Thursday, May 31, 2012

Laparascopic Surgery - my version; Part 1

It's almost 3 weeks that I have not updated my blog! The first two weeks was out of the question. And now, it's 3rd week and I am trying to make an effort. 

Before my surgery, I was trying to google and get as much information as I can. I even was trying to look for images to see how would the incision would be. How big. How would I feel being under GA. I could get answers to some, but not all. So here's the real deal of what happened. Read on. If you can't take too much info (TMI), then stop reading this post & the posts to follow with the above topic, right here. 

I got admitted on a Monday early afternoon. My surgery was scheduled at 4.30pm (although I was told it would be at 4pm). I was already fasting from morning as I had to fast 6 hours before the surgery. In Malaysia, laparascopic surgery is claimable under your medical insurance. Yes, fertility issues are never claimable, but take note, laparascopic surgery doesn't fall in that category. Based on my insurance coverage, I was only allowed to take up a 2 or 4 bedded room (I don't exactly remember it). But of course, I told the admission staff that we will pay for the differences to upgrade our room to a single room. Here's how the room looked like:

It's for real. No turning back.

Once we got settled into the room, a nurse came in, and started to ask me all kinds of questions. She had almost 3 pages of checklist with her. After about 10 minutes, another nurse comes in and again, confirms the information I have given, i.e. allergic to any meds, having gastritis and I insisted they put down I am prone to UTI.

We were informed that the nurses will start to prep me by 3.30pm. I was definitely very nervous at this point. I moved from the day bed, to the patient's bed - couldn't sit at one place. I tried lying down, trying to get some rest before 3.30pm, but I couldn't. Tried reading a book, but my mind was too pre-occupied. I then decided to shower before they start to prep me. The nurse came in around 2pm and asked if I had cleared my bowels that morning, I said yes. But yet she recommended I take the liquid suppository, just in case. I agreed. After 5 minutes, she came back with it, and yeap, (TMI), inserted the liquid into my rectum. I was like, WTF. Anyway, not even 2 minutes into it, I was already running to the toilet. Nothing much to clear, but whatever it is, my intestines were defintely super clear by now!

3.30pm a nurse came in and asked me if I have shaved. I said I waxed my lower abdominal and yes, did a Brazilian wax too. She said she has to check and see. I said fine. Of course, I passed! I mean, c'mon, you think I was going to allow them to shave me down there!? Then she noticed, I was having nail polish on my feet. Immediately, annother nurse came and brought a nail polish remover and was about to remove it for me. I just told her, let me do it myself. I didn't know that it was going to be that strict. Now, this got me even more nervous. I thought it was just a keyhole surgery, no big deal! I had to remove everything on me and wear the surgery gown and cap provided. 

Shortwhile thereafter my anaesthetist walks in. Briefs us on what will be happening and the process of it. She was a real gem! She was really patient with my questions, and explained really well. After she left, my own gynea walks in - and that's when I felt a relieve! Probably because he was the only familiar face among all the nurses, doctors, and the whole hospital for that matter! He explained to us the process what happens after the anaesthesia kicks in. And he also informed us that the reproductive specialist who he wants us to see will also be joining him in the operation theatre. He gave me a hug and told me he'll meet me later. 

All along, hubby was there, right next to me. Being my strength. Being there. Doing anything he could to make me calm down. Only he knew how I was feeling. The doctors told him he can wait at the OT lounge. So he followed me while they wheeled me into the OT. The nurses were so shocked to learn that this is the first time ever I am getting admitted in a hospital and that too going in for a surgery! Yeah, tell me about it!

Once at the OT, I had to transfer to another bed. The nurses at the OT asked me the whole lot of similar questions again to verify. Yes, of course earlier I had signed on it, so they needed to also verify my signature. Then I was wheeled in further and was told to wait just outside the OT room. About 5 minutes later, my anaesthetist came and wheeled me into the OT room. She explained again what she will be doing. For the first time I saw in real life what I usually see in movies - the big round lights in an OT! The instruments they have. And on my left I saw the clock - 4.16pm. She then proceeded to insert the IV on my left hand. Very gentle, pain free. I am not scared of needles, so maybe that's why to me was no biggie. Anyway, while she was doing that, my gynea walks in and I guess he knew I was scared. He said I saw your hubby at the lounge, and don't worry, I will hold your hand while you get your GA. He was making jokes about getting 4D numbers from me and what not. My anaesthetist also told me that soon enough I am going to fall asleep, and they put an oxygen mask on me, and told me to breathe normally.

