November 6, 2016

Getting Fixed: One Year Later

It's been a year since my laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy. Unless you know that I've had surgery (or are a medical professional, probably), you'd never be able to tell. Now that it's been a year I feel even more secure that it was the right decision. I know I can't get pregnant and will never have to worry about what-ifs. Instead of raising children, I'm in grad school, hoping to use my life to make a big difference in the world.

Here's what I look like now. The only visible scar is on my left side.

If you need a recap of my tube removal experience:
One year later, and here's what changed:
  • The Boyfriend and I don't need to think about pregnancy prevention anymore. I still do sometimes, but I was taking pills for 10 years and habitual worrying takes time to die off completely. The panic that I didn't take my pill subsides as soon as I remember I don't need to.
  • This means we've been able to have more spontaneous sex. 
  • This also means sex has been better because we aren't worried about the time of the month or that slim chance pills and/or condoms will fail. I went off birth control pills 10 months before getting spayed and we relied on condoms, which unfortunately meant we used them on occasion and tried to time sex for when I wasn't fertile the rest of the time. Since I had just started tracking my cycle, this was recklessly dangerous and I 1000% do not recommend it. Not to mention, it made both of us worry a lot about sex (mostly me, since I'd be the one actually pregnant).
  • I use an app to track my period now because I'm in less control over when I get it than when I was relying on a pack of pills (meaning I have no control). Fortunately it's crazy regular (more on that below) but it's been helpful having an app.
  • I've been extremely personal on this blog. Before I tried to be pretty vague and not use it as a completely personal platform, but I've since shared about being cut open, my personal decisions for not wanting to be a parent, details and advice about pooping, discussed my period in depth, shared photos with my face in them, shared photos of my bloaty and scarred belly, and now I've shared more details about my sex life than I thought I ever would on the internet. But, you know, I've said before I wanted to shout this from the rooftops and now that I've seen how helpful the previous two posts were to women considering this I'm more than happy to have been as candid and personal.
More importantly, some things haven't changed.
  • I still don't want kids. I got fixed 10 days after turning 30 and I'm 31 now. My biological clock didn't magically start ticking. In fact, my beliefs have strengthened. People in our lives are starting to have kids or talk about having kids and while they can have nice moments they are still so much work. Every time someone we know talks about how challenging it is being a parent I'm like, "...yep." 
  • My period hasn't changed. I've always been fortunate in the monthly cycle department. It came right on time when I was 13, is usually very light and cramp-free (I know, lucky), and is extremely regular, even without hormonal birth control. My first period post-surgery kind of skipped - I had all the symptoms of being on my period without any bleeding, but then it showed up a few weeks later. It took a few months to return to its normal mid-month cycle but now I can depend on it within a few days. I did have one period that was really crampy, but on rare occasion that would happen before surgery, too.
  • My hormones haven't changed. Because the only thing that changed was my fallopian tubes were removed, and they don't affect hormones, everything else has and will continue to happen normally, including menopause. That's also why my period hasn't changed. No weight change, no mood change, no change in appearance, nothing.
  • I can still wear bikinis. Not that I wear bikinis often due to circumstance (more of a mountain person than a beach person) and I would have even if my scars were bigger (because judgmental people can fuck off), buuuut my scars are totally not noticeable. In fact, on 4th of July The Boyfriend took a photo of me in a patriotic bikini and my belly button ring hole is more visible than my surgery scar. (Can you see it? I can if I squint.)
Quite a few women looking for information on laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy as a sterilization method have found my previous posts, and I'm so very glad to have helped them. The biggest selling point for salpingectomy for me was there would be nothing in my body - no copper or plastic IUDs, no clips, and no metal coils. Even the stitching dissolved and glue came off. My risk of ovarian cancer is potentially reduced, my risk of pregnancy is essentially gone, and I won't have to think about having an IUD removed in 5 years. Win-win-win-win-win.

Edit: Now that we know the election results I'm even more happy I've gotten this taken care of. The next president could, and likely will, significantly roll back access to and affordability for procedures like this (and birth control and abortion access). I would be quite worried for my future if I was still dependent on temporary birth control. 

I doubt there will be much to report back on but maybe I'll do a 5 year or 10 year follow up or an update if there's anything to update on. Until then, I've been really enjoying the comments on the previous two posts and love hearing all of your stories. Please continue to leave comments! I may not always respond right away, especially over the next couple of years as grad school takes up most of my time, but I will respond. This has been a fantastic experience and I'm so glad to be in the company of the many, many women out there who decided they don't want (any more) kids and are sick of dealing with temporary and inadequate birth control. Much love to you all.

