“Do you have health insurance” my proctologist asked. ‘Yes” I replied. ‘That’s good’ he said, ‘we have space tomorrow. You’re going in for surgery”.
Surgery. Surgery?! Like actual ‘stick a needle in my arm and put me to sleep’ surgery? I started freaking out a little bit, this was all happening so fast and I was mentally unprepared. Surgery?
I looked at him, ‘um’ I managed to croak out, ‘what exactly are you going to do?’.
For those of you that don’t know, the surgical procedure for an anal fissure is relatively straightforward. They stick a needle in your arm, you float of to la la land, and, while you are there, dreaming about candy floss and unicorns, they prise your bum open, cut out all the scar tissue caused by the fissure, clean it up and inject your rectal passage with botox. Yup – you read that right, I was about to get a shot of botox in my bum. Not because I have the wrinkly bum of a 70 year old, my bums pretty awesome thank you very much, but because the botox helps relax the muscles, making it easier to ‘pass a stool’. Botox. Me, the hori who doesn’t know how to use makeup and whips out the mascara on special occasions only, was going to get a botox treatment. How bloody flash.
I didn’t actually care too much about what they were going to do while I was under, there were two things I was stressing out about. The fact I was going to have to have a needle stuck into me, and Ziggy. I was going into surgery, how was I going to feed my 5 week old, never had anything but a tittie, little boy?
I asked my proctologist about feeding him. How long would I be out? Could I feed him as soon as I woke up? He wasn’t to keen to advise me on the recommendations around breastfeeding and anaesthetic and advised I speak to the anaesthesiologist at the hospital.
I called AJ as soon as I left his office. “Um babe, can you get tomorrow off’ I asked him, ‘I sorta have to go in for surgery”. He too was taken aback by the speed of it all, luckily, he has the worlds most understanding boss and taking a day off was no problem. I also asked him to stop and buy a breast pump and bottle on the way home. I needed to do some serious pumping so he had a way of feeding Ziggy while I was out to it.
Breast pumps are not the sexiest of contraptions. Although watching the milk squirt out of your nipple and fill up the bottle is both fascinating and satisfying. You don’t get to see that when your baby feeds. They sure squirt out a fair amount of milk at a time, and not just one stream of milk either, there’s a whole heap of them, and it comes out with impressive pressure.
The anaesthesiologist called that evening, to see if I had any questions and talk me through his part of the procedure. He asked if I had been under before, yes, twice and I had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic both times, vomiting violently once I was woken. He said they could add anti-nausea drugs to my drip to try and combat that. I then asked him about feeding Ziggy. Could I feed him as soon as I was out of surgery? He advised no, I would have to first ‘pump and dump’ and then I could resume feeding him.
Pump and dump. What a horrible term, and used in such an offhand manner by those that don’t have breasts and don’t realise what an ordeal it is to pump, only to tip it down the drain! I have since learnt otherwise, which I will talk about in more detail in a later post, but for this first surgery , it was all happening so quickly I didn’t think to get a second or third opinion. I just took what I was told as gospel truth.
Tomorrow came too quickly for my liking and we headed in to Braemar Hospital. I have to say, health insurance is wonderful. This hospital was choice, as far as hospitals go anyway. A nice room, wonderful staff. The backless hospital gowns were as crappy as hospital gowns anywhere, but, hey, I was pretty used to my butt hanging out by then. AJ and Ziggy stayed with me right up until I was wheeled away, and I fed Ziggy up as much as I could. AJ was nervous, this was his first ever ‘no mama around’ time with Ziggy. What if he just screamed and screamed? He joked that he would drive around in circles until he got the call from the hospital that I was out.
I was a nervous wreck being wheeled into surgery. I tried to make lame jokes to the staff but they could see I was freaking out. Needles petrify me, always have. I hate them, just the nurses rubbing numbing gel on the back of my hands was enough to elevate my heart rate. My anaesthesiologist promised to be gentle, you won’t feel a thing he told me. He lied, they always lie, anyone that says they don’t feel a needle go into their body is lying as far as I’m concerned. And then the cool mix of la la land drugs coursed into my bloodstream and that hurt even more. “You owe me an ice block when I wake up’ I told him, ‘and when do I start counting back from 100?”. “Whenever you like” he replied. “Okay, 100, 99, 98, 97 (shit I’m thinking, I’m not going to sleep) 96, 95”.
“Hello there, how are you feeling?” was the next thing I remember hearing. I looked at the new face, blurry eyed. “Why did you wake me up?’ I asked, ‘I’m a new mum, that sleep is brilliant, can you put me back under?”. She laughed, why did she laugh, I was serious, AJ had Ziggy, just let me sleep! Apparently however, once you’ve woken from surgery, they don’t put you back to sleep, but she did get me my ice block.
The surgeon came to see me. All had gone well, but I didn’t have one fissure as first thought, I had four! He had excised all the scar tissue and cleaned out the cuts, botoxed my bum and bandaged it all up again. Just like new. He stressed the importance of keeping up my fluids, taking my medication and doing all I could to avoid constipation while my bum healed.
They called AJ as soon as I was out and it didn’t take him long to get there. I was so happy to see my boys! AJ had survived, Ziggy had slept, woke up, had a bottle and slept some more. I wanted to cuddle him so bad, but my breasts were rock hard, aching and leaking, so first things first, I had to pump.
Pouring a full bottle of milk down the drain is such a horrible feeling. Whoever penned the term ‘there is no use crying over spilt milk’ has obviously never pumped two full boobs and then tipped it down a sink. It’s depressing. And as it turns out – totally unnecessary. But it was done. And the surgery was over, and I was okay.
I left the hospital armed with scripts for even more constipation medicine. Everything had to stay nice and soft after the hospital or it would undo all the hard work.
I didn’t need to go for a poo until a couple of days after surgery. I was scared. What was it going to be like? Would it hurt? Would it be okay? Was my poor bum ready for this? I nervously made my way to the toilet, dropped my pants, sat down and . . . had the first pain free bowel movement since Ziggy was born! It was such a relief, I was fixed! I danced out of the bathroom on tippy toes, beaming from ear to ear. Things were looking up.
Or so I thought. Sadly, this was just the beginning.