Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Week Post-Surgery

The first week of recovery is in the books. There's not much to tell; everything is fine. No pain or tenderness or spotting or anything. The doctor left me a message on Saturday (while I was working the renaissance faire) to say that they'd sent the polyp in for testing and found it was benign. I had forgotten they were going to test it, but it's nice to know there was nothing wrong with it.

One more week of pelvic rest, then two more weeks of additional healing and then I'll be ready to try again. I hope all these detours get us closer to where we want to be.

Monday, July 21, 2014

All Scraped: The Play-by-Play

Yay, it's over!
Beware, it's long and there's lots of surgery-related detail below.

After my last post, I hung around at home for a little bit, changed out of my pajamas into some other pajamas (heh), and we went to the surgery center at about 8:30. I signed a bunch of paperwork and paid the part that insurance won't cover. And then I sat down in the waiting room for a bit.

Because I was the second case, I didn't have to wait in the lobby for very long. I just had time to try to pee a little (still don't know why I was so worried about a catheter!) and sit for a minute, and then I was called back to a big room with little alcoves along the walls with beds in them. Cory stayed in the waiting room while I changed into the giant paper gown (no lucky socks, but they were in my bag under my bed the whole time so they still count) and they hooked me up to the machines for a baseline, and then the nurse went to get him because it was going to be awhile. I ended up waiting probably for a little over an hour in the bed. The thermometer she used on me was awesome - it was like a little roller ball that she rolled over my forehead and down my neck for about two seconds. She also asked if I was anxious and I said yes, but then realized she meant in general, not right that second, so I had to correct myself. Heh.

Also around that time they started me on my IV. That was the worst part of the whole thing. I flinched big time when the catheter went into my vein - I could feel it very well and the nurse had to ask if I was OK and tell me to breathe. Once she got it taped, it took probably 10-15 minutes before it stopped feeling icky. She also asked if I wanted a heater, which I declined but it probably would have been better if I'd accepted because I was already tense from the IV and then I was more tense from being cold. Oh well.

At around 10, the anesthesiologist came to talk to me. She asked me some of the same questions and then gave me an idea of what to expect. "I'll give you a sedative on the way in, and then the OR will be bright and cold, and there will be a lot of bustling around you for about a minute, and then you'll be asleep." Another nurse asked me some of the same questions again (they're nothing if not thorough!) and then I felt a weird burn-y bubbly sensation in the IV and the anesthesiologist said "I'm giving you your sedative!" I said "I know, I can tell!" And then they put up my little side rails and took my glasses and wheeled me into the OR.

They put me up against the very narrow table and asked me to scootch over to it and lie down. The nurse started putting the leg compression wraps on and the anesthesiologist gave me an oxygen mask, and someone gave me a little table to put my elbow on (the bed was that narrow - about the width of my body without my arms), and then the anesthesiologist said "OK, I'm giving you the anesthesia now. Good night!" I thought "ooh, I'm going to count down from ten and see how far I can get before I'm out." I got to seven. :D

Two seconds later, I was waking up from a very comfortable sleep. (Or it was comfortable until I realized I was cramping.) It felt like a lot of mornings when I stay up too late and have to be awake the next morning for work, kind of going in and out of sleep. A nurse noticed when I started stirring and she grabbed Cory and brought him back from the waiting room. She unhooked me from the leg things and took the blood pressure cuff off and those sticky pad things off my chest, and let me go to the bathroom, which I did with no problem. It burned a little, not sure if it was from a catheter or just from the surgery area being inflamed, and there was a bit of watery blood too; I'm assuming it was thinned with the stuff they put into my uterus to inflate it. They gave me some water (my throat was super dry because they blew oxygen down it - no tube or anything) and let me get dressed and go home. I probably could have walked to the car but riding in the wheelchair is the best part so I did that instead.

And then Cory drove me home and I went straight up to bed and slept for about two hours. When I woke up I had some lunch and changed out of the mesh underwear into my own (which felt awesome), and took another nap or two.

I haven't had any pain meds as of yet, but I might take one right before bed. I have some mild cramps but they only just started. No nausea or anything either, which the nurse warned about. I think I'm in good enough shape to go to work tomorrow (which was the plan).

