My, does this post feel mighty overwhelming and a good bit overdue. What have I been up to, you ask? A little travelin’, a little workin’, a little gettin’ sliced open. You know, same old.
Did you notice my site went down? Down for like a couple weeks? Yea, that caused the jitters to set in big time.
Luckily, a few Abita Ambers in a jazz club on Frenchmen Street calmed those jitters right down. Mmmm… New Orleans. Mr. But IF and I went down there a couple years ago for a vacation/family wedding and have been itching to go back ever since. Luckily, with my professional organization selecting NOLA as the site of its annual meeting this year our dream came true. (And, came partly paid by my employer at that!) NOLA is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cities in America, and I’m already anxious to get back again. This time it won’t be for a wedding, or a conference, or any other sensible purpose – it will be to embrace this city I’ve learned to love so quickly.
I was a little worried that going back to New Orleans would stir up old wounds. Our first pregnancy was conceived there in 2011. The only thing it reminded me of, though, was the love I feel for my husband. (Yes, even as we wandered the French Quarter cranky as all get out.) It also reminded me of the need to embrace these in-between moments in our TTC journey and wring every last drop of joy out of them. We played pool in a local bar with a ragtag bunch of local casino dealers, we snuck back to the hotel in the middle of the day for a non-procreative romp in the sheets, we swayed to the music. I lived life so fully and so outside of the manner I’ve become accustomed to. It was beautiful.
Our flight home last Monday came far too early, and our travel time was made far too long by a miserable delay in the 10th circle of hell that is LaGuardia. We arrived at our door around 5pm, we welcomed our usual bunch of Grilling, Growlers & Buffy friends over for dinner and an episode at 7pm, and my saintly mother-in-law arrived around 9:30. A few hours of shut-eye and my mother-in-law and I were off to the RE bright and early the next morning for my laparoscopy. In the car by 6:30am, at the office by 7:30am, walked into the surgical suite near 11am. I love how like molasses time becomes when you’re in the hands of a medical practice.
The surgery went well. Actually, better than expected. After our last lesson in “be careful what you believe when a doctor says it” I’m not going to put much stock in doc Soulpatch’s quick post-operative exclamation of “It all looked good!” but my anesthesia-cobbled mind was happy to hear there were fewer spots of endo regrowth than anticipated and that my questionable right tube looked “wonderful.” I’m proceeding cautiously until I have my final post-op appointment with the doctor next Tuesday, but it sure was better news than I expected to wake up to seeing as Mr. But IF and I spent large portions of our transit time back and forth from NOLA discussing what life would be like if I woke up to hear they’d removed both my tubes.
This was my second laparoscopy in 18 months, so I was thankfully no stranger to what recovery would be like. Actually, the most uncomfortable moment of the entire ordeal was probably hearing the words, “nothing in your vagina for two weeks” while sitting with my mother-in-law waiting to go back for the procedure. (Having just flown off to NOLA for a week, Mr. But IF had to work the day of my surgery. World’s Best Mother-in-Law drove 3 hours to our house to drive me an addition 1 hour to my doctor to sit for an addition 5 hours for my surgery, to drive home another hour with a drug-addled passenger, and, finally, drive a final 3 hours back home in time for work the next day.) So, yea, recovery was what it was. I watched far too much Netflix, ate too many popsicles, and slept for what seemed like a solid 24 hours on multiple days. Surgery was last Tuesday, I took my first trip out of the house on Friday, was back to work on Monday, and threw another Buffy night for a party of 25+ on Monday. Either I’m a masochist or Mr. But IF is trying to collect my life insurance – I’m not sure which. Either way, I’m 1w1d removed from surgery today and feel fully myself again.
I’ve had a lot of thoughts running through my brain about endometriosis lately. Why is it so poorly understood, why are the paths toward diagnosing, managing, and curing it so under-explored, why is this debilitating disease so ghettoized within the medical, research, and patient communities? That’s another post for another day, but suffice it to say now, dear readers, I’ve got angst. I’ve got bitterness. I’ve got frustration. And I’ve got them all because even 1 week after my “it wasn’t that bad” second surgery I sit here feeling so much more human than I did 1 day before said elective surgery. Regrowth was minimal, no serious anatomical issues were discovered, and the surgical glue is practically still drying in my three incisions, but I feel so much better now than I did just over a week ago. No pain, no constipation, and a supremely healthy sex drive. (Timed wonderfully, of course, to fall smack dab in the middle of my “nothing in the vjayjay” period.) Immediate relief from a surgery I was told was unnecessary, for a disease I was told I didn’t have for so long, for a case so mild I’ve been told to be thankful. I’m not thankful, I’m pissed.
So here I am back in the desk chair and back to reality. A reality of waiting, of taking deep breaths, of wondering what’s around the corner. A reality so different from my NOLA dreamland. I’m back to counting the days. 5 until our consult with the RE. How many until we can start IVF? How many days of stims? How many days past retrieval? How many days until transfer? How many days until the beta? How many days until I miscarry?
Don’t waste you time being angry
when a moment’s better with a smile
if you feel you’re time’s been wasted
waste it here a while
– “At the Foot of Canal Street”
My scarred body may be back in this desk chair, but perhaps I should leave some of my mind in New Orleans?