Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Still healing

Well, it's been a week since my surgery. I'm still healing, even though I thought I'd be out of bed and back to work by now. This sucks. I was able to see Dr. Colon this morning about what I thought was a re-emergence of blueberry butt. She said that she could see the skin tag I was talking about, but that it didn't look filled with blood or hard. I said that a few days ago it was. She seemed skeptical. She said the skin tag she could see was considerably larger now than when she did the surgery, so that is why she didn't remove it at the time of the surgery. She also said that removing two skin tags at once would have increased my pain a lot, and since it was so small she left it alone. I asked if she removed the hemorrhoid above the skin tag, and she said that there was no vascular tissue or hemorrhoid associated with the skin tag. It had probably filled with blood and was inflamed just from the trauma of the surgery. She said come back in five weeks and she will examine me again, but she does not expect the skin tag to ever cause me problems again. God I hope she's right, because I DO NOT want to go through all of this again.

I miss my horse. It warmed up here a few days ago, and when the ponies went outside Kaswyn decided to roll in the mud. I guess it was more than a roll - more like a rut and wallow. He got mud up under his sheet, caked in his mane, and slathered on his face. I don't even want to know what the sheet looks like. Marge said that she would have put it in her washing machine, but was afraid that it would break her machine. I think they are going to just take the hose to it and get most of the mud off before it can be properly laundered. Filthy pony.

Susan has been cleaning Kaswyn up bit by bit. Somehow Albert, who is usually the dirtier of the two by far, didn't get nearly as muddy. She's been lunging Albert and says she will ride him tomorrow. I can't wait to hear how that goes. That little horse knows how to push her buttons and I'm afraid that it will be a frustrating experience for both of them.

Of course getting daily barn updates has me itching to go out to the barn. However, spending an hour or so out of bed puts too much pressure on my butt and gives me pain, so seeing Kaswyn right now is out of the question. I'm hoping next week to get out there.

Apparently the chiropractor will be out sometime after New Year's, but I've got to find a way to get Kaswyn to my trainer's barn since the chiro is not going to come to Marge's for just one horse. My trainer doesn't have any free stalls, but she has some sheltered stalls in an open shed row outside that Kaswyn could go in, so I'm hoping that the weather doesn't suck on the day the chiropractor comes out. I'm also hoping that they will be able to put another horse outside next to him, because I know that if he's outside all alone that he'll just run in circles and scream. He's such a spaz.

Craig has been wonderful through this whole thing. He's been fighting off bronchitis and a low grade fever, but that hasn't stopped him from completely taking care of the girls as well as getting me anything I need so I don't have to get out of bed. I don't know how I would have done this without him. He's an absolute sweetheart and worth his weight in gold. Or more.

So, my butt still hurts, I miss my horse, and my poor husband is being run ragged by taking care of the girls and his ailing wife. 2008 can be done with now, please. Bring on 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Actual Surgery and Aftermath

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

The night before the surgery I took two klonopin so I'd have a good night's sleep. The next morning we were up early and I took more klonopin (which was suggested by my anesthesiologist). I also took two enemas (which were required by Dr. Colon).

If you ever have to give yourself an enema (or two), might I suggest heating it in a sink of warm water first. The first enema I took straight out of the box and when that cool water hit my bowels I had some big time cramping. It was not very comfortable. The second one was much more comfortable since I got smart and warmed it first, and it didn't seem to be any less effective. Just an FYI.

We got to the surgery center and I had to poop one more time before they called me back. This was the time when I would normally start to get really nervous, since I knew it involved getting the IV and all the other surgery prep. I don't know if it was the klonopin (probably) or the therapy (a little of that too), but I wasn't a complete freak about any of it. To be honest I don't remember much of it. Craig was there, and he says that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being completely calm and 10 being crapping out my bowels in terror, that I was a 3. Not bad at all, I say!

