Second Thoughts After Scheduling Surgery
"Ok, let's go ahead and book your endometriosis surgery". Words my new gynecologist said to me as soon as I was done explaining everything going on.
I wasn't expecting it to be that easy, and I expected to fight with him to approve it.
I was expecting to come back numerous more times before he would agree. I was expecting to have more time before I would be getting surgery again.
But here I am, writing this and prepping for my surgery in exactly four weeks from now.
Ironically, we go into an appointment, hoping our doctors will agree to surgery most of the time. Or whatever it is, we are hoping they would agree to.
But ever since my last surgery in 2019, I've known without a doubt, I needed another one. The amount of pain and increased symptoms has been a clear message that endometriosis is back.
It is back with a vengeance. When you are thinking about how you need surgery again, you aren't thinking of much more besides how you will get the doctor to agree to it.
At least it was for me. The time leading up from the moment I knew I needed to find a new doctor to perform laparoscopic surgery to scheduling it, I had no other thoughts.
Now that my surgery is four short weeks away, I have second thoughts.
I have fought numerous times to get here. Even though I didn't have to put up a fight this time, it was still a journey. The doubts of moving forward with surgery are washing over me and hitting hard.
As I sat down to write out all the reasons, I realized a small pattern. In my first surgery ever, I had doubts they would find anything.
In my second surgery, I had doubts because I didn't want to deal with recovery if it was anything like the first. Now I am about to have my third surgery, well, the list goes on.
The prep before surgery
Yeah, this isn't my first rodeo for surgery prep. Prep is only 1-2 days long. But it doesn't make it any easier.
The more you do it, the worst it gets. Because you know what to expect and know it sucks.
It also seems each prep is different, and this one seems a little more intense. Will I do it and be ok? Of course.
It is still in the back of my mind nagging at me, "do I want to have to deal with the prep again?".
Surgery financial strain
I am sure you all can relate that having a chronic illness means never-ending medical bills. After my last surgery in 2019, I had caught up on all my bills, paid off surgery, and it was such a relief.
Then just like that, a year later, doctor's appointments began again, and numerous bills kept being mailed to me. It was never-ending.
It always seems like maybe we get in a place where the doctor's appointments slowed down, and so did the bills, and then boom, we have this major medical bill hitting us again. It isn't the end of the world.
I know I have figured out how to pay for everything before, and I know I will again. However, the thought of more money that needs to be dished out for my health is burdening and is really stressful.
Recovery and convincing others
While this one isn't high up on my list of 'reasons to cancel my surgery', it still holds a spot on it. Most of us are used to the pain; we live it daily and have just learned to bear with it and keep going.
Same with pain after surgery, we know it's going to be there, we bear with it (barely) for a few days or weeks, and then we recover. Again, just the thought of being down for a few days stresses me out, and I get flashbacks of my last surgery and how bedtime was the worst.
I hated getting into bed, not sleeping in my preferred position, and I just hated the pain, period. Because of some other things I have done this round, the pain will be a little more intense than the other times.
It certainly is making me think, crap, do I really want to do this? I also hate trying to convince others that recovery is different for everyone.
While doctors say it will only be a few days, my body typically takes longer. The last two surgeries took a good two weeks before I started even feeling a LITTLE better.
I don't feel like answering the "Are you better yet?" questions again.
Constipation after surgery
This would probably be my number one reason to say, nope, forget surgery, and I will deal with this pain. After both of my surgeries, I did not have a bowel movement for over a month.
A lot of it had to do with no appetite, I wasn't eating much. A lot of it had to do with the pain when sitting and trying to push, which I didn't bother.
It seemed no matter what remedy I tried, I would not go. The funny thing is, I didn't take the pain pills (except for the day of surgery) because I was hoping to bypass constipation. It didn't pan out that way.
Fear of finding nothing and feeling dramatic
We all know this fear. We all had it for surgery number one, and that fear doesn't go away no matter how many more surgeries you get.
My biggest fear of this surgery is that they won't find any endometriosis. That maybe I am just being dramatic and don't need this.
Maybe if I start sticking with my tried treatments, I will be ok. Then the worst pain ever hits me, and it reminds me that I am not being dramatic and that I know my body.
I knew it the last two surgeries and wasn't wrong either time.
All of this to say, it is expected to second guess having surgery. Especially after you have it scheduled and you are preparing for it.
None of these thoughts are invalid. Surgery is a big thing.
I want you to remember this one thing that I keep telling myself: we have done this before and made it through.
Even if it was the hardest time, we made it through. We will again. Don't let these fears keep you from receiving something that may help you begin to feel better.
Have you had doubts right before your surgery?
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?