I am now over three weeks post-laparoscopy. I’ve started working, from home happily, and I could be doing a lot worse. But for the sake of record, I thought I better write about how everything’s healing up.
Badly, is the answer.
In my blog about the surgery itself I included this picture of my stomach’s ‘transformation’.
Unfortunately, I think shared my before and after photos a little prematurely. Ten days after the surgery my belly button, for want of a less disgusting word, exploded. Quite literally. But it was a bank holiday weekend and we were on the way to a party, so I slapped on a plaster and carried on. Towards the end of the party my belly button was so incredibly itchy, and as I changed the plaster I discovered the explosion had continued. Hoping it would go away I stuck another plaster on and continued with my life.
The Tuesday after the bank holiday I decided it was looking too suspicious and so I went to see a nurse at my new/old GP. She poked it a bit and said it wasn’t infected, covered it with an iodine gauze and said don’t shower or take the plaster off until I see you on Friday.
Friday rolls around slowly with a lot of itching, moaning and stinging. When the nurse and the doctor remove the plaster, hoping to see a nice, dried up wound, they instead find three blisters where the lower half of the wound had been. ‘Huh, I’ve never seen that before’ is yet another thing I had never hoped to hear about my body.
Still not convinced that this new mass growing out of me, like something from Alien, was infected, the doctor umed and ahed before saying ‘it’s the weekend – give her some antibiotics’. So the weekend went by with me being pumped full of penicillin, taking awkward half body showers, all while the delightful wound continued to blister and get redder and angrier.
Another Tuesday later I’m back at the doctors being inspected and prodded. Still not thinking its infected, the doctor concluded it must be some sort of ‘skin reaction’ and so then I was prescribed Fucidin H (an antibiotic + steroid combo) to rub on this, the world’s most disgusting wound. During this appointment the doctor asked about my pain and pushed on my abdomen. Since my files haven’t correctly transferred from Swansea, trying to explain ‘yes it hurts but it often hurts anyway’ was a little longwinded.
As I write this I’ve returned from the doctors again where this time two doctors had a gander. It looks like I have hyperkeratosis, meaning that the skin is out overgrowing itself. The result is that I might have a bit more of a scar than expected.
SO THE PHYSICAL RECOVERY IS GOING GREAT. Anything too strenuous still hurts, jumping and such, and long walks conjure up some stomach pain on top of the preexisting pelvic pain so that’s nice. Meanwhile the other wound is acting quite proper and is healing up nicely. An actual nice surprise was that my cycle hasn’t been effected by the surgery at all. My period came rather promptly and behaved fairly normally.
Given the increasingly bizarre situation of my belly button my mum said to me the other day ‘I wish you’d never had this laparoscopy’. I’ve been mulling that sentence over for a few days now. Do I regret having the surgery? After all, it didn’t find the cause of my pain and it has temporarily deformed and possibly permanently scared my abdomen.
I can’t bring myself to regret having the surgery. Firstly, it was never really a choice. I was handed from doctor to doctor and they said ‘hey next step is surgery’ and I said ‘hey OK’. It was never an active decision, it was medical practice and advice. Every single one of my symptoms points, or pointed, towards my reproductive health. Checking my uterus out surgically when an ultrasound had displayed nothing, was the next logical step. In fact at that point in time, it was the only step. Now that we know my reproductive health is in tip top condition, we can re-giggle my symptoms and look at my body in a ‘well we know it’s not that so could it be…’ kind of way. The final reason is that to wish I’d never had the surgery achieves literally nothing. I’ve had it, it happened, we know what we know. I wish I knew more, but I don’t BUT I will. Of course it’s frustrating, but powering on is the only fruitful attitude to have.
Besides, no one ever really saw my belly button anyway – I’ve never been one for crop tops.