That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

I have got babies on the braaaaain.  It’s annoying.  I just bounce from Gmail, to facebook, to diaperjunction.com to TCOYF.com.  My temps spiked half a degree… we boned 24/7 since the 6-Weeks-Post-Surgery mark… half a degree… what do other charts look like?  I’ve only been charting for a little while… maybe that’s just my normal temperature range… what about my thyroid… what about my one ovary… I should give myself 3 cycles to see what my body is doing post-surgery, right?  RIGHT?!

I’ve got to get out of here…

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Mr. Nasty Epilogue

Okay, a couple of things that deserve mentioning:

Dr. Stadler said that the pain was from a blood clot in my fallopian tube which had twisted and twisted around and around until it was super thick and gross.  How a watermelon spins around like that, I’m sure I will never know.  She said I was one tough cookie, and that to remove the cyst, she had to put her arms inside me about up to her elbows.  They took Mr. Nasty out in one piece.

Had the whole right ovary removed.  It was wrecked, there was no saving it – so now I’m down to one.  But it should work double-time according to the doc, and not decrease my ability to get preggers.  Stadler said the other one looked pristine.  So, I’d like to get pregnant NOW before it has a chance to get a cyst on it.

Uh, before the doctor in Charlotte prescribed the stuff to make me have me period, she had to feel my ovaries to make sure they weren’t swollen.  That was September.  The laparotomy was in November.  I’d sure like to know what she was feeling that she thought was a regular-sized ovary.

Mom and Haley didn’t feel too good after Guadalajara on Black Friday either.  My theory is that the food wasn’t too great, and my body was, like, in shock – wigging out.  You know how when you have a concussion you throw up?

Went to the doctor on Monday after surgery to get the staples out – the nurse over there was still a dick.  I got up to go back to the exam room and was like, can I bring my mom… and the b*tch said, “no.”  When I got into the exam room, she said, “Did they give you anything at the hospital?”
I said, “Uhhmmm…”  They had given me a bunch of stuff.  Paperwork, prescriptions, wipes, cream, gauze, socks… how did i know what she wanted.
“To remove the staples,” she said, “Where did you think you were coming today?”
“Wait.  What are you saying I was supposed to have?”  I stopped that conversation dead in it’s tracks.  Where did you think you were coming today?!  WTF.
“A staple remover.”
“No.  The hospital did not give me a staple remover.”  WHY WOULD THEY.
“Okay, I’ll have to see what we have around here.”  Yeah, you do that… see what you have lying around, the hospital did not give me an instrument to take out my own staples.

I was at higher risk for infection, so we asked everyone to pray for no infection, and guess what – it didn’t get infected.  Maybe coincidence, but I’m going to believe it was God anyway.

While we’re on this spiritual note, Tuesday night I saw a lady in a pink dress – well, actually the whole lady was pink.  Mauve.  She glowed, like, a pink outline, but I could see through her.  The mauve made me immediately associate her with Gramma Mildred, but she was small in stature like Maw Maw.  She had on a flowered straw hat, and was facing the chair where my mom sat, with her back to me and her hand on my stomach… then she was gone.  Maybe I dreamed it.  Maybe I did not.

My whole family agrees things could not have happened better.  Obviously the doctors here in Charlotte can’t be trusted…  Dr. Stadler is INCREDIBLE.  She’s really great at what she does.  That cannot be overstated.

Best Doc + Mom & Dad + Hometown + New Hospital = Absolute Best Case Scenario.

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Mr. Nasty

Crap… I wrote this whole long thing and hit delete at some point and the browser went, like, back… urrrrrgh.

Alright, let’s see if I can remember what I had, because it was pretty stinkin’ good!

I was saying that I am the mother-f*ckin’ sh*t.  I don’t know if you were aware of that, but I am.  I googled, “how long does it take to get pregnant after a laparotomy” because I’d love to get knocked up asap.  I am reading all these comments and posts from sissy, whiny, fussy babies… “oh, I just had surgery, my cyst was nearly 9 cm and I was in so much paaaaain…”  NINE CENTIMETERS?  Why don’t you go suck your nine centimeters and TRY TWENTY-FOUR CENTIMETERS ON FOR SIZE.  Excruciating?  Sure – but not after it was removed.  After it was removed I quit crying about it.

