Wednesday, September 29, 2010

But I Don't Wanna Throw Up!

I went to the doctor earlier this week to discuss my upcoming surgery. My doctor explained the whole laparoscopic procedure to me. They'll make a little incision under my belly button for the scope, and another small incision on each side of my abdomen for the steak knife and tongs. They'll pump my tummy full of gas so I'm uncomfortable and bloated for weeks to come. Honestly, she said something about having to fill my tummy with gas so they could move their instruments around and see everything, but I'm not sure I believe her. They'll use the kitchen implements to snip out my ovary and the nasty dermoid and then they'll pull it out of my abdomen alien-style. She told me I'd get to go home the same day and would have a one week recovery.

I asked her if she could do a little liposuction while she's in there. You know, suck out some fat, do a little tummy tuck, maybe remove my stupid tattoo... She laughed. I think she thought I was kidding.

Then I asked her my number one question. "Please tell me you can do this surgery without general anesthesia!" She told me, "No".

"What do you mean No?!", I asked. "You do c-sections without general anesthesia! Why is this any different?" I started hyper-ventilating at the thought of having to have general anesthesia.

She explained that during laparoscopic surgery, they'd be filling my abdomen with gas and they couldn't have me numbed from the diaphragm down or I wouldn't be able to breath properly. But she offered me some hope. "We can do the surgery without general anesthesia, but we can't do it laparoscopically. I'd have to make a larger incision across your abdomen and you'd have a two night stay in the hospital and a six week recovery."

Now most normal people wouldn't even consider having the surgery the old-fashioned way. But me? I thought that was the better alternative by far. I mean, six weeks of pain is nothing compared to six hours of throwing up from the anesthesia. I'll take the pain over the vomiting any day of the week! And a two night stay in the hospital? Hello? That's called a vacation! But unfortunately, I don't think I can get someone to help out with my kids for a couple weeks while I'm recovering.

Sooo, I have the number for the anesthesiologist. My doctor encouraged me to have a consult with him before my surgery. But I know what's going to happen. He'll promise to give me top-of-the-line, heavy-duty, anti-nausea drugs. He'll swear I won't get sick this time. He'll assure me he'll take care of me so I don't get violently ill. In other words, he'll lie. And after my surgery, when I'm forcefully expelling my intestines into the ridiculously small barf tray they give you, he'll ask if he can include me in his article about weird anesthesia reactions.


I really can't decide which way to go. That's how much I abhor throwing up. I detest it! It's the worst thing in the world. I would absolutely rather have more pain for longer than to vomit even once. I know that probably sounds crazy to 99.9% of you, but that's where I stand. :(

59 comments:

Losing Brownies said...

I hate throwing up. After having my c-section though I think I would personally rather puke my guts out for a few days than go through that pain again, but I'm sure you wouldn't suffer a split incision or an infected uterus.

Lauren said...

I am so with you. I do everything I can to avoid throwing up. And I get the hospital stay=vacation thing too. You're not alone! :) I hope you find some support if you decide to go the long route.

TornadoTwos said...

Well I'm in the .01% so I understand you! I will lay in bed misserable for HOURS, knowing that if I throw up I will feel better, but I'd rather suffer for hours then vomit. I know its not even close to what your going through, but I do understand the not wanting to vomit part. Good luck making your decision, and I hope your surgery goes well.

V1nce said...

I remember your horror of barf and the act of barfing but it's better for your body if you go ahead with the salad and fork tongs instead of the Split the Tauntaun and Shove Luke Inside Method. (testing Dawn's movie knowledge)

However, to make the decision easier might I suggest some post-surgery revenge? You know how to bake... might I suggest giving the lying anesthesiologist some cupcakes laced with Syrup of ipecac on the way out?

Fair's fair!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Wellll... I do dislike throwing up.. but that long for recovery??
Good luck!

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

Suburban Correspondent said...

"I'd get to go home the same day and would have a one week recovery."

I'm still trying to figure out that "recovery" thing. At home? How? Don't they know you have 6 kids?

cyn said...

I had the same surgery years ago before laproscopic was even considered (it was under a general). I remember the pain being pretty bad for about a week or so and I couldn't drive for 2 weeks. But honestly, I don't remember 6 weeks of recovery. We started moving around that time and I was packing and cleaning. It took longer than normal because if I did move a certain way, I would feel a tugging. Good luck with your surgery. I hope the anti-nausea meds have gotten better!!

Amanda said...

