Marginally Clear

Thanksgiving will hopefully be a day of thanks. It marks two weeks since the LEEP procedure. Since it falls on a holiday, my doctor’s office was kind enough to squeeze me in on Wednesday, Nov. 23. I’m sure the scheduling nurse I spoke with was aware that I’d have a Sword of Damocles hanging over my holiday table. It was kind of her to be so considerate. (Note to self: Be thankful for considerate, compassionate people).

The Healing Process

I was briefed after the surgery about care and restrictions. No worries – this is not going to get graphic. I’ll admit, it was not quite as I expected it. They likened it to a colposcopy with a biopsy. I know there is a huge difference between the two. One is a little snip and the other is more akin to taking a sizable section. Like trimming the hedges versus pruning a tree.

They under-exaggerate when they describe the more unpleasant parts of post-op care. I was in nearly constant, serious pain for the first four days. I would wake up in the morning in severe pain, because a full bladder likely pressed against the area. The more I moved, the more the pain increased.

Mothers will especially stand this next part. It is more akin to the physical sensations to about a week after labor and delivery. My bottom half was sore. It was pain like a T, across my hips through me, and into my back.

They don’t tell you the real story on a lot of it, although they are still defined within the parameters of “typical healing”. To sat the least, it was a lot more intense than I predicted.

The healing time takes longer than I predicted too. The doctors assured me that I’d be back on my feet, doing my daily activities in a few days. But, those activities are not to include any aerobic / strenuous activity. I haven’t been able to do any housework. No stairs, so I have to limit my use of them at home. It’s frustrating to leave something on a different floor.

I’m still not quite back to normal. I always feel like the doctors overreact when they give you restrictions. Possibly, it is because they know patients will not follow them to the letter. But, they weren’t kidding here. I’m moving better, but I am still in pain. I need extended time sitting. I’m tired.

The biggest thing they don’t tell you is the emotional rollercoaster that follows. I don’t know if it’s hormonal, but I have been completely out of whack. I described some of it in With This Pill. Manic Monday touched upon the subject in 2.5.

This is a conversation C.S. and I had on Friday.

I swear. A lot.

I thought I was on the cusp of a depressive episode. Mobility is difficult. It is irritating and frustrating to be at the mercy of others. I am a control freak. I like things done my way, and I like to be an active participant at all times. But right now, I feel like a useless invalid watching life pass as I’m bound immobile, as much as possible.

I feel useless. I can’t take charge of classes because I have to meet them in their classrooms. I must have children assist me in classes by passing out lyric sheets and retrieving items for me from across the room. I hate asking people for help. Then, I start to feel like an inconvenience, a burden, if you will.

Tomorrow’s Follow-up
I was under the impression that they were going to poke in there and assess my healing.  Then, they were going to report how much had to be excised, and what my chances of having more children is going to look like.  What they failed to mention is that tomorrow is also the delivery of the results from the sample they took.  What I thought was going to be a completely benign appointment turned malignant fast.

What the doctor is looking for is are Clear Margins.  Essentially, if the tissue they collected has both the cancerous cells and a margin surrounding it of healthy tissue, then we can be assured that all of the cancerous cells were excised.  However, if the margins are not clear, then cancerous cells still remain and pose a possible threat.

The course of action after that is typically to wait until the results from the follow up Pap smear come back.  If they are positive, then we visit colposcopy land to see how bad it is.  And, there is a possibility of yet another procedure.

You guessed it.  This poses a greater threat to my future pregnancies.  The more cervix that is removed, the higher the risk of miscarriage and pre-term labor.  I have a plan, but I need to get C.S. on board.  If the issue is forced, I want to make the Hail Mary pass in order to conceive another child before I would have another surgery.  We have two months to make a decision, because after that, it’s do or die.

I really do want another child, even if it’s not at a great time.  If I have to do it and take some risks, I’m willing to do that.  However, C.S. has not expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about another child.  I don’t want to come to blows over this.  But, if there is a serious disagreement, I know it’s going to turn into a serious problem.

One bridge at a time, Lulu.  One bridge at a time.

5 thoughts on “Marginally Clear

  1. Sorry to hear that your moods have been all over the place. I can relate to the feeling of being an invalid. After my back injury, it was difficult to even walk properly. Having people fetch things for me was impossible to take for me ego. I can only imagine how it must feel to go through that in front of your class. As for the pap smear, I hope you get good results and don’t need another surgery. Also, happy Thanksgiving.

    • Oh it so kills my ego too! I had to have an army of children doing my bidding. And when I say children, I’m not talking teens. I’m talking between 5 and 11. A 7 year old was escorting me to and from the elevator. I’m just falling flat.

      I have a post almost ready to go about Wednesday and my results. I’ll spoil the big secret. It was good. But you’ll have to read the details!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Doctors don’t have the slightest idea what the procedures they do feel like. The same as they never really get what it really means to most side effects of any mood stabiliser. Sometimes I wonder if they shouldn’t have some procedure where they stimulate the nerves that you will experience stimulation of even if they can’t ethically do the procedure in order to promote a modicum of comprehension of what they are doing from a subjective perspective!!!
    I hate having to get people to do things for me too. I can remember struggling to carry things and pick things up too and it stinks. It’s got to be defeating to have to collar a kid that little to help you carry stuff.
    Is there no chance you could beg/borrow/use a light weight granny shopping cart to trundle on a long handle behind/beside you? Perhaps get someone to stuff it with something very lightweight (eg stick a cushion or two in it) – almost to the top and then you could pop your stuff on top so that you wouldn’t need to bend to reach it – especially from a sitting position … – or depending on what type of equipment and how bulky it was and how much you could cull, perhaps rig a sling – like a baby sling that mums hang in front of them … Oh. I’d be going crazy. I guess it shouldn’t be to long though….
    Very exciting drumroll here about good news.
    I hope that it was very good.
    Have a happy holidays

    • That’s pretty true. All they can really go off of is what other patients have reported. From what I’ve read on the internet, some have bounced right off that table and went back to work the next day. Others, were not so lucky. They profusely hemmorhaged and spent six to eight weeks out of commission. But, I’m not sure that stimulating those nerves to produce the same pain response is ethical, though it would definitely enhance the empathy factor.

      I’ve been through childbirth, and I’m going to assume that my doctor likely has too. It is akin to the post-partum symptoms of about one week in. If you’re a mom, then you know what I’m talking about. I won’t get graphic, but any area covered by underwear hurt. It was like a T across my hips and all the way through the back with a semi-circle from the pelvic bone underneath to my lower back. Ugh.

      The kids were very helpful, really. I think they felt honored to have the responsbility. I’m one of those DIY people, because I don’t feel like other people can do it my specifications. It’s not mean. People do a great job at what they do, but they don’t do it my way and get the same results. Plus, being an invalid was driving me crazy.

      Oh Jill, I have so much pride that I wouldn’t be caught dead with the granny shopping cart! I managed the weight OK. It was a little more strenous on my body that it should have been, but I didn’t completely over do it. Yeah, I’d probably be completelly healed by now if I wasn’t so stubborn. But, I have to tell you. It was worth it to save some face. Horrible admission there.

  3. “It is irritating and frustrating to be at the mercy of others.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. But unfortunately, it’s part of life (no matter how you choose to live it). At least you know that this too will pass away. And I think there is much to be learned from being somewhat incapacitated. It really makes you realize that you aren’t Superwoman, you’re merely human. And that isn’t a bad thing. 😉

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