My Endo Journey begins: 7 days out til surgery!

Today marks 5 days until my life changing laparoscopy surgery with The CEC! I didn’t even realize it until today that I had forgotten all about blogging for my 2 week Pre Op mark. I may end up doing a “make up” blog so that later on I can see where my head was at that time.

Today I can tell you that I am so excited and so ready for this surgery to come! I am so grateful that in just 7 short days I will get real answers as to why I am always in so much pain. Since I will be having a Chromotubation(Like a HSG) I admit that I am completely terrified that I may have fertility issues from never being treated in the past 13 years. But I am willing to attack them head on and fight for my right to be a mother! I am not claiming those thought but I also don;t want to ignore the possibility.

Another thing that has me completely nervous is the fact that I woke this morning with an awful head cold! Sneezing, sore throat, swollen lymph node and all! I immediately increased my Vitamin C from 3,000mg daily to 4,000mg daily. I started drinking loads of water, tea and ginger ale. I am hoping that this will help my system to knock it out a bit quicker. Normally my colds only last 3-5 so I am praying it is gone before Sunday night! I have been waiting for this surgery for 13 years…67 days of which it was ACTUALLY scheduled : ). I would be heartbroken if it were canceled and postponed!

I have also had what I think to be the start of my first cycle in 3 months come on Saturday. I woke up with my usual Endo period symptoms…nausea, diarrhea, cramping, heavy bleeding and back pains. I had some clotting as well which I haven’t really had much of when I was on the Depo Provera shot which officially left my system on/around June 29th. Of course I couldn’t take any pain or nausea meds because my surgery is so close and I cant have blood thinners. I ended up mixing a red rock ginger ale with a Seagram’s ginger ale which helped tremendously with my nausea. I took some Tylenol for the pain which did diddly squat for my pain. I got out my amazing 13 years old trusty heating pad which helped a lot.

I am hoping this is a sign that my body is ridding me of the awful drug that is Depo Provera and bringing back my cycles. I am not excited about the pain but I am excited to not be irregular or bleeding for 23-30 days at a time. I am just so ready for the possibility that my pain will no longer exist soon after surgery. I know that excision isn’t a guarantee but for me I am hopeful! I can no longer sit around a watch my life and all my potential to be happy pass by me! Soon on August 12th, 2013 I will have the chance to get my life back!

I am feeling amazing!!!

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Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Care Supplies

I have already posted my Hospital Bag, Bowel Prep & Post Op Ailment Tips. Please head over and check those out for great tips & tricks for before & after surgery. Today I will do a short post about the OTC meds & supplies I have stocked up on for after surgery!

Once I leave the hospital and come home I want to be as prepared as possible. I am sure there can be any number of possible bumps along the road to recovery. Whether it be gas pains or diarrhea(doesn’t sound too pleasant after surgery) I want to be as prepared as possible.

Here is a short list of great things to have on hand Post Op!

  1. Gas-X or another anti-gas OTC with the main ingredient Simethicone. It helps to move excess gas out of the body!
  2. Imodium or another Anti-Diarrheal OTC with the active ingredient Loperamide HCI. Counteracts/reverses diarrhea!
  3. Nauzene or another Anti-Nausea OTC with the active ingredients Dextrose (Glucose) &  Levulose (Fructose). Chose one that also includes an Anti-Acid.
  4. Prilocec OTC or another Anti-Acid like Equate Acid reducer for acid reflux. There are several active ingredients to chose from in OTC Anti-Acids.
  5. Colace or Dulcolax stool softeners.  The active ingredients should be docusate sodium. Avoid stimulant laxatives!
  6. Allergy Relief OTC like the Equate Allergy Tablets. The active ingredient should be diphenhydramine HCI antihistamine.
  7. Kleenex Tissues for any tears of joy or sorrow after surgery!
  8. Hand Sanitizer wipes or liquid to keep infection down to a minimum risk!
  9. Dried Prunes or Fiber supplements. Helps to naturally encourage bowel movements…prevents constipation!
  10. Gingerale or Ginger suckers. Great for helping with nausea.
  11. Thermometer to keep an eye out for any post op fevers!
  12. First Aid kit for any boo boos you may get!

I hope this helps you to be better prepared once your wonderful nurses are no longer there! I will update this list as soon as I find new items that may be helpful! Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Ailment Tips!

A few days ago I posted my Hospital Bag & Bowel Prep tips. Please check those out if you would like to know what I have packed & purchased in preparation for my upcoming surgery.

I have noticed that lots of my fellow Endo sisters complain about Post Op Ailments like gas pains more than the actual surgery it’s self. So I figured I would go ahead and post what helpful tips & tricks I have collected over the last few weeks. I hope you all find these to be helpful and will be prepared before & after surgery.

Lets get started!

Gas Pains OR Shoulder Pain…..

