The End. And The Start.

A purely PMDD related post, but there is so little information about this topic out there that I wanted to do my small bit to change that. Whilst it’s often dangerous to Google these things, it would have really helped me to be able to read personal stories of successful PMDD cures/treatments. There just really aren’t any that I’ve come across so I want to help with that. A small thing but might make a big difference.

So yesterday I had my bilateral salpingo oophorectomy. Both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

I chose a private hospital via the NHS, and arrived at 0730. I thought I was an afternoon slot so wasn’t looking forward to all that nil by mouth, but at 0930 they came for me and said it was my turn. I walked to the anaesthetic room, and I’d already told the anaesthetist that I was really scared of going under. She put a cannula in (ouch) and a syringe of what she called gin and tonic, a “softener”. A lovely nurse held my hand which really helped. The lights above me started to swim around and that’s the last I remember until I woke up in recovery.

Some people react to GA’s in different ways, and I now realise that I react with complete and utter verbal diarrhoea! I don’t remember it all but bits of it started coming back to me and I know I told the lovely nurse that I had lost five stone, was a triathlete, loved skinny jeans, had a PT, was in a lot of pain, asked a load of questions and when a porter came and said who is next to go to the ward, I shouted out “Pick me, pick me!”

I was taken to a private room and met my husband there. Turns out I’d been in theatre for 3 hours because of some complications, and poor love he’d been waiting thinking it was just an hour I would be in. I don’t know why but I had never considered in advance the pain of the operation. Lots of people said laparoscopy is quite minor in comparison – but like the lovely recovery nurse said, “You’ve had a major operation but done in a less invasive way. What we’ve done to your insides is still major.” I’ve got 4 small incisions (I think) and one of them hurt a lot more than the others. There had been some debate about whether I could go home yesterday or might need a night in hospital and by the time I got to the ward I was very clear I wasn’t ready to go home. I couldn’t even consider getting out of bed for a further 3 hours and when I did, it was agony. The nurses and consultant were fine with me staying overnight so I could rest and get pain management a bit better under control. It felt just like when I had my C-section, I could get up but not stand straight. I guess they’ve messed with my abs; typical just as I discover I’ve got some!

Because of the complications – basically one ovary was stuck to me and covered in scar tissue from likely old endometriosis I didn’t know I had – my consultant has told me to watch out for increasing pain to warn of internal bruising and bleeding. Also some gas (they use it to inflate the abdomen so they can see) escaped the wrong way, putting pressure on my bladder so I’ve been on urine watch and had a catheter in all day. Seems all good though.

I’ll be going home today. I’ve been told not to drive for a couple of weeks, and I cannot exercise for three weeks. After three weeks I can start slowly and build up gently. I think the three weeks will be tolerable (maybe) since I’m so sore, but once I feel good building up slowly will be difficult for me. I like to max things where I can! Thankfully The Trainer can set the intensity for me and keep me safer than I might myself! No doubt my head will feel ready to enter beast mode but my body may not be quite recovered.

Talking of my head, I feel great. Yesterday I felt excited and hopeful and happy and positive. I started to make plans about the year ahead, and I knew I was going to be OK. With PMDD I got mega, crashing lows but they were usually followed by unnaturally unhealthy highs. I don’t think yesterday was a high, it was just a happy me. I felt stable and sensible and steady. Today I don’t feel quite as upbeat but I’ve had very little sleep so I generally feel tired. None of these are PMDD though, so I’m sure that the removal of the ovaries has done its job. As my body settles down and surgical menopause takes over from chemical menopause I’m ready for some wobbles if they come, but I know that that’s all they will be. No more monthly trauma, no more crying on the rowing machine, no more firing my PT then desperately apologising and trying to make it up. No more being snappy and intolerant with my family. No more so little energy or hope that all I could do is lie in bed and wait for time to pass.

I have life again now, not just for 50% of the time, but for all the time. It’s out there for the taking and I can’t wait.

I’ll post frequently with operation recovery details for anyone who might be facing a BSO. Clearly everyone is different and I’m not a doctor but hearing one persons’ story might be of some use in removing some of the fear and uncertainty that I know I had.

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