I try to write about the real sides of my life. The struggles, the ups & downs (even when it feels like I’m writing about more downs than ups), the awesome and the ugly. I spent a few days this week debating on whether to write about my latest surgery and ultimately decided it should be part of the story.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with cysts popping up on my body. Typically, they were on my chest, right between the two problems I had reduced at the age of 15 after months of injections, prescriptions, and even surgery to remove the cysts. They’ve been a pain in the ass but just something I learned to deal with.
When I started getting cystic acne on my face in my early to mid-twenties (the last few years) was when they had more of an affect on me. My cysts on my chest were always hide-able. Nobody really had to know about the gauze I had shoved down my shirt, or the paste concoction of baking powder and topical antibiotic going on down there. But no beauty wonder product can cover up cystic acne on your face. As I discovered fairly quickly, caking on mineral powders and foundations of any sort just made it look worse (and take longer to heal).
So, when I found myself living with a pilonidal cyst on my tailbone (right at the top of your butt crack- they’re good times) about a year back, I was frustrated, but really not surprised. It was quite literally a pain in the ass. As my doctor said, “you’re just a cystie person!”. As if that’s my life calling. Yep, here’s Leah, she’ll go down in history as being “a cystie person”. I laugh just writing about that moment in her office.
So last week I rolled in for my 5th surgery in 26 years.
It was a relationship milestone for Eric and I as well as it would be the first time I’d go into surgery with anyone but my parents waiting for me on the other side, and my mom taking care of me for weeks (thanks mom). For the record, he was the best nurse you could imagine in a fiance. Taking care of me, waking up in the middle of the night, bandaging and unbandaging… the highlights of most relationships, really.
The surgery itself was minor, and having researched pilonidal cysts for a few weeks before, I felt lucky that mine was very small and overall quite inactive. It was the easier of the two types of surgeries you can have and I was grateful for it.
Sitting outside the OR I met with my surgeon (super nice guy) and the anaesthesiologist (who I could have sworn was the same guy as when I was there at 15). When they brought me into the operating room, the nurse said they’d get me to roll onto my stomach from my bed to the OR table. A minute later the anaesthesiologist said behind me “we’re good to go” and I felt a familiar wave come over me. I rolled quick, fluffed the pillow under me, and the rest is history.
Waking up in recovery was quite funny. Having not been fully put under but “had a good sleep” I was drugged enough to make an annoying idiot of myself. Rambling on to the nurses walking back and forth about what I can’t even remember. They quickly moved me back down to outpatient where my soon-to-be hubby was waiting for me. Within an hour I was in a wheelchair as he pulled the truck up to the entrance, helped me up, and rolled me into the back seat to lay on my side for the ride home. The rest of the day was spent laying on my side in bed and taking T3’s to keep me comfortable. By the next day, I was up and doing slow and easy laps around our 590-square foot apartment. Eric hobbled me around for the weekend, increasing the lengths of the small walks we took throughout the day.
The last week has been spent laying on my side or standing. I had no idea how horrible it would be to not sit for an entire week. Sleeping was uncomfortable and my hip, knees, and back have been killing me. But all that said, the ordeal itself was worth it. Yesterday after spending a week studying at my kitchen counter, I unpacked my textbooks in the library and allowed myself to try sitting down (with my special seat pillow of course… which only makes you look way cooler in a University library…).
Today, other than sore stitches, I feel great. A week post-operation and I was finally ready to share this leg of the journey and my uncomfortable story with the rest of the world.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks to everyone who took time out of their day to send me well wishes on Instagram. xo