So yesterday was the big day. I bid farewell to my ovaries and tubes, and greatly diminished my risk of ovarian cancer once and for all. I plan on doing periodic recaps about the experience and how my recovery is going. I scoured the internet before surgery reading firsthand experiences to help prepare myself for what to expect, so I’m hoping my sharing this may help someone else doing the same. So here it is, the recap of my BSO surgery day.
I spent the morning having some quality time with my little guy, showering, and doing my pre-surgery meditation. I was anxious and uncomfortable (because I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything…even water…since midnight the night before)…but tried not to be too grumpy and enjoy the morning. Then, it was time to head out.
11:30AM – I arrived at the hospital, promptly to have a moment of panic when they couldn’t find my name on the OR schedule, then I was told it was because I was supposed to be at the ambulatory care surgical center across the street ::facepalm::
11:35AM – We arrived at the correct surgical center, got checked in, and waited, waited, and waited.
12:45PM – I was called back by the nurse, changed into a chic hospital gown, got my IV placed (it only took 2 tries!), and answered lots of questions from nurses. My spouse was invited back to keep me company, I met with the anesthesiologist, and chatted with my surgeon. The anesthesiologist placed a Scopolamine patch behind my ear to prevent nausea.
1:00PM – Got some pre-surgery hugs and kisses from my spouse, then I was wheeled off into the OR. I chatted with the nurse (who has a toddler one month older than mine), the anesthesiologist made some jokes about giving me a Sam Adams…and the next thing I know…I’m out cold. Apparently the operation only took about 30 mins and everything went smoothly…not that I have any idea what happened while I was out.
2:30PMish – I woke up in the recovery room, talked to the nurse a bit, and dosed in an out of sleep for a little while. They fed me ginger ale and a graham cracker…which was hard to eat because the dry mouth was terrible (a side effect of the anti-nausea patch). My spouse was brought back to keep me company once I was a little more awake and I eventually was taken into the Tier 2 recovery area to rest. I drank 2 cups of tea and ate some pretzels. I had some pretty significant cramping when I first woke up from surgery, so they gave me my first pain pill which helped take the edge off.
3:30ish – I got changed back into my clothes and prepared for discharge. By about 4pm I was in the car and headed home. I placed a pillow between my torso and the seatbelt to prevent it from rubbing my incisions (a tip I picked up from another BRCA sister). We stopped at the pharmacy on the way to pick up my pain meds and some snacks, and by 4:30ish I was at home, in bed eating mango sorbet (which felt amazing on my sore throat).
I spent the rest of last night lounging in bed and on the couch watching TV and responding to messages. My throat felt pretty raw from the intubation so I sucked Ricolas while I relaxed. I had a little soup and some Smart Puffs for dinner, as well as lots of water and tea. I took a dose of my pain meds around 7PM even though my overall my pain level wasn’t that bad (maybe a 5-6 out of 10). My shoulder and neck muscles were very tight and I had some gas pains (from my abdomen being filled with CO2 during the surgery), but the worst pain was probably the sore throat. The 3 tiny incisions on my abdomen were the source of some dull aching, with some sharp pains here and there when I moved.
I felt pretty tired by about 10PM, so I went upstairs, wrote in my journal, listened to my healing from surgery affirmation meditation, and got ready for bed. I had my spouse check my incisions before bed to make sure they weren’t bleeding badly or oozing (signs the nurse said to watch out for)…and they looked pretty good. I fell asleep without too much trouble, slept for a few hours and then woke up with pain in my neck and shoulders. I took another pain pill around 1AM and went back to sleep until about 7:20AM.
So there we have it, the readers digest version of my BSO surgery day experience. I’ll write again later in the week about how the first days of recovery are going. But for now, I’m back to watching The Golden Girls on Hulu and sipping seltzer. 🙂