We last left off on March 4, 2022, when I shared with you my current struggles with my cycle, constant menstruation, and excruciating pain. I had just found out the magnitude of the problem I was dealing with-cysts on both my right and left ovaries, which are quite large:
Right ovarian cyst- debris filled measuring 3.8 X 3.5 X 3.6 CM
Left ovarian cyst- debris filled measuring 7.2 X 5.1 X 6.3 CM
When I had initially written my first post it was a Friday evening and by Sunday afternoon I was taken to the emergency room due to excruciating pain and heavy bleeding.
In between my ultrasound results and going to the emergency room, there was a night my husband and I decided to hit the road and get out of the house for a bit. I remember the pain in my left side was absolutely becoming unbearable during the car ride and after hitting two stores I was in such terrible pain I was sweating, weak, and could literally feel the heat radiating off my body.
I came home, took a hot bath and a few Motrin, got into some comfy PJs and laid with my heating pad until I fell asleep.
The next day I was still in so much pain. At this point I had been bleeding since exactly January 15th, and it felt like my period had just started, ladies you know how those first few days are… It was like I was living in a repeating cycle of starting my cycle over and over again, every few days.
I don’t know if being aware that the cysts were there at this point was causing more stress to my body, causing me more pain, but by Sunday when I tried my old hot bath to heating of trick didn’t help, I knew I was in some deep sh*t. I called my husband from my phone whilst in the bathtub and told him, “I think we need to go to the ER.” I cleaned myself up, got dressed, into the car and closed my eyes for the ride up the street to the hospital- I could hardly breathe and couldn’t stop shaking.
Let me just give you the low down of my ER visit, which I am absolutely f*cking disgusted by…
When we arrived, I was taken back pretty quickly and put into an actual room, which I assume was due to the nature of my visit and or problems.
I was so disoriented due to the pain-one nurse on the left taking my blood pressure and one nurse on my right inserting an IV, while some woman with a rolling computer cart was asking me a million questions that I could literally not even find a breath to take to answer them.
Computer Lady: “First day of your last period.”
Me: “Umm, I don’t know, I’ve been bleeding since January…”
Computer Lady: “I NEED A DATE- beginning, middle, or end?!”
Phlebotomist: “Any prior hospitalization?”
Phlebotomist: “ARE YOU SURE?!?!”
Phlebotomist: “Well why do you have tape on your arm, it looks like you had an IV in.” (Running her fingers over the sticky remnants from a bandage on my arm)
Me: “I had blood work done Tuesday, here, upstairs… it’s…it’s in my chart…”
Phlebotomist: “Well it looks like you had an IV in…”
Me: “Where is my husband? Can he please come back now?”
Phlebotomist: “We don’t know if you have COVID. Doctor will be in shortly.” (Closes door and leaves me by myself)
Luckily, my husband was able to come back to my room, not without some backlash from the front desk.
The doctor ordered some more blood work, a urine sample, as well as another vaginal ultrasound.
A smiling woman came back and helped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me into the bowels of the hospital for my ultrasound.
Ultrasound Technician: “Are you bleeding a lot?”
Me: “I guess…”
Ultrasound Technician: “Are you going to bleed on my floor”
Me: “I don’t know…”
Ultrasound Technician: “I’ll put a pad down just in case…”
Now, why wouldn’t you do that anyway, knowing why I am here? I’ll never know. All I can say was I felt more than a tad bit humiliated.
I could tell she was getting some good images as the ultrasound took more than an hour. I was uncomfortable, but I was grateful-the more images she took, the better chance I had at getting help with my problems, I thought to myself.
When she was finished she gave me a huge sanitary napkin the size of a diaper and wheeled me furiously back to my room where my husband awaited my arrival.
The doctor came back about an hour or so later and regurgitated everything I already knew, and added in some new factoids-my right cyst had ruptured, and my blood levels looked slightly better that day than they did four days prior.
She then informed me she would need to do a pelvic exam. Now, I was expecting the regular pelvic exam with stirrups and a gynecological exam bed. I was so f*cking wrong.
A medical assistant came in and told me to take my underwear off-
Me: “But I have a pad on…”
Medical Assistant: “It’s fine just take them off.”
The medical assistant then proceeded to give me a bedpan, told me to put my pelvis on top of it and that’s how the doctor was going to do my pelvic exam. WTF I thought…
The doctor proceeds to come in and actually flip the bedpan over position my lower half on top of it and do the f*cking pelvic exam-all whilst my husband is watching-horrified.
The doctor then tells me to put my underwear back on, informs me I would be getting some kind of pain shot in my IV and to follow up with my gynecologist as I was going to be discharged.
After six hours I was finally discharged home and I already had a follow-up appointment with my NEW OBGYN for that Thursday afternoon. If I could just make it to Thursday I will finally have some kind of answers, I kept thinking to myself, holding on to my hope that I would soon get some relief.