Nope, you're not alone at all. I too have the same reaction with general so I feel your pain (no pun intended). I truly hope you're able to find someone to help watch the kids so you can avoid the vomiting.. although I work in a Chicago NW Burb hospital and if you do throw up, we now have blue bags... something to look forward to rather than the pink emesis basin? ;-) Laughable!! Good luck with your decision.

Tinabheart said...

I used to feel the same way, and then I got pregnant and threw up at LEAST once a day, every day for 9 months. Needless to say, I have an only child!

Raechel said...

OK, I know I'm not helping matters at ALL with making you feel better about the lap procedure buuuuut... I had this done in 2007 to diagnose endometriosis and the incisions didn't even hurt, the whole thing was over in a matter of hours, healing was NOTHING. That "buuuuut" though? The gas they pumped into my body was absorbed by my muscles and was up there in top three most painful things ever (other two are the c-section recovery and being attacked by a dog at 9) I called my nurse from the surgery and she said it is common, normal and passes in about two days but for me the aversion I have for that pain is probably along the lines of how you feel about vomiting.

I really, really hope it isn't the case for you and that hey, maybe this once they'll give you drugs o'awesomness to stop your stomach from trying to revolt. Whatever you decide, ((hugs))

Natalie Springhart said...

If it makes you feel any better, my c-section was done without general anesthesia and I still managed to throw up. At the most precious moment too. Nurse comes from the right and says "Here is your son!", I take one look at him, turn my head to the left and go "I have to throw up!"
(Please note: My son is perfectly cute. Just to get that straight.)

Mama-in-Ausbildung said...

I totally understand you!! Throwing up IS the worst thing in the world. And having a general anesthesia! (I never had one before and I am scared to ever have to have one - since they can do whatever they want in OR, don't they? I had a c-section too and enjoyed not having a general anesthesia, even though I got nearly - just nearly - sick to vomiting afterwards, but thank God it did not happen!

I would go with the two days in hospital, too. But it is hard for you, with your kids.. Tricky decision. Good luck for it!

Aprile said...

Ijust had this surgery at the end of August. I had my right ovary removed due to a cyst the size of Texas.

It isn't too bad. You will find you use your stomach muscles for far more things than you ever thought. Getting out of bed was the toughest part for me. I looked like and acrobat sliding and contorting to get up. You will walk a little hunched for 3-4 days. In a week you will feel much better. I had no throwing up but I did have a 6 hour period where I couldn't pee! Ugh. from anesthesia.

I had so much fun I am doing it again October 19th to remove my gallbladder which decided it wanted to come out as well now.

Good Luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask me.

Aprile

Holly Aytes said...

I agree with you 100%! I hate having any type of surgery. Even the epidural made me throw up for hours! Every time the dr says I can give you something to make it where you won't throw up and every time I throw up....they all lie :) Hope things go well.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i could not agree with you more... GAH zofran helps but does not stop it and the nausea is as bad or worse than the actual pukeing.

MaBunny said...

I'm with ya on the whole not wanting to vomit thing . Hoping your surgery goes well other than that! I had a consult with my anesthesiologist before a surgery I had and he didn't lie to me - he was terrific! Good Luck:)

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Beg and barter to have someone help with the kids. Don't get knocked out!! Not to scare you anymore, but getting pumped full of gas is horrible!! My hubby just had an emergency appy in July and the gas pains brought him to tears for three days. He was in horrible pain. And it's all the gas. And you have puking on top of that?? Get sliced and diced the old fashioned way. Get a mini vacation and take it easy for a few weeks. Seriously. I wish I lived closer, I'd totally come over to help with the kids.

Andrea said...

Also, you might want to check with your insurance company. if the Dr says they can do it laparoscopically, the insurance may not pay for the "old fashioned" surgery plus the extra days in the hospital. Just sayin'. I'd hate for you to end up with a stack of medical bills too!
I almost got saddled for a $5000 MRI that my Dr ordered but my insurance deemed unnecessary. Of course, with their discount they would have paid the hospital only $2500. I asked if I could just pay the $2500 if they say they won't pay and they said no - if we decide not to pay, then you have to pay the full hospital price, not the negotiated insurance price! In the end it all worked out and the insurance paid all but $900 which I gladly paid. I just don't want you to have to go through the same thing.

Sharon said...

You'll be fine. Throwing up is nothing compared to a long recovery time. And look on the bright side....you get to go home sooner which means a less expensive hospital bill!

Cynthia said...

Talk to your anesthesiologist there are so many great drugs they can give you before the surgery, during and after in your IV that are amazing!!!!

