You Had a What?

I just had a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. I know you’re jealous I got to have something done with such a unique name. And I am guessing you have no idea what it is.

Unless you or someone close to you has had one.

Or you have crossed paths with the field of OB/GYN in your professional life.

It is a weird feeling to be missing a body part. Or rather, one of one’s God given organs. These days, I guess a lot of us are missing something or another we started out with in these bodies. I think it took my body about a week to realize it was missing, and now it is in the process or trying to reset itself. I can feel this because I have been blessed with being hypersensitive in regards to anything relating to my body. I am sure when I have my post op visit my Dr. will not be surprised. In fact, she probably expects it of me, which is why I like her.

I am wondering if you looked up unilateral salpingo-oopherectomy yet in Google. Of course, if you are reading this and know me well, you have probably figured out what it is. Now me, if I was reading this about you, I would have cheated, and scanned down the post some for a definition. Because I like to know.

Yes friends, I scored myself another surgery. Because having two chronic illnesses, terrible allergies, ADHD and a penchant for depression is just not enough. But needing and having surgery, unlike those other issues, is seemingly easier to talk about with other people. And they are more sympathetic. I think people have an easier time getting their minds around a problem that can be solved or fixed, rather one that drags on with no end, and no good answers. Let’s face it, it’s easier to deal with something that we have an answer for.

The timing of the surgery was terrible. The hardest time of the year for me at work is the 2nd quarter, between mid October and Christmas. We have less time to get evaluations done because of holiday events and days off. The quarter itself, like the first quarter, is shorter than the 3rd and 4th quarters. Since in my role I service students on a quarterly basis this hits home. And this year was a slammer on not just me but all of us. Where did all these new students come from? Not to mention a major software program crashed, and other issues I won’t get into.

Add to that my back was out basically since I started back to work. Not terrible like it gets, but bad which makes everything hard. Funny enough it feels better now, so maybe the pain came from the problem I needed surgery for, which is interesting in and of itself. So I was having trouble keeping up with everything that needed to be done, at home as well as at work.

And then there are the holidays. I really wanted to travel to see my brother and his wife at Thanksgiving, and then have family here for Christmas. So the surgery needed to be early enough I could do that.

I must admit though, I am grateful this was a problem surgery has a solution for. And that the Dr. was willing to do the procedure. Because most probably would not have.

As it turns out, a problem with ovarian cysts does not tend to be a one time occurrence. And taking unopposed estrogen can actually contribute to the body’s proclivity for making them. Bah. Not parting with that miracle solution to some of my body’s wackiness. So I got another one. Actually if you read up on them, and in talking to the Dr., they are very common and women get them all the time. But they usually either go away on their own, or don’t cause women problems that warrant their removal.

This time, mine was small enough I actually shouldn’t have felt it. But I did, and it caused no end of problems. 2 cm, left ovary, same ovary as last time. Caused frequent low grade pelvic pain and made exercising difficult as that exacerbated the pain. Exercise helps me control just about all my other problems, so I need to do it. Caused terrible bloating. And likely made my wild hormone ride even wilder. My Dr pretty much said for anyone else she would recommend watch and wait, but for me ……

For me she said it was best to remove the cyst.

And also the ovary.

I had thought of that before our office visit actually. Just take the darn thing out. So I was glad she suggested it. Because, like she said, she doesn’t want to have to do this again, and she thought it would help my body restabilize itself.

So for me, a unilateral salpingo-oopherectomy. Using the DaVinci robot no less.

In plainer English, removing one ovary, (my left), along with the fallopian tube on that side. As a bonus, when she went in she had to drain a cyst on the right ovary (I think it may have been normal given the time in my cycle but I will find out) and burn endometriosis off the bottom outside wall of my uterus. What? She hadn’t found that latter problem last time although I have suspected I have had it for years. It commonly occurs with patients with interstitial cystitis and can substantially contribute to the bladder pain.

It has been 10 days since the procedure and I have become quite fond of my house dresses and recliner. Not loving pants yet although I can tolerate them. I have increased my walking time from a couple minutes to 15 minutes (walking helps healing). Off pain pills, and staying awake for about 14 hours at a time. Have short bursts of energy followed by periods of profound fatigue without sleepiness. Drove for the first time, and learned the seat belt is not a friend to 4 healing laproscopic incisions. Still having trouble with anything requiring bending or twisting my abdomen. Quite able to get seated tasks done as long as I can do them without bending or twisting. Still getting intermittent bad headaches that come with nausea and hot flashes, which started about 6 weeks before the surgery. But at different intervals than before as my body tries to right itself.

And perhaps most interestingly, lacking lower back pain despite so much time in bed and just sitting. Whatever was going wrong down there was messing up my lower back. How unexpected.

And on Monday going back to work. Will do my best to avoid things that involve bending, lifting or twisting. Good thing I stored up 3+ reports to write. Trying to convince myself returning to my normal routine will help me heal faster but worried I will get wiped out. Good thing I am highly skilled in working through pain and fatigue.

So yes, I had a unilateral salpingo-oopherectomy. And now you know what that is.


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