long letters as birthday gifts and lately have done this for when we each have medical procedures. Egad, we are getting old. This was NOT A THING in our 20s and 30s!

Her letter was awesome! (Will answer soon, Sweets!) My other bestie Shell visited and brought me dinner. Pops came and babysat me while CPA Boy went to pick up a prescription for me. (And before surgery my dear in-laws came to keep CPA Boy company but my surgery, originally scheduled for 11 a.m., didn't happen until after 1 p.m. so they stayed and visited with me too before they all went to lunch.)

We are still waiting on the pathology report. My biopsy in May showed "suspicious cells", not cancer but destined to become cancer within the next 10 years, hence the hysterectomy now. My doctor doesn't think there will be any problem because uterine cancer is very slow growing. Having all the reproductive lady parts out should mean I can never get uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer.

Best part of surgery experience: I didn't barf once thanks to huge amounts of anti-emetics. Drugs are awesome. Barfing after surgery is a real problem for me. I did it after Thor was born, after my gall bladder was removed and after an ovarian cyst removal in 2010. I try to stress this to the anesthetist in the strongest possible terms. This time it worked!

The other cool part of surgery? I was operated on by a ROBOT!

In today's paper was an article about the new robot they use during surgery at Sutter Hospital, the exact one that was used on me! (FYI, it's the da Vinci robot, not the Mako robot.) Without my glasses on, I thought it looked like a giant white spider.

Many surgeries are done laparoscopically. This means three incisions about 1 inch long. One is for the camera, one is for the light and the last is for the surgical tools.

With the robot surgery I got 5 small incisions across my waistline, each 1/2 inch or smaller. Then they can use a few more cameras so my (real) doctor can see three-dimensionally and "around corners" and she is in control of the robotic arms the whole time.

Recovery is easier because they don't need to cut through muscles. This was always my mom's bugaboo. She had several surgeries in her life that left large scars down her abdomen, cutting through the abdominal muscles each time. My otherwise super skinny mom was always self-conscious about her not-flat belly because she had no muscle tone there.

Speaking of my mom, it's too bad she still isn't here. She LOVED talking about the gory surgical stuff. Most people don't want to hear any details but Mom enjoyed it along with rehashing her own surgeries too. Sigh.

In any case my innards still need to recuperate the full six weeks no matter how quickly I heal on the outside. I can't carry or lift more than 10 pounds until the end of December. (This impacts things like laundry, unloading groceries from the car and trips to Costco.)

I was able to get into our bed but it was too hard to get out so I slept in my recliner for about a week. I did that last time I had surgery in 2010 too. Now, 10 days later I can sleep on my side again so I am back in our bed.

The only uncomfortable part is that the incisions are at my waistline. Wearing undies AND pants make too much pressure for too long so at home I spend all my time in nightgowns. This is so totally comfortable that I think I could live in nighties all the time! If only...

I have a whole bunch of books to write about so that will be next in the blog queue.

1 comment:

  1. I am SO happy to hear from you and that you are recovering so nicely! Being back in your own bed must be lovely. And I totally hear you on the nightgown, the world's most comfortable fashion item. It's dark at 4:30 p.m. here, and it's all I can do not to jump back into my nightie immediately.

    Yeah, we didn't exchange many post-surgery letters in our 20s and 30s, did we?! Another joy of aging!!

    I'm laughing thinking about how much your mom would've loved rehashing the details of your surgery, bless her heart.

    Looking forward to your book report! xxxx