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 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.
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.