Next steps are "total pelvic rest" (i.e. nothing in the vagina and no baths or hot tubs) for two weeks, and then I call ORM with my next cycle after a month. My immediate next cycle should happen probably on Friday, which means the cycle I'd call them with would be in almost exactly a month, so this timing is actually working pretty well I think. (Unless they say "nope, the NEXT next cycle, in TWO months!")

Just after waking up.


In three hours I'll be getting prepped for my hysteroscopy.

I had kind of a fitful sleep; and dreamed that I woke up and had two milkshakes before I remembered I wasn't supposed to eat anything. And I woke up before my alarm.

I'm a little nervous, but more because I don't know exactly what to expect. And I thought I had a couple of questions for the doc but I can't quite remember them.Anyway, I'll report back later today!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ready to Get Scraped

I called the doctor today to ask about timing for my hysteroscopy, since I hadn't heard yet. The first receptionist I got was not the nicest person; she didn't sound very happy about having to answer the phone, and when she told me the nurse wasn't at her desk I had to ask if I could leave a message, and then she hung up on me. (I'm sure that part was an accident.)

After about 15 minutes, I called again, hoping I'd get a more cheerful receptionist, and I did. And she found the nurse for me.

The nurse told me I'm "Case 2," which means I'll go under the... not knife, hysteroscope? at about 10am, but I have to go in at 8:30 to prepare. I asked if there was anything else I needed to know, besides not eating for 8 hours prior, and she said "hm, let's see what they say... no food or drink after midnight, wear comfortable clothes that you can get out of easily, leave all your jewelry at home, don't wear deodorant or perfume or lotion, and take a shower the night before or the morning of the procedure. Heh, like you'd come to surgery stinky. That's funny that they think you need a reminder." :) She cracks me up.

So everything is set.

In other news, it's been HOT lately. Sunday we had a thunderstorm, which was great because it meant I didn't have to water. I've hated the heat, but my backyard sure has enjoyed it!

Pumpkin #1 Pumpkin #2 Pumpkin #3

These are my French red pumpkins of which I can't remember the proper name. The biggest one grew really fast; last week when I saw it it was less than half this size.


The hops are starting to put on cones!

The Beginning of Shade

A long time ago, I bookmarked a photo of a sunshade made from recycled umbrellas, and I found it again while going through my (way too large) bookmarks and getting rid of broken links and things a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned out my local Goodwill and St. Vincent shops, and I feel like I need probably twice as many umbrellas as I have. I laid them all out at our loading dock at work and pinned them, and then spent the last three days on the floor hand-sewing them together. And I only poked under my fingernail with the needle three times! I'm excited to get more umbrellas and set it up on my very hot patio! (Seriously, the concrete gets so hot during the day that it radiates way after the sun sets.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our 11th Anniversary

Today, The Granholms turn 11. 

We've had a good run so far. Sometimes the world can tear two people apart, and our world has certainly tried - and is still trying. But we've grown closer instead. Take that, world!

Celebrate with us today by giving someone you love a big wet kiss. Or a secret handshake. Or a slap on the rump.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Winner of the Lucky Socks Giveaway!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

The random number generator gave me number FOUR - so...

JCH4DCU, you're the winner! 

If you could email me your address I'll get these in the mail to you post haste! (megan dot granholm, gmail!)

We are sticking around home for at least some of the day today; my landlord is coming to do some work on the outside of the house and we just watched our dinky little 4th of July parade which goes right by our house. But this evening we plan on watching the fireworks in our neighboring city, from down on the waterfront. And then if we get home in time, we'll lie in bed and watch our neighbors illegal fireworks from the window - the best way to watch fireworks ever.

Howdy, George! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Consult Day

This morning I called the insurance company again, to be sure that they were working on my pre-auth, and they said they'd have it processed by tomorrow afternoon, so I told Cory I was 99% sure the surgery was going to happen on Monday. Good thing I didn't say 100%!

We arrived at the clinic at 4:45 and filled out some paperwork (since I hadn't been seen by that doctor in three years), and after waiting a bit I went back with the nurse to be weighed and my blood pressure taken, and to wait for the doc. The nurse chatted with me for a few minutes and let me know that ORM only sent over the results of the sonohysterogram and nothing else, which meant that they couldn't get everything to the insurance company that they needed, nor did they feel comfortable not knowing results of blood tests or the consultation that I had at ORM. So I'll be having the surgery on the 21st.

