June 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Uncategorized)

I didn’t blog yesterday because my obs/gyn appointment was moved again from Tuesday to Thursday, so yesterday found me in Dr F’s waiting room, which is wildly festooned with photos of newborn babies. There are reams of delivery and post-delivery snaps. It’s not often I actually crave those two-dollar-shop prints of Tuscan bridges and farmhouses and trattorias that inexplicably adorn the walls of so many waiting rooms, but I did find myself wondering if it was really necessary to keep rubbing it in. Llew took the day off work to come with me, so we just buried our heads in our dated magazines and tried not to feel like the freaks without babies. 

Dr F is a nice guy, I like him, and I liked the way he was so decisive yesterday about the next step. I just wasn’t quite as delighted with his plan of attack, which begins with my having a laparoscopy next Wednesday, during which I am under a general and hopefully none the wiser. It’s keyhole surgery – very sophisticated stuff involving lights, camera, action! – but it’s surgery nonetheless, and frankly a little scary for that. I just didn’t see it coming. I don’t really think of myself as a ‘requiring surgery’ kind of girl. My general health is excellent; it’s only my reproductive health that seems to be letting the side down, and who knew that was going to happen?! Not me. I like surprises, I honestly do, but I must say I prefer the ones that involve presents and cake, not fasting from midnight and being rendered unconscious.

So look, that’s the latest. I am still digesting it conceptually, and practically there’s nothing else to say about it. We should get some answers – they can see everything inside my abdomen and pelvis up in lights. Or up on their really alarmingly grotesque monitor. Looking at the image dominating the monitor view on the little booklet Dr F gave me about the procedure, I am more convinced than ever that I did in fact wake up mid-procedure the first time I went under. The whole thing was so weird and frightening. I remember this yawning terror mingled with deadweight immobility, but I’ve never been certain I wasn’t just dreaming – except I’ve been told you don’t dream under a general, and what I saw on the screen was more vivid than anything I could have imagined. Also when I was in recovery, no one came near me. No one. It was like they thought if they just let me eat my sandwich and suck my lollies and drink my cup of tea I’d forget waking up in the middle of what was happening to me.

I was never able to verify if it really did occur or if I somehow dreamt it, but looking at the monitor image on my brochure, those innards look strangely familiar, and now I know there’s a good reason why we don’t generally get so up close and personal with the things that make us tick.



  1. Lilian Nattel said,

    Waking up like that sounds horrific and I hope it was a dream rather than not. Laparoscopy is pretty routine in fertility circles. Doctors get a good look-see and then have some answers for you. But I’ll be thinking of you next week because the prospect of a look-see like that (especially given your previous experience) can be a yikey one.

  2. Catherine said,

    Years ago I underwent a gastroscopy & colonoscopy. They told me to bring a blank video tape with me (yes, it was that long ago). I was dumb enough to follow doctors orders, so afterwards they presented me with the tape of the entire procedure. I was also dumb enough to watch said tape, so those are images I will never be able to erase from my mind.

    You’ll be fine, Di. As much as we hate them sometimes, it takes a special person to be a doctor and do what they do. Just don’t watch.

    And of course we’ll all be thinking of you.

    C xx

  3. doctordi said,

    Lilian, I’m happy to think it was a dream, but… having successfully stayed in la-la land the next time I was given a general (next week will be my third), I just can’t see how I could have dreamt it… when I was out, I was o-u-t. There was nothing from the moment I was gone until the moment I was back and in the recovery area. Not a damn thing. So… as much as I hate to think I woke up, I think I woke up. It was crazy stations, that’s all I know. But thanks – happy thoughts welcome!!

    Catherine, that is GRUESOME!!!!!!!!! Beyond gruesome. Oh my god. What on earth possessed you to watch it? Oh, I know, writerly curiosity. It’ll get you into trouble every time. I can’t even watch fake operations on film. But yes, I am completely in awe of the medical profession in general. No argument there.

  4. litlove said,

    Wooah, scary. Tell everyone who is coming near you next Wednesday about this experience and then they will make sure you are out good and proper. i have an abiding fear of all medical procedures (I don’t even like having blood taken) so you have all my sympathy. That being said, one of my close friends had this done for exactly the same reason as you as she said it really wasn’t too bad. She is the mother now of one child and expecting a second any day, so it was helpful!

  5. Grad said,

    I’ll be thinking of you. Try not to worry too much about it. You’ve got such a good sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll come through it just fine.

  6. doctordi said,

    Thanks for the war story, Litlove. People have been coming out of the laparoscopy closet in the last couple of days – one of my friends who was over for dinner last night has had two of the suckers, and she said it was like a spring clean. I’m all for it in principle – knowledge is power.

    Grad, you know I only do these things to myself so I’ll have new stories to tell you.

  7. davidrochester said,

    I’m in the “if you think you woke up, you probably did” camp … I woke up during an endoscopy, and wow, I’m really sure I didn’t imagine that, since it involved nearly choking to death on the instrument they were using.

    However, I think it’s worth it to find out what’s going on. It’s not really surgery, it’s more like an investigative expedition to realms that can’t be accessed otherwise. So that doesn’t count as surgery. 🙂

  8. Pete said,

    Sympathies since I really hate the general. Knocked me out for two weeks. But the lap sounds promising in the circumstances. As for the freaks without the babies, well I can also identify there (naturally). Who knows? Nine months is a short time compared with the 10-year gestation period of the other little baby you’re producing!

  9. Simonne said,

    Wow, what an experience. I’m with litlove – tell them long and loud that you’ve woken up before!
    Good luck with it, Lovely x

  10. doctordi said,

    David, it may surprise you to know I thought to myself as I was recounting this experience, “This strikes me as exactly the sort of thing that may have also happened to David…” – don’t ask me why. And I’m happy to be in the NOT SURGERY file. I’m going with that.

    Pete, two weeks? Really? God, that’s awful. Over the weekend, two separate friends told me to expect pain and discomfort and a weird hissing noise out one shoulder – go figure that one out!! And please tell me the novel’s gestation period isn’t ten years. Please.

    I’ve been thinking about this, Simonne, and part of me is concerned that if I tell them that, they’ll go overboard on the whole knocking me out thing, and the possible consequences of this scare me sufficiently that I think I’m just going to trust them to do it right.

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