This morning, I ventured out of the house for the first time since my hysterectomy last Thursday. It wasn't the most exciting outing, but it feels like something of an achievement.
I left hospital on Friday with instructions to go to my GP surgery on Monday to have my dressings changed. There are three of these, each a little square of bandage over a small laparoscopy wound. These are the three slots where the keyhole surgery kit was inserted. One is on my belly button and has two stitches; and one on either side of my tummy with a stitch each. Each also has a rather attractive mottled blue, red and purple bruise, the navel bruise being the most striking and aesthetic. Dressings removed, wounds wiped, new dressings applied, job done.
Waiting to see the nurse, I read my hospital discharge notes and Googled the various terms thereon. It revealed a picture of my insides reminiscent of a horror movie.
I had adenomyosis uteri, meaning that my womb lining had grown into the area between the lining and the outside of the womb. This caused my womb to enlarge, with doctors measuring the size in terms of how big it would be if I were pregnant. Mine was 14 weeks. Crikey.
My fallopian tubes and my left ovary were normal, but they were about the only bits that were. My right ovary had a 3cm cyst. My cervix had a polyp.
I had various adhesions, where bits of my insides have got stuck to other bits of my insides. These usually result from previous surgery, so I am guessing that a cystectomy in 2002 and caesarian section in 2004 left some sticky scar tissue in their wake. My rectosigmoid (the junction between the colon and the rectum) was attached to my side pelvic wall and back abdominal wall, to which my bladder was also attached. My omentum was attached to my anterior abdominal wall. I looked up omentum, only to find out that it is a layer of peritoneum, which left me none the wiser, so I had to look that up too. Basically, the omentum (which is Latin for apron) is a flap of membrane hanging down from the bottom of your stomach, and mine had attached itself where it shouldn't be attached. I feel pleased to know more about my omentum, or m'omentum for short: my world is transfomed.
It is lttle wonder that the surgery was more complex than anticipated. Disentangling all that in order to get my uterus, tubes, ovaries and cervix out must have been quite a task, especially as it was all done through those little keyhole incisions. Gory though these discoveries are, they are a very firm confirmation that having it all out was a very, very good idea.
PS. Apologies to those of you hoping for breast updates. Medical necessaity has made the blog's coverage move south for a while. And actually, very lttle is happening up top. My boobs are healed and happy, hanging asymmetrically, and my right arm and shoulder are getting more flexible and less painful as time and exercise go on.