Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Close second to childbirth...

Most of you already know what has been happening to me this past week, but for those of you who don't or happen to find this on some search, I am going to tell my story of an event that is a close second to childbirth.

Ruptured Ovarian Cysts

Even the name sounds horrible!

Before I begin, let me throw out a couple of disclaimers, I am not a physician and if you think that you have symptoms of this then get to the ER or your doctor. Second, I am one of those people that tend to tell everything about myself if I think it could help someone else. There is too much silence about certain issues that so many women deal with!
The symptoms include some of the following,
horrible pain in the right side of the lower abdomen, sometimes spreading to the back, belly button, buttocks, and pelvis.
severe pelvic pressure and/or pain
onset of pain after intercourse or bowel movement
pain before a period or after in the pelvic area
frequent urination and/or inability to empty bladder
signs of anemia
nausea and/or vomitting
if you have mitral valve prolapse, shaking can occur and anemia can be worse
low blood pressure
high blood pressure
heart palpitations

So here is my story:

On Sunday, June 21st, my kids, mother-in-law, husband and myself went to my parents' house to get a few things for my parents since my dad was in the hospital. We fed the dog and gathered up what we needed. By the time we reached the vehicle I was having this stabbing horrible pain in my right side. It came on very suddenly and I thought it was a muscle cramp. I tried not to let it show but my husband in all of his infinite wisdom could tell I was hurting somewhere by my harsh answers to any questions. I had to go back inside for something and when I tried to get it in the back of our vehicle I couldn't lift it because the pain was so, well, painful. Tim came around and put it in the back for me and told me to take some painkillers. I am certain I meekly I obliged.

By the time we reached the hospital to visit my dad and loaded JJ in the stoller I was better. Thought it was a fluke thing. The rest of the day and the next day I was fine.

Fast forward to Tuesday, Tim went to work and I and the kids went about our regular day. Around lunch time, Tim called to say he was headed home because the company he works for had goofed up and not followed protocol so they were being thrown off the jobsite until the right procedures were gone through. When he came home, he and both kids took a nap in their seperate bedrooms. I shouted hurray! and began putting on my gardening clothes to go work out in the yard.

Somewhere in the midst of putting my stuff on, my side started hurting really bad again. I doubled over a few times, since I don't handle pain really well. But, nonetheless, I went outside and tried to convince myself to garden. I made it as far as the kids' swing. It looks just like an adult free standing porch swing on a metal frame with a canopy over it but it is kid size. I somehow lowered myself onto that while trying not to throw up. I had the thought of pushing on to dig a hole to plant my new hostas, but thought better of it. This mental picture came to mind of my husband's uncle or cousin driving their dump truck up the road that runs beside our house and seeing me laid out on the ground unconscious, so I very slowly went back inside.

Immediately, I googled "pain in right abdomen" and came up with appendicitus and kidney stones or gallbladder rupture/stones. All of them said to call the doctor or go the ER. I called my doc's office telling them I had severe pain in my lower right abdomen with nausea and my heart was pounding in my chest. The nurse said, " I don't want to alarm you, Mrs. White, but you need to come in as soon as you can. Don't panic, that will make the pain worse. Just come in as soon as you can and you might end up going to the hospital" Okay, sorry, but alarms started ringing in my head! Panic Panic, who's panicing?

I woke up Tim and told him what was happening. Then I asked him to help me wash off before we left. After he helped me get clean, we woke up the kids, dressed them and headed for the doc's office which is only about three minutes away.

My husband about lost it when I informed the nurse why I was there and she had me write out a check for my last copay, including the amount for the current one before the doctor could see me. Somehow I was calm. The nurse took us to a room and asked questions all the while my two little children sat in shock in chairs staring at me with huge eyes. It felt like a bad movie, but the pain was very real.

The doctor came in and asked me questions. By this time my brain wasn't working too well and I couldn't answer her questions. She asked me what I had to eat for lunch and I remember trying to mentally show her a picture of it from my head, because I couldn't remember what it was called. Very strange.

Anywhoo, they called the paramedics who came and loaded me on the gurney. My children did think that was pretty cool, though. The paramedic then informed my husband that there wasn't much they could do to help me except get me to the hospital because it was abdominal. So he had them load me up in our vehicle for him to take me there himself and forgo the huge bill.