Thursday morning came, and I was in absolute excruciating pain. I had punched in for work at 7 am, and by 8:30 I was crumpled up into a ball on the futon in my home office. I had sent a message to the CNP I had seen who ordered the original ultrasound I had in February and I received a call almost immediately from the doctor’s office “NEW DOCTOR” was out with a bad back that day and either I could reschedule my appointment or see ANOTHER CNP at a different location at 9:30 that morning. Furthermore, I knew the CNP couldn’t do sh*t for me, but opted to see her and try and get some relief. I called my boss to let her know what was going on, and next my mom to ask her if she could take me to my appointment.
So, I arrive at the office and of course the CNP couldn’t do or tell me sh*t. She did tell me my constant bleeding was NOT due to my large ovarian cysts, and prescribed me Camrese birth control pills to hopefully calm my ovaries down and stop the bleeding. She gave me 48 hours off of work to rest and hope the birth control kicked in. I should probably mention that during this visit the power went out in the office three times and my prescription as well as my doctor’s note for work all had to be handwritten- I wasn’t even able to schedule a follow-up appointment with my doctor/surgeon because, obviously, the power was out.
Thankfully, the pharmacy was on the way home for my mom, and she dropped it off for me after taking me home. But of course, there was a snag. The pharmacy did not carry this birth control and had to order it- so I was unable to start the pack that day-just my f*cking luck, I thought.
I slept that whole entire rest of the day, with my handy heating pad laying right on my sore little tummy.
The next morning, I decided I was sick of sleeping and got up and started blogging. The pharmacy finally called me that afternoon to inform me that my prescription was filled, and I could pick it up any time. Sick of being a shut in for weeks on end, I decided I was going to go pick it up myself. I also made a very bad decision to go to the Family Dollar next door to the pharmacy and pick up some household needs first. During my brief shopping venture the pain started again, I was so weak and unsteady, I even called my husband to tell him to be on standby in case something happened while I was out.
By the time I made it to the pharmacy, I thought I was going to pass out. Again, I was sweating, and I could feel the heat radiating off my body as my legs shook while I waited in line. Of course, an elderly woman was in front of me checking out her items as well as picking up her prescriptions and then had the audacity to ask for her COVID booster shot! I’m IN PAIN BACK HERE, LADY!!! *Please know I am jokingly saying this, and I am well aware that the world does not revolve around me- good job for getting your booster ma’am!*
That whole weekend, I felt like total sh*t. I was so fatigued, weak and nauseated, I could hardly get out of bed. I messaged the CNP I had seen, who prescribed the birth control, and didn’t hear back from her until two days later, and I quote:
Are you following the direction of (insert name) CNP which includes: Camrese to take two tablets for 3 days then to take on by mouth daily and not stop until she finishes the birth control pack.
If you have been using as directed, please allow up to 3 months for your body to adjust. Monitor your symptoms and address your concerns with Dr. (insert name here) on 3/19/22. Please proceed to ER if pelvic pain or bleeding becomes severe. I hope this helps, please contact our office if anything else is needed.”
No, as a matter of fact that didn’t help, and I did not even bother to answer back. Of course, I was taking the pills as instructed, why wouldn’t I? I just wanted all of this to stop, so I could get a moment of relief in my life after bleeding, cramping, and excruciating pain since January 15th.
Saturday, March 19th, after over a month since I had seen the CNP who originally ordered the blood work and ultrasounds, I FINALLY was able to meet my NEW OBGYN. I was so happy!
We discussed the ultrasound findings, and I was given two options-either wait out the three months for the birth control to maybe solve the problem or have a laparoscopy- I chose the laparoscopy.
I explained to my doctor that years ago an OBGYN I was seeing suspected that I had endometriosis- if you have been following, this was the same doctor who told me at 23 I needed to start a family as soon as possible… At that time I actually had scheduled a laparoscopic procedure, however, I cancelled as I had just landed my first job in my career field and I didn’t want to take the time off. Looking back now, it was such a stupid decision, however, hindsight is always 20/20.
With that information, my OBGYN agreed that it would be best to proceed with scheduling the laparoscopy to check out what is going on inside my uterus and ovaries and to drain and remove the cysts. He also stated that perhaps if I do indeed have endometriosis that the cysts could be endometrial cysts and in that case they would never go away, even while on the birth control.
I could have cried that day, I was so relieved that I finally was validated, that I was getting answers, and finally I would be getting the help I have needed for so long. If given the opportunity, I would have checked myself into the hospital that day and had the procedure.
Currently, we are at a good place. My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29th, the only thing I have left to do is more blood work-The CA-125 which will check for ovarian cancer. My doctor feels pretty confident that it is in fact not ovarian cancer, but he still would like to know what my baseline is prior to going in for the procedure.
So that concludes part two of this painful, epic journey. Everyone, if you could say a little prayer or send me some good vibes and or advice if you have had a laparoscopic procedure such as the one I am having, I would truly appreciate it.
Hopefully, part three will be an even better chapter in my story, with lots of healing and less pain!