I haven’t been able to stop talking about it, but I quit crying about it.

So, I reckon you are up to date with back story info.  I vented about the doctor here in Charlotte and what she was doing to get me ovulating.

Tom and I took the dog and went up to Charlottesville for Thanksgiving.  The three of us crashed in Dad’s spare room.  I think we got up there on Wednesday night – but I’m not sure.  (Look!  I’m already forgetting stuff!  Crap!)

We had no idea that anything was abnormal, except that I wasn’t ovulating – as you’ve probably read in previous entries.

Thanksgiving was good.  We tied Jasmine up outside at the Gonsalves’.  I had good talks/visits with some cousins.  Mom, Haley, Trudy, Sunny, Dee Dee and I walked Jasmine to the beach.  Dee Dee is recovering from surgery, so we took it slow.  It was fun, and I felt good for taking healthy steps.

Tom and I wore our turkey shirts.  Later that night we had a bonfire, and sat outside with the dog.  It was a good Thanksgiving.

Black Friday, we didn’t do the shopping thing.  It was just too tough with the dog and everything.  I woke up crampin’.  Ugh – is this what constipation feels like?  I just feel like I should poop, but I got nothin’.  I haven’t felt this bad since October of ’03 when Courtney and I went to Disney World.  But, that went away, so this should too.

We planned lunch with some of my family, basically the same people who went on the walk the day before, plus Ashley.  We met at the Guad on Fontaine.  It was my deal.  I coordinated the whole deal.  I called Mom and Haley to see if they wanted to go.  I asked them if Trudy and her gang would want to come… anyway – we all met for lunch.  We brought the dog and left her in the car.

So, we’re eating, and I can’t get comfortable.  I’m sitting, kneeling, squatting, standing, bending, hunching, leaning… still cramping like no other.  I spent a good amount of time in the bathroom at the restaurant… still no relief.

After lunch, we were all chillin’ in the parking lot.  One time, I hung out and talked with Trudy in the parking lot of a Guadalajara for over 4 hours.  But on this particular day, i couldn’t stand it.  I hung out for a few minutes, felt sick and was like, “Tom – we gotta go.”  We peaced out.

We went back to Dad’s house and I threw up in the bathtub while I was sitting on the crapper.  Uh, bad idea – none of my fiesta taco salad would fit down the tub drain.  I was devastated, but Tommy took care of it.  Dang, this husband-fella comes in handy from time to time.  Nice to have someone to take care of my grossness.

I sat in an office chair in Dad’s guest room that tilted back.  I sat there for a couple of hours.

When Dad came home from work, we were all, you know, like happy to see each other – excited to hang out.  But I was dying.  Dad had come up to the bedroom and was like, “you been sitting there all afternoon?”
I said, “Yeah.”
“You know, I’ve got a couch and tv downstairs.”
“I know.”
“Hurts that bad?”
“Uh-huh.”
“You want to go into the ER?”
“Maybe.”
“Okay, let me eat something and see which doctor is working tonight.”

Our plan was to go in with Dad whenever he got called in.  He called, and there was a doctor in that wasn’t that bad, but not Dad’s first choice.  I couldn’t stand it.  I was really fidgety.  Anxious.  I was like, “screw this… let’s go.”

My dad was so cute, he made a bowl of leftovers (beans and franks) and we drove separate cars to the new MJH ER on Pantops.  I am not sure what time we got there.  Maybe 8?  I think Dad probably made it home around 6:30 or 7 that night, so it was probably 7:30 or 8 when we got to the hospital.

Dad called Mom and Haley.  Tom was texting Haley.  They had been shopping since lunch, but came out to the hospital.  I’m sure they came because they were worried.  I didn’t think it was a big deal – I thought they were coming to take care of Jasmine, who was out in the car while we were in the hospital.

