Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting Neutered

Last PAP smear, Dr. Mandel, my GYN, decided that I had hyperplasia, my uterus was too thick for someone in menopause; so we did a D&C to see what was there. It showed atypia to the extent that the chances were 40% that it would become cancer. So that pretty much determined that something had to be done.
On Feb. 23 I checked into FMH and had a complete hysterectomy and went home the next day by noon.
All went well or so I thought for the first week. I called in to see what to take for pain after the Percocet was gone and she wanted to check me out. Everything looked good but she put me on Cipro just in case. Two days later I started to run a low grade fever and couldn't control my blood sugar levels. I went to see my primary physician (actually not really her since she was out having a baby- I saw the nurse practitioner. ) My WBC count was over 11 so she sent me back to the GYN. She had me arrange for a CTScan (yummy stuff - apple flavored the night before, berry the day of) and we found that there were pelvic abscesses that oral antibiotics weren't taking care of. So I was put back into the hospital for 4 days of IV antibiotics. On the second day, a consulting physician (Anusha Belani, the local infectious disease guru) decided that I would need to be on IV antibiotics for 2 weeks and that a PICC line was the way to go. Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter. It goes into the flabby part of your inner upper arm and threads around to dump into the superior vena cava. Mine has a double port so there are 2 lovely blue thingies hanging down at about elbow level. I'm sure to start a fashion trend. Another CTScan before leaving the hospital showed some improvement so I got to go home to continue treatment.

A home health nurse came out Monday and showed us how to administer the IV. It's a little complicated but Lynn has done it several times now and already has it down to a science. It takes an hour to run in and is to be done every 6 hours. So at 6am, noon, 6pm, and midnight I sit in my recliner in the guest room and watch TV, read, knit, whatever while getting another dose.
I'm feeling a lot better than a week ago; and better mentally since I am home.
Here are some pictures to show you the beauty of my new embellishments - don't get too envious.
One is the PICC line (don't look if you are squeamish).

The other is me in the hospital. I added this one so you can check out Wanda Womb hanging on the IV pole. Shortly after I found out that I needed a hysterectomy, I came across a pattern for a womb, complete with fallopian tubes, cervix, etc. I knit one and showed it to my GYN and she loved it so much that I let her have it and I made me another.

When Wanda was hanging from the IV pole, the nurses would come in and look at it but I could tell that they just didn't get it so I'd ask them what they thought it was. Most guessed that it a was a girl's head with Pippy-Long-Stocking braids but no face. When I told them that it was my replacement uterus, the light would come on and they would laugh and still think I was a nut case, but then they'd tell me about their aunt/grandmother/friend who knits. While I was in the hospital I finished 5 preemie caps for a Hopkins Kids project. I'm making more of those while I'm doing those 1 hour drip sessions - knitting and watching NCIS/CSI/House/Law and Order any of which can be seen at any given time of the day.

I'm allowed to do anything I feel like doing except that I'm still not supposed to be lifting or doing heavy housework including vacuuming; the home health nurse said for another month.
One thing that is a little annoying (like the rest of this isn't) is that the PICC line site can't get wet. So I have to wrap it up with Saran wrap to shower - weird.
Yesterday we went on an outing to return some library books and get some new ones and go to the grocery store. WooHoo.
I'm hoping today to get my hair cut; it's making me NUTS!!!!

Lisa came over Monday when the HH nurse did her demo to be a backup for Lynn. Elena and Jillian were very interested in the whole set up. I explained to them that I was getting some special medicine to juice up my super powers. They seemed impressed.