catching up on me and talking about things like surgery

i think i make a better nurse than a patient.

or in any case, i prefer being a nurse to a patient. but this is the story of my most recent experience as a patient…

maybe the worst part about being a nurse is that i don’t have any desire to be a patient, and i avoid it at [almost] all costs. that, and having really terrible student health insurance has caused me to simply deal with severe abdominal pain i’ve been having intermittently since november.

however, the pain won. a patient i must become. so a couple months ago, almost the first day my new work health insurance kicked in, found me in the doctor’s office. i musta seemed like a healthy person, and must not have painted the picture of how severe my pain was clearly, because the doctor did a little blood work, no imaging, and sent me home to try a new med.

the med worked for a while. and i was excited. until two weeks ago friday. i was home from work in the morning, and getting a few things done before i went to bed for the day. had a whole weekend of fun planned… was my first weekend off in a while… what could possibly go wrong?

that morning i experienced the worst pain i’ve ever had in my entire life. went from happily running around my house to sheer agony in a matter of seconds. later found out that i’d had a cyst burst in my abdomen. living alone i didn’t know what to do. almost called an ambulance because there was no way i could drive myself anywhere. the pain was so severe for a while that every time i moved i threw up. but, being the idiot that i am i took as much ibuprofen and tylenol as i decided was safe for my kidneys and liver, and tried to sleep, instead of going to the ER.

mom came up that afternoon as we’d already planned and i decided to go ahead and try to have a fun night. we went with some friends to wamego to watch a community theater production that night. and somehow i survived, but not exactly sure how.

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friday night at the theater

couldn’t sleep that night due to pain and by saturday morning i couldn’t take it anymore. mom drove me to salina to the ER.
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saturday morning in the ER

there i experienced some of the not-so-enjoyable procedures that sometimes i have to perform as a nurse, finally got my pain under control (sigh of relief!) had a CT and a sonogram, and they found a cyst “the size of texas” on my left ovary (according to the radiologist). i guess texas is 8 cm and fluid filled. either way, they said it had to be removed. if the cyst was smaller they would probably have just left it, but this one was too big. it had the potential of causing damage (and i was terrified of it bursting! i’d experienced that and wanted no more of it!). i was given pain meds to get me through the weekend and surgery to remove the large cyst and what they thought was multiple other cysts was scheduled for wednesday.

surgery couldn’t come soon enough. i was pretty nervous (ok, terrified). mom stayed with me through the weekend and dad came up wednesday to be with us.
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the surgery itself went really well i’m told. they got the cyst, and found out my internal anatomy was a little off with things being where they weren’t supposed to be. so they did a little re-organizing of my insides. they also found that instead of multiple smaller cysts, i have severe endometriosis. there are four stages of endometriosis (one being the least severe and four being the most severe). i have stage four. in the words of my doctor i am “one tough cookie,” because from the looks of things my insides were pretty inflamed and angry and i’ve been dealing with this for a while.
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right before surgery

post surgery was a little rough. my doc told me we’d prolly need to stay for an hr or two after surgery was done. well, thanks to the fact i don’t do well with anesthesia, we were there for about six hours. i was doing my best to wake up! just couldn’t do it 🙂
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my “happiness” angel from ashley and flowers from dad 🙂

the next few days i pretty much just slept, and mom took amazing care of me. she stayed here for 9 days straight, and i couldn’t have done it without her! physically i think i was doing pretty good… healing well… cutting down on pain meds. mom headed home.

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grandma, mom and i

then the next few days were really rough. i was still dizzy (i think from anesthesia), so felt like i was living in a carnival fun house. and some sort of acute depression hit me. couldn’t shake it either. my friend ashley came and stayed with me one night because i couldn’t handle being alone. there are days when i hate living by myself. for these few days it was almost like i could not handle the aloneness. i’m so thankful for people who were looking out for me 🙂

i was actually looking forward to going back to work, just to be around people again! but the first night back i was still pretty dizzy and still had some pain. it was a rough night, but i made it. there’s a sense of accomplishment in making it through a challenge like that 🙂 and after another night’s work i was able to sleep and head home for adventures in character!

even though i was exhausted and still sore and had to sit down more than normal and looked like a lazy bum sometimes this weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. i needed the time at home with friends and family. i needed to have 330 kids smiling and waving at me every time i turned around. i needed to be reminded of the faithfulness of God through singing about his goodness over and over and over. i needed to be attacked by nerf guns and laugh so hard i couldn’t breathe.

i feel like i’m healing really well. i’m not in much pain anymore. i’m starting treatment for the endometriosis which should help with pain in the future and prevent future cysts from forming.

so that’s that. that’s what i’ve been dealing with and will be dealing with. thank you to the many many people who were praying for me over the past couple of weeks. it has been so encouraging to hear that so many people have been lifting me up 🙂

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4 thoughts on “catching up on me and talking about things like surgery

  1. I really think that the post-surgery depression/anxiety combo is somehow related to anesthesia (?) I have experienced it, too. No fun! But there is hope & it does go away eventually!! May be more common than people realize. God bless ya!

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  2. Wow Chandler! I knew some of this but had no idea how much pain you were in. I’m amazed you didn’t immediately go to the ER when you were throwing up whenever you moved. I’m glad you’re feeling better and had a great time at the conference! Thanks for the update.

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  3. i agree with lauren. My thought thru your whole post was how beautiful you looked. You have such a servant heart; even though you weren’t completely healed you pushed on to serve those 300+ kids at AIC. Still praying for you sweet girl. Hugs!!!

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