On January 23rd at 8 am, I walked into a clinic in Reykjavík, and two hours later I walked out with my tubes tied. I’m a single, childless woman in my late twenties.
Today is Sunday and I’m on my 5th day of recovery. I want to tell you about the process from the start but before I do I want to put this disclaimer:
My experience is my experience. Should you have this surgery it could be completely different. It’s important to consult with your doctor and follow their instructions completely. I’m not going into details about what happens in the surgery as I don’t remember it detailed enough. Your doctor can explain it much better than me. In this blog I want to tell my story and about my first days of recovery. Now…
The night before I fell asleep quite late, which is not unusual for me. I was quite tired and groggy when I got to the clinic but excited. I signed a few documents, saying I understood the risks and that I was making this decision myself. Not long after I was given a bed. A nurse came by to give me a hospital gown and check when I had last eaten (as you have to fast from midnight). The anaesthetist came by as well as well as the surgeon. About 20 minutes after I was given the bed I was asked to come to the operating room where the anaesthetist put a needle in my arm. Everything went by so quick, he was grabbing things and tubes and put something in the needle, I felt a sharp weird but nice feeling in my head that I commented on and like that I was out.
Waking up after anaesthetia is so weird! I remember being in the operating room and then all of a sudden I was wide awake back in the bed I had originally been in. I was a tiny bit groggy but I did feel I woke up quite nicely. A nurse came by and gave me water. I felt like I needed the toilet and she said I could go (but not lock the door) but that since my bladder had been emptied in the surgery nothing would happen. She was right, but there was a small blood clot that fell down.
The doctor came by and told me the surgery had went well. I had two band aids on, one over my belly button and one on the left side of my lower abdomen. He told me that I should leave it on for four days and that it was completely water proof. Not long after the nurse told me I could get dressed and leave!
I admit I was a little bit surprised, I thought that the “after care” would take longer but granted most of my research comes from other countries so the experience may vary.
I had read before that one of the side effects afterwards could be pains in the shoulder. This is due to the fact that they pump air into you to have more space to operate and then the air moves around the body in an attempt to get out. I wouldn’t say it’s painful but it’s uncomfortable and bit weird. I only got it in the right shoulder, for about a day. Fair warning: there are a lot of farts as the air tries to make its way out.
I’m surprised at how little sore I felt, compared to what I had imagined. I felt mostly tired physically. Counting surgery day as day 1 of recovery I’d say the first three days I was quite tired and a bit sore, and did not feel like using my stomach muscles at all. So sitting up from lying down can be a bit of a task.
On day 4 (Friday, January 26th) I went back to my house in Reykjavík and had planned to go to a TV show viewing party downtown. I felt fine and looked fine, but I was there for about 3-3,5 hours and I was exhausted. As it was a viewing party for Rupauls Drag Race All Stars 3 and it was hosted by a fabolous drag queen there was a lot of cheering and clapping. It. was. exhausting.
I think the main thing that I’ve noted from this experience is how much energy it takes to heal. You may look fine and you may feel fine, but your body is working really hard to mend a huge wound that has been made. Most things I read was that recovery was 2-3 days or maybe 1-5 days but that it was easy. It’s definitely easy – but it’s also much harder than I expected. If you have this surgery – take time off and just rest. You may hear the phrase “take care of yourself” but in this case it means: do not do anything. Rest, take a nap and then rest some more. Give your body time. Take more naps. And then rest some more.
As to a bit more physical stuff, I was told not to go to the gym or have sex for at least a week, but as I’ve read 7-10 days, I will probably give it at least 10 days. If you’re a gym rat (which I am not), start slowly. Don’t go straight back to your normal routine and give yourself time to get there. The biggest risk with any surgery is internal bleeding and it can be hard to spot.
I took the band aids off yesterday as instructed. The cuts are about 1-2 cms (?). The one on my belly button is very well healed. The other scar was a bit more open so I bought “Steristrip” band aids to put over them as the help keep the skin closer together as it heals. In any case these won’t be big or noticeable scars for sure. Both scars have a bit of a bruise around them.
