I don’t know about the rest of you but last week, I was glued to my computer waiting to hear how Layla’s surgery went. Around 9:30 a.m., we got word from her husband that she was headed back for the procedure to start and then at 11:46, he informed us he was headed back to see her in recovery.
It’s amazing to think that a month ago, we were all crossing our fingers just hoping that Layla would get the care that she deserved and now, she’s home and recuperating. The surgery wasn’t an easy thing to go through and she’s slowly getting better day by day. Don’t just take my word for it though, read on to hear the story from Layla herself. (Used with her permission.)One week ago today, I had surgery. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven days already. I’ve deemed this past week “the lost week,” because I don’t remember ANY of it. I have snatches of memories come back to me, and I have to verify if what I’m remembering really happened or if I dreamed it. I don’t even remember writing my last blog post! It’s pretty obvious I was feeling gooood on some Percocet when I wrote it, because holy run-on sentences, typos, and over use of the word “like.” However, everything in it absolutely happened. I am a weirdo that demanded REO Speedwagon be played during my surgery. Hi, I’m Layla. Have we met?
I’ve weened myself off of the pain killers (not fun, but necessary if I ever wanted to take the Browns to the Super Bowl again) and rejoined the world a bit. I’ve slowly made my way through the house, and am not just stuck in my bedroom in any longer. As a matter of fact, I put on makeup and blew my hair dry after my shower today! Then I drove myself to Starbucks. Yep. I’m so proud of myself! I’m kind of amazed by the improvement I’ve seen. Every single day, I’m stronger and able to do more. This surgery wasn’t the most intensive, but they did more than we expected and therefore my recovery has been harder than I anticipated.
Recovery has not been fun, not gonna lie. I slept a lot the first few days and took a lot of painkillers, but I had no appetite so they made me sick. Even on painkillers, sleep was not fun or restful. I’ve bled for seven days straight so far. My sheets are ruined. (Hoping that ends soon.) I can feel EVERY thing my bowels do….I promise you, I can feel every little gas bubble travel allll the way through my body and it HURTS. I have a constant stitch in my right side, and pain that shoots from that stitch to the crease of my right leg and down my thigh. Going to the bathroom….let’s not talk about it. Suffice to say, it’s an hours long process that has led to tears nearly every day. I developed a bladder infection from the catheter and am on antibiotics, and it’s finally starting to feel better.
My incisions are still sore but no longer feel like they’re ripping when I walk, like they did the first four days. I’m exhausted and emotional and a little scared sometimes, because I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong. My hair is falling out badly, most likely from stress. I don’t know if all of the bowel pain is normal, or if it’s because of the appendectomy (and whatever was wrong with my appendix…who knows what that is…?) or that plus the colon and small intestine being bound and finally released…I honestly don’t know. I just know it’s been the worst part of it. I have laid awake for three nights now, because that’s when it decides to hurt the most. I’ve read two books in two nights. I’m almost out of new books to read. This is bad.
I was told I would have 2-3 incisions, but I woke up with four. One on my pubic bone, one on each side of my stomach (closer to my hip bones) and one in my belly button. The incisions were supposed to be pretty small, and I guess they are, by incision standards….but my belly incision is MUCH bigger than I thought it would be. I guess that’s because of the appendectomy, maybe they had to make it bigger to pull it out, who knows? The pain has been….bad. Very, very bad. I have video of the exploration prior to the cutting, and I wanted to post it to show you, but I can’t get it to post. I think once you see the exploration and what they had to cut, move and change, you’d understand the pain. I’m sure an appendectomy hurts like hell on it’s own, but add it to a bunch of other stuff and OW, y’all. I’m honestly convinced that any woman that has had a c-section is a super hero. Props to them! (I don’t ever want one now. I never want stitches in my abdomen again, much less staples, GAH!)
So, what all did they find? I honestly don’t know. I’ll find out more at my post-op appointment in four weeks. From the video and what Josh has told me, I know this:
- My uterus was being held to my abdominal wall by a small adhesion, they freed it.
- There was a small fibroid on the outside of my uterus (it doesn’t LOOK small on the video!) but they left it, because they don’t generally cause problems if they’re outside the uterus.
- One of my fallopian tubes was twisted and curled backward on itself, due to some adhesions. It, including my ovary, was curled up and trapped, not free like the other one.
- My cervix was shut due to the stenosis, and they used a dilator to open it up. (I believe this is a D+C? I’m not entirely sure. I know he showed the inside of my uterus on video and showed the areas where the dilator had injured it, but said it would heal.) But go ahead and do a Google image search of antique cervical dilators. Enjoy your nightmares.
- Several sections of my colon and small intestine were attached to my abdominal wall with adhesions.
- My appendix was removed, though I still don’t know why.
- He removed endometriosis throughout my abdomen.
- There was a cyst on the fallopian tube that was not bound. He pointed it out on the video but I don’t know if he removed it.
So, although I don’t know exactly what my life is going to be like post-op (Less painful periods? No more debilitating pain when I go to the bathroom? The ability to have a job???) I do know this: If it weren’t for the ladies behind Operation Layla, and all of the wonderful people that helped and donated and spread the word and blogged….this surgery wouldn’t have happened. And as much of a pain in the ass as it is now, while I’m recovering…..the good news that I’ve already received shows what an amazing thing you all did.
Do you realize that I will probably be able to have children if I want, because of you?
Do you realize that I can now be intimate with my husband, because of you?
Do you realize that you probably saved me future problems with an emergency appendectomy, because of what you did?
You all made this possible. If those are the only things I get out of it, and I still have painful periods, I won’t care. Not at all. Because you’ve already improved my life so much, just by being amazing, selfless people. I don’t have a large enough vocabulary to find the appropriate words to thank you with. I will never feel that I am showing enough appreciation, that I am showing enough gratitude, that I am making you understand how much I love you all for what you’ve done. All I can do is repeat myself and hope you trust the sincerity. Please know, without a doubt, that my gratitude is 100% sincere. You’ve changed my life, in more ways than you know. Thank you for making me a better person, altogether.