The next thing I know, I woke up super drowsy/sleepy and I had so much phlegm in me that I felt like I was getting choked on it. I was still on the oxygen mask and I couldn't feel my body as yet. Immediately a nurse came and used a suction for the phlegm. I remember I told her, I am thirsty. A few minutes later, (or maybe more, I don't know), I could hear my anaesthetist telling me she has to keep me at the recovery a while longer until I stabilize. I either asked for my husband, or called out for him, because she told me, your husband is with both the doctors and he is just outside. He will wait for you at your room. I slept off again. Then I heard her speak again, holding my hand, telling me I will be wheeled back to my room. My surgery lasted almost an hour. It was suppose to be for about 30 min max.

I had to transfer bed once again before they wheeled me out from the OT's reception. Nurses had to help me as soon enough I realised, I had an IV still attached to me. I was not in pain yet, but thirsty. And mind you, I was not allowed to drink or eat until the next day 10am once my doc gave the green light. All I can remember saying is that I am thirsty, I want to drink water. I kept repeating it again and again. But due to the extensive 'work' that the doctors did during my surgery, they were so scared I may throw up, and that would cause too much pain and movement of my intestines, and lower abdomen area would make things complicated.

My parents & a very close cousin came to visit. I vaguely remember. I am grateful to my bestie who understood me when I said pls don't come and visit. In times when I do not know of how I am going to be, and when I am so nervous and scared myself, I honestly didn't want anyone around. Only my husband. I even wanted to tell my parents not to come, but then it would have been really mean to be firm and say no when all they want is to see their daughter who just underwent a surgery. A couple of besties had hubby's phone number - so they contacted him directly. My brother & sister in law were also constantly checking with hubby. My brother, a man with very few words, actually called to speak to me. But I was still in that state, I couldn't talk. I wonder if I told him too that I'm thirsty! It's really overwhelming to see the amount of love and concern they showed to me and hubby. It's amazing. I must have done something good in my past life that I have these people around me. Trust me, I am generally not a very nice person. So when I saw this amount of love, care & concern, it was really a lot to take in.

I think it's enough for this post. The next post will be on what has been diagnosed.

To anyone going for a laparascopic surgery, remember, it may be a keyhole surgery, but it's still a surgery. Those were my anaesthetist and gynea's words. And mine, wasn't just a diagnostic laparascopy. More on this in the next post.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Laparascopic surgery

Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy. - Wikipedia

I am scheduled to go for a laparascopic surgery early next week. I have read a lot about it. But I can't depend on those information because knowing me, I am always the odd one out. I remember when I went for HSG, having read all the information I possibly could, I was calm. BUT read this and you will know what my experience was. I learnt my lesson from then on, that I gotta sometimes expect the worse. So at least I am mentally prepared.

If all goes well and I don't develop a fever (which means I have caught an infection) and my vomiting stops (if at all any - due to the anesthesia), I will be discharged the next day. I have no idea on how many days of hospitalization leave will be given as only once the doc performs the surgery, we will know how bad it is in there.

I for one, have never been admitted, ever. So that itself is creating an anxiety. Thank God hubby has said that he will stay with me. I cannot imagine going through this on my own.

Here's what generally happens:

Since my surgery is in the evening, I have been advised to get myself admitted early morning. They will prep me, which includes shaving. I went and waxed my lower abdomen and since I was at it, I did my Brazilian too! Some blood test will be done as well. Then of course once given the anesthesia and I'm in the OT, they will do 1 keyhole incision first, fill my abdomen up with carbon dioxide (so it'll be like a balloon), then do another keyhole incision and a third and forth if need be. They will insert a camera and on a screen they will inspect my uterus, tubes and ovaries. Also, my doc has mentioned he will shoot a dye in to see if I do indeed have left tubal hydrosalpinx. If it's bad, he will remove the tube. I am hoping that my right tube has not been affected.
The surgery can last as short as 30 minutes to as long as two hours.

Well, that is what generally happens. I will write about my actual experience when I am over and done with it! Laparascopic surgery part two shall follow soon!