It’s been an experience for sure but once I came back home on Friday (after spending a few days at my mums house during recovery), I felt quite emotional. I felt like this was the first day of the rest of my life. I feel very right in my body now, I feel very free. My choice to be childfree is now somehow more validated in my head, as now there is no take backs. I honestly can’t find a better word than just feeling free. Free from some pressures about “changing my mind”.
So this is it. It’s done. I can now move forward in my life, child free and worry free.
Make your own decisions. Your life is yours, your body is yours. Choose to put yourself first, your needs, your wants and your life.
Styttri íslensk útgáfa
Mig langaði að skrifa bara stuttlega á íslensku um aðgerðina af því að mér finnst ekki nóg af persónulegum upplýsingum á netinu á íslensku. Þetta er mín lífsreynsla og ef þú ert að íhuga þessa aðgerð – talaðu þá við lækni. Þín reynsla bæði af aðgerðinni og batanum gæti verið allt öðruvísi.
Ég fór í aðgerðina hjá Lækningu í Lágmúla eftir að hafa talað við kvensjúkdómalækninn minn þar. Biðtíminn var um 5 vikur fyrir mig frá því ég hringdi svo til að panta tímann. Þar skiptir líka máli hvar þú ert í tíðahringnum. Skurðlæknirinn sendi mér upplýsingar í tölvupósti um kviðholsspeglun (mér fannst svolítið vanta upplýsingar um ófrjósemisaðgerðina sjálfa í það skjal reyndar) sem og umsókn sem þarf að fylla út og koma með á aðgerðardag.
Ég kom um 8 leytið um morguninn, skrifaði undir nokkur skjöl (um að ég vissi áhætturnar og að ég væri að taka þessa ákvörðun sjálf) og fékk svo rúm. Hjúkrunarfræðingur, svæfingalæknir og skurðlæknirinn komu við til að útskýra aðeins aðgerðina og ekki löngu seinna var ég komin í gulan slopp og upp á borð í skurðstofunni! Svæfingalæknirinn setti nál í handlegginn á mér og áður en ég vissi af var hann búinn að setja lyfið í, ég fann furðulega tilfinningu í hausnum og næsta sem ég veit er að ég vaknaði í rúminu sem ég var í fyrst.
Ég fékk vatn og bað um að fara á klósettið en þar sem blaðran er tæmd í aðgerðinni þá gerir það nú lítið. Ég fékk samt að fara og ég held að tilfinningin sem ég hafi fundið hafi verið vegna smá blóðkögguls sem kom út þegar ég fór á klósettið.
Læknirinn kom við og lét mig vita að allt hefði gengið vel og að ég mætti fara! Ég var semsagt mætt klukkan 8 og farin klukkan 10.
Það helsta sem ég tók eftir næstu daga er þreyta. Ég er búin að vera frekar líkamlega þreytt. Ég er talsvert minna aum en ég hélt þó það sé vissulega til staðar. Margar hreyfingar varðandi að setjast upp eða skipta um stellingu í rúminu eða sófanum eru óþægilegar og erfiðar þar sem að það er óþægilegt að nota magavöðvana.
Það mikilvægasta er bara hvíla hvíla hvíla. Taka því rólega, leggja sig og hvíla sig og taka því svo meira rólega. Ekki fara í stórþrif eða lyfta eða hlaupa. Mér var sagt að ég mætti fara í ræktina eftir viku, en ég myndi þá ekki fara beint í eitthvað hardcore heldur bara byrja hægt. Sömuleiðis má ekki stunda kynlíf í viku (og ég er svo nojuð að ég myndi hafa það 10 daga minnst). Ég er samt enn nógu aum núna á degi 5 til þess að geta ekki ímyndað mér neinn hasar!
Þrátt fyrir að vera enn frekar þreytt á degi 5 þá er ég svo glöð og ánægð. Ferlið var auðvelt, aðgerðin var auðveld og fljótleg og bataferlið er í raun frekar stutt og auðvelt. Ég hlakka til að klára þetta ferli og halda áfram með líf mitt – barnlaus.