One of the doctors had to attend a birth, so my doctor had to cover both her own and the other doctor's patients this evening, so we ended up waiting about an hour to see her. We kept each other amused in the exam room though, giggling and making stupid jokes and faces at each other. I haven't gone to many OBGYNs but I know enough to be patient as there's a lot of stuff going on.

When the doc finally came in, she asked me a little more about our prior procedures, checked my heartbeat and breathing and thyroid and belly, and drew me a little picture of what the hysteroscopy was going to be like. She told me a couple of side effects, and answered my question about catheters (as long as I pee before the procedure, I should be fine, but if my bladder is still too full she'll give me a catheter and take it out as soon as she's emptied my bladder), and we were on our way.

So I have to go get a blood count done at the lab next week, and at some point next week they will tell me what time I have to be there. I go an hour early after having not eaten for at least 8 hours, and that's that.

All in all, it was a positive appointment, though I'm pretty disappointed to have to wait for the surgery. I think I need to print out a bunch of "BE PATIENT!" quotes and stick them to everything. :) In fact, I just spent the last several minutes starting a Patience board on Pinterest - if you feel impatient too, pin a few of these to your own board!

Follow Megan Granholm's board Patience on Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Overview of the Day of Gah

That last post was kind of an "argh, I have to get this off my chest RIGHT NOW" kind of post, which was probably pretty obvious. Sorry about that, I like to write slightly more thought-out posts usually, but today was a frustrating day.

To recap: the nurse got my new insurance info, and sent it to the records department, who never updated the info. In the morning I was upset about not being more assertive and asking them for their timeline on getting my surgery pre-auth finished so that I could plan for either having it on Monday or waiting for two weeks. But then the nurse called and had me re-send the insurance info so she could send it straight to the pre-auth department and get the ball rolling.

Then this afternoon the financial department called and were much more helpful than the ORM financial person was. They told me that my out-of-pocket for the surgery (not including anesthesia) is going to be about $1350. (I think it's exactly $1346.50 or something.) She said $1000 of that is my deductible, and the rest of it is 20% of the total. That was a little bit of a blow, since ORM quoted me $2000 out of pocket and for an extra $550 or so I would have already had the procedure done. But then my coworker reminded me of another benefit that we have, which reimburses us for the first $750 of our deductible. So even though it's still not going to be fun to pay, at least it'll only be just under $600 (plus whatever I have to pay for anesthesia), which is way better than $2000.

So things ended on a better note than they started. The preauthorization has been received by the insurance company, and hopefully they'll be able to process it by the end of Thursday. With any luck, I'll be moving onward on Monday!

GAH! And then, half an hour later, less gah.

Upon recommendation from my insurance rep, I called my insurance company this morning to see what I could do to hurry along the pre-auth for the hysteroscopy, only to find that they haven't received a request yet. So I called the doctor and after lots of brusque questions the receptionist said "we're working on it." So I said "OK, thank you!" and hung up.

And then immediately kicked myself for not asking how long they're going to take. I have three days left until the weekend, and hope is fading fast that I'll be able to get this done on Monday, which means I have to wait until the 21st.

Also, I feel terrible complaining about this, but because this blog is a record of what's happening to me I'm using that as my excuse to be whiny. I swear this birth control is affecting me more than my last round of stim shots did. I spent ten minutes after the phone calls this morning crying in Cory's office. It's such a weird feeling, crying while my logical brain is feeling like it's not that big of a deal and isn't sure why it requires tears.


After an hour or so, I started this post and then left it to go for a walk. While I was out, the nurse called to ask if I could re-fax in my insurance card. Apparently their process is to send new insurance information to a different department for entry into my record in their database, and while the nurse did that on Friday, nobody actually updated my record. So instead the nurse is going to send it directly to the pre-auth people so they can expedite the request. I called her back and talked to her just to get myself back on track with being a little more assertive, and she still thinks that we might be able to get in on the 7th. So I feel better that I was able to get my questions answered after all, and I'm happy to know that they're trying their best instead of just annoyed that I was calling.