• Jade

Post-Op Update

Hey everyone,

I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without writing a post. I’ve missed the interaction, but just not had the bandwidth for it.

So here’s the deal. I had surgery a little over 2 weeks ago to remove a couple of uterine tumors. Now the thing is that I was already moderately anemic, going in. But the doctors did not realize what type of tumors these were from the ultrasounds. They had no reason to think it wouldn’t be straightforward and blood loss would be minimal, the whole thing would be outpatient and I’d be home again that same night. So that’s what they said, and that’s the impression I got. I was under the assumption that this was like, no big deal.

And the survivor mindset tends to be a little distorted anyway, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere. We can sometimes tend to think that as long as the abuse isn’t re-occurring, everything else is (by comparison) essentially no big deal.

Turns out, it kind of was.

I went into surgery expecting it to be at least no worse than having all 4 wisdom teeth removed at the same time – which I did last year, and my face never even swelled. I barely took any pain meds. If they hadn’t numbed my entire face, I honestly could have returned to work immediately after. So I figured this would be similar, and once it was over, I could call it much ado about nothing.

Um, no.

The surgery itself was complex. Rather than removing an encapsulated mass, which is pretty simple, they were digging out a tumor that had dug tendrils and roots invasively into the organ. Laparoscopically. The blood loss was more than anticipated. The surgery took longer than expected. I came out much sorer and sicker than I was prepared for. In fact, I had to stay 2 nights and get 2 blood transfusions just to get back to the level of “moderately anemic” rather than “dangerously anemic.” I’ve been on 2 antibiotics, 2 painkillers, iron supplements, and a few other OTC recommendations to try to get my body back into a decent normal-life mode. For someone who can’t reliably track time, doing things like taking medication on a schedule can be an interesting endeavor. I have tried tactics throughout the years to both keep myself on track with what I need to take and prevent accidental overdose, but it’s always touch and go.

So that’s why I haven’t been around. Even besides the surgery itself, and the hospital stay, when I got home, I thought I’d be able to give myself a couple days and then bounce right back into normal life.

Turns out, THAT doesn’t work that way, either.

It has taken this experience to show me just how much I physically push myself, how much I ignore my body (by accident…I don’t recognize distress signals until I have halfway killed myself), and how much I fear being seen as lazy, irresponsible, self-indulgent, or weak if I simply do the necessary thing and REST.

I have also seen in this experience – yet again – the deep and abiding application of attachment theory that holds true over time. I have been emotionally healed of so much – yet my attachment style that I developed as an infant (insecure/disorganized), the one that I default to under stress, remains unchanged. I can work my way out of it, but the default beliefs are still in there…ingrained. Those templates are not easy to change. I don’t believe they’re impossible to change, but they’re not easy. My hesitancy to ask for help, my inability to recognize when I even need help (or anything else), my fear of being scorned or attacked for any perceived weakness…these all scream “insecure/disorganized” attachment style. They scream the truth that my internal working model STILL believes my self to be unworthy of being cared for, and others as unwilling (or unable) to meet my needs if I ask. It’s amazing. This stands the test of time.

Anyway. That was a rabbit trail. Back to the topic. I’m not working right now; my job ended and I’m pursuing upcoming opportunities. There’s no reason I “can’t” rest. It seems like I’ve had a shit ton of errands to do, though, ever since I quit working. So a couple days after I was discharged from the hospital, I hit the ground running…and immediately began struggling – with low energy, inability to breathe adequately (symptom of anemia), and physical pain that doesn’t always go away with medication. Re-sensitization is a bitch…one that I was totally unprepared for. Now that I actually FEEL pain more than I ever have before, I don’t like it. I didn’t ask for it. I wasn’t looking to join the mortals yet…I was hoping I’d just be able to stay immortal forever and this kind of stuff would continue to bounce off. But, it hasn’t turned out that way.

As if all this wasn’t enough, I also had a tooth that’s been infected for 2 years pulled 3 days after I got home from the hospital – bad, bad timing – AND I’m moving in a few weeks AND someone I love recently died AND I’m supposed to be looking for a new job AND I decided to change vehicles AND for some reason now seemed like the perfect time to get my head shots done for my new website…which necessitated hair and wardrobe decisions and all of that jazz.

If there’s someone out there who can teach me how to slow the hell down before I kill myself, I might need you to come join my team.

Anyhow…that’s what’s been going on. I have had pain and infection and weakness and loss and upheaval. There have also been atrocities in the world, people around me have been in need, I have felt useless and wordless and helpless…maybe more so than usual. I do have things I want to write and I hope to get back to it very soon.

By the way, there were no malignancies detected in the pathology report. So I’m thankful for that. The diagnoses for now are endometriosis and adenomyosis – which are not cheery things, but they’re also not cancer, so I choose to be grateful. I will discuss the next steps in a few weeks at my next follow up appointment. In the meantime, the anemia is what I need to focus on healing. It takes my energy, my ability to breathe, my functionality. It’s at the point where I have to severely adjust my lifestyle to accommodate it.

That’s the update for now. I have lots of ideas to pursue, just a bit short on the energy to do it, these days. But stay tuned.

Cheers. ~J8

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