The doctor examined me and asked me lots of questions.  He determined it was a stomach flu.  I complained about the cramps in my lower abs and back, and the doctor conceded to a CT scan to check for a kidney stone.  By that time, Mom and Haley were there.  Haley went back with me to get the scan.  I know this because as I was laying there on the table, I felt like I was going to puke, and she got me a cup.  The table on the scanner was busted, so I threw up and went back to my bed in the ER.  Mom and Tom were watching Shrek the Third.  I think Haley headed out and took Jasmine home.  Dad went to try and fix the table on the scanner.

And then there were 3.

They got some pain meds going.  And we waited.  They came back to get me and take me to a scanner someplace else, and I was wheeled waaaaay down to the other end of the hospital in my bed.  Pretty cool, I thought I’d have to walk… but they were like, “No way, you’re in pain, you’ve go the IV… we’re takin’ ya’.”

Every single nurse who tried to help drive the bed told me they were bad drivers.  Then some guy took the lead.  When I got to the room with the scanner, my dad was in there.

I wasn’t feeling sick anymore.  I laid on the bed, and listened to my dad say things like, “okay, breathe.  Exhale.  Hold your breath.  This one’s about 9 seconds…”  The table slid out from inside the scanner.  There was a long pause.  I could feel the excitement.  My dad wasn’t even in the room, and I felt his, “Oh my god!”

Honestly, I was excited, I thought I was pregnant.  🙂

I wasn’t.

Dad ran into the room with his hands making the shape of a football, his fingers extended and touching the ones on the opposite hand, you know, making that round shape.  He looked over his glasses, raised his voice and said, “Wendy!  You have an ovarian cyst the size of a large grapefruit!”

I’d love to know where Dad’s been getting his grapefruit.

So, they wheeled me back down to my room.  Mom and Tom were watching the movie and were like, “well?”  I said, “I’ll let Dad tell you.”  The doctor beat Dad to the punch, but Dad showed up right after.  The doctor said there was a very large, approximately 24 cm., cyst and that it was an incidental finding, and still stuck with the stomach flu thing – but said that I should follow up with my obgyn asap.

Well, that’s a problem, because as you all know: I hate my doctor’s office in Charlotte.

That wasn’t really good enough for Dad.  He started making phone calls to find out what surgeons were on call through the weekend.  We finally decided to wait it out until Monday and try to get an appointment with Dr. Stadler, who performed Mom’s hysterectomy.  I was feeling unsure about the whole thing, but at some point I talked to Lindsay and she said that she would drive up from Florida to see Dr. Stadler.  That was enough to convince me to stay in Cville and see if I could get into Dr. Stadler’s office on Monday.

They gave me morphine right before I left the hospital.  I remember feeling REALLY good right before we left, but by the time Dad and I got to the pharmacy, I was already cramping again.

On Saturday, Tom, Jasmine and I went to Van and Trudy’s house and watched UVA get their asses handed to them by Virginia Tech on the Herolds’ big screen.  Van let me sit in his recliner the whole time.  I ate crackers and applesauce.  I hurt.  I was popping Vicodin like Pez and nothing was happening.

On Sunday, I sat in the recliner in Dad’s guest room.  I don’t think we went to lunch with the family.  I don’t remember anything.  I don’t think Mom visited.  We might have done McLean online.  I don’t remember anything.

Finally it was Monday.  Dad called Dr. Stadler’s office.  Her office called me at some point.  Mom came over to Dad’s.  Matt Baysinger came over to Dad’s to dogsit.  Dr. Stadler’s office was really short with me.  Really rude.  They said they needed the CT scan report faxed to their office from MJH.  Dad had said that doctors love the images on disk, which he gave me at the ER, so I told Stadler’s nurse that I had that… she was like, “I understand that your Dad works at the hospital, and that’s nice that he was able to get that for you…” but basically, we need the real thing, from a real doctor not whatever your Daddy got for you.  So, I called Dad and he had MJH fax the thing.

Dr. Stadler’s office called me back.  They would see me at 11.

