A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure done to either diagnose endometriosis or treat its symptoms (go here to learn more about endometriosis). I’ve suffered from the symptoms of endometriosis for 12 years, and I finally had a laparoscopy recently to determine an official diagnosis. I want to share my story with the world, so that hopefully other women won't be as scared as I was to undergo the procedure.
The day before my surgery, I got a call that I should be at the hospital at 6:00 AM so that they could begin the operation by 7:15. I arrived promptly at 6:00, where my husband and I were taken to a waiting room. After a couple of minutes, a nurse came back to get me, telling my husband that he could join me after some standard measures were completed.
I was escorted into a pre-surgery room. It had a counter, cabinet, two chairs, and a patient recliner. I was asked to give a urine sample, and then a different nurse came in to assess my health (I worked with several nurses throughout the course of the day). I told her about my allergies and took out my piercings when prompted (two in each ear, one in my belly button). Then I was given a cap, gown, booties, and robe to change into. I also had to wear a T.E.D. sock to prepare for surgery.
The second nurse told me that she would be putting an IV into me. She gave me an initial injection of a numbing agent into my left hand, which felt like a mosquito bite. She then put an IV into one of my veins, which was basically a plastic catheter. Apparently, plastic IVs are in vogue now, as they’re much more comfortable than a needle in the skin.
After that, my husband was allowed to join me in the room and an anesthesiologist entered. She asked about my current medications and previous experiences with surgery and anesthesia. I had “gone under” when I had my wisdom teeth out and also when I had a colonoscopy in high school, so she was pretty confident that I would handle it well. I was told that I would be getting the medication Propofol, which many will recognize as the prescription that Michael Jackson died from after an unfortunate overdose.
Finally, I was told that I was ready for surgery. I was wheeled into the operating room in a wheelchair, where I climbed onto the table and was put to sleep.
Shaina Gaul is a feminist and freelance writer living in Iowa. View more of her writing at http://www.toasterbyte.com.