Six days ago I had to under go an operation.
Originally it had begun as an operation to reduce my monthly blood flow by 90%.
Since giving birth to Tom , almost 7 years ago, I have been losing a ridiculously large amount.
As well as having difficulty leaving the house (humiliation), it also made me exceptionally tired.
I thought it was the repercussion of giving birth naturally.
I also thought that it was hereditary.
After having to take a day off my new employment in February, I realised it may be something that I needed to address.
I could no longer lock myself away and spend the time at home during these periods (pun intended!).
The specialist that I was referred to also delivered Tom.....almost 7 years ago.
The lasting memories I have of that birth (compared to Amelia's horrendous one) was a good start.
He suggested that I needed an 'ablation'.
It meant that he had to burn the base of the uterus and it would seal it shut.
(Like if you put your finger over a cut, it would stop the bleeding that would then continue circulating around the body).
Recovery would be 3 days at the most.
The procedure would be done under general anesthetic and I would be home late that afternoon.
After dealing with this issue for so long, it seemed to be a massive step but also a logical one.
The operation date was set for 12 days after this appointment.
Scott was organised to be at home with the kids while they were on holidays.
I had to undergo a blood test and ultrasound of the pelvis before the operation.
During the ultrasound, I knew something was "wrong".
I actually rang Scott from the car afterwards to explain the conversation that occurred with the person doing it.
Three hours later the specialist rang me and said "they found a 7cm lump on one of your ovaries. You need to come in and see me".
So 2 days later Scott and I were told about the "apple sized" lump on my left ovary.
That needed to come out too.
Recovery is now 7 days.
Leaving for surgery at 6:20am in the dark was scary.
I tip toed so that I did not wake anyone.
Lying on the stretcher naked, except for a hospital gown, is scary.
I have done it before (varicose veins and wisdom teeth) but it does not get any easier.
No mental stimulation or entertainment.......just thinking.
I did that for 90 minutes having NO IDEA when they were just going to get it over and done with.
As I was wheeled into the waiting room for theatre all I remember is a nurse talking to me.
I woke up in the recovery room confused.
Has it happened?
But I do not remember going to sleep?!
Then the pressure.
The pressure on my lower stomach region.
They have done it.
Here we go.
Then I began shaking......almost convulsing.
I wanted Scott.
I was dazed and confused.
They increased the morphine.
A kind nurse sat and held my hand.
I do not know how long I was there in recovery.
The shaking seemed to go on forever.
I was drifting in and out of consciousness.
Then the nurses started discussing my oxygen levels.
I remember many nurses standing around me talking about the levels being low and my breathing was shallow.
In my morphine haze, I remember a nurse saying "Put the oxygen on her. I bet she is a smoker".
I managed to say that I was.
I heard her say "that is why you need help with oxygen".
I remember my feelings changing from petrified to angry at myself.
Because I smoke cigarettes, I am struggling to breathe properly after an operation.
I needed to have the oxygen on till the following morning......all because I smoke.
As if that was not enough reason to quit smoking, the "black stuff" that I coughed up off my lungs the following morning definitely was.
My time in hospital seems like a dream.
Lots of nausea, slipping in and out of sleep, 2 litres of something fed through me via a drip to raise my very low blood pressure and the uncomfortable feeling in my lower stomach.
I remember my doctor coming in and telling me that the lump was much bigger than originally thought. It was also very hard. He believed that it was going to be soft and full of fluid.
In my drug haze he spoke of the much longer operation (90 minutes), longer recovery period now, tests being done on the lump and how I am lucky he was able to get it all out through key hole surgery. He explained that he almost had to make a bigger incision to remove it. He explained that the left ovary had been totally destroyed by it
Once I came home the strong painkillers took over and Scott became my nurse.
The drugs made me tired and Scott explained that was good. It made me stay in bed and rest.
I think that he enjoyed telling me what to with authority for once !
Obviously the main difficulty has been managing Amelia.
Scott ran the house perfectly.
Tom has been wonderful at entertaining and looking after himself.
BUT if Amelia needs anything she has to have physical assistance.
Toileting and showering and eating are tasks that I have been unable to help her with.
I did not realise how much I used my stomach muscles to move her from one situation to the next.
As the person who also does a lot of the household chores it has also been very frustrating not being able to help Scott.
So as I battle to get back to normal, I am reminding myself of a few things........
I am lucky.
Had I not decided to finally address my "monthly", the "grapefruit sized lump" would never have been found.
What I considered was the "cards I had been dealt" was not the case at all.
The back pain and the cramps were symptoms of the lump.
The heavy bleeding was probably from the lump too.
Finally something has shown me what smoking is doing to my body (even though I still want one constantly). I HAVE OFFICIALLY QUIT.
I may have a few stiches and scars but it could have been so much more.
And the best thing?
The test results on the lump showed it to be a benign tumour.
Even the doctor said he thought it may have pre-cancerous cells.
It had no sign of cancer in it.
I am very, very lucky.