Right before my first post-miscarriage D&C, the nurses had me walk from the pre-op area to the OR in an open-backed surgical gown. Down a hallway, past other patients and healthcare providers, holding the back of the gown closed so I wouldn't show my butt to everyone. It was completely humiliating and not what I needed while I was losing a baby.
I've had lots of surgeries and procedures, especially recently. I realize we have to tolerate certain indignities for the sake of efficiency. And I'm all for efficiency...to a point. I want the kind of efficiency that means a nurse will at least make sure I've tied the back of the gown correctly.
My husband took me to the ER two weeks ago as part of this whole post-op pain drama. That was an eye-opener. At first I thought the patients waiting with catheters in their arms must be in especially bad shape, but after getting an uncomfortable catheter of my very own, realized it was par for the course. Going to the ER means you get to sit around with a catheter. There's no mistaking the patients for the caregivers.
One of the most surreal parts of my ER experience occurred when a nurse handed me a urine cup while I was still in the waiting room. She instructed me to provide a sample using the public bathrooms. Not wanting the 100+ person audience in the waiting room to know I was providing a pee sample, I used my purse to transport the cup to and from the bathroom. I know, ew. Of course, my efforts to hide the cup were in vain, anyway, because I had to do a very public hand-off to the nurse in front of everyone.
I'm not blaming individual nurses or even managers. But it sucks. I'm trying to retain some of my dignity through this whole stirrup-filled infertility odyssey, but I'm starting to feel like I've lost it.
Navigating work with post-op pain has been embarrassing, too. I am so grateful for the outpouring of support I've received, but am having trouble just accepting it. I've been shuffling around the hallways in obvious discomfort. I start the day sitting at my desk and within an hour, am working from a couch in an unoccupied office because sitting up is too painful. People fuss over me and bring me extra pillows. Coworkers kneel next to the couch to discuss projects. I hate it. I know we're all sick sometimes and it's not a sign of weakness, but it's not the person I want to be at work. I want to be vibrant and efficient and strong.
The gabapentin I'm taking is definitely helping the pain. It's just not helping quickly enough to suit me. I'm adjusting my expectations of how long this recovery will take, but sometimes I want to pitch a temper tantrum and insist this all ends now.
If you haven't headed over there already, stop by Cristy at Searching for our silver lining to offer your support. She's going through her second miscarriage after an FET. She is one of the kindest bloggers I've come across and I can't believe she's going through this again.