After finding out there is a blood donation center here at our local hospital and that I was probably eligible to donate, I drove over last Tuesday morning to see. Its something I’ve wanted to do for some time but never had.
It took me almost twenty minutes to get into the hospital and find the right building because someone had hit a utility pole in front of the hospital that morning and the main street its on was mostly blocked off. Once I got in there, I did the questionnaire, and I was in the comfy chair all ready to get poked… and then the power went out.
With no power they don’t have reliable blood storage, so I got sent home. But ten minutes after I got home, they called me back, so I hopped back in the car again. This time we were in business!
No one warned me they use a 16 gauge needle for donations- something about not damaging the actual cells in the blood I guess. I think a 14 gauge is used for implanting microchips so that’s a pretty big freaking needle. And I have tiny veins.
The lady had to keep fiddling with it, but I gave my pint and say down to enjoy my snack. It was like being in kindergarten again. Cookies and juice… LOL. After that I drove home and went on with my day. I’m super glad I finally did it though and will definitely do it again!
Several months ago I started the process to get a tubal ligation. Once I found out the process, it turned out to be easier than I expected. My first stop was Planned Parenthood. They did the mandatory 30 minute counseling session with me to make sure I understood that sterilization is permanent and that I really did not want kids. That part was super easy.
Then I went to my primary doctor and requested a referral to a gynecologist. There was some hold up there with my insurance until I requested my medical records from Planned Parenthood and had my primary doctor send in the proof of the counseling session.
The next hold up was 3 times I was referred to the wrong kind of doctor. I finally got my referral to a gynecologist and she did an exam and asked me a lot of questions. When she heard that there is mental illness on both sides of my relationship, she agreed that that alone was an excellent reason to give me the go ahead. I wasn’t going to judge her idea of a good reason to sterilize me; I was just glad that she agreed to do it.
The next few weeks were filled with driving all over the place (did I mention the doctor I was referred to was an hour’s drive away from me?) to pick things up, have tests run, and in general drive me batty. I was thankfully able to do my EKG and bloodwork where I live, but had to drive down below to get my chest x-ray.
That was a week ago. Yesterday I went in for the actual surgery at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. It felt like I was waiting in holding for hours, but once they put me under, I blinked and it was done. I freaked out a little when I woke up in recovery because for a few minutes I couldn’t really move and I couldn’t do more than just moan and whimper. I think they paralytic they give you for surgery was still in me a bit. When I could move better and actually talk, I spent 15 minutes cracking what could only be truly awful jokes because no one laughed. I’m so glad no one was there to record that.
The surgery itself went great. No problems, and just two tiny incisions. One in my bellybutton and one right above my pubic area. When we left the hospital, our first stop was to go to Arby’s. I was starving after my fast (the day before I was only allowed clear liquids and jello) and a turkey sandwich never tasted so good!
We stopped by the pharmacy, but I ended up not getting my pain med Rxs filled because the doctor wrote them on the same sheet, and Norco is nearly impossible to get here, and when the Rxs are written like that they have to fill both of them at the same time. Instead I just bought menstrual pads and a bottle of ibuprofen. The menstrual pads were because apparently after this surgery you bleed from your vagina and there is a big “don’t put things in your vagina” warning on the printout for after care… LOL. After that we were on our way home.
After we were home I kinda felt like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse, which is pretty much how bad menstrual cramps can feel. I was tired too, but not tired enough to actually sleep. Mattie and I stayed up kinda late watching TV on Hulu and then went to bed. At first I couldn’t get comfortable but then I knocked out pretty quickly.
This morning I woke up and I felt like I had a brutal workout at the gym yesterday and did about a thousand sit-ups. I took 600mg of ibuprofen and after about an hour felt quite a bit better. I’m still sore of course and I feel like an old lady, but its honestly not that bad and I wouldn’t die if I didn’t have anything for pain.
I’m super relieved that I did it. I’m glad I won’t have to worry about an accidental pregnancy. And as someone I follow on Instagram said, “Welcome to Sterile Club!” LOL I did however have a few naysayers along the way. I had a few private messages from friends when I talked about wanting this done on Facebook saying I was too young and I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m 35 years old people. I’ve never wanted kids. And one of the surgical nurses insisted I would be back in a few years to have it reversed, or that I could always rent a womb, or do in vitro fertilization. She also questioned me if my boyfriend was really on board with this. On the other hand, when I saw my new psych doctor the day before my surgery, he applauded me for making a conscious decision to prevent unwanted pregnancies when so many people who shouldn’t have kids just keep popping out babies.
But its done, and I’m glad. Now to just recover and get back to normal! I’m planning on doing some knitting during my downtime. 🙂