Shortly after that both docs came in to talk to me, which I remember very little of also because as soon as the IV was in the anesthesiologist gave me some Versed. Wheee! They also gave me some Zofran because I was a little nauseous from being nervous. Then the nurse came to get me and Craig headed off to the waiting room while I was wheeled into the operating room. Usually I think the patients walk, but with the Versed already in me they didn't want me walking anywhere.

The nurse opened up my gown in the back, asked me to sit down on the bed, and then they put a sticky monitoring pad on my back. I saw the anesthesiologist push a drug into my IV and I asked "Oh, what was that?" and the said "Fentanyl." And that, folks, is the last thing I remember.

I woke up in the recovery room and I was in some pain. They gave me something, but I was in such a haze that I don't remember what. I was also nauseated so they gave me more Zofran. I sort of drifted in and out of sleep for awhile, and they kept trying to get me to eat and drink. I just didn't feel like doing either. Craig wasn't there initially, but they got him soon after I woke up, and he just sat there with me. I went through my IV bag and they hung another IV bag with glucose, saying that I would feel better after I got those fluids in me.

When that bag had run into me I decided I needed to get up and go home. I didn't really feel like it, but I kind of felt like the nurse thought I should be up and out by then. I was ready to get out of there anyhow. I was still a little foggy and in a good amount of pain, but I was able to dress myself with a little help from Craig. They sent him to get the car and wheeled me out.

Craig drove straight to Speedway to get me a Coke Slurpee, and then dropped me off at home. His mom was there and she looked after me while he went to fill my prescriptions. They gave me Vicodin for pain and ibuprofen for swelling. I asked for an anti nausea drug, knowing that the Vicodin would make me feel sick, so they gave me Reglan.

Later that day I woke up enough to get some more details about the surgery. Dr. OB went first. He did a D & C to remove any endometrial lining that had built up. Then he attempted to find the entrances to the fallopian tubes, but he could not find them. So he did the ablation, and then went into my abdomen with the laproscope to tie my tubes the old fashioned way.

However, when he got into my abdomen and had a look around he discovered two things. First, I had a little scar tissue on my uterus that he removed, probably from the C-section. This was no big deal. The second thing he found was a grapefruit sized, blood filled cyst on my left ovary. How this never hurt me or bothered me I have no idea. But he drained it, said it was benign, and it should not come back again. So it was a good thing that he had to go into my belly or he never would have found that cyst. I imagine that if it had burst I would have been in a whole lot of pain.

I now have two incisions in my abdomen - one in my belly button and one in the center of my C-section scar. They are small but quite bruised. My entire lower abdomen caused me considerable pain for the first two days in spite of the Vicodin. Today, three days later, I'm finally no longer sore there.

I didn't get any sort of report on the butt surgery. I'm assuming that everything went as planned. However, I let Craig take a look down there the next day and his reaction was "Oh my God! It looks like someone punched you square in the butthole." I finally got the courage to take out a mirror and look for myself, and he's right. I'm bruised in a place that I never considered would bruise like that. And it's a really dark bruise too, all the way around. Super weird. I also have at least one line of stitches. There might be two but I don't want to go exploring down there right now to find out for sure.

In spite of the bruising my butthole did not hurt for the first two days. This is probably due to two things. One, Dr. Colon said that she would pump me full of local anesthetic down there to help with the pain. And two, I hadn't pooped yet.

I hadn't eaten much since the surgery, mostly because I just had zero appetite. I knew I had to eat something, so my diet for three days consisted of small portions of chicken noodle soup, grapes, and dry cereal. Since I wasn't eating a lot, and I had cleaned out the pipes before the surgery, there was no poop to poop out.

Until today.

It wasn't a lot of poop, but it hurt and made me bleed. It's enough to make me swear off food for two weeks while I heal. However, not eating has made me feel really crappy. I'm losing weight and I feel weak and dizzy. So I've decided that I need to stop taking the Vicodin (since I'm not in that much pain anymore, except my actual butthole) because it slows down the bowels, and I'm getting back on my regular regimen of vitamin supplements. Today I feel like I'm getting back to my old self.

