Six years ago, today…….

(This is a re-post for all of my new friends. I thought you may enjoy!)

Six years ago, this morning……

I opted to stay awake.

Taking uppers to stay awake

Stupidest. Thing. I. Ever. Did.

Staying awake?

No, it’s what I opted to stay awake for


Let me just explain that for some reason I was raised believing you are a wimp if you cave into ailments or sickness. We understood “disease”, regretfully, but we were raised believing our minds could conquer a ton of stuff with fighting bugs and recovery.
I call it the “buck it up” gene.

Flu’s were met with words of ….

“Hop up and take a shower, let’s get your body believing it’s feeling better and then you can have some tea and toast. Oh, and take the trash can with you to the shower.”
or
“Open your bedroom windows after your shower. The fresh air will cleanse your body!”
or
“Hop up honey. I know you don’t feel good but we need to get these sheets out and clean sheets on. Here is another set for when you are feeling better.”
or
“If you are sick, you cannot watch tv or play or read or converse with your brothers and sisters. You can do that when you start feeling better.”
or
“Buck it up.”

Why were we raised this way?

I believe it was because we were a family of seven children. My mother had to keep our mind sets healthy and keep sickness from spreading.

Did it have an impact?

Yes, I can honestly tell you that I remember BARELY ever being sick. I also remember, MAX, being sick for 24 hours, if it was a flu like sickness and it would never hop over to all of our other siblings.

But it also may have had a negative impact. When I hear people “speaking” of ailments or getting the flu and passing it around like wild fire, I want to :

1. Go clean their house with bleach
2. Change all of their sheets
3. Educate them on the way sickness spreads
4. Open their windows
5. Tell them to “buck it up”

My children will tell you that I am a tough nurse. In my defense, I nurse sympathetically but I work on the mindset and body. If I see “wimpy” sneaking it’s way into this sickness….I immediately start the “buck it up” process.They call those types of nurses, “nurses from H-E, double toothpicks.”

Which led me to six years ago today, opting to stay awake for a second hysterectomy.

Yes, you heard me right….SECOND. (another story in itself)

I figured, I wasn’t going to let this hysterectomy, this SECOND hysterectomy take power of my body.
I was going to be tough. Prove to the world how your mind is stronger than your body.

I was so proud of my non-wimpiness and felt my OBGyn was just going to be in awe of my incredible strength.

He didn’t act impressed.
He acted like I was trying to prove something.
What? Where would he get that idea?
~gulp~

And six years ago this morning, I was scrubbed up, cap on my head, naked under a thin sheet and rolled into surgery.

AWAKE.

Taking uppers to stay awake

STUP-I-DEST thing I ever did!

Who was I trying to impress?

Myself?

My doctor?

My body?

Immediately upon rolling into surgery, I knew this was a stupid idea.

It was a huge room. It wasn’t like birthing a child. It had a scary and sterile (thank goodness) feel. It was freezing!

I felt like a MAJOR wimp.

The nurse talked to me, shocked that I was staying awake for this surgery.

Yes, by that time I knew I was an idiot.

A major idiot.

So, I had a thin blanket covering my “humiliated” body and a cap on my head and the second nurse arrived.

So you understand , this is all I could see of her…….

She was sweet. She kindly told me the words that all women hate hearing……

“Slide down towards the end of the table”……..

UGH!

I WAS AN IDIOT TO STAY AWAKE!

As she peered……ummmmmmm…….down below……..she said……

“You look familiar.”

I replied something to the words of…….”HUH?”

And she said….”Your face. Your face looks familiar. Do your kids go to CCS?”

They did and I was about to die……..

I was thinking…..”KILL ME NOW!”

I can’t even hardly tell you what I replied back but the surgery began. I talked nervously throughout. LIKE EVERY SINGLE SECOND. I’m sure my surgeon was wishing I had opted to be put to sleep.

There are so many reason why I would not opt to stay awake ever again but to keep from boring you to death….

#1 REASON to be asleep during surgery.

YOU HEAR EVERYTHING THAT IS GOING ON……GOOD OR BAD.

Surgery was wrapping up and the OBGYN said to the nurse, the one whose CHILDREN WENT TO MY KIDS SCHOOL, to call my husband and tell him that the surgery went fine and that I would be in recovery soon.

I told myself that I should be proud!

I had done it! Opted to stay awake with a MAJOR surgery!

I was NOT a wimp! My mother would be proud!!!!!

I heard the nurse make the call….and……while she was making that call……….

Something felt off. Weird. Not right.

And I was just getting ready to tell my OBGyn that something felt ….well…..funky……

When I heard……….from my OBGyn……an exclamation of…..

OH CRAP!” (Except not the word crap. This is the PG version). Two eloquent words, which led me to believe that things were not exactly good. He exclaimed these two words…while he was peering……ummmmmm……..down there.

There was a flurry of words between nurses, doctor and emergency anaesthesiologist, another emergency surgeon friend and within thirty seconds, they put me under.

My “opting to stay awake plans”, thwarted.

That fast.

I had no clue what happened or what was going on.

Neither did my family in the waiting room. For over three more hours.

It wasn’t life or death…thankfully. At least, that is what I was told, because it was handled immediately.

The hospital version….the surgeon, because of scar tissue on my cervix (what I’m told anyways), punctured my bladder. (funny how the blame was put back on me because of scar tissue)

My surgeon’s ego was deflated and so was my bladder.

