Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday morning I had my post-op follow up. As expected, the surgeon was short and to the point and still lacking any personal charm - but she saved something very important to me so whatever floats her unfriendly boat is fine by me! I'm healing nicely, a biopsy was done on my appendix and came back clean (other than a pretty serious infection), and I'm doing well on the road to recovery. I was told to give it at the very least one more week before I start picking up Caden again and at that point only pick him up if I have to and if it hurts, obviously stop. I can start walking for exercise but ease into it, no abdominal exercises for several weeks and I still need to rest and take it easy.

I've felt like a bit of a sissy because I'm still in pain on and off - I don't remember being in this kind of pain 2 weeks after my c-section. The nurses in the hospital said that while the incisions are smaller, the surgery was still major and more involved than a c-section. Yesterday I was told that my appendix was in pretty bad shape and it is completely normal (and very non-sissy like) to still be in pain.

I found out that my appendix was "hot" - meaning it would have ruptured within 24 hours. I asked why I wasn't in pain as I would have expected with an appendix in that bad of shape. As it turns out, my appendix was located very low in my pelvis giving it some protection. The surgeon said it isn't all that uncommon in women to have their appendix located that low. And then she delivered the blow, the bit of information I've had in the back of my head the last 24 hours.

Had my appendix ruptured... Had I waited another day to be seen by a doctor... Not only could I have died, but most likely I would have lost the ability to ever have another child due to where my appendix was sitting in my body.

24 hours. Max. Thats how close I was to never carrying another child. To never even having the option.

In her pre-surgery rush, the surgeon said something about the amount of inflammation even affecting my fertility. Which is why I was so pissed that the surgeon never elaborated on that post-op until yesterday. For 2 weeks I've been sitting here worried that my fertility was affected - it terrified me, which is why I haven't wrote about it and why I haven't said anything. I had nothing to say until I knew.
The good news is that this should not affect my fertility. My appendix was removed, it didn't rupture, and the inflammation didn't affect my reproductive organs. The surgeon said I should have no problem having another child (granted there is nothing unrelated going on).

I can't help but think about the hours before my surgery - the hour before the CT to be exact. In order to avoid the barium enema, I opted to walk around the hospital with my lovely cocktail. Steve and I spent that hour talking about when to try for our next child, weighing the pros and cons of each month and deciding on a tentative date to start trying to conceive. We walked and talked unaware of the ticking time bomb in my pelvis that almost took away any chance to ever conceive another child.
Before I got pregnant with Caden I worried that I wouldn't be able to have a child, but I think that is a common fear. After I took that pregnancy test a wave of relief passed over me. I always assumed I'd not worry about it again, but after I had Caden that familiar fear of "what if I can't have another" came. While that thought is there, it is just a thought. And until all of this, I never truly realized just how much I, and so many others, take our fertility for granted.

I am just so grateful that in my case, this is all just a scenario. Luckily its only a "what if I didn't see a doctor as I decided not to do so many times before". I debated for hours on going to the doctor this time - but I did go, and I am only left with what if. And I am so thankful for that.

Since my surgery Steve and I have visited the thought of trying for our second briefly, some days I think lets stick with the original plan, in others I think lets wait longer (we're not trying now or in the immediate future). The new round of hospital bills obviously factor into things, but more so its the thought of health. I'm terrified of another complicated pregnancy, of another 4 months of bed rest. I've had a hard enough time being away from Caden during the day for the past 2 weeks. Then there is the issue of just being healthy - for the first time in seven years I don't have to worry about those stomach aches, I don't have to worry about another flare up. And I really just get to be healthy. And I wouldn't mind enjoying that for a while.
But then there is the news yesterday, and learning that our decisions of future children were almost decided for us. And the reminder that nothing is promised, not even tomorrow... no matter how much we plan or discuss, anything can happen.

What I know, and Steve knows, and we've known all along - is that when the time is right we'll know. A decision doesn't have to be made today, we don't have to stick with what we decided yesterday, and tomorrow anything can happen.

In a previous entry I mentioned one of my 2008 resolutions. Another one was to stop planning and start living in today, each day and every day. I know that isn't entirely possible, not to plan at all, but we can all stand to live a little more for today. After all - yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn't promised, and all we really have is now.



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