I have one little possible problem. It looks, and feels, to me like I have a blueberry on my butthole again. This I can't understand, since I just went through surgery to have it fixed. I will call Dr. Colon's office and find out if this is normal or not. Perhaps it's one last blueberry that will disappear and never return? If it does come back, I'm going to be very upset. I really do NOT want to recover from this surgery twice, and the whole point to getting surgery was to fix it for good.

So, there you have it. Right now I'm spending my time lying in bed trying to keep pressure off of my hiney. And hoping this is the last blueberry butt I ever have.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fast update

I'm home from surgery. I'm in a lot of pain but the drugs will kick in soon. I made it.

The full story later.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fat Albert

I guess I never gave the low down on Albert, my friend Susan's horse. Susan is the niece of Marge, the barn owner, and when Susan bought Albert Marge asked if I would have some time to help Susan out with him.

Albert is a purebred Arabian gelding. I think he's 15 years old. Susan bought him as a five year old, and he was very broke. He had been used as a kids lesson horse but had never been shown. His registered name is Tariq el Kaiyoum, but he was so fat that they called him Fat Albert. When Susan bought him it got changed to just Albert, because he got put on a diet and went to work.

At first I didn't help her much because he was basically broke and she could cruise around on him without any problems. After a few months I asked her what her plans were for him,and she just kinda shrugged and said "Hadn't really thought about it." I had been doing dressage for a little over a year, and told her I could help her with some dressage basics. She said sure.

We started working on your basic training level stuff, and I was giving her lessons as well as riding Albert. He has really super gaits and has a lot of gas in his motor. He's not very big - maybe 15 hands - but he can feel a lot bigger when he gets on his muscle.

We got Susan to some schooling shows, and she had me take him into some classes as well. He did really well, and qualified for Regionals at USDF shows one year. The plan was that I would show him for Susan, but then I had this little accident at a show, and I didn't think that I'd recover in enough time to show both Kaswyn and Albert at Regionals. So I asked my trainer to show him. She did a fantastic job, and he went Regional Champion! So awesome.

After my trainer won that class for her, Susan started having my trainer work with Albert. Over the years she went on to win a Reserve National Championship and a National Top Ten with Albert. And then in 2005, Albert went out of dressage training.

Susan kept Albert busy by getting him certified as a police horse, and he is part of a volunteer posse that patrols the local parks. But he wasn't in any kind of dressage training. So when I came back to Marge's barn, Albert was fat, hairy, and totally out of shape.

I've been working with him four days a week for months now and he is finally in decent shape. He has a ton of hair right now, and if I'm going to show him I'm going to have to clip him. It's been hard riding two horses after work every night, and getting done in time to pick up my kids from school. However, I do it for two reasons. One, Albert is so talented that it would be such a waste not to do something with him. Two, he gives me such a different ride than Kaswyn that riding him makes me a better rider. And I'm all about progress and improvement, even if it means that I leave the barn dirty and exhausted, but with worked horses and clean tack. The other day Marge called me "the hyperactive one in the barn." I prefer to think of myself as motivated and driven.

Over the past few years Susan has developed severe back pain while riding, so she won't be riding him much while I recover from surgery. For some reason this horse hates to be lunged, but I'm going to beg Susan to either get on him or lunge him four days a week. I really don't want him to lose the muscle and stamina I have tried so hard to develop. Susan, in contrast to me, is not very motivated, and although she would love it if I would show her horse, she would be okay if I didn't. However I really want to get both he and Kaswyn back in the show ring this year.

My trainer made an interesting comment after the lessons with Kaswyn and Albert. She said that watching me ride both horses back to back she could see that I ride them differently. With Kaswyn I was more strict and didn't let him slide on much, but with Albert I was willing to take a little less than perfection. I thought about that, and then said that it's because with Kaswyn I am always searching for that feeling that I know my horse can give me. With Albert, it's more of a learning curve, so I take what he gives me a build on that.

