Surgery Updates

Okay so I had the cyst excised this morning. I hated it. I don’t know why, God knows I have been through worse. But everything from the position (lying on my stomach with my head turned sideways) to the anesthetic (multiple shots in my scalp) to the sounds (crunching) to the smells (burning) – horrible. No pain but by the time I was done I had the shakes. I did look at the cyst, which was pretty cool to be honest. Anyhow I’m glad it’s over!

Before I did that, I had my pre-surgical consult at Lankenau. I really like the doc who will be doing the rectocele surgery. He seems competent and we laughed about some stuff and I felt comfortable with him.

Turns out the procedure is inpatient, which I didn’t realize. I have never had an inpatient surgical procedure before. (Well, my emergency surgery for my ruptured ectopic might have been, I can’t remember. But not a planned one.) I haven’t met with the doctor doing the butthole surgery (yeah, that’s what I’m calling it) yet for a pre-op so I won’t have details on that. This will all be about the rectocele repair. This doctor’s name is Dr. Berger.

The procedure for the rectocele repair will take around 40 minutes, during which time he will go in and remove the excess skin that has been stretched. Here’s an illustration so you can see what I mean:

Then he will stitch me inside and presumably dust off his hands, nod approvingly at his work, and bid my vag a good day, sir.

I will have packing in my vagina to keep pressure on the stitches as well as a catheter, They’ll keep me under observation overnight and then take out the packing and the catheter the next day and I should be cleared to go home mid-morning. Dr. Berger says the pain will be about the same as with episiotomy stitches – which I never had to have, but which as a doula I am familiar with. It will be important to manage the pain without constipating me, which will be a challenge. 😬 I will probably have bleeding for 4 weeks and also can’t have sex for that amount of time.

I think that covers it as far as the info I have so far.

It’s funny, after I posted my last blog I thought, maybe this is too far. Maybe I should keep this to myself. I want to help other people but maybe the people in my life just don’t want to know this much about what is going on with my nether regions.

Since then I had one good friend comment on Facebook that she was sure this info would be helpful to others facing the same thing, and another friend reach out to me because she has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and went through my old blogs from when I had cancer and could relate to them. So I feel like the universe is saying to press on.

Keep me in the light, friends who are reading this and aren’t put off by my openness. I am so grateful for you. ❤️

Upcoming Surgeries – Cyst Excision, Rectocele Repair, Hemorrhoid Removal

The saga of my bizarre and complicated body goes on.

Thursday I will be having a small cyst excised from my scalp. No big deal, I don’t even have to go under and I can drive myself home afterward. Not excited about it, but not too nervous.

Next Friday, the 3rd, I have a dual surgery scheduled and I am writing about it because I can’t find a lot of first-person accounts online and I really wish I could because I AM nervous about it. And also it’s not the type of surgery you bring up in casual conversation, which means I have basically not told anyone about it, but it’s a serious surgery – I have to go under for it. So this will be my introductory blog on the subject and then if you want to know more you can read the follow up blogs on the procedure and recovery.

Ever since I can remember, I have had jacked up digestion. Then during chemo I had c diff not once but TWICE, and since then have had IBS. So my whole digestive system is a mess. Add to that two full-term pregnancies and you just have a real train wreck.

One of the issues is a rectocele. I won’t get into all the specifics of the problems it causes (you have Google), but here’s the brief definition from the Mayo Clinic:

A posterior vaginal prolapse, also known as a rectocele, occurs when the wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina weakens or tears. When this happens, tissues or structures just behind the vaginal wall — in this case, the rectum — can bulge into the vagina.

I would love to indent that to set it off but WordPress has completely changed the way you format blogs since the last time I posted and I can’t figure out how to. Sorry.

Anyhow I have been putting off rectocele repair surgery for a LONG time for a lot of reasons but over the past year I’ve had not one, not two, but THREE thrombosed hemorrhoids and the theory is the rectocele may be contributing to them. Don’t know what a thrombosed hemorrhoid is? You’re so lucky! I had one for my birthday last year. Here’s the good ol’ Mayo Clinic again:

If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), it can result in:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • A hard lump near your anus

YAY! I can 100% confirm the severe pain and can also inform you that the first one I had was the worst one and it lasted nearly 2 weeks because I am an overachiever.

So I’m finally getting the rectocele repaired, and at the same time, I am getting extra skin removed and any visible hemorrhoids repaired/cauterized. I don’t know all the details to be honest with you, but I will be finding them out (presumably) at my pre-op consultation on Thursday (right after I get the cyst removed). And then I will be sharing them with you.

All this goes to say that yes, I am continuing my journey toward being bionic. And please keep me in your thoughts over the next two weeks.