Tubal Ligation at 23 Years Old

Warning: possible TMI

I’ll be 24 in July. This past thursday, Feb 5, I had a tubal ligation, commonly referred to as “getting your tubes tied.” As you could probably tell by my previous posts, I’m not all that keen on having children of my own. My boyfriend has a biological son and a stepdaughter,  and if he and I stay together, those two will be enough for me. Probably more than enough and I’ll be struggling until I grow up a bit more.

So I got a tubal ligation. I was planning on two small incisions, one near my belly button to one side and one lower on the same side, with local anesthesia. They gave me general anesthesia (and a small patch behind my ear as an antiemetic) and a horizontal 3-4 inch cut in the space just lower than the level of my hip bones. The general anesthesia was given to me through an IV on my hand, and the stuff made my hand and wrist ache as if i had the flu. But the aching only lasted about 5 seconds and then I went unconscious. My doctor used the incision and space (space created with inserting air under my skin) to remove a section from both tubes and cauterize the open ends.  When I woke up, it had been about an hour since that general anesthesia, and apparently I had told my nurse the pain level was a three, although I was not conscious of that. When I regained my consciousness, I was gripping the hospital bed’s metal frame and moaning over and over. My nurse asked why I was moaning, and I let out one word, “Hurts.” She asked me my pain level again, and I told her 5, although now that I think about it, the level was probably more of a 7. She gave me some pain medication through my IV and it helped, but she had to give me another dose about 20min later. My parents and my  boyfriend were there with me, but at my bedside, only two people were allowed to visit at once. My dad and my boyfriend were the two to see me with an oxygen mask over my face and gripping that metal frame, until my boyfriend took my hand and kissed my forehead. They talked to me and I answered slowly and quietly. When my boyfriend had to leave for work, he sent my mom in, and my parents stayed with me while the anesthetic wore off. The nurse told them things that had happened and answered questions that we all had. She went to get me ice chips for my dry mouth and sore throat, and after two spoonfuls, she let my mom give me the ice chips. It was another hour or so before I thought I was good to be ready to go home. The nurse helped me dress and helped me sit in a wheelchair to take me to our truck. I was asked not to let myself fall asleep In the truck, to prevent motion sickness, but thanks to that little patch behind my ear, my stomach was happy enough. I sipped apple juice that the nurse gave me, and did my best not to let my heavy eyelids stay closed while we drove. Thankfully, my dad took the long, smooth way home to minimize any discomfort.
We got home at around 10am, and I made myself comfortable on the couch, falling right asleep, waking up for five minutes or so before falling asleep again. It wasn’t until about 1pm that I could stay awake enough to eat a banana and take my ibuprofen, which actually did nothing for my pain.

I kept drinking water, so I could help my body rid itself of the anesthesia and to soothe my throat after being intubated during the surgery, and it wasn’t long before I had to use the restroom. Surprise! I had a full bladder that I couldn’t void. It was a mix of bladder retention (which happens when medicine like general anesthesia and the antiemetic patch interfere with the brain’s automatic system of telling the bladder to empty itself), swelling from the surgery, and fear of putting pressure on my incision. I voided very small amounts at a time, and stopped drinking water because it was feeling like my bladder couldn’t stretch any more. I took my other pain medicine, Tramadol, to try to manage the pain, and that didn’t work either. I did my best to remove the gauze from my incision; I had to wet it to get it unstuck from my skin. I had to change it two times before I went to bed due to small amounts of drainage. My parents helped me so much, and my boyfriend came over after work and he helped me a lot, and he grimaced along with me when he noticed I was in pain. I told him about my bladder retention and he did some googling and that’s when we found out about it being due to the medicines.

I took D-Mannose supplements and Azo supplements to keep myself from getting a urinary tract infection from the catheter they gave me during the surgery. Little by little, the bladder retention wore off. So I went to sleep, waking up twice to try to use the restroom again, and when I woke up at about 8am Friday,  my back and shoulders were so tight from me putting my stress there to protect the incision that it was very hard to move. In addition to sore back, my abdomen was filled with the gas the doctor put into my body during surgery, and since bowel function slows to a crawl after surgery, I couldn’t rid my body of much gas at all. Friday was the same as thursday, slowly moving around and trying to void my bladder more easily (which was more successful). I did take a small walk to the end of the block to try to loosen my back and help my body absorb the gas in order to pass it. Since my pain medicines weren’t working, I decided to try Gas-X and a muscle relaxer close to bedtime. I slept better that night,  on my back more so I could stretch the incision a bit so it would heal in a way that would allow me to walk at least semi-erect.

Saturday was much better for my back and the gas issue, but it wasn’t completely resolved. I went for a walk around the block and was only mildly sore afterward. I was eating a bit more, and bladder voiding wasn’t a problem anymore. My boyfriend and I binge watched Bates Motel thanks to Netflix, and the day went more smoothly than Friday. I actually went for a ride with my boyfriend and my dad to get some lunch, but I stayed in the truck while they went inside to get the food. I found that squatting/kneeling down helped to move the gas to a place where I could get some of it out, and stretching my back by putting my shins on the floor and stretching my arms helped both my back and moved the gas to a less painful place.

Today is Sunday,  and I feel even better than yesterday. Only a small bit of gas remains trapped, and I’m trying to walk normally instead of holding my tension in my back.  I’m supposed to go back to work tomorrow, and I think I should be able to do that if my progress keeps improving as fast as it has the last couple of nights. It will be slow going, not very easy, but my boss and coworkers know what’s going on so I’m sure they’ll be understanding. My boyfriend is coming over again today, and he told me he actually loves taking care of me, and I make sure he knows how much I appreciate him doing things for me. He also knows it would be exactly the same if he was the one that had surgery and I was to take care of him.

That’s all I can really report right now, but I’m sure I’ll be updating on my progress the next couple of days.

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