Both photos courtesy of Google Image search

Monday, May 7, 2012

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome,afflicting 3% to 8% of women. It is a diagnosis associated primarily with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Up to one-third of women diagnosed with PMDD report residual symptoms into the first 2 or 3 days of the follicular phase.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Like PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder follows a predictable, cyclic pattern. Symptoms begin in the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (after ovulation) and end shortly after menstruation begins.
Emotional symptoms are generally present, and in PMDD, mood symptoms are dominant. Substantial disruption to personal relationships is typical for women with PMDD. Anxiety, anger, and depression may also occur. The main symptoms, which can be disabling, include
  • feelings of deep sadness or despair, and suicide ideation
  • feelings of intense tension or anxiety
  • increased intense sensitivity to rejection or criticism
  • panic attacks
  • rapid and severe mood swings, bouts of uncontrollable crying
  • lasting irritability or anger, increased interpersonal conflicts; typically sufferers are unaware of the impact they have on those close to them
  • apathy or disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • difficulty concentrating
  • chronic fatigue
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • insomnia or hypersomnia; sleeping more than usual, or (in a smaller group of sufferers) being unable to sleep
  • feeling overwhelmed or feelings of being out of control
  • increase or decrease in sex drive
  • increased need for emotional closeness
Common physical symptoms include:
  • breast tenderness or swelling, heart palpitations, headaches, joint or muscle pain, swollen face and nose
  • an altered view of one's body - a sensation of 'bloating', feeling fat or actual weight gain.
Five or more of these symptoms may indicate PMDD.

Yes, I suffer from PMDD. Remember, not all women are the same. I for one, have severe excruciating painful periods! I do not know how else to describe it. I have the above symptoms that I have highlighted in bold. Others include unable to stand straight, walk, or even speak normally. And my back, OMG, it's like going to break any moment! The aching annoying pain at the lower back can be so bad. As it is I have scoliosis. Yes, I was born half paralyzed. Thanks to my mother, I am not a person with disability today. The pain and discomfort of my lower abdomen especially on my right, is so bad. I am on Day 3 today and it's much better. I have not seen the sky for the past two days. All I have done is curl in bed. My periods are getting from bad to worse. I am hoping with the laparoscopy now being scheduled, things would get better. 
There have been studies shown that there could be genetic links to PMDD. As for me, I think it is because my mom used to faint every month when she gets her periods. The pain was so bad for her. Her misery stopped when she removed her ovaries after having me. Well, I can't opt for that yet as I want a child of my own. Some studies have shown that intake of vitamins such as Evening Primrose Oil and Vit B would help, but it didn't work for me. Some also say that exercise helps. But that didn't work out either. I was hoping that this cycle, with the exercise and the new multivitamins the gynea has prescribed me, would make a difference. But it didn't. I still had PMDD this cycle. 

So what's in store for me? I have no idea. I can only hope & pray (yes, pray), that it will get better. The next step is doing the laparoscopy. It's scaring me. I can either lose 1 tube, or both. If both, there goes my chances to conceive naturally.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Marriage & Parents

I believe that for a marriage to work, love is definitely needed, but it ain't the only thing. You gotta have a lot more of intangible things for it to work out. Trust for example, is one. Others would include but not limited to, understanding, give and take, respect to name a few.

One more important aspect is in laws interference. Whether it's your in laws, or his in laws.
I was about to walk out of my marriage after 5 years because of my in laws. I could not take it anymore. I was ready to pack my bags, and leave. I would have taken whatever that was under my name and was mine. I was not going to divorce my husband, as I have no issues with him, we had already built that kind of bond where it could only get stronger. My reason for leaving: only 1: my in laws. My reason for never wanting a child before this: only 1: my in laws. And mind you, I am not the type who will run to mommy for rescue. I had a plan. I will rent a place, even if it's just a room, and take it from there. 

Pic courtesy of Google Images
Let's not get into details of what is it that I could not stand that it made me decide to walk away from the house.

Instead, let's ponder. Why do couples allow their parents to have a say in what they do? Why? Why must you consult your parents for everything? Sad, but true. Why get married then? If you still wanna be mommy's little boy, or mommy's little girl... then why bother? Be an adult. I have many who tell me, you shouldn't be like this. But why not? I have my life. I am married. I have the brains to discuss things with my husband. I am earning. I don't neglect my parents. I love them even more now than I ever did in the past. I respect them. I am there for them. BUT I don't consult them, I don't call everyday, I don't meet them every week, I don't call and gossip with my mom, I don't tell her everything we do, where we go, what we bought, etc etc...  Does that make me an ungrateful child? Just because I don't share my everyday life? Nope. I don't think so.

For the men out there, why when you get married, you become so defensive about your parents, especially your mother? Why you suddenly care for her too much, why must you tell her everything? Why? Why let her manipulate you into thinking your wife is a bad person? Why? Why allow her to must have a part in your daily life? Why is it fair for your wife to stay with you and your parents, but not you stay with hers? Why everything to do with your parents is okay, but when it comes to her parents, it's not? Why?

Pic courtesy of Google Images
And for the ladies our there, why must you run to mommy when you have a fight with your husband? Why must you tell your mommy everything? Why must you complain about even the tiniest thing in the world? Why must you cry to your mommy every time you aren't happy about something? Why?

