Monday, April 2, 2012

the juicy details

Heh heh heh. So apparently people get all in a tizzy when you post hospital pictures of yourself with no details, huh?! Good times! In my moments of consciousness today, I enjoyed getting a laugh at the comments and texts yall left. It feels good to be cared about. 

It does not feel good to have what I have.

So Sunday was a normal, healthy day. I felt 100% fine. At about 10:05pm, I felt totally fine. At about 10:06pm I was knocked out on the floor of the shower (because I happened to be showering) with the strongest, most horrible, where-the-heck-did-this-come-from abdominal pain I've ever felt. And let's review: I've had LOTS of ovarian cysts rupture in my day. Since that post I linked to, I think I've had 3 or 4 more rupture? And THAT (cysts rupturing) is pretty much The Pain By Which All Other Pain Shall Be Measured. So I'm no stranger to abdominal pain. But this wasn't normal cyst-rupturing-pain. The onset was different. The timing in my cycle was wrong. And it was in a different part of my stomach. In my wet, half-hysterical state (seriously, I went from Normal Erika Taking a Shower to Hysterical Erika Flailing Naked On The Floor Of the Bathroom in about 4 seconds flat), I immediately suspected my old enemy, the appendix. I hate appendices. They just LURK there, up to no good, a constant threat of pain and surgery hanging over your head. And until you get it OUT, you can never truly rest worry-free...because it's always there. Threatening. Lurking. So naturally, my first thought (after ruling out rupturing cyst) is Rupturing Appendix. Matt and I spend about 10 minutes watching me writhe in the bed, convulsing with pain, before we decide to pack up the car and head towards Athens. Please remember that we live WAY TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE HOSPITAL FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS. So while we hoped that the pain would start subsiding on its own, we decided we'd start driving anyway, just in case it didn't.

Oh, it didn't. Instead, the pain got WORSE and WORSE and then there was nausea and constant shaking that can only be described as convulsing because I couldn't STOP shaking. My whole body. I think I was physically shaking the car the whole way to the ER. Once at the ER, Matt loaded my hunched-up body into a wheelchair and cruised me through the ER where everyone looked at me like it was the Freak Parade coming through. Screw you, perfectly healthy looking people having a Family Reunion at 11pm in the ER. Keep your stares to yourself. It was a good thing I was shaking so much or I probably would have slapped the check-in girl who was asking me inane questions like "what seems to be the problem?" and "can you confirm your address?" and "can you sign these papers?" (no, I could not physically hold a pen, but thanks for asking). They got me through triage quickly and I got my own room. Then there were 20 terrifying minutes that they spent getting me hooked up to all of the machines and IVs. Please remember that I was CONVULSING UNCONTROLLABLY. As in, my whole body, shaking. Now try to picture them trying to insert IVs. Um, yeah. There were quite a few mis-sticks. I have lots of bruises. But ultimately I didn't care because THE MORPHINE OH THE SWEET MORPHINE (and the Zofran) that flooded my body and made me stop shaking. And barely took the edge off the pain in my tummy.

After the morphine, it was hours and hours of exams and tests. When bloodwork and urinalysis revealed nothing useful, and the internal exam showed that the pain really wasn't in my ovaries, they decided to do a CT scan. Here is where we start Part 2 of the story (Part 1 was The Pain and The Shaking): The Thirst. I was thirsty in the car on the way over. I'd had my water bottle, but swallowing had proven to be too much for The Shakes and The Nausea, so I hadn't drank any. Once the morphine and Zofran kicked in, I started begging for water. And here's what they told me: NO. Here, you poor thirsty girl, we will give you another bag of fluids. But can I have some water in my mouth because I am so parched? No. Because we are doing lots of tests and you can't have any water for them. But I think I am now dying of dehydration instead of whatever is wrong with my stomach. Can I please have some water? NO. Here, we will put more stupid fluids in your stupid IV and also another dose of morphine so that you will fall asleep and quit bugging us about water. Bah. The best news about the CT scan was that first you have to drink this 'smoothie' (generous terminology) that contains the contrast dye. It was like 20 ounces or something, and it tasted like ground up Berry Tums, but it was cold and wet and delicious for about half of it, and then my body decided it was Done With It and it started tasting like death and worse. But I followed the instructions of my radiology tech guy, who told me to "chug-a-lug!", and I got the job done. Then you have to wait 2 hours for it to do something before you can get the CT scan. That had them wheeling me down the hall for my CT scan at about 3:30am. The CT scan was a new and interesting experience, but unfortunately all it revealed was that my appendix was intact, I didn't have kidney stones, and I had some "huge" masses on my ovaries.

The Huge Masses helped my doctor decide that next I would need a 30 minute long internal ultrasound. He was concerned that the size/weight of the masses could be causing my ovaries to twist, which would result in the blood being cut off to the ovaries, which would necessitate surgery if I ever hoped to use my ovaries again (I do). Unfortunately, there was no one in the hospital qualified to do the ultrasound, so they had to call the on-call person, so it meant I had to wait another few hours for the next thing. Matt and I passed the time by attempting to squeeze together on my bed (for warmth and rest), making bets on my blood pressure monitor and what it would show on the next auto-check, and periodically begging nurses and techs to give me water, which none of them would. I swear I felt like Katniss when she was thirsting in the arena...someone give me a sponsor with a friggin glass of water!!!!! Because of course they did not want any water in me for the ultrasound. Whenever that may be.

