I was really touched when I asked myself to be a guest writer on Erin’s blog to talk about her surgery. I know that this Endo journey has been a really personal one for her and I was really excited at the opportunity to be able to show her how much it affected me and that it wasn’t just all about her. And especially since she slept through the whole actual surgery part, I could add details that she wasn’t privy to. For those who were expecting Erin’s usual lyrical posts, I apologize. She will be back after she has regained her strength and figured out how to reset her password.
I hate hospitals. Hate with a capital h and a ridiculous amount of emphasis on the “HHHH” sound so people know I’m serious. They are terrifying places full of pain and crazy, unnatural things that we do to our body, and ghosts, and bad food and sterile smells. Now with that being said, I LOVE the medical profession and everything that goes along with it-it’s a weird dichotomy, I get it. I want to touch everything and ask a million questions and ask each nurse what the craziest thing they ever found in a patient was. So seeing one of my bestest friends in one of these places was a conflicting event.
We all arrived at the ol’ Slicery early in the morning on Tuesday-530am to be exact. She won the prize of being the first patient of the day. Sadly the prize was being cut open from hilt to tilt so I was glad that I wasn’t entered in this contest. Her surgery was scheduled to start at 730am so we started to wait. It wasn’t a terrible little party with her mom and dad and Rodrigo. We made small talk and chatted about how her dad got his start in construction by designing the male mannequins at a shoe store called Tootsies (not a true story) and used every possible second to not think about why we were there. Right then, we just happened to be 5 people hanging out while one of us was in an extremely revealing and ill-fitting gown.
When it was finally game time, they wheeled her back and we followed in what was the worst parade ever. We paused at the door to give hugs and last minute words of encouragement and she slipped away. Watching her go and feeling utterly helpless (remember this is about me and my pain you jerk) I did the only thing that I knew would help the situation: I cried, like a lady. I have seen enough episodes of Gray’s Anatomy and ER to know two things: 1. I could totally order a write up of lab tests and make it sound authentic and 2. These moments were always pivotal. Now granted, no one else is at this point is crying, so now her mom things I’m a little bit nuts. But I quickly got control of myself, made a bargain with God (I heard he responds to those first) and headed to the waiting room.
If you haven’t ever been in a surgery waiting room, you are missing out my friend! First off, most surgeries are multiple hours long. Unlike Gray’s Anatomy, these parties don’t end in 45 mins, yet for some reason each hospital tends to forget that and just orders a few dozen chairs from the Worst Chair and Backache store and sticks them all in like a badly organized corral. Thank goodness there is a TV stuck on the local channel. What else could I want to focus on while wondering if my loved one is splayed open on an operating table but the latest poolside fashions from whatever random morning show still employs.
After 5 or 6 hours, you start to band together with your brothers and sisters of this surgical purgatory and relish in the shared sense of camaraderie. We hear family stories, ignore snoring, celebrate when a good news call comes in and–what? They just called for family of Erin Parker? See ya suckers-we’re out!
We had received minimal updates during the day on her condition, and talked briefly to the colon rectal surgeon. I only mention that because of how fun it is to say ‘colon rectal’ and I rarely get to do it without being swatted for being inappropriate. When we were finally sprung from jail, we got to meet the man of the 6 hours: Dr. Mengal, Surgical Badass and Endo Destroyer. He was incredible and spent a good 40 mins explaining all about what they did, how the Endo had affected Erin and her womb (gross) and more about her reproductive organs than I honestly ever thought I would know. Hell, after talking to him I wanted to have it done! He was so engaged and clearly in love with the work that he was doing that I couldn’t have been happier it was he that filleted my friend for all those hours.
For anyone that doesn’t know how Endo works (like me), its pretty incredible. I mean, I’m not even mad-I’m impressed. 90% of women have blood that leaks back into them after their cycle (so gross) but only 15% of women lack some magical enzyme in their pelvis to fight it. If we (like how I include myself in this too?) could find out what enzyme that is…then we can make a pill and all this would be over. Which actually, I call bullshit. Have you seen the size of a SIM card lately and all the data it holds? Did you know that they can make a popsicle that is three different flavors on one stick? The world is full of these modern miracles and a bunch of top-notch doctors can’t locate ONE enzyme? I can apply filters to a digital picture that I took with my smart phone and post them to a virtual social infrastructure documenting a moment in time with NO physical evidence and we can’t find that little jerkface? Thanks Obama.
Captain Cuts-A-Lot also explained that he ruled this surgery and kicked Endo’s ass. He walked in, nodded to his partners, went all Batman on her and saved her ovary with 50% functionality, got all the rest of the Endo bastards out of there, and then went “DONE.” Scalpel drop. He’s out. There were sections of organs that were actually being wrapped up by the Endo, and once they removed it her entire gut sack relaxed. Erin’s colon was one of them-it was originally thought that they would have to slice and dice her poop shoot to get it all out but once they removed the mass, it just accordioned back to where it should be. I imagine that it made a sound like a sad trombone as it went. Or a slide whistle. I see it happening both ways in my head. Beeeeoooowoop!
I didn’t stay to see her wake up. I figured that having 3 people hovering over her would be enough and they wouldn’t be paying attention to me at all, so what was the point? Don’t worry, I checked on her the next day and that is where our story will continue.
Love and Hugs,