Photos in order of when they were taken:
Day of surgery

6 weeks after surgery

1 year after surgery

August 7, 2016

Dealing with Insurance for my Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingectomy

The least fun part about getting spayed has been dealing with insurance.

Let's start with the end: I lost.

Backing up a bit, before you go and get this or any surgery call your insurance company and ask what your costs will be. First, get the precise codes from your doctor. Make sure to get all codes, all of the codes that each doctor will use (I had two), the code the anesthesiologist will use, the code the hospital will use, and any other code they might need. Second, tell that code to the insurance company, have them read it back to you so you know you're on the same page, and ask what your total costs will be. DO NOT ASK IF IT'S COVERED. "Covered" in medical insurance language does not mean the insurance company will pay for it, it simply means it's an approved procedure (wtf an unapproved procedure is I have no idea). This was mistake #1 for me. Third, before you actually go in for this surgery call your insurance company again and make sure they're giving you the same answer as before. If your plan suddenly changes and they don't inform you (cause they're dicks like that) you'll be on the hook.

Another important point: the Affordable Care Act states that all birth control costs are 100% provided by insurance companies, including female sterilization. HOWEVER,
 sterility is only a side effect of a bilateral salpingectomy. Fallopian tubes were historically removed as part of a hysterectomy in order to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, and only recently are women turning to the procedure because of how effective it is at stopping pregnancy (no tubes, no babies). Compare this to a tubal ligation, which is only done for birth control purposes. This makes sterilization an off-label use of bilateral salpingectomy. Some insurance companies have this procedure labeled as sterilization because of its quickly growing popularity (up to 33% of sterilization procedures are bilateral salpingectomy), but mine did not. In principle I felt that insurance should have covered it because my primary reasons were for sterilization. 

Further, and this is an argument I had with many people at my insurance company over many months, is that even if laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy is used for other things, I used it for birth control, as a preventative measure, so why isn't it paid for? The only answer I got was the code didn't specify either of those things.

What I learned is that there are generally two codes a doctor can use for laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy: one that says it's birth control, and one that doesn't. There were two codes in my paperwork: one that described it as "female surgery" (no shit) and one that described it as a "medical procedure" (imagine that). The super weird thing was when I asked the insurance rep to read the codes back to me she said it "tubal ligation." Which would be paid for. When I asked why it said tubal ligation and they still weren't paying for it she said that's where that second code comes in, the one that called it a "medical procedure." Apparently, in order for Blue Shield to pay for this surgery, it would need to have a code that indicated it was a "preventative procedure." What differentiates a medical procedure from a preventative one is something I still don't know. 
Call your insurance company and find out what their rules are. If they consider it birth control, awesome. If they don't, do your best to find out what your costs are going to be when all is said and done (hospital fees, doctor's fees, anesthesiologists fees, medical waste fees, administrative fees, any and all fees they can throw at you). Honestly, I'm an educated person and am used to talking with medical professionals and I feel insurance is needlessly and possibly intentionally complicated so people will just pay to avoid the headache.

Since this was the surgery I wanted and I wasn't going to get a less-effective surgery with a longer recovery period and more potential for risk because it would be cheaper (some things you just need to pay for), I didn't try too hard to determine all these things. Plus, I knew my company would pay my deductible so my risk of actually paying anything out of pocket was pretty small.
I had my surgery in October and finally paid up in April. When all was said and done, it cost just over $2,000 (less than my deductible, which my employer pays as part of our medical benefits package). The upside was the hospital was very understanding and worked with me to try and get Blue Shield to reconsider. They resubmitted the paperwork twice, I talked everything over with both my doctor and the billing department multiple times, and they put several holds on my fees to give me time to get it sorted out. I still can't believe it took 6 months. 

Here's my six week update, the official "back at life" time for anyone currently considering this procedure and the recovery period. And here I am one year later. Good luck to anyone considering a salpingectomy! Despite the struggles with insurance, it has been 100% worth it.

January 17, 2016

Texts from Dad

I'm keeping these here so I have a record of proof that can't be tarnished by a faulty memory. My extended family got very involved in this because my dad alienated himself from so many people over the years, and they've been trying to get us all back together.

