Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
12cm ovarian cyst
Thought I'd share my recent experience. I frequently have SI joint problems, and have some stretches that generally help, or I go to my chiro. Tuesday Aug 7, I woke up with the SI joint pain, did my stretches for an hour or two and it went away after a slight "pop". Friday woke up to the same pain (back of hip, front joint of hip near my pubic bone), which escalated to the point of me screaming in pain. None of the stretches helped, so I went to my chiropractor. He could give me no relief, so took me to the ER. Basically, I screamed all day on Friday, in severe pain. ER did an x-ray, and a CAT scan. The doctor came in and said he wasn't so worried about the hip, as he was about the 12cm mass in my abdomen. It needed to come out ASAP. He was to set up emergency surgery on Saturday. Morphine and demerol helped only a bit, took the screaming down to constant crying. When they moved me to my hospital room, I begged for a muscle relaxant because it felt like a muscle was pulled to the breaking point, like a rubber band. He gave me dilaudid and reluctantly gave me the muscle relaxant, as he didn't believe it would help. The pain quickly subsided.
When I woke Saturday morning, there was no pain, but I had muscle cramps in my calfs and toes, so asked for the muscle relaxant, but didn't need any pain meds. He realized it wasn't the mass causing the pain, so set the surgery for Monday. It went from an "emergency" operation to "ASAP".
I saw a short writeup on the mass, which indicated it was probably cancerous. When he came to talk to me, this oncology/gyn and I were on the same page. I wanted it out, no biopsies, just take it all out. Let's don't burst this "balloon" and let poison leak out. We discussed everything from taking just the mass out, to removing the mass and the ovary, to a complete hysterectomy including cervix and possibly lymph nodes. I had read somewhere that when a small bit of cancer is left in and frozen, sometimes the body's immune system will recognize it as foreign and go "kill" all the foreign material. We discussed my desire to at least give this a chance, and he was in agreement. Said if there was cancer, they usually could never get it all, so some was left in (but frozen) that would serve this purpose. He planned to take the mass out completely, then do biopsies, then decide whether to sew me back up, or take more out.
Luckily, I went to the hospital where my own gyn works, and he called in his surgeon who handles complex operations, and we were on the same wavelength. He didn't want to scare me, but I told him I needed the truth, because that's the only way I can make good decisions.
Everything happened so fast, I didn't really have time to get scared, and was busy calling people and cancelling appointments and plans for the next week or two. Since nothing had ever hurt, I couldn't believe it was something too bad.
My Asperger's did not do me well in the hospital. There were too many people, too much movement, too much pain, too much new stuff, so I was on overload most of the week, having meltdowns several times a day. And it didn't help that the nurses didn't seem to know how to draw blood. I look like a pincushion. Also, I didn't feel like the nurses/docs were listening to me. Like I had to argue for the muscle relaxant. Then insist on other nurses trying for blood when it was obvious "this one" couldn't get any. Nor could they put in an IV.
I get gas and bloated when I don't eat. The same as what comes from surgery, but it had already started because I couldn't eat before the surgery. It kept getting worse, and of course I couldn't pass gas, there was nothing inside me! They decided my bowels wouldn't wake up and that I had ileus. So I fought with them about needing some water to drink, and they wouldn't give me anything, basically no food or drink from Sunday midnight til Thursday afternoon, after I pitched a screaming fit at them and showed them the IV wasn't even enough to keep my pee from turning dark, much less give me enough to go to the bathroom. They just could not believe that I have the horrible bloating on a regular basis when I don't eat, and that the only thing that fixes it is to let me eat.
So, finally, they let me have juices, something for constipation, and low and behold, my bowels started working. Who'd a thought?
My incision goes from my belly button down to my bikini line, and has 15 metal staples. Getting up was difficult because my abdomen hurt so bad. But...It was hurting Monday before the surgery, I think because I was screaming so long on Friday, think I pulled a muscle. So they kept me on muscle relaxers all week, too, in addition to the pain meds. It doesn't hurt nearly so bad now. I came home from the hospital last Friday, and that hurt. Who knew how much vibration a car has? My friend said press my hands on the stitches lightly to help with the pain, and it helped. Today my son took me out to eat, first time I've been out, stitches still hurt, but slowly getting better. I walked in the restaurant, a couple of stores, in and out of the car, and doing ok. Oh, cool, I just noticed something - my pain meds were due at 6pm, and it's now 7:15pm and I didn't notice!
I had joked before that I looked 5 months pregnant. After surgery, I looked 9 months pregnant, now look about 5-6 months. I was hoping after taking out a grapefruit sized mass, it would be much smaller, but so far, no.
The hospital gave me these mesh panties to wear. They are wonderful! They gently cling to all parts, but have no elastic band pushing on any one place. It provides a barrier between my clothes and the stitches. I'm wearing my largest mumu, and I think it's the only thing in the house that fits me right now. Looking forward to this swelling subsiding.
It happened so quick, and I didn't feel like getting on my computer, so I haven't really asked any questions. Once he said it was benign, I was content. My appointment to get the stitches out is Thursday, so I'm working on a list of questions to ask.