Unfortunately this pain is most likely going to happen regardless of how much your surgeon tries to suck out all the gas. They will never be able to get it all so regardless you will have excess gas trapped in your abdomen. Beautiful thing about this is that it has no where to go. It can’t exit the digestive tract so it has to SLOWLY be absorbed into the blood stream. This can take minutes, hours & for some even days.

  • Immediately after surgery take some Gas-X. I know I said that the gas can not be expelled through the digestive track. However it can’t hurt to try & see if it works! : ) This will of course help if you have any gas in your digestive track.
  • Sip on hot tea with peppermint as soon as you are able to hold down liquids.
  • Drink plenty of carrot juice…it naturally helps absorb the gas!
  • Use a heating pad on the front & back of the area you are having gas pains. It helps to bring increased blood flow to that area & allow the gas to be absorbed faster! It also helps with the pain!
  • Walk as much as you can as soon as you can! Most hospitals have patients up walking within hours of surgery. This helps to move the gas around & out of the abdomen. It also helps to increase blood flow to the body. Once you are home walk a few times around the house or even outside….careful not to over do it!
  • Avoid cold food/drinks…I find that they give me gas. May just be in my head but it could not hurt to avoid it for a few days post op!
  • Elevate your feet & head to allow gas to pool in the center of the abdomen instead of in the shoulders!
  • Elevate your hips and allow your head & feet to rest lower….this also helps to disperse the gas!

Constipation…..

Constipation is something that just comes with the territory with surgery! All the pain meds & General Anesthesia stops you up! Only issue is that it makes ‘going” extremely scary when you are sore almost all over but especially your core muscles.

  • Keep your diet light for the first few days! This a great time to start the Endo diet.
  • AVOID foods high in fiber for at least the first 2 days Post Op.
  • Take a probiotic daily…make sure that it has at least 5 different strains & live cultures.
  • After a few days eat foods high in fiber like prunes apples, bananas & pears. Yogurt also helps to keep your bowels moving. Greens are also great for this!
  • Stay hydrated & drink plenty of liquids! At least 8 glasses per day!

Diarrhea….

In case of diarrhea Post Op this can be very uncomfortable! I would suggest if it is severe or you have a fever to call your doctor.

  • Try OTC anti-diarrheal.
  • Try fresh ginger in boiling water…this can help to stop diarrhea naturally.
  • Chamomile tea is also known to possibly decrease diarrhea.
  •  AVOID soda or things with carbonation.
  • AVOID  dairy.
  • AVOID caffeine.

Nausea and/or Vomiting…..

For me after surgery no matter what meds I am given I am nauseous. Not so much the vomiting but still no fun! I think it has more to do with not having anything to eat than the actual meds. Some articles I have read report that nausea occurs more often in gynaecologic surgery than others.

  • Ask your surgeon or anesthesiologist if nausea meds can be given along with GA. This way you don’t wake up with nausea.
  • Lying flat helps to reduce nausea.
  • Gingerale or sliced ginger in boiling water does wonders on nausea.
  • Teas with ginger in them also work well!
  • Snack on saltines or graham crackers.

Pain….

Of course since this is a surgery you will have some pain. It really depends on your level of pain tolerance & amount of “work” done to determine how much pain.

  • Stay on top of your pain! Take your meds BEFORE your pain hits. It is often too hard to stop pain once it starts.
  • Fill your prescription BEFORE leaving the hospital. In case you have pain on the way home once the hospital meds wear off.
  • Use a heating pad for any left over pain that the pain meds did not take away.

I really hope this helps you to care for any Post Op issues you may run into! I know for one that I am not looking forward to the gas pains but I am prepared to handle them with the tips I provided above.

If you have any other tips please leave them below in the comments!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: How to beat the Bowel Prep!

Bowel Prep*Click photo to enlarge* 

If you have not seen my Hospital Bag post please go check it out. It has helpful tips & what I suggest packing for your trip to the hospital. This post however will focus on helpful tips/items to have on hand before you start the Bowel Prep process.

On August 11th I will be doing the dreaded Bowel Prep for my Laparoscopic surgery for Endometriosis. Since I will be having a possible Bowel Resection my surgeons ask that I be completely cleaned out. Many surgeons recommend this even if you will not be having bowel surgery done. I did a mild cleanse with 10 0z of Magnesium Citrate for my lung surgery in 2010. My Bowel Prep this time includes four Dulcolax laxative tablets, one 8.3 oz bottle of MiraLAX powder & one Fleet enema the morning of my surgery. I am sure by that you can tell already that this will be one SERIOUS Bowel Prep. Because of this I have gotten/found some great tips/items to make it go a lot smoother…no pun intended! 🙂

Tip #1 Eat lightly for a few days leading up to your Bowel Prep. Light foods that are gluten & soy free are what I prefer. Try to avoid things like red meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and bread. Stick with lots of fresh green veggies & fruit. Less in….less out!

Tip #2 Have lots of flushable moist wipes on hand! Baby wipes will work as well just do not flush them! I suggest fragrance & alcohol free wipes with aloe in them if you do not have an allergy to it. Pat…do not wipe!

