Hi there! Welcome to my second post from my new blog – a blog on hospital life, patient life and Christian life – in today’s post I want to share my hysteroscopy story.
What Is A Hysteroscopy?
To find out what is a hysteroscopy you can read more about it here but basically hysteroscopy is a short procedure done by a physician to examine the uterus.
My Hysteroscopy Story
The Blood Loss Begins
It started on a Wednesday, when I was bleeding a little. Then, on Thursday, the bleeding came even more and I started to feel a little lightheaded and tired, but, I was still able to do some work on my Mac. On Friday, I was fried. Okay maybe not fried, but I was feeling worse than Thursday. I was even more lightheaded and this time I couldn’t use my computer anymore. I just couldn’t concentrate or focus on anything besides feeling sick and tired. Once Saturday came, my sister said I look like a ghost and my family considered the following options 1) call the ambulance 2) call the home doctor 3) take me to the emergency department or 4) stay at home and see if I get better. For me, I didn’t really care which option we chose as long as I feel better soon. I remember praying, “God, if there is seriously something significant happening to me then take me to the hospital. If not, I don’t want to go to the hospital (because of covid). Whatever it is You decide because I don’t know what to decide on.” In the end my dad called the nurse-on-call and the lady on the phone recommended that I go to the ED, now. She also said if things got worse when driving to the hospital, “Call the ambulance or call us back.” After the phone call we didn’t go to the hospital just yet. Instead, my dad called the home doctor and when the doctor came he was pretty chill, which made me think twice about his doctor-ness, but anyways, he said I can stay at home, eat beef for iron and suggested that I take Nurofen to decrease the bleeding.
On Sunday, things got worst. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt dizzy, lightheaded or woozy before, but I have, on normal days when I’m well. It will happen, sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, when I get up from the chair, when I look up at something higher than my height… that times ten was what I was feeling on Sunday. I was sooo sick that I needed to hold on to my sister to go to the toilet. I was so sick that I barely could pack my own hospital bag. I wanted to crawl instead of walking and I just wanted to sit/lie down, close my eyes and sleep. I ate a little. I drank a little. Then, I vomited, and after vomiting, to my surprise, because this has NEVER happened before, I started shaking. I tried to control it by stopping myself from shaking, but I couldn’t. Was it because I was cold? I mean, yes, I was cold, but it wasn’t just that. I knew that it was because of something else. There was another reason why I was shaking, but I didn’t know why. There was also another strange incident when I took a Panadol (or I should say Paracetamol as it is written on the box) and minutes later my arms felt like it was losing feeling. You know when you sit or sleep on top of your hand or leg for too long it starts to lose feeling? Yes, that was happening to me. I’ve taken Paracetamol before and it will either remove my pain or do nothing. Never have I ever felt like I was losing my sense of touch/feeling and so this made me worry a little, “Oh my gosh! What is happening? Am I getting paralyzed?”
No, I wasn’t getting paralysed. I got my feeling back a few minutes later. Phew!
My family was still thinking if I should go to the hospital and again, I prayed the same prayer in my mind. Finally, we decided to go to the hospital and as my family got everything ready, I sat on the floor (or my bed) with zero zest for life. When we arrived my mum, my sister and I put our masks on, got out of the car and walked slooowly to the emergency entrance. While walking slowly there was a short pit stop because I needed it (despite my whole body relying on my mum’s I still needed it). In the end we finally arrived, mission accomplished! Once we were in the building my mum spoke for me while I was sitting down with my eyes closed. Fast forward a little, the ID band was placed on my right hand, fast forward a little more, my mum and I was taken to a room (Or cubicle? I was too out of place to notice.). Oh and in case you were wondering, no, my sister wasn’t allowed to come in so she had to go find our dad.
An IV drip was inserted in my vein, stickers were stuck on my chest and wires were placed on the stickers (I checked Mister Google and I think it’s called a Holter monitor/heart-monitoring machine.), the emergency doctor came… my blood was taken.
God… don’t make me faint. Don’t make me go unconscious… Keep me awake. Keep me conscious…
So, I mentioned earlier that I started to bleed on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday onwards it was heavy (with clots of blood) and there I was, on Sunday, lying on the hospital bed, already pale as a ghost, already drained from heavy bleeding, when they took blood from my hand, and almost instantly my body told my brain, “We are going to pass out” (I lost one third of my blood from bleeding), but I knew in my heart and mind that there was only one thing I could do. I needed to pray and so I said, in my thoughts, “God, I think I am actually going to pass out. I am actually going to faint. I’ve already lost so much blood and now I’m losing some more. I don’t think my body can take this anymore. You gotta do something. Don’t make me faint. Don’t make me go unconscious. Keep me awake. Keep me conscious” and just like that, I continued to stay awake. I could feel that something was holding on to my body and my brain, keeping it calm, collected and conscious (Cos, you know, I was worried before.). God gave me that sense of peace and assurance that I wasn’t going to faint or pass out.
As no one was allowed in the hospital except for patients and staffs my mum had to leave and when she was gone I got the news that I needed a blood transfusion. I can still remember the emergency doctor asking me, “Have you had a blood transfusion before?” and telling me about the possible risks and symptoms of having blood transfusion “…there are some risks for having blood transfusion, but you will be in greater risk by not having blood transfusion…” Although I was a bit hesitant because of the possible risks (e.g., infection) and symptoms (e.g., skin rash) from getting another person’s blood into my body, I was keen on getting better and getting back to my normal self so I signed the papers (which was a bit of a struggle) and got the transfusion.
I wasn’t sure what time it was when they pushed me to the ‘suspected covid’ ward (read more on my Hospital in Covid post), because I was still super duper low on energy. I couldn’t even check whether they took all my belongings during the transition. I just had to trust that they did it and didn’t leave anything behind.