Over 5 years ago my dad started seeing this new woman. Things moved pretty quickly between them and she was living with him after 6 months, while he was still legal guardian to my underage sister and our other sister was living there, too. His new girlfriend's sparkling personality aside, we were concerned she was taking advantage of him (he had a house, a successful business, and was financially comfortable, while she owned very little and wasn't making much money - when she moved in she lived rent free, which is something his own daughters weren't even allowed to do). Our dad had a track record of letting women use him and he has never been the one to see a relationship for what it was, much less break one off.

In one instance, his girlfriend made a list of rules for my sister to follow if she was going to be living in "their" house. The rules were absurd, and one was medically irresponsible, so I agreed to be there for a conversation between my sister and our dad. I had a pretty good relationship with my dad. We had what I thought was a great talk, where a lot of issues were brought to light and my sisters and I walked away from it feeling much better. Now that we were able to talk openly about the rules and some other lingering issues, things were looking up. However, a few days later my dad called me to ask me to never do that again. He said by being there I was both robbing my sister of the ability to speak for herself and disrespecting him and his girlfriend. I told him I couldn't agree to that – if either of my sisters asked for my help or presence in any issue, I would do it. I suspect that his girlfriend had a private conversation with him after we left, because he seemed perfectly happy with my presence and what I said at the time. Only later did he change his mind and claim to have felt disrespected.

The next time I was in my hometown I asked him to have lunch with me so we could talk about things. I told him about my concerns about his girlfriend and suggested he could do better. He reaffirmed his love for his girlfriend, told me how the life he had had when he was married was never what he had wanted, kids were never what he wanted, and essentially that he had the chance to live the life he felt he always deserved. I was given the option of getting on board or not.

A couple months later I turned 25. I spent it with my best friends on vacation, my sisters called to wish me happy birthday, my mom, a few relatives, and I got lots of texts and messages from friends that day. When I woke up the next morning I realized my dad was the only one who missed it (and it's not like he forgot, my mom and I share the same birthday, that date is engrained into his head). I was pretty crushed. 

Several other birthdays came and went without so much as a text from him, and multiple holidays, too. A few times he would group text my sisters and I to say "merry christmas, love dad and [girlfriend]". And it was fine, after a while. I accepted that this was the way he wanted it and watched my dad alienate his own siblings, close friends, and several other family members. Turns out I wasn't the only one who brought up concerns about his girlfriend, and he responded to them the same way he responded to me. 

Could I have done more? Absolutely. I could have promised my dad I would respect his authority and not support my sister if she asked. I could have apologized for even hinting that his girlfriend was not the most wonderful partner. I could have sent him happy father's day wishes even when he wasn't speaking with me. But I'm a pretty strong and often headstrong person with solid self esteem and an undying loyalty to my sisters. I would never choose my father's ridiculous need for approval and authority over my sister asking for support. I would never sit by while I thought my dad was being taken advantage of and say nothing. And I'm just not the type of person who is going to force another person to have me in their life.

I've been hearing a lot from other relatives who have still been trying to make amends lately. To he honest I'm not sure what is a rumor and what is fact because my dad hasn't told me anything, even through all this texting (below). Apparently he married his girlfriend after being told he had cancer (or a non-carcinogenic tumor? Honestly I don't know). My dad has chosen to not share these parts of his life with any of his daughters, but he reached out to our mom. To be honest, I was hoping he wouldn't do this, and after the following texts from him I wish he hadn't. To be cut out of someone's life because you said your piece and meant it is one thing, but to be cut out because someone has delusions about what actually happened is another.

The gist of our conversation was he doesn't want to acknowledge (or doesn't remember) any of the things he said to me, but by not reaching out anyway this is my fault. He's only interested in starting over if it means he doesn't have to take responsibility. The only apology in here was sorry for being wrong about me not wanting him in my life. And the shitty thing? I don't want a relationship anymore. It would be shallow and fake and I couldn't trust him and I don't think I could be civil to his new wife. So what's the point? 

A few days later he started up again.

And again a few days later. I'll give him the persistence award, but god damn at this point he's beating a dead horse. I've explained in direct words exactly what happened, twice. If he doesn't remember or won't believe me I can't help him. If he doesn't believe me and doesn't remember (or is choosing to remember a version of events that doesn't make him seem as shitty), then what's to stop this from happening again? This is not how a fresh new relationship is made, dad.

