First Laparoscopy (Possible Endometriosis)

Hey ladies! I'm new here.. I'm 21 and my gynecologist is fairly certain that I have endometriosis. Between a strong family history (sister included) and my symptoms, I am just surgery away from knowing for sure. The symptoms have progressively gotten much worse to where the pain is now pretty chronic and sometimes debilitating. My doc wants to get me into surgery fairly soon, but I keep putting it off.. I am so scared :( I am a nursing student about to graduate and have spent many clinicals in Preop, the OR, and PACU, so I know how the system works, but it is not comforting in the slightest..

I am so scared to be put to sleep.. afraid to give up control like that I guess (I've been a victim of sexual abuse and that plays a major role). I am scared about what all needs to happen while I'm asleep and being exposed and cut into (and a uterine manipulator?). I'm nervous about the idea of being intubated. I'm nervous about the idea of bleeding out (I had major bleeding complications with my tonsils at age 15). I'm nervous about waking up in the PACU and hurting, but not being able to have a loved one with me. I'm nervous about how recovery is really going to go, especially with the pain from the CO2. I'm so scared about nearly every step of the process that I just keep putting it off. Does anyone have any advice..? :/

6 Replies

  • Hi there,

    I'm sorry to hear that you have so much anxiety surrounding your upcoming surgery. I recently had my first laproscopy to look for endometreosis... And I have to say - things were a lot LESS worse than I thought they were going to be.

    When I first woke up - I was in pain. But when you are in recovery, there is a nurse that sits by your bedside and just gives you more drugs everytime you wake up in pain. Their job is to keep you comfortable and manage your pain.

    I had a friend come get me from the hospital, and I stayed with her the first night - this was helpful, not because I really needed the help, but more because it was nice to let someone in and have them take care of me.

    When you first get taken into the OR...They ask you what kindof music you like and put something on... Everyone is really warm and welcoming and they will all introduce themselves with their first names, make jokes with you and try to put you at ease. They will put an IV in your hand and that will be the last thing you remember - You won't be part of the intubation, or anything won't have known it happened really. Though your throat will be dry - The nurse in recovery will have ice chips for you.

    If you live alone - I would recommend stocking up on things like popsicles (my mouth was so dry!), mint tea (for the CO2 pain), crackers, soup etc... Everyone's experiences with wanting food after surgery is different... but nausea is always a problem for me, so it continued after the surgery and was a problem.

    One of the challenges that no one told me about was the lack of ability to find a comfortable sleeping position. I slept best propped up in bed, or on the couch. This lasted for a week and a half or so.

    For pain meds, they left me with what I had at home - Which was fine, as I take morphine daily... But if you don't have something strong, be sure to ask for something for the pain at home - Alternatively, you can visit your doctor right before the surgery and ask them what they can do for you.

    The CO2 pain was uncomfortable....I found that mint tea was helpful...but it feels more like when you're running and get a cramp in your side than anything worse... It doesn't feel great, but walking around or finding a comfortable semi-seating position will help.

    I'm sorry to hear about all of the trauma you have gone through. I have a few suggestions from a therapeutic standpoint which may help you:

    1) Have a close friend or trusted family member (someone who makes you laugh and eases your mind) wait with you at the hospital the day of your surgery. There can be delays and things - having someone wait with you to occupy your mind might be helpful to make this time go by faster. They can be with you right up until you get wheeled into the OR.

    2) If you don't have a counsellor yet, You might benefit from talking to one before the surgery as well as afterward - Some people find a level of depression comes from having surgery - If you do not have resources available to you directly - Please feel free to private message me for some options that we can discuss.

    I'm not going to tell you it is going to be easy...But I will tell you that it wasn't nearly a quarter of how bad I thought it was going to be, after all the research I did and all the awful thoughts I put into my mind.

  • Wow, thank you so much for your reply. I have read it through probably 6 times already. I just.. I really don't know if I can go through with it. :( The fear is absolutely paralyzing.. but I let the fear in because somehow it feels like it is protecting me. I trust my doc.. I just don't know if I'm brave enough to take the plunge.. I'm panicking

  • Hi I can't give you the same level of good advice as PainfulMe but I understand your anxieties. As I hold the same from similar experiences. Every time I go in for an op in I have a panic attack when it comes to being put to sleep. They can give you some diazapam to help you relax before you go up. I am then usually given another sedative to help with my pounding heart rate and I get so relaxed I do not care by the time I am being put to sleep. What I am saying is they will look after you and your anxieties. Just be sure to tell them. I have slowly over time and having been through a great deal of examinations and a few ops learned to accept letting go. I used to have a major problem with men examining me. I think as Painfulme suggests counselling may be helpful for you. Please don't worry, it will be fine xx

  • Have you always had this level of anxiety? It could be that the pain you are in is impacting you. I know on days where my pain is too much to handle, everything else is too.... Have you talked to your doctor about your anxiety?

    When you say - you don't know whether you can go through with it - What thoughts lead that feeling?

    Again, if you'd like - you can contact me privately and we can work through some things for you. I don't do a lot of long distance counselling - but I'm sure we can work through some options that might allow you to feel more positive about your upcoming experience. I would hate for you to miss out on something that is so essential toward your continued health because of a fear you aren't in control of.

  • Aah bless you. It is daunting the not knowing etc but you could maybe try and think of the positives you will get from having surgery? Less pain, achievement that you faced one or many of your fears and hopefully can live a better life. Maybe try a few counselling sessions before you have the surgery done? I've had 5 surgeries for endo now and it was the best sleep I've ever had! Lol. Make sure you tell the surgeon and nurses that you are very anxious etc and they will be sure to look after you! Good luck in your decision xx

  • I wish I had more wise words to offer you. I am only replying because I can relate. I recently had my gallbladder removed. I felt the same way you feel now. And my anxiety was worsened by the fact that the gallbladder removal was just a hic-up in the process of diagnosing endo. So I knew after this surgery, I was also looking at the lap for endo and then possibly a hysterectomy. I couldn't help but fear if I couldn't make it through gallbladder removal then I would never be able to go through the other surgeries I need to finally get well. Anyhow, my point is, I did it! I was scared the whole way through but it was not as traumatic as I had feared. I kept reminding myself how helpful the surgery would be and how miserable I had been for so many months. For some strange reason focusing on my horrible symptoms and relief of said symptoms, that is what got me through. And in the end I was very proud of myself for going through with it. I felt like a rock star! Good luck to you! You can do this! And it might be so worth it...

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