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Okay, guys and gals, here’s the first surgery update. There will be much more to come.

First, I would like to give a big ol’ shout-out to Dr. Dan Martin of UT Medical Group.  He’s one of the best doctors I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with, particularly in regards to something so unpleasant, and every step of the way, he’s listened to me – this doesn’t mean he’s agreed with all I’ve said, or let me get my way, or whatever.  He’s considered my opinion, and given his, and explained his position, and we’re in step on this.  That’s very valuable, given what’s about to happen.

So, the last surgery was exploratory, but they also removed a bunch of little endometrial pockets.  You saw the photos.  You also saw all the scar tissue.

Well, as I pointed out in my “omg u guise, tmi, i’m so sorry” post, the whole issue of, “to poo, or not to poo” has become unduly complicated, moreso since the surgery.  It’s actually worse.  I have to take MUSCLE RELAXERS to poo.  That ain’t right, y’all.  And it’s because the scar tissue on my bowel is binding my colon and not allowing it to do its job properly.  When I am able to go, it feels like I’m having menstrual cramps, because the bowel is pulling on my uterus.  It’s so messed up, I don’t even have the proper words for it without going completely curse-Tourette’s, and I’d like to keep this entry as free from cursing as possible.

Okay, so what are we going to do about it?

Well, seeing as nothing’s changed since the last surgery (still having ridiculous menstrual pain that causes vomiting, still having the aforementioned bowel issues, periods are not lighter), Dr. Martin asked what I wanted to do.

This was actually a tough decision.  Either I do as little as possible and save money and recovery time during what’s already a ridiculous period in my life (i.e. Lyme treatment), or I get everything done that I can to save later surgeries and future discomfort, if possible, but put myself out of commission for a couple of months, if not longer (i.e. if they perforate the bowel, I will have yet another set of surgeries for that).

I made my decision:  I’m getting a full hysterectomy (only my right ovary will remain), and a general surgeon is being called in to remove the scar tissue from my bowel.

Now, I didn’t make the “scar tissue” call – Dr. Martin pointed out that, “oh, yeah, if you want your bowel to work properly, that scar tissue’s going to have to be removed, and I can’t do it,” and I was like, “Well…okay, then.”

Because WHAT ELSE am I going to do?  Seriously, there’s not another option, here, if I want this to be THE surgery that fixes as much as possible.

Anyway, the cost is going to be more because of the second surgery (two surgeries at once – seriously), but I’m hoping it will be worth it.

I certainly hope so, in part, because I’m going to have a nice vertical scar from my navel to my pubic bone when this is all over.  Not that my stomach is any prize (when Dr. Martin said I’d have to be opened up, I replied that my stomach was already ruined from weight loss/gain, so I didn’t really care), but…ow.

_____

As an aside, the general surgeon’s front desk assistant is…kind of a moron.  I was told to go down one floor in an OPEN atrium – I could see the desk I was to go to, they’re all in the same group of doctors, and was told to go to the desk and request an appointment.  The woman at the desk (again, I can’t stress enough – I could point at Dr. Martin’s practice, one floor up, and see the nurse at the front desk, there) told me, “Sorry, we need your records for a referral.”

“Um…you can look them up…my name is…”

“No, ma’am, it doesn’t work like that.”

“I was told it does.”

“You’re going to have to go back and ask them to send your records down here.”

You mean the records that are IN YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM, because you have the SAME RECORDS as everyone else in the building?  The freakin’ breast cancer clinic has my records!  All you need is my last name!

So I go back up to Dr. Martin’s front desk, and they share my sentiment, but agree to just call the head practice nurse of the general surgeon, because no one wants to deal with the stubborn (and slightly stupid) woman currently manning the desk.  I was pointing and gesturing at her as I talked (seriously I CAN SEE YOU, WOMAN, this isn’t rocket science!), and she was looking up at me passively.  I mean…wow.  Lazy, much?
_____

ANYWAY, here’s some comic relief from the visit:

Every time I go, I have to give a urine sample.  It’s standard procedure, but I always forget, so my urine is always really concentrated because I empty my bladder before we even leave the house.  Flagyl (metronidazole) makes your pee turn kind of brownish, which isn’t noticeable in a toilet, but is REALLY noticeable in a little cup.  I didn’t think much of it, except, “Well, someone’s going to either assume my kidneys are dying, or ask me if it burns when I pee,” and then left the bathroom.

I was mentioning this very thing to Forrest when the nurse came in with an alarmed look on her face and said, “Ms. B___, are you taking any over-the-counter meds or prescriptions that would turn your urine brown?!?”  She looked so freaked out that all I could do was laugh and said, “We were just talking about that…yes, I am.  Flagyl.”

“Oh, wow.  I’ve…never seen that.  Thank you.”  She was visibly relieved.  I was amused, but glad for the concern.

_____

Another thing about Dr. Martin that I like:  when I told him I was being treated for Lyme, and gave him copies of all of my labs, he asked me to get permission from my Lyme doc for the surgery, because Dr. Martin didn’t want to interfere with Dr. C’s treatment plan.  Well, Dr. C knows that part of the reason I even need this surgery is because of Lyme making my immune system over-react, so I’d already gotten permission, and told Dr. Martin.  Dr. Martin said, “I have nothing but respect for the people who take care of those issues.”  He wanted no details, but made it clear that he was glad that communication was happening, and that no one was stepping on anyone else’s toes.

Seriously, you guys, I’m so glad he’s my surgeon.

But that’s what I’ve got so far.  I have a guesstimate for how long the surgery will be (4 hours-ish), and a location (Baptist Women’s), and a possible date (likely late August, since they have to coordinate with another surgeon), but until I consult with the general surgeon, and get the schedule, well…that’s all I have.

Anyway, thank you for the support, and I’ll let you know more details when I have them.

7 comments to Okay, guys and gals, here’s the first surgery update. There will be much more to come.

  • GGMa

    Hey, Bonnie, don’t worry about the scar on your tummy. After a few years you won’t be able to find it. DO, though, ask the Doctor if he can sew together any of the muscle tissue he has to cut through. I don’t know if it is possible, or if they do it automatically by now. My experience was over 20 years ago. You seem to have been lucky with the Doctors you must deal with. May it ever be so!

    • Yeah, honestly, the muscle tissue was my main concern (no one will be seeing my stomach other than doctors and folks I trust…it’s not a stomach one would show off, and I’ve accepted that, already), but I do believe that they sew it up automatically, because they’re going to be working in Hernia Territory down there. I also use some of those muscles to sing, so I don’t want them to gap or separate, if possible. That would be…unfortunate, and would probably result in waaaay more lawyers than I have time or money for. :-P

      Some of my doctor experience is luck and some is gut. I stuck with Dr. G (my gyno) even though he’s my ex-MiL’s gyno, because he knew my history, and I had a feeling he could get me somewhere with my pain, eventually. He did, by sending me to Dr. Martin. My current GP’s office, however, is stagnant as a ditch in July – they’ve outlived their usefulness, I’ve become too complicated for them, and they shove me on their new nurse practitioners (which they rotate very often). That ain’t right. My Lyme doctor was PURE LUCK, because the next-closest is close to Nashville, and people come down here to avoid him, apparently.

      As soon as I find a good GP’s office, I’m good to go. :-D Love you! <3 (Also, I remember when you were laid up on the couch after your surgery…I was worried, but had no idea what was going on, and we didn’t visit long enough for me to find out more than, “surgery.”)

  • It is so nice to find good doctors. Makes all the difference in the world

    • It really does. Despite the costs, I have faith that this will work out, and I will be as pain-free as possible as long as I take care of myself properly, post-surgery.

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