So, yesterday I had the Copper Coil, or rather the Nova T 380 IUCD fitted under general anaesthetic.
I arrived at my alotted time: 11:30, was admitted and then spent the next two or so hours reading and looking around. Then it was my turn to go in. I was, quite wonderfully the first case.
I was taken to anaesthesia where about five or six anaesthetists were all tending to me. Talking to me, injecting me, reassuring me, holding my hands, hooking me up to machines. Then I was wheeled into theatre. I moved across to the table, which was exceptionally narrow, laid back down and was then approached by nurses on both sides, about four of them. There were still two anaesthetists.
A nurse held my hand, two other nurses put my legs in stirrups – oh the indignity! – and then the white stuff went into my vein. The anaethetist who was holding the oxygen mask over my face said “You’ll start to feel it in a minute…“. I could feel the coldness in the back of my hand and how it was moving up my arm. She told me to keep my eyes open, so I kept looking at the lights but before I knew it I was saying “Oh yeah. I can feel it already“. Except, I only managed to get half of “already” out. From now, I have no idea of what happened. I assume that he inserted the coil and it all went very well.
Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery, it was about 15 minutes after I had gone in and I had no recollection after looking at the ceiling and not finishing that sentence. I have such a good reaction to anaesthetic. For some reason I was in recovery for longer than anyone else. While I was there, (almost an hour) about eight other people came and went.
In recovery I realised that I was in quite a significant amount of pain. I shan’t lie or dress it up at all, it really did fucking hurt. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. I mentioned it to a nurse who had an anaesthetist sign for some painkillers. I was having “obs” done every few mintes while there, and they were also checking the pad. Eventually I was taken back to the ward where The Boss was waiting for me. I had obs done every half hour for a little while, same for the pad checking, and I was given some painkillers. Eventually about three hours later they wanted to let me go home. They had fed me some toast, water and made me go for a wee. I was then let home.
The pain was eased by the painkillers. There were a few occassions when I felt some pretty bad and prolonged spells of pain, and can only imagine how much more painful they would have been without any painkillers.
Today I feel okay. A bit weak and tired, but okay. The bleeding has been minimal – I was expecting more especially with it being the copper coil and not the hormonal one. I have to see a nurse at my GPs surgery in about six weeks time to make sure it’s all okay.
The little leaflet I got with it says that it’s not really for use in young women (I’m in my early twenties) or those without children (I’m as nulliparous as you can get). But hell, it’s working for me so far. Now I just need to abstain for two weeks, keep anti-bacterial, take it fairly easy physically at least until I’ve had my check-up, and be prepared for more random bleeding. Now that the pain is pretty much over, I’m glad that I had it done this way. I couldn’t have coped if they had kept trying in the GP surgery. I’m not sure I would have liked a local anaesthetic. Having such a good reaction to general anaesthetic has been both a good and learning experience.
The doctors, nurses and my surgeon were all very nice and kind to me, they were all very reassuring. It’s nice to have someone hold your hand, speak to you gently, explain what’s going on and smile at you. From when my surgeon handed me the consent form, to the nurse holding my hand as I drifted off, and the nurses who were there when I woke up – they were all smiling at me, and it made me feel very much at ease.
Would I recommend having the coil inserted under general anaesthetic? Yes. But, only as a last resort. Just because you think it’s going to hurt a bit, is not a good enough reason, and it wasn’t my reason. I could have coped with the pain. Plus, it’s more the pain you’ll feel afterwards that would bother me. The anaesthesia can’t deal with that. It just wasn’t possible to open my cervix except while under the influence of Propofol.
Now I just need to express my thanks to the nursing teams and my surgeon for a job well done!