I hope to get some video of Albert up here soon. Unfortunately the area lights are sort of dim and my camera makes the video too dark to see anything. He's really really cute and I get a real charge out of riding him. He's got a little attitude, which I love, because it's not a "f**k you" attitude, more of a "Hey lady, stop telling me to do that casue I don't want to!". But in the end we always come to an understanding, which ends up with him doing what I ask. Eventually.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yes, I still have a horse

Lately I've been concentrating a lot on my surgery and my mental issues. But I do still have Kaswyn and have been trying to ride both him and Albert. However I've run into some problems there.

A few weeks ago that damn left lead canter on Kaswyn didn't feel right. I finally scheduled a lesson night and my trainer came out to help. The first thing she noticed was the he was stabbing behind, especially with the left hind. That should not have been happening since he just got his hocks injected and had been getting Legend once a month. We worked until the canter for better, but it shouldn't have taken so much to get him there.

Since my trainer had time I was able to do a short lesson on Albert. After a few minutes of warmup she says to me "You have GOT to find a way to show this horse." I knew he felt good, be apparently he looked really good as well. I know that Susan would let me show him, but money would be an issue. We're going to have to see what we can work out, because the horse really is talented and I get along with him really well. It's not the warm and fuzzy relationship that Kaswyn and I have - it's more like a mutual respect and genuine affection. We can get decent progress going, and I dig on that.

Anyhow, I gave Kaswyn a day off with bute after the lesson and then put him on the lunge line. His back end just did not look right. I pulled him back into his stall and started palpating his back. He was definitely sore on the right side, and I could also feel about halfway down his back where it appeared that a bone was shifted out of place to the side. One side of the bone was sticking out to the right, and the other side had a little cavity.

It was time to see the equine chiropractor. The problem is that this guy is good but he is not close so when he comes to our area he likes to see lots of horses in as few barns as possible. I made some calls and it turns out that he was out at most of his major barns this fall, so there are not many horses to be seen right now. But my trainer has 5 or 6 and another farm has 1 or 2, so maybe we can get him out.

The major issue is that Kaswyn is the only one at Marge's who will be seen. I don't know if he'll come there for just one horse, even though it's only 10 minutes from my trainer's barn. So I'm going to have to coordinate getting Kaswyn to my trainer's for the chiropractor. Don't forget my surgery is coming up and I'll be in bed for a week and can't do jack squat to help get my horse anywhere.

Yeah, you can say that this is adding to my stress just a tad. But I'm not getting on Kaswyn's back until the chiropractor adjusts him.

I just keep trying to convince myself that this will all work out - my surgery, the chiropractor, everything. At least Albert feels great. Now I just have to convince Susan to keep him going while I recover so I don't have to backtrack too much.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Surgery - Part 10. Dr. Shrink

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Now, It's not like I hadn't seen a pshycologist or a counselor before. But this time it was going to be different. This I felt was less about an emotional issue and more about fear and anxiety. Which I guess is emotional too, but it just had a different feel to me. I knew that finding the right person to help me was key, so I started to do some research into some psychologists in the area.

I was lucky to find a doc in my hospital system that had experience in anxiety, panic disorder, and pseudoseizures. Fantastic! So I emailed the man and asked if he thought he could help me with my medical fears and fear of vomiting. He said he had experience with medical anxiety but not vomit phobia, but he would ask his collegues and if he thought anyone else might be better suited to help me he could refer me to them. It turned out that all of his collegues had seen at least one case of vomit phobia, and recommended approaching it with me the same way this guy had thought he would in the first place.

I liked that this guy had taken the time to email with me a few times to see if he was the best person to help me, and also had already thought of a possible treatment plan. I asked if I could see him, and noted that my surgery was soming up soon so that we might need to hurry this up a bit. He emailed his secretary, and cc'ed me, telling her to call me and squeeze me in somewhere. She called the next day and two days later I was in his office.

