Another medical related blog post out of me…it involves squeamish things. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Good news friends, the longest, most painful 2 months of my life are hopefully behind me.
I hadn’t felt great since delivering Dayton…for the first 6 weeks, I figured it was just recovery from labor. Then, at my 6 week check-up, I still didn’t feel back to normal, but my doctor assured me I would be soon…and I did, for a week or so I felt like I was on the way to being my normal self. I even reactivated my gym membership and did a wonderfully energizing yoga session…I came home from yoga, ran around the house getting a bunch of things done, danced in the living room with Dayton in the Ergo, life was good.
My mother and father in law were planning to come spend New Years with us since we didn’t get to see them at Christmas. We were going to have Christmas dinner, open gifts and spend time with their newest grandson. We had also planned Dayton’s baptism for the following weekend. I had realized earlier in the day that the baptism gown we were hoping Dayton could wear (the same one my sister wore), was too small. I decided to run to the mall quick to see if I could find an alternative outfit for him. As I talked to my mom on the phone and walked through the mall, I noticed a pain in my back. I dismissed it as a random post labor pain and kept going. By the time I reached JCPenny’s, the pain was radiating from my back down the front of my left leg. It was intense and I had to hang up the phone with my mom so I could concentrate on breathing through the pain. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but somehow, I made it back through the mall and out to my car.
Once I sat down, the pain intensified. I gave Steve a quick call and he came to pick me up. Since it was the afternoon on New Year’s day, I decided the pain was bad enough I at least wanted to get seen at Urgent Care. They diagnosed me with sciatic nerve pain (no surprise since I had that during most of my pregnancy) and gave me a shot of pain medication and sent me on my way. I headed straight home to bed, and slept the pain medicine off. Once I woke up, the pain was back. Again, having never had a baby before, I was sure that I was probably out of alignment from pushing and once I got back in, I would be okay. I made myself an appointment for a massage and the guy did a great job working out the ball of muscles that was the knot on my siatic nerve. I was able to walk and felt relief for the first time in days.
Sadly, it was short lived. I waited it out for another 3-4 days, not moving from bed. Since Dayton was still home with me, having not started daycare yet, I set up everything I would need to care for a baby in our bed. All I can say is good thing it was a king size bed! Finally, after a week, I set up an appointment with my family doctor. She gave me a checkup and determined I was out of wack and prescribed physical therapy.
I went to my first PT session, they worked and worked on my back, got everything back in place, gave me some exercises and had me plan to come in 3 times a week for a month. I was diligent in what I was told to do, but wasn’t getting any better. 2 weeks into therapy, I still had to spend the entire day in bed and couldn’t carry Dayton without significant pain. Then, the weekend we were supposed to have his baptism, it somehow got worse. I went to my therapy appointment that Friday in so much pain I had to stop the car to throw up on the .5 mile drive to therapy. They weren’t able to get me any relief and I left there as bad as when I came in. I decided I needed to get to urgent care for some immediate relief. They gave me another shot and it did nothing to abate the pain.
I came home, laid on the floor and cried and cried. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, I was shaking and throwing up from the pain and I had spiked a fever of 102. Thinking maybe I had caught the stomach flu (which was running rampant at the same time I was having my pain), I made another appointment with the family doctor. She tested me and I didn’t have the flu, she also took several blood samples and determined I didn’t have: a thyroid problem, elevated white blood cell count (which would indicate an infection), or a bladder infection. I stopped PT at this point because it wasn’t doing anything to help.
I started taking 800 mg Motrin 3x a day to help keep the swelling down and it seemed to be helping. I had no energy, but I could at least get out of bed. It still hurt to lift Dayton, and I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to start back to work. I got him started at daycare and got myself back to work and made it through my first week and a half back with persistent soreness, but at least I wasn’t in bed. I slept as much as I possibly could, any free second I had, and prayed my energy would return.
