*** This post will contain way too much information for some peoples’ comfort level. Consider yourself warned. ***
When you go in to meet with your doctor before you have any kind of surgery, you are given a whole list of things that could possibly go wrong.
Nobody really plans on any of these things actually happening. Nobody plans on being that one in a million person, but you can never be sure.
And then at some point along the course of your ecovery, you become paranoid, and you are sure you have completely fucked up whatever procedure it was that you had done.
Last week, two and a half weeks after surgery, I reached the paranoia stage of my recuperation.
Two weeks post hysterectomy and vaginal prolapse surgery, you still have quite a bit of swelling and other fun stuff going on down below, but as stuff starts to heal, things start to feel different.
So that was happening. Things were healing and starting to feel different. But also, I continued to have incontinence issues. One of the procedures I had done was a bladder sling to help with this, and it was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. The not peeing in my pants.
For those of you who are not aware, there are two kinds of incontinence issues: stress incontinence, and urge incontinence.
Stress incontinence is when you pee in your pants a little (or a lot) when a sneeze or a cough or a bout of hysterical laughter takes you by surprise.
Urge incontinence is when you all of a sudden have to pee like a racehorse, and you know there is no way in hell you can hold it for another second. Even if you just went to the bathroom ten minutes earlier.
I have the pleasure of experiencing both of these issues.
There is no guarantee that your symptoms will disappear after surgery. There is no guarantee that the surgery will work. But for most people, obviously, it does.
There is also a chance that your prolapse can return. Especially if you are not careful and don’t follow the directions to take it easy and do nothing strenuous for six weeks after surgery.
Being a mom with five kids at home who are twelve years old and younger, my definition of slowing down and taking it easy might be different from many of the women who have this surgery since most people who have internal organs falling out of their bodies are typically older than forty-eight. I guess most women don’t give birth to five kids after they are thirty-five, though, either.
So there is that.
Anyway, last week, with the peeing in my pants and feeling some things in my unit that I didn’t think should be there anymore, I grew concerned.
I was sure the surgery had failed.
I was positive my bladder had prolapsed again because I felt, as they say, a bulge.
It felt very similar to what was going on before surgery.
So I spent the last six days super sad and super frustrated and extremely anxious for my appointment today, because I just wanted to know how soon I could have surgery again to fix this failed surgery.
I called the office and spoke with the on call doctor last Friday.
“Your vagina will feel very different now, ” she explained. “It won’t feel like it did before kids or before surgery. I’m not discounting what you are telling me, but it will feel very different from now on.”
So since I wasn’t in pain or bleeding or anything, there was nothing that could be done, and she told me to just try not to stress and that we’d see what was going on at my appointment today.
When the doctor began my exam this morning, I waited for her to confirm that I was one of the 5 % whose surgery didn’t take. Who had prolapsed again. I waited to be admonished for not following the directions and for doing too much and for fucking up the surgery.
“Before the surgery you were at +3 cm,” she told me.
That means there were 3 cm worth of my organs on the outside of my body before my surgery.
“Now you are at -2 cm,” she told me. “-3 cm is a perfect vagina,” she continued. “Like the vagina of an 18-year-old.”
“So I have like a thirty-year-old vag again?” I asked her?
“Pretty much,” she said. “You can’t expect much more than that. You are right where you should be.”
But there was still the bulge. She had to be wrong.
“What is the bulge that is still there?” I asked her.
I don’t remember the technical terminology she used. But there is still some swelling going on.
And then, there is something else…
You know how when someone who weighs like three hundred pounds drops a ton of weight and then they have a whole bunch of excess skin that just sags?
But in my poor vajayjay.
So maybe that will disappear with time. Or not.
But now that I know the prolapse hasn’t returned, I can handle the new normal.
The continued issues with incontinence indicate there may be a chance that the bladder sling did not stay in place. But I’ll have to wait five more weeks and see what the deal is at my eight week appointment.
For now, I’m just happy to know the surgery has not completely failed. And I’m three weeks away from being able to exercise.
So things are good, and now I feel like I can move to the next stage of recuperation.