On Monday, October 24th, I underwent a minor procedure called a D & C Hysteroscopy (D & C means dilation and cutterage). This sort of surgery means they dilate your cervix and then insert a small instrument with a camera on it to see inside the uterus. Then they scrape the uterine lining with a curette. The name sounds scarier than my experience was.
Before I dive into more details with this surgery, I feel I need to back up and let you all know why I decided to have this done. Not many people know this, but Chris and I have been trying to conceive for about 6 months now. When we weren’t lucky enough to get pregnant within the first few months, I started to worry that something was wrong.
Around the middle of summer, I had some really bad cramps accompanied with minor bleeding, with one episode almost painful enough to make me want to go to the hospital because my trusty combination of a warm, wet towel on my belly and some Aleve wasn’t working. The cramps would come and go but I would continue “spotting” throughout the summer, on an almost daily basis. I took so many pregnancy tests thinking that the spotting had something to do with that, but they all came back negative. I was starting to get depressed because we weren’t getting pregnant and really frustrated because I had no idea what was going on with me.
I finally broke down and decided to make an appointment with my gynecologist. I started to see the gynecologist at this location because I wasn’t happy with where I got my yearly exams. I absolutely love going here and if you’re looking for a new women’s doctor, I highly recommend them!
Anyways, after a few appointments, they still didn’t know why I was bleeding daily, so they set an appointment to do an ultrasound to see if there were any fibroids or polyps that were causing me to have all of this random bleeding. They first did a vaginal one, and couldn’t locate my ovaries, but then they found them by doing a regular ultrasound. My gynecologist let me know that there was something clogging up my uterus…some sort of endometrial mass but they couldn’t exactly tell me what it was because they didn’t even know what it was. They did not see any fibroids or polyps though, which was a good sign. During that appointment, they set me up for surgery on October 24th for a D & C hysteroscopy.
For the whole month of October my anxiety was through the roof and I had to go to several pre-op appointments to prepare for surgery. I researched hysteroscopies, read blogs and watched way too many videos on the experience that other girls have gone through with this, sometimes reading horror stories which made me think of backing out of the surgery. I am so thankful that Chris kept me level-headed and comforted me when I needed him to during this waiting period.
October 24th finally arrived and I was the most nervous about the anesthesia than the actual surgery as I have never in my 34 years of being alive had to be in the hospital for any sort of procedure. We get to Winnie Palmer Hospital around 8:30 in the morning, get checked in and go up to the floor where I would be having my surgery. Chris stays in the waiting room while they lead me to a small room where I change into a gown (that is 5 sizes too large, mind you), and hop into a bed. They start my IV and take my blood pressure, all the usual stuff that they do to prep you I assume.
And then I wait. I read, scroll through all my social media on my phone and wait until they let Chris join me in the room. By this time, it is almost 10:45am and surgery is scheduled for 11:10. I’ve met my nurses, the anesthesiologist and see my doctor from my gynecologist office (who is also the one performing my surgery). They go through their whole spiel of things they need to tell me and then ask if I’m ready for my “cocktail”. At this point, I basically panic and start crying because the thought of anesthesia makes me feel like there is a possibility I would never wake up from it. But I put on a fake smile and tell them yes. They fill my IV with a combo of something I don’t remember and within minutes I feel woozy and “drunk-like” when I try to adjust to a sitting position in the bed. I say my good-byes to Chris and they take me away to the operating room.
Once there, I put on my oxygen mask, even though I requested a straw because I have a fear of anything extremely close to my face for more than a few minutes at a time, but at that point I’m too far off in La-la land to even ask for the straw to breathe. The last thing I remember before knocking out is talking about Hawaii and tacos, ironically, those are two of Chris’s favorite things.
I wake up in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) around 1 (I think), not even remembering what had previously happened. I was most curious as to how they got my legs into the stirrups if I was basically dead to the world. I didn’t ask though. The nurse asks how I am feeling and goes over some instructions while I am still waking up. I am still extremely tired at this point. When I am completely coherent, they wheel me into the second recovery room where Chris is able to sit with me while I drink juice and devour a ton of graham crackers (I wasn’t able to eat after midnight the night before). He lets me know that my that my doctor came out and told him that surgery went well and that whatever they scraped out of my uterus would head off to the pathologist to be analyzed. The nurse lets me know that once I am able to use the restroom, I could go home.
After that, I change back into my sweats, hop into a wheelchair, and head down to the car. We are lucky to live a short 5 minutes from the hospital, so as soon as we get home, Chris tucks me into bed with my pups and I fall asleep for most of the afternoon.
They say that with this surgery, severe cramping along with bleeding for a few days is absolutely normal. I was lucky enough to only have a mild stomach ache with bleeding. I didn’t even need the pain pills that I had a prescription for. All I wanted was a lot of rest, mashed potatoes and apple juice for two days straight. I went to work the following day and took it pretty easy, grateful to have a super understanding coworker who let me rest at my desk when I needed to.
Now we just wait to see the doctor next week for the results of whatever was inside of my uterus. I’m hoping for positive news and we get the green light to start trying to conceive again.
If I never have to go through anything that requires anesthesia ever again, I would be so happy. I can handle hospital visits, but I don’t know if I will ever get over my fear of going under.
If you’ve ever gone through anything similar, leave me a comment!