After that he texted on my birthday. I didn't respond. 

Bullies don't remember the things they say to others, but the people who get bullied sure as hell remember what was said to them. The simple reason is because you remember how you feel when hurtful things are said to or about you, but you don't remember saying hurtful things to or about others because it didn't impact you. If this were anyone other than a father saying these things no one would be encouraging me to bury the hatchet (after taking it out of my own back, no less). I think that's an awful double standard. What sort of message does that send? That it's OK to say hurtful things and tell your kids they're less important to you than your new girlfriend as long as you give a half-assed apology later? No gracias.

Maybe one day I'll forgive him but for now the anger is a good reminder to not get into a situation like this again. Feeling used sucks. Feeling unwanted by your parent sucks. I have wonderful people in my life and I'd rather not have a superficial relationship with someone who wrote me off for five years for apparently being late on a father's day wish. 

November 27, 2015

Getting Spayed: Six Week Update

It's been six weeks since my laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy. It's a ton easier (and admittedly more fun) to say I got fixed. Now, except for two tiny little incisions that are still healing, you wouldn't be able to tell I had surgery.

As a reminder, here's what I looked like the day after surgery:

I covered the big events of the first month after surgery in my previous post, and really there wasn't much to talk about. Like most people who have surgery, there was bloating and a small amount of pain, which was managed with extra strength ibuprofen for about a week. But I was working from home and visiting friends the very next day, back in the office on three days later, and eating and drinking normally that week, though not as much as I usually do. 

I haven't shared this with a lot of people yet. Part of me really wants to, because I'd love to shout this from the rooftops. But part of me understands how sensitive people can be to things they aren't familiar with and, as it was put to me, being so sure you don't want kids that you'll change your body is such a foreign concept. However, those I have told have been almost uniformly supportive. My close friends and family members who do want kids have been the most supportive, saying they're happy for me and reminding me I'll be a great aunt. 

One thing I am very, very happy to be doing again is running. I had taken a few months off due to an injury, combined with an extra hot summer, so adding the surgery was just one more reason to not exercise. Now everything has fallen back into place and running feels so good again. I've even started doing some weights. Since I'll never be pregnant I'll also never have to work as hard to stay fit and in shape. It's amazing how quickly the body readjusts to exercise; even taking almost three months off any form of exercise except walking the dog, after only a few short runs I feel my muscles returning and my jeans are a little looser. It's lovely.

The final thing I'm still waiting on is that sweet, uncomplicated, risk-free sex. Six weeks was the time I had to take off from both sex and tampons, and it was something I didn't think would be so hard (that's what she said) to stop, especially when you're still going to bed every night next to this person you think is really sexy.

However, it's Thanksgiving. Which means traveling and staying with family (his) and a further moratorium on sexytimes. I would say I'd give an update on what this risk-free sex is like once we get back, but I'm not. So here's a photo of what my scars look like today, because that's basically the same thing, right?

And here are the two photos, six weeks apart:

Feel free to leave a comment if a salpingectomy is something you're considering, or share your stories from your own spaying!

October 17, 2015

Getting My Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingectomy

Today was surgery day! After about a year of consultations and trying to find the right doctor and not one who would do it begrudgingly, a couple years of giving surgery serious thought, and close to ten years knowing I don't want kids (and more importantly, never want to be pregnant), I am finally sterile.

Pre-op selfie

I stopped taking birth control about 10 months ago because I couldn't start another year on it. What used to work really well turned on me in my mid-twenties and I started getting side effects: mood swings, dryness, irritability, low libido. When I stopped I felt much better, but every time was a risk. And boy did we risk it... I honestly started wondering if one of us was naturally sterile. Part of my consultations was to decide which procedure to go with, and after a long time I settled on a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy: full removal of both fallopian tubes. I cannot wait for my 6 weeks to be up for 100% worry-free and baby-free sexy times!