I was his last patient of the day, and he started by taking my history and any important info pertaining to my anxiety. I figured that he would cut me off at the hour mark, but before I knew it I had been there for two and a half hours! It was crazy! I had my phone turned off and Craig had been frantically trying to call me, since I should have been home over an hour ago. We wrapped up the session and I made appointments to see him twice more before the surgery.

Craig was really upset when I finally called him, and rightly so. I felt really bad since I never meant to scare him so badly. I would have been just as upset if the situation was reversed. I promised that next time I would make sure I kept an eye on the time and would call or text if I was running late. But I seriously never expected this guy to take almost three hours on our first session.

Our next session we worked on what I feared most about the surgery. It all boiled down to me getting there and getting the IV. After that I knew they would give me happy drugs to relax me (yay for Versed!) so I just needed to get through the IV and then I think I'll be okay. Dr. Shrink wanted to use a therapy called EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Basically what he asked me to do was think about the upsetting situation - getting the IV - and I would have to follow his hand with my eyes as he slowly moved them back and forth in front of me. His hand was about 14 inches from my face and I was to keep my head still.

So we started this therapy and just thinking about getting the IV made me very nervous. He stopped after about 30 seconds or so, and asked me what I was feeling. I was still anxious, so he started again. We continued this stopping and starting, with me giving my physical and emotional feelings between sessions, until at the end I could not make myself get upset about getting the IV.

It was so weird! I asked him why it worked, and he explained that they don't know why for sure, but it's suspected that the brain has it's own mechanisms to heal itself. Anxiety and avoidance that heighten fear are not good things for the brain to feel, so by following his finger with my eyes I was stimulating both sides of my brain. Also my having me think about the traumatic thought I was bascially flooding my brain with anxiety in a safe environment. Eventually my brain realized that the fear was irrational, and stopped reacting to it. Dr Shrink also said that EMDR therapy is excellent for people who have had traumas such as rape or abuse, and usually they take several sessions to make progress. Since mine was a relatively simple issue without many layers to get through, one office session was all it took. Simply amazing.

I don't know if this new found bravery about the IV will hold when it comes right downt to it. But I sure hope so.

The surgery is next Tuesday. I have caught a cold and am fighting off bronchitis at the moment. However I am on antibiotics so that I can get well enough to get this thing over with. Which is what I want. I am tired of stressing about it and although I know the aftermath will be painful, at least it will be over and I can heal up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Surgery. Part 9 - Dr. Neuro

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Since the doctor was standing right in front of me, I reached out and grabbed his hands so that I wouldn't fall face first onto the floor. He asked "Are you alright?" and I shook my head and started to cry. Fortunately there were four nurses right there, and he said to them"She's not okay. We need to get her to a bed."

I can't remember if I walked or they carried me, but they got me into a bed and took my pulse and blood pressure. My pulse was around 125 and my blood pressure was really high also. I was freaking out that I'd have another seizure and was scared to bits. They had another embryologist do my procedures and called Craig. He had the day off and was in the garage doing some work, so he didn't hear his phone. I finally calmed down and didn't have a seizure. They were able to finally contact Craig and he came to pick me up. It was a huge scene and was very embarrassing.

While Craig was there I called the neurologists office (who is in the same building) and told them what had just happened. They alerted Dr. Neuro, who agreed to stay late and see me that evening. I gave him my whole history, he did a complete neurological workup, and ordered a CT scan and an EEG.

The CT scan was no big deal. The EEG really freaked me out because I knew that they would flash strobe lights at me and I was scared that would bring on a seizure. However, I did not have a seizure so I did all that worrying for nothing. A few days after all the tests were completed I went to see Dr. Neuro again, who told me my tests were normal and concluded that my seizures were psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Which means that in times of great stress my body just shuts down to protect my mental status and I have a seizure.

Great. So it all really is in my head, and I'm just a big stress case. And I need to fix it, because I can't just have a seizure every time I get stressed out. Like if one of the kids barf. Or if I have to have surgery. Oh yeah, I AM having surgery, and soon too. Crap.

