Saturday, November 16, 2013

Most Recent Doctor's Visit

NB: in this post I'm going to talk about medical things so if that is something you don't want to read about, I suggest you skip this post or just scroll down to see the pictures.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for the first time since Sadie was born. I think in the US, this is called the 6-week visit, although it was closer to 8 weeks for me. Apparently one of the standard things they do at exams here is an ultrasound. So the doctor was doing the ultrasound and looking at the screen and says, "uh-oh." I repeat: the doctor said, "uh-oh." That definitely did not make me feel good.  So anyway, she pointed at something on the screen that I couldn't really see and told me she didn't know what it was. She also like, poked around at me asking if it hurt, which it didn't. It ended up with her telling me I should go to the hospital right away so they could look at it.

This had me pretty freaked out, so I called Hunter, who was on the bus on the way to work but immediately got off and got on a bus coming back. I went up to the hospital and before too long was talking to a doctor. He looked at the picture from the ultrasound the doctor had sent with me and seemed to immediately realize why she had sent me there. He said he thought it was a cyst and was going to do another ultrasound.

So he did the ultrasound and it became clear why I didn't know what my original doctor was pointing at. Basically the thing on the screen was so big that I thought it was just a thing that was supposed to be there. He showed me the cyst, which is 8 or 9 cm across and then for comparison showed me the other ovary, which is like 1-2 cm across. So, pretty big difference there. He said I was going to have to schedule surgery to remove it.

The type of surgery they do is laparoscopic, which Hunter tells me is the kind that playing video games makes you good at. Probably also being trained in this form of surgery makes you good at it, but anyway I guess it's "minimally invasive," so they don't actually cut you open to do it. The doctor said there is a possibility I will lose the ovary; they won't really know until they go in and see, but either way I have another one, so thank goodness for all the redundancy in the human body I guess.

Anyway from what I understand, this isn't all that unusual. I've never had surgery before and I'm going to have to stay in the hospital for three days, ugh. I think in the US the stay would be shorter, but here they seem to like to keep you there. So we'll have to figure out what to do with Sadie during that time and everything. During this whole visit to the hospital, Sadie was such a trooper! She was just lying in her carrier, occasionally opening her eyes or smiling but not whining or crying or anything, even though she was probably hungry and needed a diaper. I guess she just knew I needed her to be a little champ for me.

My surgery is scheduled for Nov. 27, in about two weeks. Obviously I would appreciate any prayers or stories from anyone who has had this kind of surgery before.


  1. I'm so glad they do a post-natal ultrasound there!! Sounds like you are being treated well in the medical system there. And, little Sadie, what a trooper!!!

    Love you all!!

  2. I've never had OB/GYN related surgery, but I had my gallbladder out laparoscopicly this summer. I have three tiny (and I do mean tiny, they look more like bug bites than anything else) incision scars. One for the air, one for the camera, and one for whatever it was they used to suck the gallbladder out.

    My mom had a similar sounding surgery to yours, and she had a small incision around her belly button, and then they went up through her lady parts to do whatever it was they were doing.

    It's surgery, so there's some pain but if you're in the hospital, they'll give you the good stuff. You will probably have some trouble moving around the first week and your digestive system might be a little off (more from the anesthesia/medicine than the surgery). Picking up things and bending over might be difficult as well. But the great thing about minimally invasive surgery is that the recovery time is minimal. I had my surgery on a Monday and went back to work the following Monday. I probably could have gone back the Friday after if I had needed to. Once I was off painkillers, I didn't feel like I needed anyone with me, so Hunter shouldn't have to take off that much time from work.

    The medical librarian in me suggests that you do some research and read up on other people's experiences with the surgery. I can't imagine that what they do in Germany is very different than what they do in the US or the UK. Check out MedlinePlus, PubMed Health, the Mayo Clinic, and the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They typically have good patient information. What's online tends to be the worst case scenarios, but it's good to know what's possible so you can make plans for how you'll handle it.