Health Update

*As is often the case, this post has some highly personal details, so if you prefer to not know what’s going on in this capacity please feel welcome to skip this post. Sending you lots of love!

Tuesday I had my 6 month check up for the pain I’ve now had for about a year and a half from some ovarian cysts I have. As I laid in bed that night unable to sleep I did that thing we all know is a great idea, I looked up what will happen when I have the surgery required to resolve this still present issue.

It took me like 9 months to go to the doctor in the first place because the pain was infrequent and well, pain is normal in my world. I got referred to a specialist to have an ultrasound done to see what was going on. That’s when I found out about the cysts. They were big enough and around long enough that the doctor decided to replace my IUD early and put me on 3 months of birth control pills (a typical resolution for this issue). I spent 3 months on this path complete with mood swings, weight gain, and a general loss of empathy while the additional estrogen flooded my system and I hated everything for awhile. I had forgotten how horrible birth control pills are. I’m so glad this was only for 3 months. Yuk.

I went back after the 3 months less than hopeful as the pain was still persistent at this point. For those of you who haven’t had this issue here’s what it feels like to me: a very sudden an enthusiastic twisting stabbing pain in my lower belly that lasts from seconds to hours. Super fun. Ok, full disclosure, I’ve never actually been stabbed, but I believe it would be about that intense. It’s the mind numbing, tunnel vision, double over, tears streaming down my face sort of pain that rates an 8-9 on my scale  (click the underlined blue for a link to the post about my chronic pain and my pain scale).

The results of the 3 month checkup, a year into the pain was an uncertainty that left me feeling a bit lost. The doc said one was bigger, one was smaller, and one was too hard to determine the size because of the bigger one (at that point measured at 3.4 cm). I left the doctor with the option to have surgery which may not be necessary or to wait…for 6 months. Oh, and if I’ve failed to mention it ovarian cysts also have this caveat that at any time one of them could explode inside of me and create the most intense pain of my life followed by life threatening internal bleeding “so be prepared to go to the hospital immediately if that happens. And don’t worry, you’ll know if it happens.” Wow, thanks. Good to know that I may die at any moment and the option is to have surgery that won’t be covered at this point because it’s not necessary or to wait and hope I don’t die. Nice.

So Tuesday the verdict was that after seeing them still in there, and still growing (no actual measurements, but one of them looked to be about half the size of my bladder) it’s now necessary to have surgery. Deep breath Sam.

This will be the second surgery in my life, the first was when I was 4 or 5 (preschool age) that was on my eyeball after somehow getting a piece of metal stuck in it.

After reading the internet here’s what I can expect:

  • they will have to put me under
  • a breathing tube will have to be inserted in my throat
  • a catheter will have to be installed for the surgery part
  • three half inch slits will be made above my hips and in my belly button
  • gas will be blown into my belly to give them room to work
  • they will attempt to remove any and all cysts without damaging other parts of me
  • no stitches, but small scars that may go away at some point
  • 3-7 days of pain and soreness, constipation, and general grumpiness
  • which means 3-7 days of not taking appointments
  • after 2 weeks my pain from all this should be completely gone

So that’s where I’m at. I have to call to schedule the appointment still, but hopefully that will happen today. I am nervous and scared, but I’m relieved to know that the pain wasn’t just manufactured in my brain and that it can be resolved. I’ll be okay. Taking a week off of work is probably the scariest part. My brain immediately goes to “oh that will be the perfect time to work on the book.” We shall see. Maybe I will actually give myself a break (willingly or not). Maybe.

For now I will press on, work hard, try not to think about it too much as it’s currently a “gravity problem” (that’s a Designing Your Life reference which I am part way through and really like so far).  Send me some extra loves if you have it, and I’ll take all the well wishes you’ve got. Sending the same out to you for whatever you’re dealing with. Thank you for being here, and thank you for allowing me to shine the light. With your help I believe we are making the world just a little bit brighter.

Peace, Love, and Cuddles,

Samantha Hess