Monday, May 9, 2011

That Crazy Bag Lady

I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to tell the Internet World about the events of my last week, but the better I'm feeling, the more I feel like sharing. There's something therapeutic in sharing mistakes and mishaps. I think that it's easy to feel down after spending an hour reading your favorite blogs. Life can also seem so good on the Internet - and rightly so; these posts are often read and proofread. A hundred photos may have been taken, but only the best one is selected. And I'm okay with being known as the girl who rarely finishes a knitting project without ripping it out at least once; who spends as much time dazed and confused by her sewing machine as she does successfully completing a project. So if I come to be known as the girl who had to spend a weekend peeing into a bag, so be it. Some people don't get to have that bag removed once the weekend is over - so I consider this a major blessing.

If you've been following this blog for any length, you know that Joel and I have been somewhat unsuccessfully trying to have another child for a number of years. We've done this test and that test, tried this thing and that, and it's all boiled down to us being healthy individuals with nothing really wrong.

A few months ago, we finally decided to meet with a fertility specialist just to get another opinion and see what exactly our options were. This meeting was so helpful and clarifying. The specialist felt that one of my tests was wrong and that I may have a blocked fallopian tube, and he also felt that it was very likely that I had endometriosis. My past doctor thought there was no chance I had endometriosis, so this left me with my head spinning. The only way to diagnose this is with a surgical procedure called a Laparoscopy. It's an incredibly expensive procedure, and my insurance does not cover anything if it has to do with infertility.

I went home and did my research on endometriosis, became convinced I had it, and decided to make a new appointment with a new doctor to discuss my options. This new doctor was also convinced I had endometriosis and based on my history, she decided the best option was a Laparoscopy. Endometriosis is not just an infertility thing ... and get this ... my insurance covered the procedure 100%.

So last Wednesday, I had the procedure and as the doctor put it, I had "lots and lots and lots" of endometriosis. They were able to clean it all out, put me back together, and send me home. The recovery was supposed to be quick and easy, but for me it wasn't so great. From the moment I got home, I had to pee every 5-10 minutes. Each time I let out very little, and stood back up feeling like I still had to go. This continued through the night and the next afternoon I called the doctor.

I live right across the street from a hospital, but it wasn't the hospital I had my procedure at. That hospital is a good distance away. So, the doctor decided to diagnose me with a bladder infection over the phone and I went ahead and started treating it. The treatment helped a little ... I was now able to go a half hour to 45-minute stretch without running to the bathroom. But in the middle of the next night, the vomiting began.

Miserable. That's the best way to describe me. I was basically a peeing, vomiting machine, and early the next morning, Joel took me to the ER. At the ER, they did an ultrasound and told me I was retaining a HUGE amount of urine, so in went the catheter.

This is where it all got a little crazy and pre-historic feeling (okay, that's being a little dramatic). I was in the room all alone, with no nurse call button, and my bladder started having extremely - EXTREMELY - painful spasms. At first I tried to suck it up, then I texted Joel asking him what I was supposed do (he didn't get the text). When I couldn't take it any more, I started banging on the wall yelling "HELP!" Eventually, somebody came in. A little bit later the doctor came in with a shot of morphine, and the rest was just fine.

When I was about ready to go home, I had filled up the catheter bag with TWO LITERS of urine (if you, like me, don't think in liters - think of a 2 liter bottle of soda at the grocery store). As a result of the anesthesia, I got to be one of the lucky few for whom a side effect is a lazy bladder. After the spasms were over, I felt immediate relief. I just wanted to go to sleep, as I had barely slept a wink in the past three days.

They decided I needed to bring the catheter home, so since Friday morning, I've had a bag of pee attached to my leg with velcro. Good times, I tell you. Looking on the bright side, I've learned two things:

1. I am so blessed to live without a catheter, and
2. I really, really, really, really like sitting down to pee.

Hopefully today is the day that I get to go back to being normal. It was a very calm, sitting on the couch kind of weekend. My amazing mommy came up Friday night to help out since Joel absolutely had to go out of town for the night. And while typing this, the office called to schedule my appointment. I nearly burst into tears when I found out I couldn't get in until 3. I'll keep you posted ... and I'd definitely appreciate a couple of prayers sent my way.


  1. Sharing is good- and after your FB posts, I was really craving an explanation! Glad your doing better and I hope this all works out!!

  2. Oh my goodness :(

    My father's wife had Endometriosis. Back before it much was known about it, she nearly bled to death before they figured out what was wrong when her uterus basically exploded with the Endometrial tissue. It's awesome that they have made so many advances and can diagnose it early.

    A lady I used to work with was diagnosed with it when she was in her early 20s and was told she would never have children. But she had two healthy baby girls ... getting pregnant with the second one almost immediately after having being "cleaned out," as they called it :)

  3. My sister-in-law has three kids and she's had to get "cleaned out," as she and your other poster put it, before getting pregnant each time. I really hope this helps you guys!

  4. By the way, catheters are no fun and I'm sorry you had to have one. I'm guessing they are even more not fun to bring home. I had to have one for each of my c-sections. Hopefully you are healed up soon.

  5. Kate - I'm so glad you are on the mend - and I hope that this procedure means good news for your attempts for child number 2! Best wishes.

  6. Katie! I have been thinking of you and praying for you. You poor sweet thing.

  7. I pray blessings will come out of this! I am sure it was a relief finding something that was wrong! I am praying for a complete and I mean complete recovery!

  8. Thank you so much, everyone, for all your kind words and prayers. It really means a lot!

  9. kate -- so sorry this has been such a hard thing. i'm praying for you and joel and future pecks-to-be. love!