Why a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy? 
  1. My fallopian tubes are completely removed. There is no chance I can get pregnant!
  2. There is no chance this can be reversed. I imagine this being particularly helpful for anyone who tries to tell me I can get it reversed if I change my mind.
  3. There's nothing inside me (and never will be, hey-o!). Other sterilizations like tubal ligation and essure leave things behind. A tubal is traditionally done with filshie clips, while essure is a tiny coil that is pushed through each fallopian tube and in about three months is covered in scar tissue. Essure was really appealing to me at first, but I liked the immediacy of the salpingectomy and the fact that there isn't anything left.
  4. There are early studies that show that some ovarian cancers originate in the fallopian tubes. With them gone, my chance of cancer is reduced!
  5. My hormones were not messed with at all. I'll still ovulate, still have a period, still go through menopause, and still get all those glorious hormones that make me a woman. (Yay?)
  6. No chance of an ectopic pregnancy! I'm really excited that this can physically not happen, as it's super dangerous. No fallopian tubes=no ectopic pregnancy! In fact, women who do have an ectopic pregnancy have a salpingectomy. 
  7. If I do end up getting pregnant, my doctor said she'd write a case study on me. :)

I met with a couple different doctors about being sterilized before finding the right one. I knew Planned Parenthood would perform the surgery, but since I'm a big girl with insurance I figured I should try the doctors in my network first. I found an office that primarily performed essure and made an appointment, but was wary of that doctor for several reasons (including his reluctance to do it, and his reluctance to consider a tubal). If I was going to be going under the knife or having any sort of permanent procedure performed, I wanted someone to be 100% on my side.

The doctor I settled on I found through the childfree subreddit, which has a list of doctors willing to perform these procedures on people who don't have kids. I liked everything about this doctor, especially that she seemed fully supportive, possibly even excited for me. 

She did a pap since I was due anyway and we set up a day for the surgery about 6 weeks away.

Surgery Day:

Check-in was at 8:15am. At the front desk I showed my ID and got a wrist band (so fancy) and was whisked away almost immediately for a urine sample for a preggo test. No one told me the result but I'm guessing it came up not preggo, since they didn't tell me they threw in an abortion.

In a curtained waiting area I was given a gown, hair net, and adorable purple socks with grippy paw prints that they let me keep! I'm pretty excited about those, and will always remember my surgery when I wear them. There were also these weird compression sleeves for my calves, apparently to encourage blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. The Boyfriend came to meet with me once I was changed and to take my pre-op photo.

During the next hour my doctor, the attending, the anesthesiologist, and a couple of the nurses came in to say hi or introduce themselves. I kind of already have a girl crush on my doctor, but I really liked the anesthesiologist, too. They asked me several times to state my name, birth date, and procedure and my doctor verified a couple of times that this is 100% what I want and that I know this is 100% irreversible. Yes and yes! 

Finally, closer to 10am, I was taken to the surgery room. It was so intimidating! I've never seen a surgery room before and it was both exactly like what they show in movies and the exact opposite. First of all, it was huge and felt domed. It was full of incredibly white light and lots of it, and so many machines and tubes all over the place. The entire crew was already in there, in scrubs and hair nets and shoe covers and face masks. The nurse asked me one last time to state my name and procedure to the surgeons, so I said, "I'm Lindsay, and I'm getting my tubes removed!" I figured they weren't backing out then.

The nurse helped me onto the table, loosened my gown, and got me comfortable. The nurse wrapped me in a warm blanket – the anesthesiologist told me this is because keeping bodies warm before and throughout surgery leads to a better recovery. The anesthesiologist then started the IV in my wrist. He warned me that the drug causes pain at the injection site. I could feel it working almost immediately – I was fuzzy and knew I'd be out within seconds. But I asked him why the medicine hurt, and he definitely started to answer, buuut I was already asleep.

Some time later I woke up in a recovery room with a nurse by my side. She talked me awake(ish), asked me how I was, and helped me sit up a little bit. I was really out of it but responsive and felt fine, though I know I had a whole bunch of drugs in me still. She offered me water or apple juice, and I said both. That was some good apple juice. The Boyfriend was brought back to see me and take my post-op photo.

Someone took out the IV and wrapped it so I look like I survived a suicide attempt. The nurse helped me get dressed and complimented my choice in comfy clothes. She said I wouldn't believe how some women want to walk out in heels after surgery! I picked my superman shirt on purpose: not only did it make me feel a little stronger and braver, but it's super comfortable and loose. Then she told me about my dressings and wheelchaired me out!

The Boyfriend dropped me off at home and went to the pharmacy and grocery store (and had to deal with madness from a home football game). The first thing I did was pee and OW. Catheter. What a bitch.

