Recovery After Laparoscopic Hysterectomy by a Robot

Nearly two weeks ago, I was lying on a surgical table, belly bloated with CO2 gas, head tilted towards the floor, legs in stirrups, with a robotic laparoscope inserted in 4 different places in my abdomen. The thought of it sounds like a sci-fi movie, and I only wish I’d had a photo of the position I was in just for laughs.

When I was awakened after the surgery, I didn’t feel too much pain at the time. I was still high on anesthesia and whatever other pain meds they pumped into my system intravenously, but all I wanted to do was sleep it off. The nurse put me in a corner station, saying it should be quiet for me there. Shortly after, I felt like I was going to vomit, mainly because the assistants outside of the curtain were talking loudly and banging around and talking on their phones. Seriously! I wanted to yell, “Library voices!!” But I didn’t even have the strength.

The nausea worsened with the noise, and the doctors said if I vomited, they would have to keep me overnight. I wasn’t about to stay overnight, because I was an hour from my house, and no one wanted to make the drive again the following day. Once I got my stomach to settle down a bit, I got my bag of meds and left for home. All I wanted to do was lay down and sleep off the anesthesia and meds. But that didn’t happen.

As soon as I lay my head down on my couch, my neighbor started the lawnmower right next to my door and windows by the room I was in. Noise and movement is what made me want to vomit in the first place, and I was beginning to get a migraine from it all. Not only was I annoyed, I was feeling really awful. The nausea, the headache, and now the pain meds were really wearing off.

Later that evening a friend came over to help me. At some point I did start puking, and the excruciating pain from the CO2 gas started. If you’ve never experienced that pain (I have before but not to this extent), it can be compared to the feeling of having a heart attack, because the gas is pressing on the diaphragm, and you feel like you’re being suffocated. The best way I can describe it is it’s as if someone is nailing railroad spikes directly down into your shoulders. Or it’s like having labor in your shoulders. Add puking to that and you just feel like you’re dying worse than any flu x10. Since I couldn’t keep anything down, I couldn’t take anymore pain meds. This went on all night. So there I was in excruciating pain on Night One without any rest whatsoever.2

The following day I slept very little, still in pain. Same story for Night Two – no sleep, and no amount of pain medicine helped (I was given Tramadol, because I requested NO opioids, which make me sick). I had stopped puking, however, but I had no appetite and couldn’t eat more than a bite or two of toast or crackers and some fluids. In fact, I didn’t eat more than three to four bites of anything for a couple of days.

Then came Nights Three and Four. I started to finally rest a little bit, but because I had been in so much pain, it didn’t occur to me to take my temperature. I’d been running a fever, and that lasted for the next two or three days/nights. I was to call the hospital if it went over 101, which it was, but I’m stubborn and decided to try some Tylenol instead. It worked, and the only thing about having a fever is that it actually made me sleep quite a bit. Once the fever broke and I started feeling better, I tried eating soup. (At that point I’d only had crackers, toast and water.) Again, three or four bites and I was full.

Day Six is when the other pain started – back pain, which I suspect was a result of being tossed around during surgery. It felt like a pinch that a chiropractor could fix, but I couldn’t go to a chiro. I had only been given 3 days of pain meds, and I spent the next two nights in more pain and literally awake the entire night until 4 or 5 a.m. Nothing I did helped the pain. By then I was about to lose it. Pain, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition = meltdown. I spent a lot of time crying, which was a bit of a release.

By Day Seven, I threw in the towel. I had a friend bring me some beer, drank more than I should have, but slept the night away. Paid for it by sitting on the toilet the entire next day, but at least I slept. Now I am on week 2 and still trying to get my body back on a regular schedule. Sleep pattern is all over the place. I eat maybe one full meal a day, but other than that small meals throughout the day. As for pain, it’s pretty much gone, but I do feel tender and sensitive at the incision areas and some of my insides. My stomach muscles feel weak, as expected, and I can’t wait to be able to go back to yoga class. Tomorrow I go for my first post-op visit.

In the meantime, I’m not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds, do any type of housecleaning (yeah right), and for now I haven’t been driving yet. This is definitely taking a lot longer than I had expected. I’m just anxious for the rewards of never having a period or a PAP again!

Depression and B-12 Deficiency

The other day when I posted this blog about how horrible I was feeling, I felt slightly better after writing it. However, slightly isn’t enough to get out of a deep, dark funk. That same day, I had also taken my monthly B-12 shot, which usually helps with energy if nothing more, but it takes a good day or so to really be felt in my system.

It’s abnormal for me to walk around crying and unable to function or cope with everyday life, and it happens suddenly and spirals out of control. I am extremely self-aware of how my body feels and how my mind is affected. I feel dazed, unable to concentrate, extremely depressed and anxious, and extremely hopeless in a tunnel without any light. It’s a terrible way to feel. This is what depression feels like to me.

On August 26, I had my pre-op bloodwork done, and some things came back as “low”. I had to google the jargon to figure out what it meant, and it seems that both lack of iron (I have anemia) and B-12 are the culprits here. I am convinced that the lack of B-12 is why my depression gets really bad like it did the other day, because I can easily control the iron deficiency with a pill. These were my results:

After doing some research and also being extremely aware of my body and the things it does, I am convinced that much of my depression is due to a B-12 deficiency. Two days after taking my shot, I felt like a different person – like a cloud has lifted. Today, I feel even better. But this is only temporary, because my body tends to use the B-12 quickly.