Time to see a psychologist.

Part 10 - Dr. Shrink

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Surgery. Part 8 - Complications

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Just when I thought that I had everything ready to go, Dr. OB says I can't have the surgery on the day I want to. You see, in order for him to properly do the tubal inserts the surgery must be during the first two weeks of my cycle, and on the surgery date I'd be three weeks into my cycle. The endometrial lining must be thin enough for him to see the entrance to the tubes, and that is easiest during the first two weeks before the lining really has a chance to build. If he can't see the tubal entrances then he can't place the inserts, which means he would have to do a laparoscopic procedure and tie my tubes. Not really want I wanted to do.

Then he says "You're not on the pill or anything, right?"


"And where are you in your cycle?"

"My period just ended two days ago."

"Well then, lets do this. I'll put you on a low dose pill, and have you skip the placebo pills. That way you won't have a period before the surgery and your lining will stay thin."

Ugh. I hate going on the pill, but it would only be for three months. I guess I could handle it for that long. So I went on the pill and the surgery was set up and confirmed with both doctor's offices. What could go wrong?

Oh yeah. I COULD HAVE A SEIZURE. That's what went wrong. You can read about that here.

Anyhow, I didn't even call a doctor after the seizure. I had them as a kid and so I didn't think anything of it. But Craig was super concerned and insisted that I speak to a doc. Still I resisted, saying that I had a total neurological workup in 2003 and there was nothing wrong. I blew him off.

Then I was discussing the situation with Marge, who just happened to mention that it could have been a clot. Nah, I said, doesn't sound like a clot. But it sure got me thinking. See, for infertility we give hormones to women to stimulate their ovaries to mature more than one egg in a month. The majors risks, even though they are small risks, are blood clots and strokes. I had just been on the pill for six weeks. The pills contain hormones. Hmmm.

I went the next morning to go see Dr. OB, but he was on his way to a conference. One of our nurses is his sister-in-law, and I told her I really needed to contact him, so she called him on his cell phone. He called me back immediately, even though he was minutes from boarding his plane. I told him about the seizure.

He said "Okay, you are not to take any more pills. You need to be seen by a neurologist immediately."

I said "But I had these seizures as a kid, so..."

He interrupted "That doesn't matter. You must be seen as soon as possible. And DO NOT take any more of those pills. I will find you as soon as I'm back in town and we can discuss everything."

Wow. Okay.

Then I called my family doc, who saw me that same day. He referred me to a neurologist, and said if I couldn't get an appointment soon to let him know and he'd contact the neurologist himself to try and get me in. When I called Dr. Neuro's office, their first appointment was the end of January. Gee, that's helpful. I called my family doc's office and left him a message that he needed to help me get in earlier. Then I waited.

My body had other ideas of how to get me in to see the neurologist sooner. One day I was at the nurse's station waiting for the doc to arrive because we had some embryo transfers to perform. I had begun to feel as if I was getting a migraine or something, because my head just felt weird. I was sitting at the desk with my eyes closed, head in my hands, and I head the doctor's voice as he came around the corner.

When he was in front of me, I looked up to tell him about the cases we had that day. And when I looked up at him I got that feeling. The feeling that I've suddenly been pushed backwards five feet, and everything slowed down and got gray.

Holy shit. I'm at work, and I'm going to have another seizure.

Part 9 - Dr. Neuro

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Surgery. Part 7 - Dr. Colon

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

I was nervous about going to see Dr. Colon for my hemorrhoids. I saw my general doc during my first outbreak, and he didn't even touch my butt. He just looked at the issue and confirmed that I had hemorrhoids. Still, this was a surgeon and I was scared that she was going to stick her finger in there and root around. Craig said not to worry, that she'd probably just take a peek like my general doc and then set up the surgery.