I had soup ready for me for lunch and also tried to eat some crackers. But that was a bad choice... my throat was sore from the breathing tube. The cat jumped directly on my stomach while I was napping, not cool, and then threw up a massive hairball (on the rug I just washed), and I had to clean it up. Cats are the best. I spent the rest of the day napping, Netflixing, watching the Chargers almost win, and took the dog on a very slow walk with The Boyfriend.

Sweet dog follows me around

My belly button was plugged up with cotton and a very good tape all the way around it. The two incisions on either side were covered in some sort of body glue, and I was told to keep all three dry overnight. I feel pretty huge right now.

Day 1:
Slept on my back all night. It wasn't uncomfortable, but the dog loves is most adorable in the morning (when he's at peak cuddly) so I had to keep him off my belly. I wasn't in pain, just bloated. My big morning disappointment was no poo. My whole day is off if I don't have my morning poo. :(

I worked from home (in our new home office) and made soup. I threw in all the fiber I could think of, and it was actually really good. I took a 600mg ibuprofen just because, even though I wasn't really in pain, but then I was eating just because, even though I wasn't really hungry. Surgery is weird. 

The cat tried to jump in my lap while I was at my desk, and I pushed her and she hit her head. Poor lady cat. 

I experienced a little bit of shock over having had surgery yesterday. I think I should feel worse. Bending is uncomfortable, but that's all. I also have the realization that I am sterile. This is something I wanted for a long time but sort of never thought I'd do. When I was a kid I wished there was a pill to get you pregnant so you wouldn't have to have sex with your husband (because gross). Now I've taken out parts of my body so I can have sex without getting pregnant. Super weird. I wonder if this is the part where some women start to regret it.

I pooped! The soup worked! Tip for pooping after surgery: elevate your feet. This is a good tip for any pooping where you don't want to strain too much. Put your feet on a roll of toilet paper and sit up straight. Seriously, just try it. I might do this every time from now on. Even princes and unicorns agree this is good for your sphincter. 

I showered! And took off my belly button bandage – there's a staple* there! It looks really weird. I'm glad I have a belly button ring to hide it a bit, though it's not like people see my belly button very often.

The surgery center called but I missed it walking the dog. They were just checking in, reminding me to call if I need anything. My doctor also called for the same reasons, which was nice.

The Boyfriend and I went to a restaurant for a friend's birthday and I had like 2 ounces of beer before giving it to The Boyfriend. I wore my skinny jeans because they are the most stretchy around the belly, but after 2 hours I was done. It might have been the pizza, might have been not being able to fart, but I had to unbutton my jeans in the car on the way home (and then immediately stunk the place up). The Boyfriend remarked that this is as close to being pregnant as I'll ever feel. I'm grateful for that, and that my giant bloaty belly will soon go down, and that The Boyfriend doesn't even bat an eyelash at my gassiness (both post-surgery and normally).

At home we shared a slice of pumpkin cheesecake (it was treat yo' self day) in comfy pants. Glorious, glorious comfy pants.

*I learn on Day 8 that it's not a staple, it's sutures. Makes more sense, though I swear it feels like a staple.


The only belly photos I'll ever take.

Day 2:
Feeling a lot more normal today, but I'm really tired. Probably just didn't get enough sleep, but I look exhausted. My dark circles are out in force today and it's a struggle to keep my eyelids open. It doesn't help that I'm working from home again and it's horribly hot and muggy. I'm pretty sure my minor bloody nose is from surgery, not the heat.

I'm fascinated by my cuts. There's a staple* in my belly button and some weird body glue on the incisions on my sides. They look so weird, and I just look at them sometimes.

I get wine with my lady friend and tell her about the surgery. She had known I was talking about it but was still shocked and had a bunch of questions. I like that she lets me talk about this sort of thing, not everyone is into seeing cuts and hearing stories like that. We then talk about how some of the people in our lives are baby crazy and we don't understand why. Gonna hang on to her.

*Still not a staple.

 Quality photos are not taken with a phone in front of a mirror.

How am I bigger?!? Oh yeah, wine.

Day 3:
Back to work! I wore a skirt because fuck pants. I took the rest of my soup for lunch, though I was still eating far less than I usually do. 

Dinner was pho because The Boyfriend is lovely and puts up with my need for all the pho when I'm feeling even a little bad. It's bad, the lady who owns the place knows my phone order.

While I'm not in pain, I definitely like relying on the heavy duty ibuprofen. I get this pain like I've had a tampon in too long and it sort of resonates through that whole area. Surprisingly almost no spotting, though.

