So. If you remember, I have a prolapsed bladder and uterus, for which I'm going in for surgery a week from today.
Something that has kept the pain at bay for several months has been birth control pills. I wanted to wait until Ben came home permanently before considering trying to have and to recover from major surgery, so I relied heavily on my birth control pills and an occasional ibuprofen to take the edge off the pain.
A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I was out of birth control pills. Here was my internal conversation:
Me: Dang. I'm out of pills. Time to call, get a refill, and go pay sixty frickin' bucks for them.
Me: Wait. In two weeks, I won't need birth control pills. Do I want to pay sixty bucks for two weeks of relief??
Me: You're right, Kar. Sixty bucks. That buys a whole lotta luscious bean burritos.
Me: True dat, Kar. And you don't need birth control for its other purpose. Ben got a vasectomy a couple of years ago.
Me: Mmmm-hmmm. Let's just not do it. You can take extra ibuprofen for the pain. Easy peasy.
Me: Cool. Readyyyyyyy, BREAK!
A few days after I stopped taking my pills, I was cursing myself. Seriously. I didn't have any idea how much these pills had helped with the pain. With them, the pain was a constant dull ache. Without them, the pain is definitely in that upper 8 or 9. You know, when nurses always ask, "On a scale of one to ten, what is your pain level??" I'd seriously call this an 8 or a 9. It feels like labor pains. Like the pains you feel for the first hour or two of labor. You can kiiiiind of function, and it's not as bad as the next hour or two, but still, it hurts a llllllot.
I've been taking ibuprofen, which helps a little bit. At least it helps me to be a little more functional.
You know, this accentuated pain has been a good thing in a way - it has really cemented in my mind the need for me to have this surgery. Before, when the pain was kind of dulled, I thought, "Do I really need this surgery? Maybe I can deal with this..." But now I realize that this really is a problem. A big one. One that won't go away. One that will get worse and worse.
I've been able to exercise moderately. I can't jog - that hurts too much - but as long as I've taken aleve or ibuprofen, I've been able to do fluid things, like spinning and the elliptical machine. I went to the gym with my mom and my youngest sis, Lex, today, and in true she-used-to-be-a-personal-trainer mode, Lex pushed me pretty hard. And I willingly obliged. I'm nothing if not a people pleaser. And I really do love to exercise and to push myself. So I worked hard. And I was doing okay. But as I walked out of the gym and got in the car with my mom, I started to really cramp up in my abdomen. Hmmm, I thought. That's weird.
We went to the library - I desperately needed to get some books for Sadie to read as part of her homework, ones that are her reading level. Mom stayed in the car with my kids while I went inside. And the pain in my abdomen went from bad to worse. Quickly. By the time I walked back out to the car, I could hardly walk. Tears were streaming down my face, and I was having a hard time breathing. I couldn't relax into the seat. I was clenched and shaking. Mom was alarmed and wondered aloud if we should go to my doctor immediately. I decided to go home and lie down and see if things improved.
I took a ton of Tylenol (I can't take ibuprofen or other types of pills that may thin my blood for the next week), got out my heating pad, and lay on the couch while my mom took care of my kids. (I know. Isn't she the BEST??) I was able to relax a little bit as the Tylenol kicked in, but I was in too much pain to sleep. I called the nurse at my doc's office and asked her opinion. She recommended seeing how I felt in the morning. If I was still in too much pain, I should come in and get checked.
The pain slowly got better and better, but it wasn't until about 9 hours of rest (just within the last couple of hours or so) that I was able to walk upright and without pain. I texted Lex to tell her what was going on, and she suggested that maybe my uterus figured out that I was getting rid of it and was acting out in rebellion. I laughed.
And then I stopped laughing, because that really hurts.
So yeah. As scared as I am to have major surgery, and as scared as I am knowing that it will take me six weeks to recover, I can't continue living like this. It will be a good thing. It's time.