YEAH.  THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

It’s almost like they thought that I was making it up!  “Well, we’re very busy today – I don’t know if we can fit you in.”

Now, I have noticed that if you bring up an ovarian cyst, every woman has a story about this one time when she or her friend had one… so, maybe that’s why Stadler’s office didn’t take me too seriously when I said I had a really big cyst and needed to be seen asap.  Maybe that’s why they insisted on the radiologist’s report, not the actual scan, before they would take me seriously.

Matt watched Jasmine.  Mom and Tom went with me to the doctor.  Dr. Stadler examined me and said she probably couldn’t fit me in today – but would go ahead and admit me to the ER for pain management, with surgery the next day, Tuesday.

Whoa, wait… what?  Surgery?  Is it as bad as all that?

HELL YEAH IT’S AS BAD AS ALL THAT.  I had no idea.  I didn’t really think about it, or care.  I was just pumped about pain management.  I was at about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

By now, the nurse in Dr. Stadler’s office was actually being nice.  She set up everything with MJH, which took a while because it was last minute and an emergency and everything.  Dr. Stadler was a little miffed that the ER doctor sent me home – yeah, so was I!  She said that the cyst was absolutely what was causing the pain.  She explained that she would do a slice you open kind of surgery laparatomy, instead of the little incisions and we pop the cyst and suck it out laparoscopy.  She said because I have a lot of belly fat, that I am more at risk for infection.  Something like 3% of average-weight women get infections, and 12% of overweight females do… or something like that.  Anyway, it was a huge concern for me.

So… we checked into MJH.  Trudy and Van rescued Matt from Jasmine.  I was feeling good, and even ate a big dinner.

STOMACH FLU MY ASS.

Monday night was quiet.  Uneventful, except that Uncle Todd stopped by the hospital.

They told me that I couldn’t have anything after 11:45 pm.  I think it’s interesting that’s the rule whether your surgery is at 8 am or 4 pm.  My surgery was scheduled for 3.  Of course, at midnight I was thirsty.  I am generally a rule-follower, but I did take a swig of water at midnight.

There was a pull out couch next to my bed where Tom spent every night.  I feel bad – I didn’t really think about him.  I didn’t eat, because I wasn’t hungry… so he didn’t eat either, poor baby.

I’d like to say, “I woke up Tuesday morning…” but I never really got to go to sleep.  They wake you up like every 30 seconds in the hospital.  It sucks.  I guess I slept okay Monday night and Tuesday night.  It was all downhill after that.

I don’t remember much from Tuesday.  Just waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  I showered.  That was an adventure.  They had to unhook my IV and wrap it in plastic.  Tom helped me.  I figured it would be my last shower for a couple of days.  We spent most of the afternoon looking at the clock.  I met the anesthesiologist.  Three o’clock… nothing.  3:15, nobody came to get me… 3:30, still nothing.  I don’t know what time it was when they finally showed up.

I went down the hall, whipped around some corner and was about to turn another corner when I heard the coolest thing, “Weeeendy!!!!”  I looked up and there was my baby sister in a yellow shirt.  She came all the way from Bridgewater to see me.  All the way from Bridgewater to see me for a spit second before surgery.  That was the coolest thing ever.

I wore my glasses into surgery, the nurses weren’t too happy with that, but Honey-badger don’t care!  I guess they took them off after I passed out.

So, I said hi and bye to Haley, and was wheeled waaaaay down a few halls.  They pulled me into a very plain area.  The lady that went to get me sat by me while we waited to go into the operating room.  She was nice, but complained to another lady about how far she had to go to get me.  We went into the operating room.  I met a bunch of, like, assistants who were happy to meet me.  The anesthesiologist was there.  It was nice to see someone I recognized.  We said hi… and I was out.

Apparently so was Mr. Nasty.

