So, here I am talking about periods again, its part two of my period post. I’m getting a stomach ache just thinking about it. In fact, if you look hard enough on my pictures you can see the dressing on my stomach from having my belly button stitched up, which explains the stomach pain. If you haven’t read part one of my period post where I talk about my awful symptoms and journey with diagnosis, click here before reading this.
After visiting the gynaecologist and hearing all my options I was pretty freaked out to say the least. The thought of any kind of surgery where I would be put under anaesthetic sent my anxiety wild.
The gynae also told me that if I were to go ahead with the surgery it would be beneficial to have the coil put in after it as this is thought to lessen period symtoms and would also stop the endometriosis tissue coming back.
The estimated recovery time I was given was atleast 2-3 weeks and that I would need to get time off work. This also worried me because taking that much time off work IS a big deal and I was fretting about how my employer would deal with it.
When I got home I read through the leaflet I was given over and over again and the thought that kept popping up was “what if I don’t wake up”. Other passing thoughts were the fact the surgery could affect my fertility and also “what if I go through all of this and it doesn’t even work?” In the end, I knew I had to do it. Just for the simple fact that I wanted to know if I had endometriosis. There was no other way to diagnose it and I’ve been struggling with the symptoms for too long to ignore it and carry on.
I was told it could take up to 6 months for my surgery date and I was booked in two months later. I really had no idea what to expect. It’s only when a girl reached out to me on Instagram that I found out what the surgery would actually be like. I’m hoping I can do the same for all the girls that are thinking of going through with this procedure.
On the day of the surgery, I was told to arrive at the hospital at 7.30am and I was taken in straight away. I had someone with me but I wasn’t allowed to take them in which meant they were waiting from 7.30am – 2.30 pm to see me. I suggest getting someone to drop you off and then you can text them after the surgery to come and collect you.
After getting through all the admin they made me do a pregnancy test as standard procedure and I saw the aneasthetist who told me what would happen and asked me to change into my gown. I was taken into the theatre room shortly after.
I remember the two anaestheticians speaking to me about Youtube videos as they put me to sleep. It didn’t hurt at all and I was out of it throughout the whole laproscopy procedure. When I woke up, I had the absolute worst pain and feeling ever. I was on morphine and I woke up feeling like I was going to puke any second. The pain was horrible, luckily the doctor saw this and gave me an extra dose of morphine and anti-sickness. They gave me this through a drip and the effects of the medication were almost instant which meant all I felt afterwards was pain around my stomach. There was an incision through my belly-button where they sent the camera and then two more on the sides.
When I woke up, I asked the doctor what my gynae said before she left as I didn’t hear her properly. All I heard was “there is no sign of endometriosis but there has been some scar tissue”. He looked at me like he’d seen a ghost because she hadn’t come to see me. I fully halucinated it but it felt so real! He looked at his notes and what I said was correct. I think I must have heard it whilst I was on the operating table – how freaky is that!
The hospital make you wait a few hours after the surgery to see how you are. I was still very drowsy and sleepy and the pain was also really bad. I would say take some snacks with you like cookies or biscuits because they offer you two and its SO not enough. I was absolutely starving.
Aftercare – sounds fun like when you get a tattoo but a laproscopy is far from it!
I was given these ugly white socks that are quite tight to help with circulation and I was told to wait to have a shower for one day and not to have a bath as water could soak into the cuts. You have to change your banadages for a few weeks and you are also given Codeine, Paracetomol and Iburofen to take together. I found that the pills didnt really help the pain but they made me drowsy so I fell asleep.
What I really didn’t enjoy is how sick I felt after having the Codeine so I suggest asking for anti-sickness tablets from your GP as you can’t get them over the counter.
I was able to walk about after a week but I would get extremely tired just getting up to go to the bathroom. This continued for 4 weeks. I couldn’t be on my feet for more than 10 to 15 mins as I’d start getting pulling pains and I would become exhausted. I had a sick note which covered me for two weeks from the hospital and then I rang up my GP every week to increase this as I wasn’t able to get to my doctors. They were very understanding and said everyone heals differently.
So you’re probably wondering I don’t have endometriosis what on Earth is wrong with me?
When my notes were passed back to my GP I was told that they found adhesions which they removed by cutting. Adhesions are web like structures which can wrap around your organs and that it could be the cause of the pain I was feeling. My GP said they can occur after inflammation and that I could have had endometriosis and that it had now gone and that is why the scar tissue is left but it is all speculation because adhesions are a bit of a grey area in the medical world.
I also had the coil removed as I was getting seriously bad period pains for 5 weeks with constant bleeding. The nurses and doctors will try and tell you to keep going with it and that you should wait 6 months for the coil to settle but it didn’t make any sense to me as I was in more frequent pain with my periods than I was pre-surgery.
Since removing the coil I’ve had one period where I had pretty much the same symtoms. Bad pains where I have to lie in bed all day and take it easy but the positive is that although I felt very sick I wasn’t actually throwing up and I wasn’t dizzy at all. I did gag a few times but nothing happened and I did feel very bloated but thankfully no diarrhea.
I have been booked in for another scan where they will check over everything and I also have a follow-up booked with the hospital where we will have to discuss the next steps. I don’t actually know what’s going to happen but I’m glad my symptoms have decreased – even if it is very slightly.
It is frustrating because I have the same symptoms as someone with endometriosis but I don’t actually have it which is slightly worrying as I don’t know WTF is wrong with me. I know my experience is unique to me but I wanted to do this post to show what the procedure is like and how it will feel for anyone who is thinking of getting it done. I think the takeaway from it is that you get to find out what actually is going on down there!
Things to take with you to the hospital:
Dressing gown (make sure it is super cosy and fluffy)
Small pillow – for your back as you might be waiting a few hours before you’re allowed home.
Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can message someone to come and collect you after you’re done.
Headphones so you can listen to music to pass the time – I listened to Headspace to calm me down before surgery too.
I took a book which I was only able to read for a few minutes because I kept dozing off from being so high off the morphine.
You get given one of those green / blue gowns to wear after you strip down to your undies so I would only pack pjs as a back up in case they keep you over night. (A nightdress would be better than shorts.)
I hope this post gives you an insight into what to expect and again if you have any questions feel free to comment or slide right into my DM’s on Instagram or check out the NHS website about laparoscopy here.
I’m so grateful for my Insta family because although friends and family can support you and be there for you emotionally they don’t actually know what it feels like. You can feel so isolated. It really helped when I spoke to people that were going through or had been through the same thing I had and it made me feel less alone. So here is a great big THANK – YOU from me.
I love you all.