I haven't been on here in quite some time. I haven't been spending a lot of time on the computer at all, in fact. I have missed following everyone's blogs, and trying to keep up with my friends and the scrapbooking industry in general. 2011 didn't exactly start well for me.
I had a hysterectomy on Jan.31. I was planning on laying low for about 4-6 weeks, taking some time to heal. But there was a complication that turned the next two months of my life upside down. Here is how it all went. If you're still with me, you may want to grab a coffee or something.
My hysterectomy was Monday, Jan.31. All went well, or so it seemed. The Dr. came in the morning to tell me so. But he said he noticed at the end that the urine was not flowing down the ureter. Quick medical lesson - the ureter is the long tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder. A very important function, I quickly learned. The Dr. figured it would work itself out. Well it wasn't long before the pain I was experiencing was unlike anything I was prepared for. The nurses assumed it was just hysterectomy pain, and they encouraged me to take the morphine (I am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen, which cancels out all the good drugs - leaving me with morphine and percocet).
So I was living on that for the week - all to the dismay of my stomach, which did not agree with any of this, and violently protested. With the basin never far from me, I did my best to manage the pain. I am tough, I told myself. Had 5 big kids naturally - I can do some hysterectomy pain. I was in the hospital for a week, but still had a catheter because my bladder seemed to be swollen from the surgery. So after a week I was sent home with the catheter. And still in tremendous pain. I should have caught on, seeing that the pain was all centred in my left side in the back.
I remember asking the nurse that came in for homecare if hysterectomies are supposed to hurt this much. I spent the next week crying in pain, wondering why the pain wasn't subsiding at all, in fact getting worse. My dr. called daily to check on me.
Finally on Friday, Feb. 11, almost 2 weeks after the surgery, he had me to an ultrasound. He called me within 3 hours to give me the results - still no urine flowing through the ureter. This concerned him. So he scheduled me for a CT scan on the Monday. I spent the next two days in more unbelievable pain. And to top it all off, I have been nauseous and vomitting through all of this, partly due to the percocet and I am sure due to the pain.
Monday, February 14. A day I will never forget. I was so nauseous, but had to get up to get to the hospital for my CT scan. I am sitting in the waiting room, with two large glasses of water that I was supposed to get down before the scan. Not happening. I was just too nauseous. They were very understanding, gave me a cot to lay down until it was my turn. The scan was awful. They had to inject me with dye, which feels awful going in. They had to do this a few times, and there was a lot of waiting. And the pain was even stronger than ever - partially due to the liquids that had now entered my body for the scan. After what seemed like an endless scan, I could finally empty my bladder and go home. I arrived home, and immediately went to have a nap. I was sick, in pain, and just couldn't take much more. Little did I know, this was just the beginning.
I woke up to the doorbell ringing - a delivery man with a dozen beautiful red roses from my amazing husband for valentine's day. It was our 21st valentines together, and this was the only bright spot in my day. Not an hour later, my Dr called with the results of the scan: I was in that immense pain because my ureter was completely blocked, therefore not allowing any urine to flow from the kidney - for two weeks to the day. My kidney was now in danger, and I had to get in for surgery right away, as in that evening. Then he said that they also discovered a blood clot, called ovarian vein thrombosis, that is located in the vein beside the ovary and where the uterus used to be. And he said I would have to go on blood thinners.
So I contacted my husband and he came home right away. We prepared the kids that mom was leaving for the hospital again, and would hopefully come back feeling better. The Dr called me at 3:30 pm with the news, and I was in surgery by 8pm. The idea was to insert a stent through the ureter to open it up. I remember waking up in the recovery room, muttering the words "did it work?" to my Dr, who said "no". I cried. I would still be in pain, this attempt was for nothing. The next plan of action was to get a nephrostomy tube inserted in my kidney, through my back. This would relieve the pain, as it would allow the urine to drain through the tube that comes out the back, and down the leg into a bag. I felt like I was in a nightmare - how can this be happening? Turns out, all of this was due to the fact the Dr stitched over my ureter when finishing the hysterectomy. An error that happens in about 1% of vaginal hysterectomy's. Lucky me.
Feb. 16 I had the nephrostomy tube inserted. This was an awful procedure, one I hope to never have again. Luckily during this time, my dad and step mom drove down from Ottawa to stay with us for a week, and help out with the kids. I also had a lot of friends help us out with meals, and such. What a blessing! Friday Feb.18 I had my first blood thinner injection. Within 4 hours, my bag completely filled with blood, and scared both Derek and I. We called the Dr, who had given us his cell number in case of emergenccy. He said to discontinue the injections until he could consult with a specialist.
I will try to fast forward this a bit now, as the next few weeks are filled with dr visits, more attempted stent procedures (failed). I am so limited with this tube. I can't shower, I can't sleep properly, I worry constantly about what is going to happen. I have rashes from the bandages, blisters from the tubes, itchiness from the tape.
Finally I get some good news on March 24 - the blood clot is no longer an issue. I had to go to the thrombosis clinic at McMaster in Hamilton, and the Dr assured me it would be scar tissue at this point. Could things be looking up? I had my next stent attempt on Monday March 28. By then the stitches would have dissolved, and the ureter would either open up, or it would not and I would need surgery. And the surgery is big, and would recover minimum 2 years of doctor's follow up care. I absolutely did not want that surgery. But even with all of this, I felt calm. I was in church the Sunday before my Mcmaster visit, and this calm came over me, like God's way of telling me everything would be ok, and not to worry. Beside's, Chelsea's first communion is May 1, and if I had surgery I would miss it. That just wasn't acceptable.
Monday I went into the hospital, the Dr inserted a tube, and it went right up the ureter!! That was the best news! It was a little sticky at the part where it was stitched, so he still had to put a stent in. But he was so encouraged that he even removed the nephrostomy tube. That was a surprise because I was told they would keep it in for a few weeks just to be sure. But the tube is now gone, and I can't tell you how relieved and free I feel. This stent is annoying - makes me feel like I have to pee all the time! And there is a lot of pressure too. But this is nothing compared to what I have gone through the past two months.
I am sure I left a lot out, but it's hard to remember everything that happened over the past two months. Especially when some of it I would rather forget. But it's finally coming to an end.
Praise God!! And thank you everyone for your prayers!! I can now start planning for the future, our Disney trip, and the summer. I feel like I have learned so much - appreciate the little things, take care of your body, cherish your friends and family as they are your amazing support system. And my husband was my rock through all of it. He is amazing, and was my strength when I felt like I didn't have anymore.
Well if you have read this far, that's amazing LOL Sorry for the long post, I should have been updating all along, but during this I was having vision problems. They think it was the anesthesia from having it a few times. I have missed following your blogs, and keeping up with everyone. I will try to do better now that things are finally getting back to normal.