Friday, February 24, 2012

2 Days Post-Op - The Waiting Game

"My vagina has two sets of lips,
But I don't get monthly blood drips;
My vagina, hardly even used."
-- NOFX, My Vagina
We got to the hospital at 10:00am on Wednesday morning and checked in with the surgery center's admissions desk. After a few minutes, they called us to a little desk to have me sign a bunch of consent and release forms.

Another few minutes went by, and a nurse called us back in to the back rooms. She had me strip down and helped me change in to a hospital gown and silly paper booties. All my clothes went in to a plastic bag, and everything else, my wedding ring, tongue ring, cellphone, and wallet, I gave to Erin.

The nurse directed us to a small room with a recliner for me, where she put an inflatable warming blanket over me and attached a couple of wristbands for identification. She worked away at the computer, and gave me a few more forms to initial and sign saying that I knew who my doctors were and what I was getting. She also wrapped compression sleeves around my lower legs, which rhythmically contract to keep the blood flowing.

She then left, and we continued waiting. One-by-one over the next half hour or so, various people from the surgical team dropped by.

The anesthesiologist was the first to introduce himself. He was a nice, slightly quirky, wiry-looking guy who spoke quickly and wore a black bandana on his head. After he left, Dr. Bowers dropped by to say "hi", and to assure us that everything was going to go great. At this point we were both pretty excited, but Erin was also obviously nervous. She teared up a couple of times, but tried to hold back and smile to keep me from worrying too much. =3

Lastly, a sweet and reassuring younger woman who said she'd be helping with the surgery came in and asked me to come with her to the operating room. Erin and I gave each other a hug and a kiss, then parted ways. I was then led down a hallway in to the OR, where I lay on a flat table under some giant movable light structures, and people bustled around me. There was a slight depression in the table's surface, and they had me adjust until my butt was right at the edge of it.

They removed my gowns, so that I had just one loosely draped over me, and put oxygen tubes in my nose. My arms were propped straight out to the sides, and the anesthesiologist started telling dorky jokes while he inserted the IV in to my left forearm. The last thing I remember was chatting with the anesthesiologist and assistant woman about it being a little awkward that everyone in the room was there for me, and then I was out.

I woke up in the recovery room around 4:30, and a nurse immediately noticed me and offered me some bits of ice, which I happily chewed. Within half an hour or so, I was fairly lucid, and they wheeled me to my room. Erin was there waiting for me, grinning from ear to ear, and she gave me a kiss.

Erin was planning to go back to the hotel to sleep, but I have the hospital room to myself, so they offered to wheel another bed in for her and she has stayed with me both nights so far. It's been so comforting to know that she's only a few feet away if I need her. On Thursday morning she went back to the hotel to shower and grab a few things, but otherwise she's been hanging out here, playing video games, and even eating hospital food with me.

The nurses are, for the most part, awesome, though there was one incident where a CNA was trying to adjust my tray and accidentally slammed it downward on to my crotch. I saw stars for a second and nearly swore, but it was an honest accident, and I did my best to keep calm while she apologized repeatedly.

My crotch has been completely bandaged over, with packing inside as well. I have a JP Drain coming out my left side which they have to empty red goo out of a few times a day, and a catheter tube going to my right. The catheter feels horrible, like I always have to pee, but I'm sort of getting used to it by now.

My breasts feel tight and tender, but don't hurt much. I really like the size, and I think I'll be really happy with them once the skin stretches and they settle. For now, they're just sort of stuck in place.

The pain in my groin area was fairly bad on the first night. The nurses gave me morphine through the IV, which helped a lot, and percocets by mouth, which didn't seem to help at all. For a while, there were rhythmic zaps of pain centralized in one spot, but I couldn't figure out what part it was originating from, because as far as my brain is concerned, the old nerve map of my genitalia is still valid, and nothing has changed. After a while it dawned on me that the zaps were almost definitely coming from my clitoris, which was exciting! Eventually I was able to get some sleep, and the pain was much better in the morning.

After spending Wednesday evening laying down, I decided to sit up and play around on the lappy on Thursday. That afternoon, Dr. Bowers stopped by. She told me that I looked like I was recovering well, and that she was really proud and happy with the way my surgery turned out. She also said that she's sure I'll like it. I hope she's right! =D

As the evening wore on, the pain from the sutures nearly went away, but it was replaced by a new aching throughout my entire lower abdomen. At first, I thought it was just from sitting in the same position for so long, so I carefully tossed and turned, trying to find a comfortable spot. After a couple of hours of this, the pain just continued to get worse, so I told my nurse, who pointed out that it was probably gas build-up. She gave me some gas-ex, but said it would take hours to take effect. Since I was nearly in tears, and it was getting late anyway, she gave me some more morphine and an ambien to knock me out. This morning, I still feel a little bloated and sore, but much much better.

At 7am today, a new nurse came in to remove my dressings! She had me lay flat, and she slowly peeled the bandages off of my vagina (that still feels weird to say). I only got a short glimpse before she replaced the bandages with a maxi-pad, but so far it looks great! My labia are very swollen but good, and the clitoral hooding is perfect. Even though I knew logically that everything was there, it's nice and extremely exciting to be able to finally see it and know that it's real.

I should be able to get up and walk around a little today, which I can't wait for. I'm sick of being stuck to this bed. If all continues to go well, I should be checking out of the hospital tomorrow morning! W00t! =)


  1. Glad you are feeling better. The gas pain after surgery (I just had a hysterectomy in November) is horrid! It will go away though. The more you move around the more it comes out. Don't be afraid to fart at anytime because who cares as long as it makes you feel better! ;)

  2. Glad you're happy with the results! I don't know how you were able to be so patient. I think I would have wanted to tear off the bandages and take a look as soon as possible. Or at least tell the surgeon to take a pic of it before bandaging me up. :-)