Once I was in the ward, a few things happened. I had two units of blood transfusion, I was on two new medications (Medroxyprosgesterone and Tranexamic Acid), my bleeding continued, I vomited again, and I started shaking once more. When the two units of blood transfusion was almost done, for the first time, I felt better. The gynaecologist that saw me in the ED came to check on me in the ward and she was happy to see me sitting up, eyes open and talking to her. “Nikki, you look so much better than before!” she said. I was also able to get up and go to the toilet myself, and when one of the nurses came – she was a friendly one – I could sit up on the chair and have a conversation with her while she changed my bed sheets. The next day when I saw another gynaecologist she asked me how I was and how was my bleeding. So I told her that I was better, but still bleeding. Then she told me she’s going to put me on a higher dose of my medications. We also talked about the possibility of going for a short procedure to place the Mirena IUD, to clean my uterus (as the ultrasound at the ED showed the blood clots), to remove the polyp (that I found out about many months ago) and to do a Pap smear test (as I haven’t had it done). When she finished explaining all this to me she told me that it wasn’t for sure that I was going to have the procedure done while I was in hospital, because there are a lot of other cases that were very important and even if she made an appointment for me to have the procedure done when I’m in hospital, it is very possible that it can be changed, delayed or cancelled. So she told me an option would also be when they discharge me I will be on the waiting list for the procedure and she assured me that I will have it within a month. This way my appointment for the procedure will be fixed and there won’t be any changes or delays.
Later that day I was told that they were going to take me to another ward, because my covid test came back (more on my Hospital in Covid post) and so with my mask on we went to another ward. That night as I slept I had a terrible night. My head was painful and it was pounding. I could feel a lot of pressure and the back of my neck and shoulder area was sore. It was the same feeling I had the night before I was admitted to the hospital, but now it was even worse. The pain was more. The pressure was more. And what’s with the pounding feeling? Urgh. When morning came my head was still feeling horrible. I couldn’t get up when the kitchen lady came to ask me to fill up the hospital food menu. When she came back the second time to collect the paper I told her to fill it up for me. Then, when the gynaecologist came and ask me how I was, I told her I wasn’t good. I also told her that I was still bleeding. In the end she told me that she will get me the appointment for the procedure today and again, she reminded me that it can be changed or cancelled. Just before she left she placed the paperwork on the table for me to fill up and sign for the procedure.
So what did I do when I was worrying? I prayed, again and again…
Hysteroscopy With D&C, IUD, Biopsy And PAP Smear Test
On the 28th of July, on a Tuesday afternoon, a gynecology surgeon came to get me and after waiting in the pre-op hold area for some time, in the end I was told that the operating surgeon was held up in another campus and they couldn’t attend to me until about 7pm. For me, I wasn’t disappointed or frustrated, because one, I was already told that this can happen and two, I didn’t mind not having the procedure done. The idea of having an IUD did not interest me, and having a hysteroscopy made me uncertain about the post-procedure. “I wonder how I will feel after the whole thing?” I thought to myself.
When the time on my phone turned 7, nobody came to get me. Then it was 8, nobody came. Then 9, still nobody came and at this point I was sure that my procedure was not going to happen. My feelings were neutral, but at about 10ish somebody from the theatre came. “What? This late? Okay, I guess.” I thought to myself and perhaps God thought it was best for me to have the procedure done because I prayed even before the appointment for the procedure was made. I told God that it was up to Him if I went for the procedure or not.
As I was waiting at the pre-op hold area for the second time, my head was playing up again and this got me worried. I wondered whether my head or my brain was going to be able to handle the anaesthetic (being knocked out) and I even wondered whether I will have some kind of brain/mental/head problem during the procedure or after I woke up from the procedure. Besides worrying about my head, I was also worried about my hips. I will write a whole post about this later on but for now let’s just say I have a chronic hip condition and I was worried that after the procedure my bone might break or my hip will hurt A LOT. So what did I do when I was worrying? I prayed, again and again, asking God to help my head and hips get through this whole procedure. “I pray that my head will feel fine when I wake up after the procedure and I won’t have any brain problems. I pray I will be myself again. I hope when I wake up I won’t have a severe pain in my hips and my bones won’t be broken, God. I also hope I won’t have too much pain in my uterus when I wake up.” I prayed as I waited for the team to push my bed and I to the operating theatre. Even up to the point when the oxygen mask was placed on my face and when I was falling asleep, I told the Lord, “Please make everything fine when I wake up God.”
You know how in the movies when someone is unconscious in the hospital and then suddenly, his eyes open! And just like that he is conscious again. Yes, so, that scene was sort of like this scene, and then suddenly I was back to reality as I heard the nurse’s voice. I was relieved to know that I was back to reality and thankful to God that everything was fine. My head stopped hurting (and it didn’t come back), my uterus wasn’t in any pain, my bones were not broken and my right hip was only a little painful. Maybe like a 3 out of 10 and it didn’t last that long because soon enough I completely forgot about it. I was so glad that God got my head and my hips through the whole procedure and I was also glad that I had a good night nurse. When I saw her again the next day, I said, “Thanks for taking care of me last night.” Even now as I am typing this I am still thankful to the Lord for making everything perfectly fine on the 28th (of July, 2020).
Iron Infusion And More Blood Transfusion
The next day, on the 29th, I had to have another round of blood transfusion, because I had lost more blood from the procedure. So during the day I was given another two units of blood transfusion and as the doctor also requested, I had a round of iron infusion. The next day, for the first time since the admission, my blood level was more than 110, which is a good level if you didn’t know. When afternoon came, I was discharged.
And that’s a wrap on my hysteroscopy story! The polyp and pap test was sent to the lab and the results are still not out… if you read this far I’d like to say thank you for putting up with my writing. 🙂