Mid April – (slightly TMI)
It all began with one night after going out with some friends, I had a drink so when I got home I decided to drink a lot of water before I went to bed. Little did I know I would be up all night having to pee. After a sleepless night I asked my mom what she thought it might be, she suspected a UTI, then another friend of mine scared me into going to Urgent Care to make sure it wasn’t in my kidneys. So to Urgent Care, we went to get it checked out, I gave a urine sample and waited. The doctor came in and stated that I did have a UTI (which I later that night found out that I did not have) but wanted to do a CT scan of my abdomen because it was very distended. So distended that he kept asking me if I was sure that I wasn’t pregnant. At that point I was really really freaking out, as I had never ever had a CT scan before. A nurse came in and gave me a shot of painkillers in the booty, that was weird but I calmed down a bit. I still had her pinch bruise on my booty for the next 2 weeks though. So I went to another room to do the CT scan, which isn’t quite as scary as it seemed. Then back to the room to wait for the results, when the doctor came back in I knew it would not be good news by the look on his face. He said he had called an ambulance to transport me to Baptist Hospital because I had a strange large abscess in my abdomen that I needed to get checked right away. At that point I went into panic mode and thought I might pass out while we waited. Riding in the ambulance was quite an experience, although they didn’t have the sirens on I did have to be strapped onto a gurney for the ride. At the hospital they gave me some options of tests they could do, I picked the CT scan with contrast since it was the most conclusive test I could do according to the ER doctor. I got my first ever IV put in my arm, luckily it didn’t hurt and they administered some calming meds to relax me. I did the CT scan with contrast, which wasn’t as bad since I had just had one a few hours earlier, although this one they did have to inject me with some iodine which they mentioned I could be allergic to. I wasn’t luckily. About 15 minutes after the CT scan the doctor returned to say that it seemed as though it was a cyst in my uterine area and that I needed to follow up with a gyno. We left the hospital at 4am that morning, the next morning I called the gyno and got an appointment for that morning. At the gyno I got an ultrasound and then a doctor came in to tell me that I had a 10 cm cyst by my uterus that looked like it had some solidness to it, which would have to be tested to make sure it was not cancerous. Hearing that word was the most terrifying thing to happen to me in my entire life. I was 31, with no kids and possibly cancer in my uterus, it was not a good moment. After the doctor told me they would be referring my results to an oncologist gyno and I should hear back from him in a few days I walked to the Barnes & Nobles nearby & cried in the bathroom while I waited for my mother to pick me up.
After a few days of not hearing back from the oncologist doctor and then calling their office to find out that I couldn’t get an appointment till a month later I decided to call my sister’s gyno and see him. They scheduled me an appointment for later that same afternoon so I told my job that I would be taking off the rest of the day and left. I brought my mom with me to this appointment, and I had the exam and then another kind of ultrasound. After the exam was over the doctor called me into the office and the office guy went to the waiting room to get my mom. The doctor notified us that he had to refer me to an oncologist doctor friend he had since it was not sure if my cyst was normal or abnormal and didn’t want to risk doing the surgery himself, he also told me that my cyst was 12 cm. He called his doctor friend and got us an appointment right away, we just had to drive all the way to Palmetto Hospital to see the doctor right away. My mom had to drive my car I was so distraught thinking of all the horrible possibilities of having cancer, looking over and seeing my mom with tears in her eyes scared me even more. We got to the doctor’s office and he saw me right away and reassured me that he would do everything he could do to remove the cyst from me without having to remove any of my organs. I left that office feeling like a zombie, not sure of what could possibly happen and feeling like everything was crashing down. I did some yoga that night to calm my nerves a little bit till I could wrap my mind around what was about to happen to me. At this point I was afraid to run and I thought it would be uncomfortable as well to try. I ended up walking two races the week before my surgery was scheduled, the Mercedes Benz Corporate Run on Thursday evening & Heroes in Recovery 6k on Saturday morning.
For about two weeks I was walking around panicked, luckily I have some great friends who were willing to go on long walks with me to help me vent and calm down. Also I didn’t need as many pre op tests due to my excellent health & running lifestyle. Finally it was time for surgery, April 30th I went into the hospital around 9am and had surgery around 1pm. I had a couple panic attacks while waiting to be taken back to the operating table. Immediately after surgery they reported that what they removed was not a cyst on my ovary but a fibroid on my ovary, unfortunately that meant more than just laparascopic incisions. Afterwards my mom came into the recovery area and I started texting all the people that had sent me messages while I was in surgery, the nurse was apparently surprised at my ability to text while still on morphine. I got a hospital room, moved in for the night, I can say it wasn’t too bad except for the fact that I needed help getting up and out of the hospital bed to pee. Mostly because of the fact that I was wearing a velcro blinder around my abdomen. First time I got up to go, my mom and a nurse helped me to the door of the bathroom. While washing my hands afterwards though I almost fainted. All night got up to pee due to being hooked up to the saline drip, finally I asked them to take me off the saline so I could sleep more than an hour at a time. The next morning they brought me breakfast, sadly it was chicken broth, which I denied (since I’m a vegetarian) so they brought my vegetable broth & tea. I drank the black tea while my mom went to McDonalds (I know, bad me!) to get me a fruit smoothie. I ate some crackers I had brought from home and showed the nurses that I was drinking my smoothie. I was starved by that time since I hadn’t ate in 24 hours! The nurses seemed happy with my ability to keep food/drinks down so they said that later on they would send someone to help me walk around, so I told my mom I was not waiting for them. I gathered my clothes in the bathroom and changed all by myself. I made sure to pass by the nurses’ station a few times while walking down the hallway so they would not miss me walking around. Soon after I got back to my room a nurse came in and told me I would be discharged from the hospital. I filled out the paperwork & we got out of there as soon as possible.
The first couple days out of the hospital it was difficult to get up from laying down, I was like a turtle on it’s back. It was probably pretty funny for everyone to watch and now thinking about it kinda makes me laugh. They prescribed me painkillers but I just took children’s chewable Motrin and was fine. The best way to describe the pain is like the feeling after a super hard ab workout, when it aches to contract your abs. A day after I got home from the hospital it was my birthday, so we celebrated at home with an ice cream cake and pizza, typical birthday. A couple days after, on the weekend my good friends came over and we played board games and chatted. It was fun but I had to keep a pillow pressed into my abdomen because I was laughing too much and afraid of splitting my glued incisions.
Two weeks after I was waking up early again and going to the park to walk, I started with 2 mile walks and increased it to about 5 mile walks on the weekends. Basically like a running schedule but not exactly. Three weeks after I went out to a bar and had a drink for the first time in 5 weeks. Four weeks afterwards I went to a goth club and danced it up. Then I started doing some light weights and biking while waiting for the 6 weeks post surgery to start running again. Five weeks after I started going to bootcamp again. It was a long 6 weeks for me to rest and relax with less activity but it was to prevent getting any hernias and help my body heal faster.