An hour before surgery and the nerves had started to kick in…big time. Rob was sitting by my side holding my hand and trying to warm me up, when I started to realize, wow, this is really happening right now.
“You’re a surgery Sookton,” he said.
I knew it was going to come down to this one day. That the surgery was needed. The doctor had said, “the only way to know what we are dealing with is to look inside of you.” What we were dealing with was the possibility of endometriosis, a disorder in which your endometrial cells break off and start to grow in places outside your uterus.
After avoiding and avoiding, I finally made the decision that I was going to do this and get it over with.
It all started when I attended the National Federation of Press Women conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
We were in a seminar entitled, “Accomplishing Your Ultimate Goals.” I was paired up with a nice lady from Nebraska and we were both challenged with writing down our ultimate goals and the precise steps we were going to take to accomplish these goals — including a time line to accomplish these goals.
I can’t stress what a great exercise this is! You start by writing down three goals you wish to accomplish. One right now, one in the next five years, and one ultimate goal. Next, write down the exact steps you are going to take to accomplish that goal, and a time line to achieving them.
One of the goals I wrote down was, “A room of my own.”
As some of you Sookton Space readers might know, we have been living with Rob’s grandmother for the past 9 months. Before that, we lived with his father for a while. For over a year now, we have not had a place to call our own.
The song “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac seems to be on constant rotation in my head.
So this September, we finally decided, money or no money, we were just going to find a small place of our own. After searching on Craigslist we found a place that was both affordable and spacious. The moment I walked in, I knew I had found it…a room of my own.
We have our bedroom and then a spare bedroom- a place I could write, a creative area just for me. With hardwood floors and a window overlooking the park, it is just perfect.
Back in Iowa as I wrote down the words “Room of my own” I didn’t really expect it to come true. But there really is something to be said about writing down your goals. Maybe if you say it to the universe- you secretly whisper it into existence.
My team mate in the ultimate goal seminar said to me, “What obstacles do you have to overcome to get to your goal?” I said, “Probably my health.”
I started thinking about all those abnormal cells, scattered around my organs in my abdomen. The pain and discomfort, the embarrassment and the fact that I had endometriosis COUPLED with PCOS. It made me sad. My health really was an obstacle.
She said, “Well you have to focus on your health first. Get that out of the way then you can focus on your writing, and your room of your own.”
She was so right!
So I pledged to myself that I would get healthy and that I would do the ugly, surgical, scary things that I really didn’t want to do.
On the day of the surgery, I kept telling myself, “This is something I need,” and “Life is about overcoming obstacles.” Truthfully, it is always good to remind yourself that these problems are miniscule compared to the problems most people in this world face.
Still – I was scared. Several times the night before the surgery, and the day of, I wondered if I was going to die. I wondered, “Will I go out this way? Will this hospital room be the last thing I see?”
Right after that picture was taken- the Surgery Sookton-the doctor asked me if I wanted anxiety medication. “Yes, yes, yes please,” was my answer. Once they gave me the medication – it was all sunshine and butterflies from there. I was joking and laughing with the doctors and nurses and just having a gey olde time.
The first thing I said when I got out of surgery was:
“Do I get to watch the Colbert Report now?”
Seriously, that is what I said.
Coming around was hard, and Rob took care of me every step of the way. He literally fed me, helped me walk, took me to the bathroom, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband.
The doctor advised Rob that they had found endometrial growths throughout my uterus (inside and outside) and all over my bladder. They lasered out all the growths and at some point had to make an excision to remove a large mass of growths in my uterus.
It was amazing to me that all this had been going on in my body- growing and sticking and making my life miserable- and I had no idea.
Today is day 5 after surgery. What has got me through?
My husband, my family and friends, the trusty bottle of vicodin prescribed by my doctor and….popcorn.
Popcorn is my new obsession (besides Colbert of course). When I wake up, I get excited to eat popcorn. When the pain kicks in, I dream about the popcorn I am about to go make myself. I like to call it Popcorn-Palooza.
I don’t know what it is about this salty, buttery goodness, that just lifts me from the pain and tenderness.
And I have always liked popcorn but not like now. I am a popcorn-aholic now.It is crazy.
And at the end of the day, when I am all recovered and look back on this popcorn-palooza time of my life, I will be glad I made this decision to get healthy.
The doctor said my ovaries and fallopian tubes are all clear, which is a great sign if I want to get pregnant in the future.
Last night Rob said, “I am so proud of you,” and I said, “why?”
He said, “When I saw you in your hospital gear, attached to wires and a breathing machine and ready to go into surgery, I have never seen you be so brave. I don’t think I could have been that brave. But at that moment I was so proud of you, and I loved you even more than before.”
Le sigh. This is why I love him.
Now for some more popcorn.