I have been sharing my recent gynaecological experiences after a concerning smear and a failed hysteroscopy appointment. Today I am blogging about what happened when I went for the next hysteroscopy under general anesthetic.
13 days after my failed hysteroscopy I was heading for day surgery. The letter had arrived quickly informing me that my day surgery was Monday and I needed to be on the ward for 11.30. My friend dropped me off as the letter had said there was no space for visitors. I had taken this literally and rocked up on my own to discover most other people had been accompanied. Yet it didn’t phase me I was just keen to get the hysteroscopy done and find out after hysteroscopy what to expect. I am quite good at looking after myself and wasn’t scared but didn’t realise everyone else would have someone to hold their hand! My dad had offered, my husband was at work!
The morning dragged
Like really dragged.
I was called for pre-op checks, everyone kept asking about my epilepsy which seemed so alien to me. I had forgotten to mention it as have not had a fit or taken any medication in over 20 years. Yet I must have discussed epilepsy 6 or 7 times that day! I honestly don’t consider myself to be an epileptic, I am pretty sure it was a misdiagnosis despite my EEG ‘proving’ it. Then I was sent wait back to the waiting room, to wait some more, without a coffee. I had envisaged a lazy morning, lying in bed reading the magazines I had bought with me. Instead, I was sitting on cold hard seats with others. I sat and waited. Then waited some more. It was a bloody long day.
The anesthetist and surgeon both came and spoke to me. I asked the surgeon if he thought I had cancer. He said it would be very unlikely. He suggested that whilst he treated my ectropion, and took the biopsy that he fitted a Mirena coil as it would only take a few seconds and it would help even out my hormones, thin my endometrial lining and generally be good for me.
I agreed. I want to try anything and everything that is going to get me sorted.
Mid afternoon I was finally taken to my bed and I was given a pair of surgical socks to put on with my standard issue hospital gown. I mentioned to my nurse that I was bleeding and didn’t want to take my underwear off. She found me a pad and paper underwear that they would cut off in theatre, she reassured me that I’d be suitably dressed after the procedure. I felt very exposed as I sat waiting and although not hungry I was desperately wanting some coffee! Bleeding knowing that you are going for a minor procedure ‘down there’ is pretty hard to get your head around. it is a mixture of embarrassment and fear.
Friends in the know where fab and continually texting me to keep me chatting. It was 4.30 before I was taken down. I was the last on the list which was mildly annoying but just the way it is. You can’t do much about it and just need to accept it.
Yet I cannot fault the NHS and how I have been treated these past 8 weeks. I reflected on how every single appointment had been made and kept within the two-week framework. This both reassured me and frightened me in equal measure as this is the cancer pathway. But it enabled minimum waiting.
As I was being prepared, the surgeon and nurses asked me about work and made small talk. I said I was a full-time blogger and immediately I was asked the main question ‘so how do you make money?’ I was explaining and they were genuinely interested but then I was breathing via a mask and having medicine administered to my hand….
Immediately my name was being called and I instinctively knew it was the surgeon. He was talking and telling me everything had gone well. I immediately asked him if I had cancer. He said he hoped not and that he had taken biopsies. I must have drifted back off because the next voice was a different nurse. I asked her if I had polyps or fibroids and remember her saying that nothing had been mentioned.
I said I must have one of them because otherwise, it had to be cancer. The nurse told me that she didn’t know but that the consultant seemed happy. She said that they can usually tell and that she would check my notes. The nurses changed shift and by this point, I was wide awake and chatting about my fears for the NHS and life with Brexit.
I was being given strong pain relief as they could see I was uncomfortable. I was also on a political rant, it’s funny what comes out in that strange stage between sleep and consciousness. Thankfully most NHS professionals share my views! Although my heart rate didn’t like the meds and they halted things.
Finally, I was wheeled back to the day ward. I was one of the last and they were quick to offer me water and a biscuit. I felt that I was bleeding heavily but it was just liquid from after the hysteroscopy. The nurse explained after the hysteroscopy what to expect varies, but pain and losing fluid was normal.
I rang Lee to come and collect me as soon as I was on the ward and thinking straight. After 30 mins or so I went to the toilet and also changed back into my clothes. Lee arrived and was told to make sure I wasn’t on my own for the next 24 hours. I walked out to our car. I felt weak but not tired. I also thought 24 hours! Well, that isn’t happening, Lee is a teacher and the three kids are going to school! I just wanted a day on my own on the sofa anyway!
At home, I used a hot water bottle and headed to bed. I spent most of Tuesday with a blanket on the sofa.
By the evening I had a backache that was making me feel sick. Getting over the hysteroscopy took more time than I had expected. For a good ten days, I was losing lots of fluid when I stood up and especially in the mornings. I also had a niggling backache and generally felt washed out. I think this is due to the anesthetic wearing off and leaving my body. I also had to put on my brave face as I hadn’t told the children what my greatest fear was. Chloe was starting A Level finals and did not need the worry. Dylan at 14, just doesn’t want to know about genealogical issues his mum has and Erin at 8 too young to understand, and I don’t think she needs to.
The consultant and told me that I would receive a letter with the results within a few weeks. It was another waiting game.
It wasn’t cancer. It took six weeks for the official letter, but I had assumed as I didn’t hear asap that I was clear. After the coil, I bled on and off for a few weeks. But then that was it. For the past 9 months I have not bled or needed to wear any pads etc. I have no pain , no periods and all seems great! Mirena coil fan here!