On the day of my appointment I signed in at the desk, and was eventually called into the back. A male nurse brought me into an exam room and had me sit next to the computer desk in a chair. He took my medical history and asked a bunch of questions. I looked around the room and saw an exam table and racks of instruments. I also saw a gigantic sink and what looked like a scope in there. I was wondering when they were going to have me change into a gown or something, but he never even mentioned it. Maybe she wasn't even going to look at my butt?

Then the nurse said "Okay, I'm going to check with Dr. Colon to see if you need an enema."

Dear lord, WHAT? "Excuse me, did you say I need an enema?"

"Well, I'm not sure if you'll need one, but if you do I can give it to you. Or if you'd prefer one of the female nurses can help you with it. I'll go find out - be right back"

Well that's just peachy. If I had known that this might happen, I would have preferred to give myself an enema at home without this guy watching. I guess that's what the big sink in the room is for??! Ack! I started to panic a little bit. Like I said, I'm not good with medical procedures and if he was talking enema then without a doubt, Dr. Colon had plans to get all up in my business.

Mr. Nurse came back in and said I didn't need an enema. He said that Dr. Colon would be right in, and he left again. I was still dressed in my clothes, and no mention of a gown yet. This was all very weird, and my anxiety went up another notch.

Dr. Colon came in and we discussed my problems. Then she said she was going to examine me. Mr. Nurse moved the table so that the bottom half of it was pointing towards the ground. It made a little padded shelf and they had me kneel on that. Then they had me bend over so that I was lying on my stomach on the table while kneeling. Then Mr. Nurse held a sheet behind me and said "Okay, now pull your pants and underwear down."

This was so weird.

So I did as I was told, and he draped the sheet over my bare behind. Then they rotated the table so that my head was down and my bottom was up. Let me tell you, this was the most vulnerable and humiliating experience I've yet to have in front of a doctor. Not one that I ever want to repeat, either.

Like I suspected, Dr. Colon raised the sheet and used her finger to do an exam. It was pretty uncomfortable, but bearable. When she was done I thought "Whew, glad that's over." but she was far from finished. She then got some sort of cone-shaped instrument with a light on it, and looked inside my butt.

I would rather have another blueberry butt outbreak than have another rectal exam. It hurt, hurt hurt. She was twisting this big long piece of metal in there, in an area that wasn't meant to have big long pieces of metal! Then she starts showing Mr. Nurse things, saying "See that there, uh huh, that's one, and there too...mumble mumble...yes, do you see that?"

Are you kidding me? Stop using my rectum as a blackboard and finish up already!

The pain was starting to get to me, and even with my head down I got dizzy and broke out into a sweat. I said "Are you almost done? This is pretty painful and I don't know how much more I can stand."

"Almost done...hang in there." she replied. "Take some deep breaths. That should help." Mr Nurse offered.

Hey, you know what would help? Removing that thing from my butt!!

I was really in pain, and things were rapidly going downhill. I was going to pass out if they didn't stop, so I started to squirm and stammer "Um, ow... I ...Uh..please..."

She must have sensed that I had enough, because she removed the instrument and gave my butt a courtesy wipe. Then Mr. Nurse said cheerily "Okay! All done! You can pull up your pants now."

I needed to lie down on my back as soon as possible so I didn't faint. I yanked my pants up, and as he was rotating the table back to a flat position I threw myself onto it in a panic, almost falling on the floor. Mr. Nurse said "Oh, hey, easy there. You okay?" I said "I will be, please just let me lie here for a few moments." "Okay, no problem, this happens sometimes, don't worry about it." Yeah, I'm sure it does.

When I had recovered sufficiently I got up and sat back in the chair. Dr. Colon made her diagnosis of external thrombosed hemorrhoids and said that she could do surgery to remove the internal hemorrhoids and the skin tags, which would prevent me from having another episode. I told her about the ablation and tube insert surgery, and she said she could work with Dr. OB and do it at the same time. She said that I would have to be in bed for a week afterwards to prevent pressure on my butt, and that it would hurt to poop for two weeks. She said that I will be in considerable pain after the surgery, and I asked if it would hurt worse than one of my episodes. She said "Probably not." Good to know.