Tip #3 Have plenty of hemorrhoid cream and/or wipes available if you are prone to hemorrhoids! Something with soothing ingredients like aloe will be even better.

Tip #4 Have some Desitin or other diaper rash cream on hand. Just in case you get a rash or broken/irritated skin. Even Vaseline could work.

Tip #5 Stay away from drinks with artificial food dyes like red, blue, & etc.. These colors stain the bowels and make it hard for your surgeon to see disease in order to remove it. You have a better chance of your surgeon removing more disease IF they can see it!

Tip# 6 Drink plenty of clear fluids like Gatorade that has added electrolytes. Water, popsicles, jello and chicken broth work well also. At least 8oz every hour is best to prevent dehydration! You can have coffee or tea…no milk or creamers.

Tip #7 Have some slices of ginger on hand in case you get nauseous during the prep. Add it to some boiling water for a homemade gingerale.

Tip #8 If you find yourself getting nauseous even after trying steps like gingerale…slow down on the prep. Try to space out the amount you are drinking at one time. Another option is starting your prep a few hours earlier so that you have a bit more time to get it all down.

Tip #9 Make the mixture ice cold! It tastes better…at least to me it does. Also mixing it with a strong soda helps. Pick one you won’t mind not ever drinking again…trust me!

Tip #10 Clean & organize your bathroom. You will be in there for most of the day & you will want it to be nice and tidy. Add some candles to make it nice and inviting!

Tip #11 Bring in your tablet or laptop and watch things like Netflix or Redbox online. My partner suggested bringing in my favorite gossip magazines…I think having some magazines/books on hand is a great idea.

Tip #12 Prepare a room close by. Have it prepped with pillows & a blanket. If you can place a TV close by with your favorite movies. You will not want to be very far from the restroom during this process.

Tip #13 Make sure any family members or visitors have another restroom to use. You will not want to be sharing a restroom when you have to “go” and it is occupied!

Hope these tips & items helps you to make it through the Prep process a bit easier! Please leave any helpful tips in the comments section!

My Endo Journey begins: 30 days out til surgery!

Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!

I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely  happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list!  My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.

On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.

Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.

I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out!  I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.

I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.

My Endo Journey begins: 37 days out til surgery!

Today July 5, 2013 marks 37 days out! I am still relaxed and at ease about surgery. I am just sitting back and waiting now. I have been getting my room organized and in order. My cat sheds like no other so I dust a few times a day…guess it gives me something to do ehh?!

I took my last of 21 Estrogen pills today and of course the break through bleeding started. I figured that it would once the Depo Provera Progestin was able to take over again. I am not upset because at least now those horrible Estrogen induced cramps will stop. I have also been getting loads of pain in what feels like my ovaries so I am hoping that goes away as well.

I contacted my surgeon to ask if I didn’t restart the Estrogen would it interfere with my surgery. Thankfully I got a reply that it would not interfere and that the bleeding is fine. I am so relieved to hear that. I just want my cycles to return to normal and all of these synthetic hormones out of me!

As of July 29th I will be OFFICIALLY DONE with Depo Provera! I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that..well type it! I have been drinking loads of water and detox tea to help my liver filter it all out a bit faster. I have no idea if it works or not but hey I tried!

Anyone have an tips to offer me?

My Endo Journey begins: 42 days out til surgery!

Today June 30th marks 42 days until surgery! I am almost at 5 1/2 weeks Pre Op! OMG it is really becoming real! I am having surgery in a little over 6 weeks! Okay I am back now!

My niece Leona’s 2nd birthday party was today and we had a blast! She looked like a divine princess in her birthday dress! We ate loads of hamburgers, hot dogs and we sang happy birthday. She opened all her gifts and of course only liked one and ran off to play….Kids!! I played Baseball with my nephews Cayden, Trison & Timothy! Cayden is the youngest of the boys at 3 years old , Triston is 5 and Timothy is 8. None of us truly knew how to play but it was all in good fun. Can I just say how badly I hurt after that but it was worth it.

Oh yea my partner Christina & I FINALLY got all of the Pre/Post surgery supply list done today! We added nausea meds, anti acids and stool softeners to out checked off list. We also picked up all my bowel prep supplies which includes: MiraLAX 14dose, 4 Dulcolax laxative tablets and 1 fleet enema. Yep this is going to be a party!

Christina is planning on setting up the bathroom really nicely in preparation for the night before surgery. I get to watch TV/Netflix from the hallway closet just so I won’t have to go far from the restroom. You never know when you may get the urge to go : ). We are making a comfy bed in the closet as well just in case the prep wakes me up in the middle of the night. Our bedroom is a ways away from our bathroom and we don’t want to chance it LOL. I will stock the hall closet with all my necessary things like gingerale, gatorade, fragrance free wipes and any other things I may need for the bowel prep.

Doesn’t it sound like I am prepping for a fun sleepover or party? I wish it were the case! 🙂 But oh well I will do what I have to do before surgery day!