This is not me. It's just a really cool picture to get my point across. Photo courtesy of Sydney Sims
WHAT IS A "UNILATERAL SALPINGO OOPHORECTOMY"?
Sounds really funny, right?
I thought so too.
It's basically the removal of an ovary and fallopian tube.
HOW I AM HEALING FROM LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
This post is specifically written for women. Men can read it too!
Imagine for a moment you have something growing in you that just doesn't feel like it should be there.
It's not a parasite. Or is it?
No! It is is not. It's your body telling you that you've not taken good care of it. You've held on to stress energy for too long. Now it's growing fast.
Imagine it is the size of a lemon, no - an orange ... or wait, a grapefruit.
Said grapefruit-sized object was not a growing baby either. My days of having babies are long gone - phew! I've had three already and been pregnant four times - first was an ectopic pregnancy. That was my first experience with laparoscopic surgery.
The thing growing inside of me that I jokingly called my "hairy toothed ovary" or "gremlin" was actually a dermoid ovarian cyst. Read about my story then you can come back here.
BLOG POST ABOUT AN OVARIAN CYST REMOVAL PROCEDURE AND AFTERCARE
GOING INTO SURGERY
The most scary thing was "fear of the unknown". Then there was also:
Even though I was putting on my brave face, inside I knew I had to face this fear like one facing a dark night.
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
DAY 1 - FRIDAY, JAN 18th 2019
This was the actual day of surgery. Got to the hospital at 5:30 am. It was an outpatient surgery so I was discharged around 3 or 4 pm.
Surgery took about 2 and a half hours.
Last thing I remember before surgery was telling Vinny I love him, as the nurses wheeled me towards the O.R.
DAY 1 Continued
I was dreaming when I heard the nurses saying "Lulu, wake up! Surgery is over!"
As I looked at the clock in front of me with my blurry vision, the time was 11:11 a.m. (magick moment)
I began weeping with joy. Apart from the pain in my belly button, which the nurses immediately took care of, I was so grateful to have made it back. They asked me why I was crying? I told them how grateful I was of how well they had cared for me - and to be alive.
Vinny joined me shortly after. I was so happy to see him. Let me tell, you - it really is nice to have people who truly love and support you by your side.
HOW TO HEAL FROM OVARY REMOVAL SURGERY
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR AFTER OVARIAN CYSTECTOMY
There is going to be a lot of bloating. Especially on Day 1 -3.
You might also become constipated. Yup, I said it!
Here are some things you can get before surgery:
WHAT NOT TO EAT OR DRINK ON DAY 1, AFTER SURGERY:
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS FOR AFTER LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
DAY 2 - SATURDAY, JAN 19TH 2019
Still in pain, but more manageable. The painkiller was fabulous. It helped me conk out on the couch.
There was still a lot of gas trapped in my body. Not only in my belly, but also in my shoulders and back.
Still hadn't gone # 2. Uncomfortable!
TIPS FOR POST SURGICAL RELIEF
DAY 3 - SUNDAY, JAN 20TH 2019
Still hadn't gone # 2 and my belly seemed to be getting even more bloated.
I kept eating healthy food like soups, salads, veggies and fruits.
Vinny was amazing at serving me all the time!
Still haven't gone #2!
I don't know why I waited this long but I finally had Vinny buy me the Smooth Move Tea. That's why I mentioned to buy it before hand!
I took the tea right before bed!
DAY 4 - MONDAY, JAN 21ST 2019
Hallelujah! That Smooth Move tea worked! It made me go twice in the morning and once at night!
Bloating went down significantly.
Gas is subsiding in other parts of my body.
Continued walking around a little. I had to resist the urge to do more physical stuff.
Painkillers still help.
DAY 5 - TUESDAY, JAN 22ND 2019
My sweet friend Sasu came to see me. She brought me soup from one of my fave Vegan Restaurants in South Florida - Screaming Carrots.
It really helps to surround yourself with people who love you, like I said earlier.
Sasu brought me the Mushrooms in Coconut Soup and the Lentil Soup.
I really appreciate when friends check on me and spend quality time with me.
Bowel movements back to normal! YAY!
Only took one painkiller at night this time, before bed.
DAY 6 - WEDNESDAY, JAN 23RD 2019
Woke up with more energy. Pain very low - more of a discomfort than anything.
Walked around a bit. Made myself coffee - boy, did I miss my coffee!
Didn't take any painkillers at all!
SACRED WOMB CARE
DAY 7 - THURSDAY, JAN 24TH 2019
Bloating has subsided a lot. Still more to go though.
More energy and movement. I have to be careful to not get too active with taking care of household chores.
Doctor's office called with my pathology results: NO CANCER! What a relief!
No driving allowed until my Dr. clears it. Dr. follow-up is next week! I am recovering quite well, people!
I attribute my post-op healing to:
ADVENTURES IN LIVING WITH A "HAIRY TOOTHED" OVARY
A few people I know are aware of about this situation. I wanted to share about it here because I feel it would help any woman who might be struggling with the same issue.
It really helped me, leading up to the actual surgery to read stories from other women who had been in a similar situation. I feel there is a need for women to unite and really be there for each other during times like these! Go, sister-hood power!
I'll begin my story by going back about three years or so. I was laying in bed one day - on my back, when I felt a strange knot on the right side of my abdomen. It felt like a little golf ball. It didn't hurt or anything but felt completely foreign.
I chose to ignore it since I was not under any medical insurance - single mom issues. Not long after that, I had a dream that definitely alarmed me. In my dream I was walking down a dirt road, when three eerie women dressed in white 1800-style dresses, approached me.
In my dream, the three women had long blonde hair down to their waists. It seemed as though they were just walking along the road as messengers. One of the women came up to me and while quietly placing her hands over her right ovary, tilted her head. She seemed concerned.
Upon waking up I realized something was definitely going on in that area of my body. Then life got busy because I was struggling financially and could not afford to go see a doctor.
Every now and then I would feel pain on my right side and soon realized it was on or near my ovary because the pain would come when I was either ovulating or going through my menstrual cycle.
Sure enough, the time came again where I felt the pain again in my belly, near what seemed like my ovary. I felt like I had a lot of pressure, kind of similar to menstrual cramps, but not the exactly the same.
SYMPTOMS OF AN OVARIAN CYST
Six Signs You Might Have an Ovarian Cyst
There are few different symptoms to watch out for if you suspect you have an ovarian cyst.
There are a few symptoms that you definitely need to look into:
There are different types of ovarian cysts, which you can find out more about here. Mine was a dermoid cyst, according to the diagnosis of my Emergency Room visit. At that time (about a year and a half ago), it was about five centimeters or more in size.
A dermoid cyst is a harder type of a cyst. It may contain skin, nails, teeth, bones, hair or all of the above. So the only way it can go away is if
a) disappears miraculously or
b) it is removed surgically.
They ended sending me home because I didn't have insurance (another topic I want to talk about in another post) and they explained, I didn't have any ovary torsion. Ovary Torsion is when your ovary twists over and causes severe abdominal pain. This could be very dangerous as it cuts off blood flow to your ovaries.
They also told me that my blood did not show any indication of cancer, so I would just have to go home and monitor my symptoms. They told me if I have pain accompanied by nausea (another symptom), then I should come back to the E.R.
Needless to say, I was frustrated and confused. The pain would come and go. Until one day, I finally got medical insurance a year later. It wasn't the best, but it was a push in the right direction.
I found an OBGYN that I thought would finally take care of my "growing gremlin". Yes, I did come up with a name for it! I met with Dr. Andrade of Dr. Hanna Farris' practice. He was very nice to begin with and seemed very concerned about my now larger ovarian cyst. He told me it was about seven centimeters and it needed to be removed as soon as possible. This was around July 2018.
As you know, timing has to be perfect. The time he had available for the surgery was not until after October. I had follow up visits but the doctor's office just didn't seem very concerned about me. I came to the realization that my medical insurance was not their optimum choice, so they kept pushing my case further back.
Fueled by frustration and anger, I kept calling the office and following up. My message finally got through and I was scheduled for surgery on December 5th, 2018. By this time, you could imagine my emotional state. A day before my surgery, Dr. Andrade called to inform me that my surgery was to be postponed due to some alarming test results.
CA19-9. That blasted marker! The Doctor was concerned that I could be experiencing endometriosis or a chocolate cyst. Another concern was pancreatic cancer. So he felt that I had to have another CT Scan of not only my pelvic area but abdominal as well.
Back to the waiting game again. After endless, frustrated calls back and forth with the Dr.'s office because I had to go through a lot of "red-tape" due to my insurance coverage, to ensure I had referrals for all my exams, I finally got the tests done.
The results came back negative for cancer, but for some reason, the Doctor saw this was a good time to go on vacation without telling me. The pain came back, accompanied by nausea - which sent me to the E.R. again.
By this time, the cyst was notably bigger but they refused to do the surgery during my E.R. visit because there wasn't any available OBGYN Surgeon. I ended up getting a referral through this visit to the awesome Dr. Laurel King.
OVARIAN CYSTS CAN BE DANGEROUS
I was very happy and relieved to meet with Dr. King. She was extremely thorough in explaining how ovarian cysts can be dangerous and cause various markers to go up during tests. She wanted to get my cyst removed as soon as possible because she could see that it was really affecting my whole pelvic area. She explained how she would remove the cyst and do her best to save my ovary. If necessary, she would have to perform a Salpingo-oophorectomy which basically was the removal of my ovary and fallopian tube.
The date was set! January 18, 2018. I felt a real final wave of relief even though in the background, there was a fear that this procedure would be postponed again. Life is not normal when you have an abnormal growth in your body. I wanted it out!
Since you are reading my words, you know that I made it through despite my anxiety about going under General anaesthesia. Needless to say, I am here and can confidently say that the hospital staff at Memorial Regional was amazing.
They made me feel very comfortable and ensured that I had minimal discomfort or pain. I was afraid that I would react to the anaesthesia, but honestly I came out of it while I was dreaming. The nurses had to wake me up.
I found out after surgery, that my ovary indeed had to be removed, along with the fallopian tube. Apparently, my ovary had been overtaken by the little "gremlin" and was no longer of service. Who needs a "hairy toothed" ovary anyway (inside joke with my friend Julie)?
WHAT THE OVARIAN CYST TAUGHT ME
I learned a lot from this whole situation. But the one things that really stuck out is:
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Your body is incredibly and intelligently intuitive and communicates with you all the time. There are signs all over the place! I said it earlier, everything is connected. For me, I feel the cyst served its purpose in showing me that I tend to hold on to pain in an unhealthy way.
Questions to ask yourself:
Emotional stress can grow into ugly looking things that take up space and ruin the environment for other normal activities. Apparently women can have dermoid cysts while still in their mother's womb. Over time, the cyst grows - acting as a messenger to take care of yourself.
Apparently the cyst I had was about the size of a grapefruit. It took me that long to pay attention to my sacred womb. I got the message though. I am going to be more attentive to my temple.
Welcome to my personal blog. This blog is going to be filled with everything magickal. Even the grimy stuff of life.