Since I have to bed in bed for a week, I wanted to schedule the surgery for the week of Christmas because Craig will be off of work, and the lab will be shut down. I know that will make for a crappy holiday, but I won't be missing work and Craig will be able to take care of me, so it should all work out. Time to finally schedule this thing!

However, when I told Dr. OB when I wanted to do the surgery, he said "Oh, that's not going to work."

Part 8 - Complications

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


MiKael at Rising Rainbow was kind enough to give me this blog award. Thanks MiKael!

I feel I must pass it along to these people -

Stacey at Behind the Bit
Wiola at Freelance Instructor's Diary
Haffie girl at Pony Under my Bed
Half Pass Girl
Kate at Lil Kate
And lastly
Craig at Scripturient because I know he loves a good butterfly. And thinks blog awards are dumb.

So thanks to you guys for having blogs for me to read. I'm behind on some of your stories but I'll catch up eventually.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Surgery. Part 6 - But wait, there's more...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

The decision was made to have surgery. Even though the thought of one surgery scares the crap out of me, the thought of having to have two surgeries would be worse. So I asked Dr. OB if he could combine his surgery with another surgery that I really needed to get done so I could just get both of them over with at one time. The second surgery would be a hemorrhoidectomy.

Yes, people, I have hemorrhoids. I never had any kind of butt issues until after I had kids, specifically Macey. Lily was a C-section because she was breech, so there was no pushing involved in her birth, and my hieney came through unscathed. However Macey was a regular vaginal birth and I pushed that 8 plus pound baby out. All that pushing put too much strain on my butthole, and when Dr. OB was sewing me up after the birth he said "Oh, dear, you've got some really bad hemorrhoids here. You might have to have something done with those."

I didn't think anything of it, and didn't have a problem until last year. But then oh boy, did I have a problem. Everyone knows about hemorrhoids, and has seen the Preparation H commercials, but until you get them you don't know how painful they can be. Holy mother of god did mine hurt.

Allow me to get technical here. Everyone has hemorrhoids, which are blood vessels inside the colon just beyond the anus. These veins can get inflamed, and even burst open and cause people to have rectal bleeding. These are internal hemorrhoids, and sometimes they can get so inflamed that they droop, like a little sack, out of the butthole. Applying Preparation H will cause these to shrink back up where they belong. Problem solved.

I didn't have this kind. What happened to me was, when I had Macey my internal hemorrhoids got put under so much pressure that blood was pushed outside of my butthole into a little tissue cavity. It made a blueberry looking thing outside of my butt that was swollen and full of blood. This is called an externally thrombosed hemorrhoid, and when that blood clots it has nowhere to go. And that hurts a whole lot. When Macey was born I was on a constant stream of anti-inflammatories which kept the pain at bay. Eventually the blood clots were reabsorbed, leaving behind two empty flaps of skin called skin tags. These skin tags just hang out (no pun intended) and will fill up with blood again if there is another big pressure on the internal hemorrhoids.

Since Macey's birth, starting about a year ago, I have had four episodes of blueberry butt. The pain was enormous, and there was no way I was going to be sitting in a saddle, so riding was right out. No amount of Preparation H would relieve the pain. The only thing that I found to work was a vaginal anti-itch cream that had 10% benzocaine in it. Every episode took about a week to ten days to resolve completely and make sitting, standing, and pooping bearable again. The only thing I can attribute these eipsodes to is too much standing. Unfortunately my job sometimes requires that I stand for long periods of time, and I don't know when that's going to happen. I knew that I had to get my butthole fixed, because I couldn't deal with an outbreak every time I had to stand a lot.

I asked Dr. OB to recommend someone to do the surgery, and he gave me the name of a colorectal surgeon. It was time for a rectal exam. Oh goodie.

Part 7 - Dr. Colon

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr