Saturday, November 21, 2009

Moving on...

I think this might be over. I don't want to jinx anything, but I'm feeling pretty good. I was scared to death for the methotrexate, but so far I haven't really had any major side effects other than mild headaches and nausea.

I didn't really post a lot of details because, well, I don't really know them all. So here's what I do know: (It looks like a lot, but it really isn't. I am full of questions)

*On Tues. morning at about 2 AM, I called nurseline to see if the pain I was having could potentially be caused by me ovulating in my recently operated-on tube. The nurse went through a "check-list" of symptoms if you will, and threatened to send an ambulance if I didn't go to the emergency room ASAP, or call 911. By 2:30, I was at the local ER

*By 3 AM, Dr. Dumbass (sorry, there's really no other way to put it) had ordered a CT with contrast, and insisted I chug what seemed like a gallon sized mug of lemon flavored fingernail polish remover. It was delish!

* 5 AM, still no sign of the Dr. or the nurse to update me on what was going on. I was FREEZING, because I was in the room closest to the exit, and it was quite drafty. Now would be a good time to mention that there was NO CALL LIGHT!

*5:30 AM, I am taken in for my CT. I am done about 10 minutes later and wheeled back to my igloo.

*5:50 AM, Dr. Dumbass comes in with my results. He tells me that there is a "significant amount of blood and free fluid in my abdomen" but that he isn't trained enough to know if it is old blood, or if I have re-ruptured. He recommends that I follow up with MY doctor later that day, or tomorrow at the latest. He then seems to second guess himself and asks for my Dr.'s contact information. I gave him the info for my RE, and he exits to call him.

*6:00 AM, Dr. Dumbass comes back and says that Dr. Peterson would like to see me today for 2 reasons: 1. My beta is continuing to rise, and 2. There shouldn't be this much blood in my abdomen so long after my first surgery. My body should have absorbed anything left over from my first go around. I ask him if I need to go out to the clinic, or if I should meet him in the hospital. Dr. Dumbass explains that I cannot be released on my own accord because I am at significant risk of "bleeding out", so the ambulance will be there to transport me within 30 minutes.

* I stop noticing what time it is, and call DH. He is at home with the Munchkin, and doesn't think anything too serious is going on. He was pretty upset when I told him I was waiting for an ambulance to transport me out to the U, I think he realized a lot sooner that I did the seriousness of the situation. By the time he got there, the ambulance was waiting. They let LJ ride out to the hospital with me because we knew that once I arrived there, she would not be allowed to stay. No one is allowed in the hospital that is under the age of 14. (we SO broke that rule...)

*Once we arrived at the U, I was brought to my room and prepped for surgery. Blood was drawn, my IV was replaced (more on that later...) My RE came in and went over the plan with us. He said that he was 90% sure that he would have to take my tube. I had a mild breakdown and begged him to leave it in. He wouldn't budge, but told me that he would call DH after they opened me up and could get a better look at the damage. He said that they would wait and let DH make the decision once they were in there. This is about the time that I lost my freaking mind.

*Things get pretty blurry, but I remember my brother in law being there, and he and my husband giving me a religious blessing. I then threw a fit and insisted that they let LJ rid on my gurney with me down to surgery, where I would say goodbye and let my brother in law take her home with him. Once we got down to surgery, they had to change my IV (AGAIN; this was my 3rd) and the anesthesiologist explained what they would be doing. I vaguely remember kissing a tearful DH and them wheeling me away. I don't think I even remember getting to the OR.

*We're going to skip the waking up part, because it was probably one of the worst memories that I have the privilege to carry with me for the rest of my life.

* I was taken back to my room where I was told that I almost bled to death... again. My body had gotten wise to this fact at some point in the previous 2 1/2 weeks and had taken measures to prevent it from happening. The omentum (I still don't know how to spell that) had moved forward and surrounded my fallopian tube tourniquet style and had slowed the bleeding. Once my Dr. and his minion of medical students had seen the damage in my abdomen, and the omentum around my tube, they called for extra blood and another IV was started in my NECK!! They were sure that I was going to bleed out, so they started the extra line to be able to get fluids and a blood transfusion in me quickly if they had to. Luckily, the bleeding was controlled and they were able to use suction to clean up my insides. They cut my tube length-wise and flushed it in both directions with saline. The Dr. had kept his word, and called DH and told him what they had found. At that point, he was positive that he would have to take the tube. DH told him that we trusted his judgement, and to do whatever he thought was best. We were stunned when he informed us later that he had saved the tube. He said "for good or for bad, we saved the tube." (At first I was really relieved, but now I'm not so sure how I feel about it. I'm nervous that it will scar up, and I'll have this issue again.)