My first surgery puked like a freak then the second one with all the anti nausea drugs didn't even feel queezy!!! Some of the drugs are for chemo patients for after their treatments but you only need like 3 pills. It's totally awesome trust me get put out!!!!
Peace Cynthia

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Yep, totally HATE throwing up. My SIL had surgery recently and they were able to add something to her i.v. during the surgery. It helped a little. She was terribly nauseous, so I asked the nurse for some more help (because, I am ALSO a joiner) they gave her another shot and that helped, big time. Unless, you're afraid of needles like me (BLECH!) well, then, maybe I can convince my husband that I, you know, NEED to fly out to Chicago for six weeks ;)

Good luck, Hon!

Jessica said...

sorry Dawn - the gas from the lap surgery is the WORST!!! the incisions healed no problem but the pain from the gas they pump you with was awful! add vomiting to that and you will be beyond miserable.

Good Luck - looks like either way is going to stink

Jennifer said...

Throwing up is the absolute worst. I would seriously think about doing it the other way too.

Can you tell her to like push down when she's finished, but before she stitches you up to get all of that gas out of there. That was the worst part about my c-section/hysterectomy, the friggin' gas.

Cheryl Wilson - O'Pry said...

You're going to think I'm crazy but I consulted an anesthesiologist before one of my surgeries. I said the same thing. I don't want to throw up. He told me it was a mind set. If you feel yourself becoming sick don't panic. Try to calm yourself. Take deep breaths. Think happy thoughts. Dawn! It worked! It worked so well that it's my mantra. I say it all the time!

Deep breaths. Happy thoughts.

STOP! I can hear you laughing!

TiddliwinkDesigns said...

Make sure you get pain meds for the gas they leave in your belly. After my first laproscopic surgery to remove an embedded AND perforated IUD I left the hospital feeling okay, but with minor pain in my chest. The night I was in so much pain in my chest I had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. It was horrific. It took another surgery to remove the IUD and I begged to stay at the hospital. They let me and removed as much of the gas as they could which really helped the recover. You don't want gas in your chest AND vomiting to boot. ~Keshia

Janice said...

Had my ovary out a few years back and under general. No way in hell would I not be knocked out but then I'm not alergic to the anesthesia. Oh and one week recovery? Yeah if you're lucky. It was two weeks before I felt better. That gas they pump in hurts like hell until it goes away.

Jessi said...

I understand the aversion to vomiting, trust me, I do. I vomited non-stop(even in my sleep) for 9 months with my daughter. It's awful. I'd do anything to avoid it.
That said, if you do general and they make a big incision..you will have an "apron" of skin that never pops back.. and your abs will be even more shot than post 6 kids. You will get this gelatinous pooch that never goes away. Not to mention the long recovery in which you could pull out stitches causing bleeding, high infection risk, and being flat out for several weeks. I've had my gallbladder removed lap. and it wasn't terrible.. I have no memory of the recovery in hospital and then I slept for a couple days.. then back to normal. I know they always promise to give more meds so you don't yak, but have him look at your chart from last time.. He DOES have things in his arsenal that will work.
Good luck!

geelizzie said...

It doesn't sound crazy to me at all! Throwing up is the absolute WORST! Makes me gag even thinking about it.

erinsmerchek said...

When I had my surgery, they used more of the concisous sedation medications (they usually use them for colonoscopies), since I react horribly to general anesthesia (hives, heart issues, throwing up for days, etc). Worked like a charm and I didnt puke once! Ask the anesthesiologist if there is ANY other way to 'knock' you out. My doc and anesthesia argued about how to do it, but in the end, it worked out in MY favor!!

Jennifer said...

Hi Dawn,

I had a surgery that required the kind of cut they're describing for you if you do it without general anesthesia. It's not two days of pain in the hospital, and it's not just six weeks of pain (though it is that too), it's at least four weeks of almost complete incapacitation. I found it extremely difficult to manage, and I have one child and a life full of other helpful adults, some of whom live in my house. I could not drive for six weeks! Yes, throwing up is bad, and obviously for you it's a very bad thing, but the difficulty of figuring out other people to get everyone in your family where they need to go for six weeks might be more pain that the throwing up. Good luck making your choice - I know it's a tough one. I just wanted you to know what you're getting into if you pick the major abdominal surgery option. :(

tommygirl said...

I completely agree with the vomiting thing. If I had any type of morning sickness I would only have one child instead of two. I hate it that much. I would considered the other surgery as well. Good luck. I'll be praying for your anesthesiologist!

