1st of April 2020
Around a week ago, I experienced my first laparoscopy surgery. After suffering from chronic pelvic pain, leg pain, IBS, chronic bloating and a whole lot of other symptoms my doctors believed the next best step for me and my chronic illness journey would be to make sure all of my pelvic organs were doing okay. The word “Endometriosis” had been thrown around for the last 3-4 years throughout many different appointments, and with many different doctors, but it was not a word I took lightly. And with endometriosis being a progressive disease, my doctor and I believed I needed to be checked for it just incase.
On Wednesday the 25th of March 2020 I went into hospital as a day surgery procedure for my laparoscopy, thankfully enough I was the first patient of the day so there wasn’t a lot of waiting around to get anxious. The procedure itself went fine, I remember waking up in recovery room and straight away asking the nurse beside me if they found anything, my anxiety was through the roof as she walked away to check the notes. I had been relying on this surgery to give me some kind of answer, endometriosis or not, I was hoping that they would be able to tell me why my body is the way it is. The nurse smiled at me and said “they didn’t find anything, everything looked normal to the surgeon”. For anyone else this would be considered good news, but for me I felt helpless and confused, I vaguely remember smiling at the nurse saying thank you and then turning the opposite way pretending I had drifted back off to sleep, but I was tearing up knowing my fight to find what was wrong, was nowhere near over.
A week on (and few cries later), my attitude has changed completely, although I don’t know exactly what’s wrong, I know that all of my pelvic organs are okay so I don’t have to keep wondering for many more years to come. And I am so ready to keep on keeping on, piecing together this crazy puzzle, my health. When going into a diagnostic laparoscopy my one piece of advice would be to try your hardest to not set to many expectations (I know this is easier said then done believe me, I was sure they would’ve found something) but by trying to be a tiny bit more open minded, there’s no expectations on yourself or your chronic illness too fit a certain disease or diagnosis. My heart goes out to everyone in this situation, either with endometriosis or with other chronic illness. But please know you’re not alone.
Below are some tips & what I experienced the first week after my diagnostic laparoscopy.
- The first 5 days for me were the hardest, the anaesthetic made me extremely nauseous and dizzy so this affected me a lot. In terms of pain these days had the most, gradually getting better slowly each day. Things like walking, sneezing, laughing, and peeing weren’t so enjoyable so make sure to take it easy.
- Types of Pain- for me I had two different kinds of pain after my laparoscopy, these being both the more sharp pain and pulling around the wounds, and then also a cramping kind of pain in the general pelvic area. If you’re worried about the intensity of your pain check back in with your doctor.
- Clothing has a big impact as unfortunately the wounds are in not so great places in terms on undie lines, and pant lines. My advice would be to buy some clothing a few sizes up so that it gives you plenty of room.
- The bloat. OH MY GOD the bloat, and I thought I had bad bloating before this! Be prepared for your stomach to go up a few sizes for the next couple of days/weeks after this surgery, wearing loose clothing helps a lot.
- Walk it off…. very gently, and for like 2 mins at a time. Walking slowly, doing laps around my dinning room table or down the hallway helped me with the bloating/swelling.
- Have a support person- I would strongly recommend having someone with you for the week or so afterwards. For me of course this was my amazing mum (and my sister for the laughs), but simple things like getting out of bed in the morning for the first couple of days after, I found I couldn’t do myself so having someone there to help you works a treat.
- Take a pillow for the ride home… the wounds kind of line up with the seatbelt unfortunately so this can make it an uncomfortable ride home from hospital, but by bringing a pillow you can place this over your stomach and then the seatbelt over top of that to stop any direct rubbing/pressure on your wounds.
Disclaimer…. ya girl is no expert.
Just a reminder I am no expert on endometriosis, nor am I with laparoscopy surgeries so this is genuinely written from my point of view and what I personally experienced. Hoping that it may help you feel a tiny bit more comfortable if this is something you may be thinking about, or if you have a laparoscopy coming up. Also I just have to note that a diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopy used for treatment, are completely different in terms of healing and recovery time so mine is based off a diagnostic laparoscopy only. I have also decided not to comment on endometriosis itself as there is a lot of incorrect information out there, and I don’t feel as if I’m in a position to comment on this. If you have any concerns contact your doctor, they will also provide information on recovery and the surgery itself in terms of medical advice. Okay fewf now disclaimer aside I have also decided to link some of my favourite accounts that helped me throughout this journey below.
- Nancy’s Nook Endometriosis Education