Aug 24, 2012
My recent surgery to remove an out-of-control uterine fibroid resulted in some damage to my bladder. This happened because, unbeknownst to the doctors before I was opened up, the large fibroid was growing into the bladder (as well as my intestine and abdominal wall). The only way to get it out was to cut a small hole into my bladder, so when I came to in recovery I had a "surprise" in the form of a suprapubic catheter that I'll need for a couple of weeks.
My abdominal incision has been healing well, but that darn catheter makes life miserable! A couple of days ago when attempting to get out of bed it hurt like crazy, and I figured I moved wrong and pulled on it. Since then every small step I take has resulted in sharp, scratching pain in the catheter hole. (This type of cath is higher up and is a direct hole into the bladder.)
Last night it got so bad that I couldn't stop crying and gritting my teeth. We called the 24 on-call physician and they said I had to go to the ER.
The first thing they did at the ER was a urine analysis. I'm not sure why, but it took 5 hours to conclude that I have a urinary candida infection, and ultimately I got sent home with fluconazole, the same prescription given for ordinary feminine yeast infections. As long and tedious as it was, I was relived to have help for the overwhelming irritation! I think it is already helping, and I can make some movement without wincing pain.
Tuesday is my follow up with urology and I'm with fingers crossed that the cath will be ready to come out. That will be just about 2 weeks total with it. I would really like to start taking short walks, etc., but until that thing is out I can't tolerate underwear, let alone going out for a stroll.
Recovering from surgery has unique challenges but at least I can see improvements every day, even if it is a "two steps forward, one step back" pattern. Compared to chronic illness my acute pains/problems may be worse, but it is less mentally exhausting since I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. That said, I have been very emotional and lonely with this situation, not to mention concerned for my professional self.
I continue to hope that in the long run I'll feel better overall with the fibroid out. It was very vascular and drawing blood from several attachments from my abdomen, and as I recovery I'm curious to see if some of my chronic problems with fatigue and pain will be alleviated. This part of my journey was also a must if I'm ever to have a change to get pregnant, which is a strong hope and dream for me.