SandyAnnDee said...

General anesthesia terrifies me and like you, I'll take pain over throwing up anytime. OTOH, that is such a long recoup time. Good luck with your surgery - you will be in my prayers!

Gloria said...

I agree with the person who said check with your insurance. I seriously doubt they will pay for the "old fashioned" and more expensive way.

I also agree with the person who suggested it was partially a mind set. Perhaps you could see a hypnotist who could help you deal with the aftermath of anesthesia.

Whatever you decide, I believe you will have many, many of us praying for you to have a successful and uneventful surgery.

Gloria

Queen of pink in a house of blue said...

make sure to tell him the WORST story you have about throwing up.
here's mine:
Dr.-i'm going to give you some good stuff
Me- good thing because i throw up EASILY.
Dr.- i know what to give you.
Me- warning, the last anesthesiologist that told me that got puke up..choc. shake. not nice. and way more than i had to drink.

DR. oh ok.
he gave me his "good" meds

I PUKED ALL.OVER.HIS. EQUIPMENT. and HIM. Spinach dip. NOT NICE.NOT NICE AT ALL

Hubby: i bet that happens all the time, eh?
Dr.- NO!
Hubby- She warned you.

so, after having both of those stories, my next surgery had the BEST drugs...as long as i didn't let myself get really hungry, i didn't even heave!! AMAZING!!
and a script to go too!

Ellie said...

I'm totally with you on the hospital stay being a vacation. Complete with drugs. Wahoo!

Kim said...

I'm right there with you! They actually give you a plastic bag now to take instead of those trays. LOL Good luck!
Kim in VA

Wendy said...

I got a gastric lapband in December 2007 and they HAVE to find a form of anesthesia that doesn't make you vomit. Vomiting right after having the band placed does all kinds of nastiness including ripping the band out of place. It is possible to have general without vomiting. I was nauseous, but never vomited.

Rhonda said...

Oh Dawn, I so agree with you - I will force myself NOT to throw up when I have the flu or when I was pregnant - I'll put up with pain over puking any day! I had a 9 year puke-free streak going until I got pregnant with #3!

aurora's cross said...

I just had my gallbladder removed laproscopically and the gas wasn't too bad for me. My bellybutton is killer sore though! And the slightest use of my abs, (coughing, breathing, movement at all) is excruciating though. I hope yours goes ok and there's no vomiting, b/c I agree with the YUCK of that.

Letty said...

I'm soooo with you!!! I think I've commented before here about my intense fear and hate of vomiting in any way, shape, or form. That being said, I've had general anesthesia 4 times and have never vomited from it. I have them administer the anti-vomiting drugs early on- and they've always worked for me. Have they not for you before? Sorry....

I pray your surgery goes well!

Lisa said...

Follow your doctor's advice and call the anesthesiologist's office, find out who will be putting you to sleep and make arrangements to meet that doctor to talk to them about previous reactions. We used the same person for over 10 years, and he did an excellent job putting everyone in my family to sleep and waking us back up. We got personalized care which made a big difference.
I've learned that although doctors ask if you have reacted to drugs, they don't neccessarily read the information you've given them.

JeanM said...

There is less muscle damage and a shorter recovery from the lap. procedure (what I was told). I think puking your brains out is noral procedure sorry.

Donna said...

I throw up just hearing someone else puke !
I have no advice for you but I would think by now they would have the drug to prevent it.
I will keep you in my prayers too.
Good luck which ever way you have it done....
Donna from Indiana

Julie said...

Maybe your anesthesiologist could try a different drug. I was given morphine for a surgery a few years ago and started vomiting as soon as I woke up. Later on when I had my c-section I made sure to tell my anesthesiologist that I didn't want morphine so they used something else and I was fine. I also can't take anything with codeine in it because it makes me vomit. My hubby has had two hernia surgeries and they gave him morphine with his first one and he also vomited when he woke up. For the second surgery he asked them to use something other than morphine and he was fine.

DeAnna said...

I have never commented before, but as someone who has had to deal with the joys of being sensitive to anesthesia I feel like I should. I have only had surgery twice where I had to put under.

The first time the anesthesiologist was one of those one's with that attitude of I know EVERYTHING and just because you are sensitive to every other medication out there doesn't mean you'll have a reaction to this stuff. That was one VERY long day of me not being able to go home for 5 hrs after a day-surgery procedure that should've warranted a 2 hour recovery at most. And even then I was very out of it, groggy and nauseated...and of course I hurled as soon as I got home.

