After a long wait since my first laparoscopy, I’m due to undergo excision surgery in less than two weeks. This past week, I’ve been crossing off the days in my diary, wondering about what makeup to wear and what to do with my hair. However, every time someone asks me if I am OK with the procedure, I struggle to give a straight answer. It is a step in the right direction and I’d like to say that I am extremely confident, but I can’t. Currently, my mind is a mess of worries and doubts.
Things I worry about two weeks before my surgery
1. The state of my abdomen post-surgery
I am having a laparoscopy, which involves a small telescope (laparoscope) being inserted into the abdomen, via my navel, to look directly at the happy mess that are my internal organs. My midriff rarely gets an outing these days, but I am very much fond of my belly button. It even has a piercing adorning it. I remain on the fence about whether I will beg my surgeon to please be gentle with it. Though it’s likely I will, with a huge grin that says, “Please take me seriously, I am not that vain, but please take me seriously.”
2. What the doctor will find
The only way to get a clear view of the areas affected is through this procedure. My surgeon won’t know if any organs are severely affected until I am under general anesthetic. It may mean more surgery for me in the coming months, and this does not fill me with joy.
3. Will it hurt?
I know, I know, I will be under general anaesthetic and mostly dreaming of fairies, unicorns, and Tom Hardy. My main worry is how I will feel after the drugs wear off — at home, bed-bound and with no doctors around. I expect some discomfort, like any residual laparoscopic gas, but everything after that is unknown and scary.
4. How long will I have to be bed-bound?
I’ll be unable to walk my dogs, run, and do yoga for several weeks. Part of me is looking forward to powering through seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, devouring books, and being horizontal under my duvet. However, there’s a strong psychological and emotional burden that comes with being unable to move much. I will have to depend on my boyfriend completely and allow my body to heal. Patience is not one of my virtues.
What is behind all of these worries?
I realize now that the fear of the unknown is what’s truly bothering me. At this point, I feel like Rachel on that Friends episode with the pediatrician where she repeatedly calls Dr. Wiener with questions about her newborn baby. I am grateful I don’t have the direct number for my surgeon. He seems lovely enough, but I’m pretty sure that, like Rachel, I would end up “fired” as a patient.
The answers to my questions are easy to find: using resources online, speaking to fellow sufferers, and even the hospital. However, I feel that no number of answers will be enough. It’s OK to feel nervous and a tad afraid, but I’ve been here before. I must keep telling myself that, just like last time, it will be all right.
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