Steve had to go to California on a work trip and I was incredibly nervous about how I was going to make it with Dayton by myself. Sure enough, my pain was back, I pushed through, was able to play with Dayton on the floor until bed time, then feed him and excruciatingly get him in his crib. I sat on the kitchen floor loading his bottles in the dishwasher for the next day of daycare and then found myself throwing up and shaking once again. Scared, I got myself up to bed with plenty of water and slept. He must have known momma wasn’t feeling well because he slept from 8 p.m. until 5:50 a.m. Thank you sweet baby boy.
I woke up without back pain, but a weird pressure in my abdomen. It hurt less than the back pain though, so I decided that was good enough, got him to daycare and took myself to work. The pain escalated throughout the day at work, and by the end of the work day, every step I took was excruciating. Once again, managed to get Dayton taken care of and in bed. I went to sleep the second he was asleep and woke up at 11 p.m. when Steve got home. As soon as I woke up, I knew something was wrong. Everything hurt and it felt so different than before. The pain in my abdomen was so sharp I could barely breathe. I tried to go back to sleep, but realized that wasn’t going to happen. My pain was too much to ignore.
Grateful Steve was home, I got myself into the car and managed to drive at a snail’s pace to the emergency room. I checked myself in and they came to see me right away. I told them a brief version of the saga of the past month and a half and they got me an IV with some pain meds to get me comfortable. We assessed the pain scale, I said that if we recalibrated it so that a 1 was labor, I was at a 9. Yes, it hurt worse than giving birth. The doctor came in and ordered a few tests — ultrasound and a CT scan to figure out if there was anything wrong.
Several hours later, the tests were done and the results were back. While somewhat inconclusive due to what I am assuming was a sleepy ultrasound tech, they determine something was wrong with my left ovary. They admitted me to the hospital and my OB/GYN was on her way to check me out. The date? February 14th. So, New Year’s Day in Urgent Care, Valentine’s Day in the ER/Hospital. 2013 Holidays were off to a smashing start.
Steve came up and sat with me (and brought me flowers, smart smart husband) until my doctor arrived. She said I had a 6 cm cyst on my left ovary, and while I would need surgery, it was not an emergency and I should make an appointment for the following week for a consultation. Grateful to finally have a cause to my pain, but not grateful to have to wait longer for resolution, I somehow made it to our appointment. She set me up for surgery and talked through the procedure. She was going to try to just do a laprascopy and get it out so my recovery time would be minimal.
I was set up for surgery yesterday, February 28th. Having never had surgery before, and generally being terrified of needles, I was scared to death. I was scared I’d react to the anesthesia and I had dreams that they opened me up and couldn’t find anything. Surgery day arrived, some tears were shed, and eventually I was on my way back to the Operating Room. I woke up in recovery and the nurse filled me in — they got in with the scope and discovered that my appendix was abnormally long, it had somehow (no one has a hypothesis on how this even occurred) stretched from it’s usual location across my body and wrapped itself around my left Fallopian tube 3 times. My doctor had to call a general surgeon to come in and remove the appendix. He was able to get it out and told my doctor in the nearly 40 years he had been in the medical field, he had never seen an appendix do that before, nor had he ever seen one as long as mine.
Appendix cleared, they could see what they were working with. What was originally projected as a 6 cm dermoid cyst, turned out to be much much bigger than they were expecting. Instead it was a dermoid cyst somewhere between a softball and a grapefruit size. My doctor told Steve that she was going to try her best to get it out without having to open me up, but wasn’t sure it could be done. I won’t go into detail, but she did it! I was able to come home last night and sleep in my own bed, though I was down an appendix, left ovary, and left Fallopian tube.
I am in shock how much better I feel. I am sore from surgery, but it seems like a cake walk compared to the last 2 months. My energy is back, my mood has improved and I feel like I will actually be back to myself very soon. No one has any idea how/when all of that happened inside me, nothing showed up on any of my ultrasounds with Dayton, and I had never had a single problem before. Very strange and I have never heard, “I’ve never seen that before” more times in a day in my life. I am so thankful for excellent medical care and even more excellent health insurance.
So here concludes what I’ve been doing for the last 2 months…And if you made it this far through the story, lesson learned…3.5 months of excruciating, worse than child birth pain after having a baby. So fun posts to come now that I am on the mend…including a Dayton update because he’s a few days shy of 4 months old!! I can’t believe it!