 Dog <3 comment-3--="">

Surgery + soup = giant

Day 4:
Office again, and Friday! Skirt again, but it rained so I was that person wearing a skirt and flip flops in the rain. It was muggy and warm so I wasn't the only one not dressed for the weather, but inside the office was freezing. All I want is for this heat to be over so I can wear jeans and shoes and sweatshirts, and when it's sort of cool I'm stuck in a stupid skirt.

I go to a happy hour after work and don't finish my beer. I don't need bloaty beer on top of my bloaty self.  

At home we order Thai foods, because it's Friday. I'm feeling rather back to normal, outside of the bloat, but not 100% yet.

Shhhh... they're on the bed together.

Day 5:
More skirt. I'm pretty sick of skirts and want to wear jeans again but I volunteered at a workshop for a women's hackathon and didn't want to commit to pants just in case. I'm super in love with these culottes I have for housewear (see Day 2 and 3 photos). They're so comfy and stretchy.

I realized the reason my appetite hasn't been as big all week is because there's still gas that's probably pressing against my stomach and making me seem full all the time. I'm starting to get hunger pangs again, but I've been relying on when I need to take a pill for my meals. I like feeling hungry. On the other hand, I've been eating so well all week that my poops have been fantastic. It's been a great experiment!

Day 6:
The Boyfriend and I went to Pour It Black, a dark beer festival at Stone Brewery. Stouts and porters are my fave and I've been wanting to go to this for a couple years. We arrived a little late (because drinking a whole bunch of really strong beer at 10am just really isn't my thing) and didn't make it through all 15 of our tasters (3oz each x 15 = 45 ounces of beer, or almost 4 full beers). But we had a really good time, got some great food, ran into a friend, and I got pretty drunk. I took an ibuprofen in the afternoon and that held me all day.

In the evening we went to some friends' for the night football game and I got some work done. For dinner I had my first post-op burrito (potato, egg and cheese!), though I saved half for breakfast. Soon I will have my full burrito.

Day 7:
It's been a full week! A week ago I was having surgery. Kind of weird to think about. 

Other than that, regular day, back at work, nothing too exciting. Still only taking 1 ibuprofen, and this one I didn't need until after lunch.

I was able to take closeups of the incisions, with the glue still on. The first two are the incisions over where my fallopian tubes were, and the last is my belly button. I found out during my post-op appointment that at least one of my fallopian tubes were larger than average, and had to be re-routed through my belly button, which explains why my belly button incision felt worse than the others.

Day 8: 
I WORE PANTS. Holy shit did that feel good. I haven't missed jeans so much in my life. 

Still only taking one ibuprofen (and at like 2pm, too), but today I feel like I did a lot of sit-ups. It's like that weird good pain you get, only it's not good because it's surgery, only it is good because it's surgery. I don't know. It wasn't bad. Now I'm wondering when I can start working out again. After an ankle sprain a couple months ago I've been out of commission for way too long. Feeling the flab.

I called the doctor's office and learned that it's stitches in my belly button, not a staple like I thought. They should dissolve on their own, or might come out. I dunno, feels a lot harder than thread... But I have orders to not pull them out. 

I can also take the glue off my side incisions. Maybe tomorrow.

Day 9:
I peeled off the body glue after showering. I'm healing! They're going to be almost invisible! I'm so excited! 

I wonder if anyone else that gets surgery like this is as fascinated with the human body as I am. It just fixes itself. I was cut open and soon you won't be able to tell at all. Amazing. The surgeons did such a good job making the incisions as small as possible so they'd heal, for which I'm very grateful. 

Except now my belly button is itchy. But it's itchy on the inside and scratching doesn't do anything. The nurse said I could take Benadryl if the itchy is too much but that would just put me to sleep. Fortunately it's not so bad and working gets my mind off it. Really looking forward to this being done.

Shitty cell phone pictures are shitty.

I also didn't take an ibuprofen today. :)

Day 10:
Honestly, there's not much to talk about. I wanted to update this to 10 days (then my six week update) but things are pretty much normal. I'm feeling a lot less bloated and almost like I could begin light jogging again. But then whenever I move too quickly I'm very aware of my belly.

Overall, this was a lot easier and less painful than I was anticipating. Pretty surprising, but I'm happy about it, obviously. Check my update for more, and I'll do one about dealing with insurance once that's settled.