Monday, December 21, 2009

The anxiety begins

Last night I had a dream in which I was in France for a conference or something, and stopped in at a clinic for a consult with a French RE. Apparently there was something wrong that needed urgent redress. The doctor talked at length but I had no ability to grasp what he was saying. As I was wheeled into surgery he asked if I had any last questions. "I have no fucking idea what's going on," I replied. WHAT DOES THIS DREAM MEAN? Get out your Jungian texts, please.

I know that people say a laparoscopy is no big deal. And clearly it can't be that bad if you recover so quickly. But I've never had surgery before, so am becoming more anxious as the date approaches. First of all, I fear the BOWEL PREPARATION. I don't have any idea what that will be like, but I feel certain it euphemistically describes something that I will not enjoy. The materials from my clinic say that the BOWEL PREPARATION will prevent certain complications during surgery. I'm guessing they're talking about risk of infection and such, but I can't help imagining other scenarios.

Second, I fear that I will wake up to be told my doctor has diced up both my ovaries and chopped up my fallopian tubes and that a hysterectomy was performed to prevent me from bleeding to death or something. That my womb has been replaced by a bunch of wadded up newspaper. He will press on my abdomen and it will be like crinkle crinkle.

Third, I fear that they will find something that can't be removed, or that will be difficult to remove and will grow back instantly, or that will require the more frightening surgery, the myomectomy. The one that means I'd have to have a C-section if I ever had a baby to deliver.

I'm not sure what to hope, in fact. If they don't find anything, we go straight to IVF. And after dealing with probabilities like 5% and 15%, 50% sounds so good. But I should be hoping they find something easy to fix, right? That there's a chance I could go back to conceiving through natural means, and that we could spend that money on reparing our decomposing bathroom instead of a treatment with a 50% chance of failure.


  1. I think it's pretty natural to be worried before a procedure. I have never had surgery either, and I am pretty sure that I would be very nervous before it. For me, I would be worried about being out of control...which sounds like what your dream was about. Loss of control is pretty scary, but we have to let trust and hope win.

    I am sending you my best.

  2. My first surgery ever was egg retrieval for IVF. Even the second time, I was anxious to the point of shaking. Something about being knocked unconscious and stabbed with a big needle in the cooch sounds terrifying. But you get blissful propofol sleep (it's called milk of amnesia for a reason) and you wake up and it's all over. Take all the pain pills you can get your hands on and you'll recover like it's just a bad period. Of course, a lap is more involved than egg retrieval, but it's so routine that freaking robot arms do it at some hospitals.

    My sister in law had a lap for endometriosis and they were able to scrape out the wandering hysteria that had meandered from the uterus and she then got pregnant some time later. So, if they find anything, they can fix it, and it can work. It will be okay!

  3. I've had three laps (and had to do the bowel prep four times b/c my second surgery was postponed after I was all "gowned up" and ready after my dr. thought I might have cancer and it had to be done by an oncologist a week later).
    The bowel prep is yucky. I won't lie. But...I would just recommend staying near the bathroom, putting on some tv or something else to keep you occupied while you're miserable, and just powering through it.
    If you have any questions at all about the surgery/prep/recovery, feel free to email me! Laps are not as scary as they sound, and I'm sure they'll take great care of you :). If you're worried about waking up with no ovaries - they should be requiring you to sign a consent for the surgery which will list everything they intend on doing. If other things come up, you must be woken up to make the decision yourself. I wouldn't worry too much about that though, as the odds of that happening are pretty infinitesimal.

  4. Thank you all for your supportive thoughts. It definitely makes me feel less alone!