Hey guys, I am sorry I have not updated my blog over the summer….. I have been busy enjoying myself and trying to get on with a normal life. The summer months have been full of hen do’s, weddings, holidays with friends and other celebrations. And it felt so nice to finally feel normal and throw myself back into enjoying life again. I have been trying really hard not to dwell on the upcoming surgery and focus on happy times. We finally moved into our dream house in September after 18 months of trying to sell our flat and a lot of delays with solicitors!!! But we couldn’t be happier and our lovely house was definitely worth the wait!
I had been on the waiting list for NHS surgery since March 2018 and finally got a date of 3rd October. Enjoying the summer period and getting back to my normal self helped me in the lead up to surgery. To be honest time has gone super quickly as I was trying not to focus on the surgery date. Moving into our house also allowed me to get everything sorted before surgery, knowing that I would have a long recovery.
I was under the care of Mr Khazali at St Peters Hospital, which is great as it is my place of work, so I felt at ease going into hospital. I am lucky enough to know Mr Khazali as we used to work together in obstetrics. He specialises in the treatment of severe endometriosis and I was referred to him by my fertility consultant. Mr K gave me his consent to use his name and talk about his work within my blog. He is one of not very many endometriosis excision specialists in the UK.
So….. after another gruelling day of bowel prep I went into hospital on the morning of the 3rd October, supported by my husband, who is getting very good at the routine of surgery!!!!
I was lucky enough to have a room in The Runnymead, which is a private hospital, but my operation was being performed in the NHS part of the hospital. Mr K came to meet with me that morning, to sign the consent form and run through the details of the operation. The list of procedures he had to do seemed endless and we talked about all the risks associated with excision surgery. I knew that I didn’t really have much choice and I had to go through with it, but hearing all the things that could go wrong is a little scary. I knew there was a risk of bleeding, infection, damage to bowel &/or bladder and losing various organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes and appendix). I also understood that I may need a bowel resection and could come out with a colostomy bag. But at this stage I was willing to do what ever was needed to be fixed. The aim of the surgery was to reduce my pain, which had definitely got a lot worse, improve fertility and chances of conception.
After being taken down to the anaesthetic room around 1pm, I knew I was in good hands and wasn’t too worried about the impending operation. Mr K always assured me that he would look after me and I knew he would. Being my third operation within a year, and working within healthcare, I knew the pre surgery procedures well. There is always something nice about knowing you are going to have a good sleep for the next few hours!! I was just hoping for the best outcome, what ever that may be.
The next thing I knew, I woke up in recovery after a 5 hour operation and was taken back to my private room around 8pm, to be greeted by the faces of my mum and Chris, who had been waiting for my return. I had an IV infusion in each hand, a urinary catheter and the return of the big bloated abdomen. I also looked pretty hideous!!! I was pleased to see no colostomy bag, but Mr K had gone home after his long day, so I would have to wait until the morning to find out how the operation had gone.
My night was not ideal, experiencing pretty bad pain, feeling extremely nauseous, having a temperature and barely sleeping. I couldn’t face eating and literally did not move the whole night. The joy of having a catheter means you don’t have to get up to wee! The following morning I felt much better and managed to get up out of bed with help. Mr K came to see me and informed me that I could go home that afternoon. He told me that my operation was extremely challenging but that he was very happy with the outcome of the surgery. I would need to have the bowel resection but he wanted to do that in the future, after having a baby. “After having a baby“……… This was the best news I have heard in months and I couldn’t help but shed a lot of tears. Finally the words I had wanted to hear for so long. Mr K had managed to remove all the endometriosis and unstick my “frozen pelvis”. He removed all endometriomas (ovarian cysts) and was able to save both of my fallopian tubes. He did remove my appendix…. but who needs one of those anyway! He removed endo from my bladder, vagina and suspended both my ovaries using sutures to stop them sticking back to other organs during healing. He felt that I would finally be able to get pregnant now.
I discussed my blog with Mr K and he encouraged me to take a selfie with him to upload!!! I couldn’t be more grateful to him for all that he has done for me. I know that he will be operating on me again in the future, as I need the bowel resection, but I honestly don’t care. I am ready to deal with anything now.
The outcome of surgery being positive for the first time has made me feel that finally everything I have been through was worth it. I am sure that hearing such fantastic news has made my recovery better. I feel super positive about the future and have recovered extremely quickly from such an invasive procedure. Mr K was keen for us to go on and have IVF due to the severity of the endo, but said that there is a chance I could conceive on my own. I have been back to see my fertility consultant and we have decided to give ourselves a few months to see if anything happens and if not then get the IVF process started. So for now I am just recovering, and will enjoy the christmas period with family and friends, knowing we have a plan for the new year if we need it.
I will document all the details of the operation in the next post, including all the gory pictures! It really is fascinating to see the inside of your body!
I have healed much quicker than I expected to, and I really do believe it is all in my head…. as well as having an expert surgeon. My bloating went down really quickly, I haven’t had any gas pain (shoulder pain) like I did in previous surgeries and Mr K was able to use my previous holes in my abdomen. I had 4 holes in total this time and then the ovary suspenders on both sides. I had to have these taken out a day early, 4 days after surgery as they were pulling so tight that I couldn’t stand up and it was extremely painful. A quick trip to the labour ward to see a colleague registrar, who also happened to assist Mr K in my surgery. He removed both ovary suspender stitches and I walked out normally….. after a quick catch up with my midwife colleagues! This was the only bump in the road for my recovery. Even my pain was not as bad as I was expecting. I do still experience shooting pains in my vagina and the right side of my abdomen, but I am only 5 weeks post op and still healing internally. Over all I am extremely pleased with how it all went and looking forward to returning back to work on the labour ward soon. The pictures below were all taken within a week of surgery.
I realise this was not a quick update….. so much to tell you!!! But look out for my next post if you are interested in the surgery details. Thank you so much to all my friends and family who have been kind enough to visit me and bring me food, flowers and chocolate!!! I will never forget the kindness of those who have gone out of their way for me…. once again, especially my amazing mum, sister and husband.
The quote at the top of this post was sent to me by my sister just before my surgery. It couldn’t be more perfect to describe this year for me. I am an endo warrior and this year has changed my life forever. I am ready to take on the next challenges I will face with a positive outlook.
Sincerely, Shelly x x