He told me it was the first time ever, in the hundred years he has been operating, that he has had that happen. I found myself comforting him, encouraging him…..while I was being told that my bladder was punctured and the risks there-of.
When he walked out slump shouldered, I thought to myself…”what is wrong with this picture?”

I catch on real quick.

Fast forward to wearing a catheter for 14 days…
Terrible recovery…dehydration…constipation…emergency room visits…nightmares AND a new fear of surgery.

And today…on my six year anniversary……

I just wanted you guys to know……

Being tough is overrated. 

You’re welcome.

Love,

Me

PS. I woke up in the recovery room to my mother over me, asking why in the heck I would opt to stay awake.

: ) Isn’t life funny that way?

 

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Comments

  1. Brooke Gomhp says:

    Oh my word Reb you are the bravest woman I know!

    Hugs
    Brooke

  2. Honey, I am right there with you..It comes from almost 40 years of watching our mothers be tough and wanting to show them we can be as tough as them. Guess what..they HAD to be tough..If someone had told them “back in the day” that they could have opted to not be so tough..I am sure they would have. Best advice my 82 year old mother gave me…Being in charge all the time sucks. She was right. After 39 years I FINALLY learned my lesson. At 37 I had my FIRST ever surgery (not childbirth) I was scared to death of the anesthesia because I would be giving up control. Let me tell you..after 4 kids and never sleeping it was sweet sweet relief. My husband said he was jealous of me laying in RECOVERY because I GOT to sleep. I learned then..MOM was right. Now I just have to get her to listen to her own words.
    Hugs to you my friend. Buck up and take a break! :)
    Karin

  3. Mona says:

    Wow! I remember that so well. I can’t believe it has been so long! So glad things turned out ok; that was scary!

  4. It was different back then, same at my house. We did not ever go to the doctor. No playing when sick, fresh air, sheet changing, yadda-yadda…

    Oh we could trade stories girl! I had a hyst too. But mine was “radical” dude.
    So you got instant menopause too. So fun!

    Glad you are here today to share your stories with us. Hugs!!

  5. linenandoak says:

    I had no idea you even had the OPTION of staying awake! My goodness, you are pretty awesome for even trying that! Awesome, but crazy! I grew up like you did. There were 7 kids in our family too. We hardly ever got sick and never went to the doctor. Glad everything turned out OK!

  6. You poor thing! I am still trying to figure out how you get a second hysterectomy? I assume your first one was just a partial??? Anyways, I too got my female parts all removed ;) . However I never considered staying awake… No way, KNOCK ME OUT please!!! My only issue was that I had two beautiful daughters a la natural… And they told me my hysterectomy had to be done C-section style… What??? Why??? Slice me open like six inches? I seriously thought they were kidding! Having a grapefruit sized cyst located in a dangerous spot, blah blah blah. Whatever, cut me wide open. So recovering from this was way worse than having babies!!!

    So sorry I blabbed so much! I seem to have an issue with talking too much too :)

    Thanks for your story! It was a fun read. Glad it all turned out okay!

    Diana

  7. imklvr says:

    Oh, your mom’s words! Literally cracked me up! Kinda shows we mom’s don’t always believe what we teach, huh? Personally, I wouldn’t stay awake for anything, if I had the choice. Want to take blood? Put me to sleep! No, I can handle checking my blood pressure, I’m tough THAT way. I’ve had full dentures since I was 30 because I’d wait for a tooth (or teeth) to have to be pulled before I’d go to a dentist. And then I’d either get gas or get put under. Needless to say, my kids have GOOD teeth! yeah. We don’t always believe what we teach.

  8. Janet says:

    Oh my goodness, what you went through. I never opted to stay awake through any of my surgeries. Endometriosis required 4, the last of which was my one and only (I’d be interested in hearing why you had 2) hysterectomy. I feel for you, of course, with the horrible recovery and just hearing the surgeon’s words before putting you under. Hubs would feel equally bad (I do, too) for your family. My 1st endometriosis surgery was expected to be 2-3 hrs. Hubs would be called at work. 5 hours later the doc called to say it went well, he’d just never seen that much in anyone, too painful. Guess I learned to “buck up” a bit, too. Glad it’s over and you’re well!!!!!

  9. Oh My Friggin God – seriously I am in awe of your bravery. Heck I want one of those drugs that make you woozy even before you go to theatre. I have no idea how you managed to talk yourself into that! :) xx

  10. Beth Green says:

    As I read your post I am recovering from a c6-c7 cervical disc fusion. I have officially given up my super woman cape. I wore my cape during 1 emergency C- section, 1 scheduled c section,a uterine ablation, a hysterectomy and a life threatening case of pancreatitis, and did all of this while being the breadwinner to my family of four. No more cape wearing super woman. This past illness has kicked my fat white hynie!!! I hope I didn’t teach my children by what they have watched me “suffer” through.
    I could relate to your story, I too thought I was being “admirable” by being so tough. But, this last illness has changed my perspective as I heal peacefully giving my body and MIND the time it needs to heal.
    A great lesson.
    Thanks for the awesome post.

  11. You realize thus considerably when it comes to this matter, made me personally believe it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be involved until it is something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always care for it up!

  12. You are completely insane! The worst part of the whole story to me was the 14 day catheter. I had both my kids via c-section and I could not tolerate 24 hours with one. Bless you!

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