Finally the ultrasound person arrived and I don't think she was happy about being called in in the middle of the night because she was none too personable with the whole situation. The ultrasound took forever and I dozed through most of it, while secretly hatching my next plan to get water and morphine. My plan for morphine worked-- my plan for water failed. GAH! Anyway, after my doctor looked at the ultrasounds, he was really more confused than before hand. There was a lot of fluid in my pelvis. There were definitely huge masses on each ovary, but they hadn't ruptured and therefore wouldn't be the cause of the current pain (although they will probably rupture in the future, so I have that to look forward to!). It appeared that they were causing my ovaries to tilt, but they hadn't twisted that he could see...but he really just couldn't see enough from the ultrasound. He decided to give my regular gynecologist a nice 5am wake-up call to consult with her about the situation.

Ultimately they decided that they wanted to see more ultrasounds later in the day, to assess if things had changed and hopefully get a better view of the possibly-twisting ovaries. They said I could either stay in the hospital or go back home to wait for my appointment in the morning. I decided to go home because by now Matt was delirious from exhaustion (no sleep all night) and there was nowhere for him to rest in my hospital room. I figured I could Man Up the pain, but GUESS WHAT?! They finally allowed me to drink something-- but that's ALL I could do. Clear liquids until after my next ultrasound and consultation. No food. This actually sounded a lot worse than it ended up being. The ongoing nausea and pain had me not caring about food in the least. They didn't want me to eat because if I needed surgery later in the day, it would need to be on an empty stomach.

We made it home and had about 30 minutes of catnapping before we had to turn around and drive back to Athens for appointments at 2 different places. My next ultrasound was with a MUCH nicer person and a much nicer facility, so that was nice. It was also way faster. Then we had an hour to kill before my follow-up with my doctor, so we did what normal adults do at 10am and slept in the car in a parking lot. And then went inside and promptly fell asleep on the couch in the waiting room. Classy.

Then we got called back to our room and I (guess what?) fell asleep on the exam table. Narcotic drugs and I (and a night of sleep deprivation) do not make for an exciting pair. Finally my doctor came in and he said that they decided I had a Hemorrhagic Ovarian Cyst. It's similar to my regular ovarian cysts, only this time a blood vessel had gotten fused into the cyst and then somehow tore, causing blood to hemorrhage into my body. The blood flooding my internal cavity and being absorbed by the lining is what caused so much pain. Additionally, as the blood begins to clot, it restricts blood flow and causes more pain. They're apparently fairly rare. As with other rupturing cysts, there's nothing they can do for the problem; they just treat the pain. He also said that because of the cycle of the internal bleeding/clotting, it will probably be about 2 weeks until the pain and nausea completely go away. YAY.

After picking up a pharmacy's worth of drugs, we finally made it back home to sleep until 5pm. Although I've been cleared to eat, I still couldn't bring myself to do it until a few minutes ago, when I managed to not throw up half a quesadilla. It felt like a victory.

And now I am stuck on the couch for the foreseeable future, since moving and walking are extremely painful endeavors. Therefore you can help make this time easier for me by blogging a lot and constantly updating your facebooks and twitter. Thanks so much. :)   


  1. Oh you POOR thing. I am praying for you now!!!! That sounds so scary. Hey, want me to list out good things on Netflix streaming for you?

  2. Um MAJOR boo hiss to this one!! This is terrible! Why are your dumb ovaries behaving like this? Don't they know you've been through enough already? Do you want me to talk to them? Better yet, maybe we need to ship both of our sets of ovaries off to boarding school where they can learn how to behave properly. Am I taking this too far?

    So glad you are ok and hoping that you are feeling better (and more importantly, ready to consume large amounts of Mexican food) again SOON!! Love you!

  3. ugh. sounds terrible awful :( i hope you feel better a lot sooner than the doctors said.

  4. Geez, that gardening head wound I had guessed about earlier sounds like it would have been a lot more pleasant. I've had my appendix taken out and the pai beforehand was terrible, but this definitely sounds worse! Sorry, my friend :( Hope you start feeling MUCH better in less than 2 weeks!

  5. Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry. How did you manage to still write such a funny, entertaining post in your current state? You deserve some major props for that. I hope things get better soon :(

  6. Those ovaries really need to stop giving you such a hard time! Geez... But I'm glad you will be ok. Not glad for all the pain your in.

  7. Ey yi yi! I hope that it doesn't actually take 2 weeks for you to feel completely better. My goodness - what a scary/painful experience :( I agree with Lisa Elaine - props to you for letting your voice and humor shine through in this post! Praying for a short and not too painful/nauseous recovery!

  8. Erika! I hope you feel better soon! Hospitals and poking and prodding and pain and tests are no bueno! Trust me, I totally get where you're coming from! I hope things heal quickly and that you feel better soon!

  9. oh my word! that sounds beyond awful! Hope that it really doesn't take 2 weeks to completely be less painful!


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