I was instructed to be at the hospital at 6am Wednesday morning for an 8:50 surgery. We knew there were risks, though we figured the biggest risks were to the ureter. We knew, but had forgotten, that there were risks to they bowel as well.
Initially surgery went well, though not as expected. My colorectal surgeon was in on surgery. When I saw him in early December, he wanted me to let him know when I had surgery and then to give him a reminder the week of surgery. To my surprise, he was in on the entire long surgery. Both he and my gyn oncology surgeon could not find the ovarian fragment – and they looked hard between my anatomy and the November CT scan. One possibility is that the Lupron injection I got in November made it too small to see. My surgeon also couldn’t find in my medical history where it said they had found benign ovarian tissue.
There was a lot of scar tissue in the area so she removed much of that. She also removed the scar tissue surrounding the ureter and sent it to the pathology lab. Interestingly, the scar tissue around my ureter included bowel tissue.
I woke up Thursday morning feeling okay. Not great, but okay. I saw my surgeon about 7:45 Tuesday morning and we were talking about going home later in the day. However, as the day went on, my pain increased. I did get some gas pain – and yes, it sucked too – but my abdominal wounds hurt more and more. By 11 am or so, my pain levels were a 8/9 on the pain scale. It was a very rough day. We then added iv dilaudid and pushed my release back at least a day. But I was more interested in getting my pain under control than leaving with that kind of pain.
Thursday night I started to have a fever. It never got over 101.1 or so, but definitely a fever. When my surgeon came to see me again about 6ish, she had started to wonder if I had a bowel leak and whether I’d need to go back in for emergency surgery. As I fluctuated overnight Thursday night, my surgeon was called 4 times with updates. She debated deferring me back in the ER overnight Thursday night. Instead, when she came to see me about 6:30am yesterday, she opted to go back in for emergency surgery. By that point, the dilaudid wasn’t working quite as well anymore (1-2mg every 2-4 hours). She also pressed on some of my wounds and they hurt more than they should 2 days out of surgery. Despite my bw looking good, she was concerned I had a small bowel leak, so back into surgery I went.
As it turned out, I did have a small bowel leak. It was a very small leak, which explained by my belly hadn’t gone hard and why I wasn’t yet super sick. There was also a section of my bowel that was super thin. This surgery was a laparotomy, meaning an open surgery this time. It is a smaller open access than my other surgeries, but I definitely forgot how much it sucks to cut through abdominal muscles. So now I’m in the hospital through at least part of Monday.
My blood pressure is playing games again, which is making things difficult. It’s been pretty low at times. It needs to stay above about 95 and it’s really struggled. They did give me a bolus (saline given quickly) of fluid and that made my BP go up. We’ve been playing with my meds some and now my ostomy output is high so I’ll have to play with it and have the docs help me play with it.
Overall I’m feeling better than I did on Thursday. I’m still on iv pain meds when my BP is high enough. The pain meds are working very well, so I can get up and move, sit in the chair, and walk the halls. As a side note, this is the quietest hospital I’ve ever been in. As a patient, it’s great! So for the moment I’m doing well and I’m so grateful that my surgeon followed his gut and got me back in for surgery. May you find reasons in your own life to be grateful.
Given my multiple surgeries this time, I got another stuffed animal – a penguin.