The next surgery I explained this to anesthesiologist and he understood me. He used a lower dosage so I would'nt react nearly as bad. And I was actually awake within 20 minutes of the surgery and didn't feel any nausea.

So I guess my point is, it is a tough decision. Nausea vs pain. And the answer really lies with the anesthesiologist and if he/she will listen to you & do something about it, and really we weirdoes who react to anesthesia really aren't so rare. Best of luck!

sharon said...

I had my tubes tied using a laparoscopic procedure and the gas did not bother me at all nor did I have much abdominal pain afterward. There are several different types of anesthetics and it may be that you only have a problem with whatever was used before, ask what other drugs are available to knock you out. Another thing to consider is the amount of time you need to be 'under' which again affects the strength and quantity of drug required. Talking to the anesthetist is a very good idea.

Good luck ;-)

Que said...

Hey, I'm with you on that 0.1%. I hate it too. I don't blame you for really thinking that through. Bleck! (That wasn't the sound of me throwing up. It's MUCH worse. That was the sound of general disgust.)

deb said...

Oh, Dawn....I so feel your pain..or should I say horror when it comes to vomit! I am also a mom of 6 (ages 22 to 36) and grandma of 3 (almost 4! 3 more weeks til #4!). Poop, diarrhea, blood, broken bones, gaping wounds- not a problem! I'll take care of it!
You feel like you are going to puke? I'm outta here!
My kids LOVE to tell stories about coming to me in the middle of the night, pitifully saying "Mom, I threw up...". my reaction was always....."WHERE???". Not a sympathetic "oh honey, are you ok?" but where the hell is the puke? My son, kid #4 and the only boy, was the worst...he would never wake up until fully involved in the "act". *shudder*
I still have not forgiven him for it, and he's 28!
I have had good luck with general anesthesia the few times I've had it. Could be the anti nausea drugs, or my fine honed skill of deep breathing through my gag reflex. I'd go with the lap surgery if i were you...if not, as a fellow "vomit hater", I'll come help with your kids...I live not too far from you!
Good luck!
Deb

Jennifer said...

KYTRIL.....it's the chemo drug. My mom was so sick after her first round of chemo. SHe got Kytril and was not sick again!!! it never hurts to at least ask about it! I would so come help you out if I lived closer!

Michelle said...

Ugh, so sorry that's the news for you. I'm with you on the puking... and that makes it a tough call. You deserve a vacation, too. Good luck!

Hoffman Family said...

Do you really have a tattoo? If so...where and what of?

papersunshine said...

There are different types of general anesthesia. Have the anesthesiologist find out what was used before and use a different one this time. That is what they did with my son and he did so much better! Good luck gal!

Francesca Fine Jewelry said...

My sister had this same decision to make, but with another surgery. You're just like her. She hates throwing up more than anything in the world. She is terrified of throwing up. In the end, my sister chose going under for a shorter recuperation period. They gave her the meds so she wouldn't throw up. She threw up. A lot. I understand your fear. My sister has the same one and it's a very strong fear.
Jean

Shellie said...

Doesn't sound weird at all, I feel exactly the same way about vomiting.

Keeley said...

My daughter just had laparoscopic surgery with gas in her abdomen etc etc, and she had general anesthesia. Sooooo...what's up with your anesthesiologist?

BTW you're really going to love that gas thing. =(

Denise said...

You should ask the anest. dr. about getting an epidural for the general. I had to have surgery on my ankle after I shattered it walking out my front door. I mentioned to the dr. that I always puke for hours after the anes. wears off. He suggested that, and it was fabulous! I highly recommend it. No puking at all!

Carrie said...

This sounds suprisingly similar to an experience I just had... I hate ivs so much (not the needle, just the fact that it's in my arm for hours bruising me etc) that I decided to go all natural with the birth of my 4th child. Now that seems like a really stupid thing to compare... Childbirth vs. an iv. But to me it makes sense. But I'm telling you Dawn, once I was actually in full on labor and decided I needed drugs afterall, that iv didn't bother me one bit. Point: I get what your saying. I hate ivs THAT bad, but I think once you were trying to recover from all out surgery you would see how the other option would be worth it... Good luck!

Sharlyn said...

Right there with ya hon.

letterstomygirls said...

Hey Dawn - part of the nausea is from the pain meds. Ask them to use a non/ narcotic pain reliever. I'm a pucker,too, but my lady c-section, they used an intravenous synthetic ibuprofen and I had no puking! Also, consider refusing stool softener if it's offered. Good luck!

Lorie

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