This picture gives me nightmares, but you can see my twisted up fallopian tube:

Colossal Ovarian Cyst

I don’t remember being wheeled back to my room.  But I do remember Trudy, Mom, Dad and Haley said “A League of their Own” just went off.  The hospital was new and nice.  There was a pretty big tv in the room with a bunch of OnDemand movies, and a lot of them were Disney.  I really wanted M&M minis.    Tuesday night was great.  I felt like it was a new beginning.  I smiled.  I was excited.  I was on a liquid diet, but in a great mood.

Larry and Debby came by on Tuesday, I think.  Courtney and Debby came by on Wednesday, I think.  Jessie Ray came by on Wednesday.  Wednesday was alright.  They took my morphine clicker away.  I was on a liquid diet, but eating.

THURSDAY SUCKED ASS.

I threw up all daaaaay.  The hospital is retarded… they have all these procedures in place, for a reason I’m sure, but it’s like one big giant catch 22.  I was supposed to leave on Thursday, so the nurse – the worst nurse I had the whole time, Austin – was adamant that I ate so I could leave.  Whenever I ate, I threw up.  Even the thought of eating made me sick.  I just wanted to sit there.  But the nurse-dude would come in every hour and try to get me to eat, which of course made me barf.  If I didn’t have to prove I could eat, I wouldn’t have been throwing up and could go home.  They took out my IV, which was in bad shape.  It wasn’t going into my blood vessel anymore, just into my arm somewhere.  (Turns out it’s not a big deal, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080315101028AAtcJY2, but it hurt like hell for weeks.)

They hospital kind of kicked Mom out after her hysterectomy and she was still in bad shape.  So we were weary about leaving.  My dad made a great point, a typical 2 night post-op hospital stay is typical for removal of a typical golf ball sized cyst – mine was a gol-darned watermelon!  My parents were smart, they called the Patient Advocate, and just the fact that they asked for her caught the attention of the head nurse and eventually Dr. Stadler – so that bought me another night.  Way to go Old People for being smart!

Unfortunately, that meant Austin the Supernurse had to put in a new IV.  He missed twice.  *facepalm*  I trust him, you know, I know he’s a professional.  But Dad said he blew it.  I had an IV in my left forearm on Friday night in the ER, left forearm for surgery, and Nurse Austin tried both hands and missed.  He said, “they only let me try twice, let me go get someone…”  Dad left the room to ask if he could do it.

Some other lady came in to draw blood.  Dad watched her try unsuccessfully to get it out of my left forearm, so she went ahead and got it straight out of my wrist.  That hurt like hell!!  The blood was gushing out from there, I can’t explain it.  It was just a few seconds, but I could feel the tube vibrating as it filled up.  Crazy.

Turns out Dad is AMAZING at starting IVs.  (Not that I doubted him.)  He put it in a weird spot, on the back side of my thumb.  It was the only IV that didn’t bruise.  AT ALL.  It also was the only one that didn’t hurt.  He’s AMAZING.

A nurse came in around 9 on Thursday night and gave me medicine.  I told her I was going to throw up.  She said, “well, try and we’ll see what happens.”  I know it was 9, because I was excited about watching The Office, and spent the whole episode throwing up instead.  It hurt my stomach, you know, all the violent heaving that comes with gagging and throwing up – especially when the tank is empty.  There was nothing left but dark green stuff, which was kind of cool – first time I’ve seen bile and PROOF that I was throwing up like there’s no tomorrow.  I hated having to “try” eating and “prove” I couldn’t keep it down.  Fortunately, the night nurse just kind of said, “alright, I’ll mark that as not taken,” or rejected or something, and left me alone for the rest of the night.

I woke up Friday morning ready to get the F out of there.  Nurse Austin was back again – dammit.  I don’t know what happened.  I ate something, and Austin said, “okay, we’ll get you out of here.”  I DID NOT like that guy!  Dr. Stadler at some point said, “okay, well, there is one Rx that you don’t have to fill if you don’t want to…” and frickin’ Nurse Austin ripped it up in front of me.  Just… he was such a dick.  Leave it, or take it away… whatever… don’t imply that I’m a drug addict.

But with that… I was outta there!!!!!!!!!

Middle finger to tha sky!!!!

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