My aunt-in-law, who lives down the street from us, came and got the kids and we took off for the hospital. Of course, there was traffic! It seemed to take forever to get to the hospital, but Tim said I passed out a couple of times and wasn't responsive. We finally reached the ER and Tim had to find a wheelchair for me, while some guy opened the car door and asked me repeatedly if I was okay. Tim said the man thought I was spaced out on drugs! lol I could hear what was going on around me, but I couldn't respond no matter how hard I tried and my thoughts started circling.
Anyway we had to wait for what seemed like hours to finally be called back to a room. My darling husband said one lady was called back before us who was laughing and talking very loudly with some other ladies, even though I was practically comatose and they were supposed to call you back based on severity of cases. My sweet hubby said the lady's only problem was being ugly. He isn't very nice when his loved ones are in pain.

After we were put in a room, the nurse whose name was Tim, lol, checked my vitals, etc. He said the doctor would come and see me, which he did in a few minutes saying they would get a urine sample to rule out kidney stones, a CT scan to check for appendicitus and ovarian cysts, and a blood panel for everything. That was the first mention of the cysts, but I didn't really notice. The nurse then came back and gave me nausea medicine and morphine, which unfortunately caused me to start vomitting. I had it before when my son was delivered by C-section but I didn't have that reaction to it then. After a few trips to the bathroom and the CT scan we went back to the room to await the results. FYI if you ever have to have a CT scan and you have to drink anything for it, don't drink the banana flavor! Ask for the berry or strawberry flavor, it is the only drinkable kind. If you have to have the dye put in your system intravaneously, it will be almost hot as it goes through your system and it will make you feel like you just peed all over yourself!

The doctor came back and said I had two cysts on my right ovary and they appeared to have ruptured which was causing me the pain. Overall, I ended up with three doses of morphine and a female nurse that wanted me to walk out when I was discharged. Another patient found me a wheelchair, thank goodness. With instructions to see my gyn in a few days, we left the hospital at about 8:30pm. We found a 24 hour pharmacy and had my Darvicet and Naproxen prescriptions filled while I drank a Sprite, my first sustenance since lunch. Then we went home for me to crash.

The next several days I was in constant pain, and ended up having to take the Darvicet every two hours to be able to bear it. The second day I felt a little better but the third and fourth were worse by far. The fifth was a little better, but the sixth was full of pain and fatigue. Yesterday,the seventh, began with sharp stabbing pains during the night that lasted until about midafternoon. Since then I have been fine and only taking Tylenol. I also saw my gyn yesterday who did an exam on me, then ordered a vaginal ultrasound, which was not bad at all. After that he informed me that the first cyst was a simple cyst, meaning it had only fluid. The second cyst, the larger one, was a complex cyst, meaning it had stuff like bone and hair in it. Yuck and oh gross! The simple cyst was half the size it had been and the complex cyst was a third the size, a pretty good reduction for only a week's time.

The doctor then told me to keep taking the pain meds as I needed them and expect for the cysts to be gone within another week. If I still have complications I will return for another ultrasound. Also, if I have the symptoms in the future I am to try to go to his office rather than the ER for treatment. Worse case scenario, I might have to have my right ovary removed if the problem persists. No hysterectomy or taking both my ovaries. That was a relief for me to hear! 26 is a little young to go through menopause!

During all of this I have done some research online and found one website that stands out from the rest on the wealth of information. If any of you have questions or want to know the list of symptoms check out

I know this was a long post, but it was something I had no information about until it happened to me and then I found out about many friends and family who had experienced the same thing.


AngelGirl said...

glad you are feeling better:)

Jeni and David said...

I understand the pain! I had the same symptoms when I had the kidney stone at the beach a couple of years ago. I had a baseball+ sized cyst about a year & a half ago - I'm thankful it didn't rupture! Glad you're feeling better - it was good to see you guys last weekend!

Kristy said...

Wow! So glad that you were able to go to the doctor. Praying that you will recover completely and quickly.

ATinkLife said...

The day after seeing the doctor and since I have been perfectly fine. The funny thing is that during all of that week I had no symptoms of osteoarthritus but as soon as I started feeling better from the cysts my symptoms came back! weird how are bodies work that way.

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