*Later that night, an oncology nurse came in and gave me my methotrexate shots. I had one in each hip. They made sure to give me some Zofran for nausea before the shots, and I think that did the trick. It wasn't horrible at all. I am still not experiencing anything horrible. Just minor headaches and a bit of nausea from time to time, although I've read online that it can take a few days for the full affects of the drug to kick in.

*On Wednesday, my Dr. came in to release me at 8:30 in the morning. We didn't actually get to leave the hospital until close to 6 pm. The resident and my Dr. were arguing over which medications I could have when I came home. The final outcome was that I could come home with ibuprofen, zofran, and iron. No narcotics. (I'm still kind of pissed about this. I have 5 holes in my abdomen, and they expect me to be just fine with ibuprofen. Sadists!) My Dr.'s reasoning was that I am still at risk to have this happen again (at least until my betas drop to zero) so he doesn't want any medication to "mask" the pain that could be caused by another rupture. I understand his point, but man it would be nice to be able to move without cringing!

*My blood counts are still low, so I will be on iron for the next 30 days, minimum. I have to go back in every Tuesday for repeat betas to make sure my levels drop. I am not to take any vitamins or folic acid for a month, and because methotrexate (MTX) is a chemo drug, I have to avoid large groups of people, or places that I may be more likely to be exposed to illnesses. Apparently MTX is an immunosuppresant.

Okay, I think I have you all caught up. I have a follow up appointment with my RE on Dec. 1st. He has promised to give me pictures of the laparoscopy. I have them from the first surgery, so it's only fitting that I have pics to complete the series. I have debated on whether or not to post them on here, but I think some people might be a little queasy about it. You'll have to tell me your opinion. Is that something that you would be curious to see, or am I better just leaving it to your imagination? I still have a ton of questions about this whole thing. It all happened so fast that I don't think it all sunk in. It's hard for be to believe that my life was THAT jeopardized when I didn't feel that bad. I think I just need a play by play. I will be glad when I get the operative reports and pathology findings. My RE did mention that between both surgeries, he estimates that I lost about 2.5 pints of blood into my abdomen. I'm not sure how bad that really is... guess I'll have to go ask Dr. Google.

I'm pretty sure I'll post again about my experience at the hospital. They nurses (other than the first demon-woman that I had kicked out of my room) were amazing. They gave me a bereavement package that included a little crocheted blanket, booties, and hat, as well as a baby-sized brass ring. They were very kind, and I will never be able to thank them enough for their compassion. I am so glad that I was transferred to their hospital. I think they helped me begin to move on. They recognized my baby, and made me feel like it was okay to do so, regardless of how far along I was. I truly am grateful to them.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or can think of anything that would be good to ask my Dr. about. It all still feels very surreal. If I wasn't bruised from hell to breakfast, I might doubt it ever happened! (maybe I'll post THOSE pics! You've never seen bruises like these before! I look like a junkie!)

Again, thanks for all of your comments. IRL, I feel very alone in all of this. It is so nice to feel your support day after day. You are all very amazing to me.


JuliaS said...

My goodness - what an experience! I am so sorry (and amazed - not in a good way!) you had to go through all that. My tubal pg was very traumatic and it has nothing on that experience. (Suddenly I feel very greatful mine was almost boring in comparison!) Be good to yourself - you have a lot to recover from. I am glad to hear that **most** everyone was good to you - that can make a huge difference for recovery. BOO on not getting any good drugs after that - but I can see your doc's reasoning.

Yes - the waking up, those memories are some of my worst. :0(

I'm hoping that this is the start of some serious mending and things definitely begin to improve from here on out. If it helps to know, following my tubal pregnancy which ruptured and was repaired, I did have 3 pgs - NONE of which were tubal again. I don't know if your doc has talked about a follow up HSG to check on the status of the tube? I imagine he wants you to definitely recover first.

Holding you in my best thoughts and prayers. Heal well and quickly my friend.

wifey said...

Holy shit hon. I second what Julia said - my ectopic was very nearly boring compared to yours!

I understand your doctor's reasoning about the pain meds but I still think it's ridiculous - I was on percocet after my surgery and it definitely did not take away all of the pain, it just kind of took the edge off, and allowed me to sleep.

I'd be curious to see your pictures, btw.

One thing I'd ask your doc, if he hasn't already mentioned it, is about supplements and how long it takes the body to build back up to appropriate levels of folic acid (for when you want to try again). When I had the methotrexate, nobody mentioned any of that to me.

I hope you have a smooth, smooth recovery. Wishing you peace and healing!