Unfortunately, I am only prescribed one shot of B-12 a month, and even though I take oral B-12 as well, it’s not enough. I eat enough foods with B-12 also, so for whatever reason, my body just doesn’t keep this supplement. I contacted my doctor about the bloodwork and my concerns, but I have yet to hear back from her. It’s been 3 days, which I feel is too long to wait when I’m feeling helpless. The last time I told my doctor I think I need the shots more often, she said my bloodwork was fine. Well, duh, it’s fine right after I take the shot up until about 2-3 weeks later. By the third week, I’m low again, which is when they should be testing me. I mean, to me, it’s just common fucking sense!

The doctor also told me this – which I don’t believe, and think she confused B-12 with iron supplements – that too much B-12 isn’t good for me. Total b.s.! I have researched very reputable references that say the complete opposite. Yes, too much iron can harm you, but not B-12.

And here’s another issue – I email the doctor, because it’s usually easier to communicate, but it’s the nurse that generally answers. There have been times the nurse has confused communication to the point that I’ve given up going back and forth. Today I emailed again about my concern, since I hadn’t heard from my doctor. The nurse answers me and asks where I’m getting the B-12 injections, because my records are showing it’s a provider outside the VA healthcare system. WHAT!!!???!!!

OMFG, are you kidding me!! I do not have a provider outside the VA, because if I did, I wouldn’t be emailing about a fucking vitamin that I need to function; I’d be contacting a doctor that wouldn’t think twice about giving me a prescription for it. Jesus Christ! I’m not asking for pain medicine; I’m asking for a harmless supplement so I don’t kill myself! Is this why so many veterans don’t use their medical benefits, and is this why so many veterans are committing suicide? It’s simple shit like this that can drive a person absolutely batshit crazy.

This time I cannot give up. This is my mental health we’re talking about here, and if I need an extra shot a month, then I should get it. I see that I can get it online cheaper for a pet than for a human, even though it’s the same damn thing, and I can get it without a prescription. More total b.s., but I may have to do just that. It shouldn’t be this difficult to solve a simple solution!

About to Lose My Mind – Depression, Anxiety, and I hate everything

I’m about to lose my fucking mind. Not joking. The amount of stress I’m feeling today and prior to today is really wearing on me.

This morning I spent 3 1/2 hours trying to fix things that shouldn’t be broken, things that I didn’t break, instead of doing something that makes me feel better. And this is the type of shit I seem to be dealing with on a weekly basis, because no one seems to know how to do their jobs.

I had a counseling appointment scheduled for this afternoon at the VA, but I realized that I hadn’t received the ten reminders I normally get when I have an appointment. Good thing I checked this morning, because I would have driven the 30 miles one way to get there only to find out someone canceled ALL of my upcoming counseling appointments. This is AFTER waiting for 3 months to see my counselor, because she is so booked. Second motherfucking time this has happened, and for someone with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, this is NOT a good thing.

Not only did I have to wait nearly three months for this counseling appointment, I had to reschedule another very important appointment (they put at the exact same time) that I’ve been waiting 19 years for. Yes, you read that right. 19 years! I have been dicked around for more than 20 years with the VA, and they still can’t get it right.

I have surgery in 10 days. I’m not nervous about it; I just want it overwith so I can have my physical life back. And because of the surgery, it’s getting more difficult to reschedule all of the shit that someone else fucked up. I will be out of commission for two months, so not only am I currently broke, I am super stressed about how I’m going to make it after surgery. Maybe I will end up living in my car after all.

Yesterday was a bad day. I’ve been getting migraines (sinus? Who knows?) a lot lately. I’m getting one now. Yesterday I had a migraine. I decided maybe a walk on the beach would do me good. So I went and didn’t stay long. I didn’t realize the heat index was 106, so on top of being overly hot, it was crowded, and I didn’t feel like being around people. Then I went home and cried for the rest of the afternoon.

I don’t trust people, and I’m really beginning to hate people, and I’m becoming more and more introverted. I don’t normally feel hatred towards anyone, but for whatever reason, ever since dating Toe Ring and recently seeing OC around town, I’m feeling hatred towards people (including those two). I feel like the only way to get by in this world is to be a fucking asshole, and I hate fucking assholes. It seems like the only way to be successful is to be one. I hate this world.

I don’t fit in anywhere, and I realize I never have, so it’s hard to like anyone when I don’t trust them. I don’t even feel like I have real friends anymore. I have friends that are my friends when they are bored and no one else is there to entertain them, or they’re my friends when they need something. Other than that, I’m on my own.

I haven’t been leaving the house much unless I have to. For the most part, I haven’t felt like being around people, because they annoy the shit out of me and give me anxiety. I don’t want to be out in public. I haven’t been doing any of the normal things I usually do, because I haven’t felt like it. Maybe it’s the excruciating Florida heat. Maybe it’s the depression. And it seems when I do feel like doing anything, something comes along and fucks it all up, so why bother?

Being broke doesn’t help, because I need to save gas. I need my car fixed. I really need a chiropractor (probably why I have migraines). I am trying to decide to either get rid of internet or my phone so I have some grocery money, but I need to have both to get things done. It’s a no-win situation. Some of the jobs I’ve been doing are hit or miss, unpredictable, and often unreliable. I guess this is the way it is with jobs nowadays. It’s bullshit, if you ask me.

A few weeks ago, I had to put food back at the grocery store, because I needed maxi pads, because I wouldn’t stop bleeding. How unfair is it that women have to choose between food and pads, but men don’t? I hate being a woman. Men are clueless about the shit we have to deal with. It must be nice to be clueless. Maybe that’s the key to happiness.

Sometimes I feel like the Universe hates me. That I don’t belong here. That it’s trying to tell me to get the fuck out of it. That everything that sucks is a reminder that I’m just a middle-aged loser with nothing to look forward to… whose dreams are dead and bloated.

I fucking hate life right now.