Pic courtesy of Google Images
I was at the Gynea clinic one day, when I saw a couple, together with the husband's mother came for an appointment. The wife was pregnant. At the beginning, the couple went in to see the doctor on their own. A minute later, the husband opens the room door, and called out "Mummy, come in la"... OMG! I just can't imagine how the wife must have felt. As it is from the beginning the wife wasn't even  bothered to listen to her MIL talking to her. And too bad they were Punjabis. So I understood everything! I could see from her facial expression she was annoyed. So can you imagine how she must have felt when the husband called out for his mummy.

I know for a fact that the way I think about these things can be too extreme for some people. So chill. Live your life the way that suits you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Criticizing me just because I choose a healthier option?

What is wrong with some people? When you opt for a healthier lifestyle, they criticize!? What the fuck? Hello, if you aren't leading a healthy lifestyle, that's your wish. Do we say anything about it? We don't.

Yes, we used to be unhealthy too. But thank God we made a turning point now rather than die not because of old age, but because of unhealthy lifestyle. Yes, we never used to exercise. Yes, we never had the drive to rush home so that we can start our treadmill session. Yes, we never planned weekly swimming days. Yes, we ate a lot of KFC's, Pizza's, anything unhealthy out there.... and I mean A LOT. People looking at us would wonder, how can 2 person eat that much of food!

I started choosing a healthier option 7 years ago. No doubt, for as long as I have lived, home cooking was always a healthy version... but I still used to eat out a lot those days. I wasn't still healthy as I never exercised. Ever. Exercising was never in my dictionary. No wonder I easily get anxiety attacks, have had an abnormal heartbeat, lack of breath even if I walk a few steps of stairs etc.

I cook with less oil. I don't deep fry anything. I have never once used coconut milk in my cooking. Yes, even if I am making nasi lemak. If I am baking, I don't follow the recipe - esp in terms of sugar & oil or butter.

I use the treadmill everyday if possible. There are days I am just too lazy. We try to go swimming on a weekly basis. I watch what I eat now.

But does that mean I will never have my off days? Of course I will. No doubt. But at least most days I am leading a healthier lifestyle. If you have a problem with it, then it's not my loss in any way at all. Hey, you wanna feed your kid who is not even 1 year old McD, keropoks, ice creams - it's your kid, your decision. 

We have a history of people from each side of the family with heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and the list goes on.... we might as well just be careful. Yes, there are people who smoke, who live till they are 90 even. But we just opt to believe we don't fall under that "lucky" category. After all, living a healthier lifestyle is very much fun! You won't know till you don't try it. So don't judge.

Made nasi lemak for lunch today for a couple of office colleagues and my boss! Was quite nervous at first, as do not know how they would take my version... but they enjoyed it!! 

Pan frying the raw peanuts

End result - with salt sprinkled. Despite only pan frying, I still had to change the kitchen towel tissue twice. Maybe I am just too particular!

Pan frying anchovies

End result. Yes, did the same with the kitchen towel tissue

All packed

The total package. My boss had made udang sambal. Told you, she is a great woman!

Low fat milk was used to make the rice. This idea of using low fat milk came from my sister in law. Oh, wait till I write about her! She is a superwoman! Other dishes included hard boiled eggs cut to halves, cucumbers, and ikan bilis sambal.

You know, I was thinking, when cooking using with so much oil, there's so much more cleaning up to do. Why do you want to give yourself that extra work? Cooking with less oil = lesser oily surfaces = lesser work! And mind you, I am even particular about the gas hob being squeaky clean. I love it when after I cook, the kitchen is so clean that it doesn't seem I just cooked a meal there! Yeah, call me crazy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shopping and me?

Shopping and me? Nah, not for me. I cannot comprehend how some people can walk from shop to shop, looking at stuff they either plan to buy or just looking for fun. Or window shopping as you may call it. Hubby loves to shop. He loves to look around at stuff. I am the total opposite. 

Yes, I do shop. But my shopping is not going from one shop to another or looking around... Me? I know what I want, I look for it, buy, and I am out. Lol!
Even when he wanted to go to Pavillion, I sat at Starbucks. Updated my blog, checked emails & read tons of stuff online. Currently as I type this, we are in KLCC. I am sitting down at Cafe Vienna at a cozy sofa and using their wifi. Yeap, I just don't like window shopping.

Their decorative ceiling

We had lunch at Du Viet Restaurant & Cafe. We shared a spaghetti basil chicken & prawns and steamed wrapped rolls. Yes, now we can even share a meal. Gone are the days when even one meal each wasn't enough, and we would have to get more! Well, I was 71.0kg this morning, wouldn't wanna ruin that now would we? Hahah  Anyway, the food was good. It cost us RM53.70 including our mineral water bottles. Portion was quite big I must say. And they are very generous with their prawns and chicken.


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