Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adventures in Anesthesia

It's that time of year again! Time for the Green Family's annual Christmas surgery!  Any time one of us needs surgery, which is more frequently than it should be if you ask me, it always ends up being around Christmas time.  This is due in part to the fact that we want to squeeze every dollar we can out of our insurance deductible before it starts over on January 1.  It's just the sensible thing to do.

I have a fantastic doctor who has explained the procedure to me better than any other doctor has ever explained any other procedure.  In fact, I could probably do it myself if I had to.  It's all about having the right tools.  Being the visual person that I am, I have a very clear mental image of how this thing is going to go down and I thought you might like to see it too.  Don't worry, there are no gross pictures, I can't go there.  But I do make up for it with gross words.

Some Klingons have taken up residency in my uterus and my left ovary and are causing me to slowly bleed to death.  Obviously, they must be evicted.  This will take place on Friday when I'm scheduled to have a D & C with a hysteroscopy and a laparoscopy.  It's a common procedure for those of us with lady parts. 

D and C stands for dilation and curettage.  "Dilation" is obvious, they have to get in there somehow.  "Curettage" is for the curette tool they use to scrape out the uterus.  On the left side of the page I've included a picture of a curette to help you cringe appropriately.  On the right side of the page I've included a picture of a cantaloupe being scraped out with a melon baller...which is how I view this whole procedure.  Somehow that seems more pleasant to me.  In fact, it's almost refreshing.

For the next procedure they begin by inflating my abdomen with air so that they can see what they're doing and move stuff out of the way.  We all know how that's done...a little needle adaptor and a hand pump, right?  Then they will start the hysteroscopy part of the procedure where they make a little incision in my belly button, which is an inny in case you were wondering.  Then they poke around in my lower abdomen with a little camera on a stick to see what's going on with that left ovary.  There is definitely a small foreign body attached to it but it's impossible to tell from the ultrasound if the attachment is on the outside or buried inside.

Once the doctor gets a good view of the ovary, it's time for the laparoscopy part.  She makes 3 more little incisions on my tummy...one for the little probe that she uses to move stuff around, one for a clamp to hold on to the ovary when she finds it, and one for the little knife or scissors or whatever it is that will whack off the offending growth.  I picture that tool as looking like the tiny little scissors on a Swiss army knife.  Ideally, she will cut open the ovary, remove the foreign body, zip it back up and we're done.  If the little thing is embedded too deep in the tissue, then she has my permission to pull a Morticia Addams and just snip that sucker off.  I've been done with my ovaries for quite some time so if it has to be sacrificed for the greater good, I'm okay with that.  I will squeeze all the hormones I can out of the remaining ovary to hold off the chest hair for as long as possible.

Since this isn't my first, I'm not the least bit worried or concerned about the surgery.  I've never had any problems with them in the past.  But the recovery...that's another story.  I have never had a surgery where I didn't have some kind of complication during the recovery process.  It's never anything major, just an infection or an allergic reaction of some kind.  But it sure can make an unpleasant process even more miserable.  I'm coping with this by staying focused on the positive, which is the promise of some excellent pain pills in my future.


SkylersDad said...

I hope your recovery goes smoothly this time. best wishes to you!

Shannon Green said...

Thanks! As long as I don't wake up to find that I've become a man, it's all good.

Vyx said...

Good way of describing everything! I especially like the melon baller... easy, right?

Wouldn't worry about chest hair... it's chin hair that shows up first. As in "stray eyebrows". :)

Glad I found your blog...